Road & Track Fall Special 2020 - Vol. 1 - Motorsports

Road & Track includes technical features on automotive subjects, wide-ranging feature stories, spectacular automotive art and standard-setting new-car photography, humor, fiction, travel stories, book reviews and the most comprehensive racing coverage offered by a monthly magazine.Bonus: iPad Interactive

United States
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1 min
the save

THIS PICTURE captures a terrifying moment in the best day of Danny Sullivan’s racing career. A former New York City cabbie, Sullivan was leading the 1985 Indianapolis 500 when he lost control at over 2o0 mph. What does it feel like when the whole world spins around? In the weird year of 2020, I think all of us can answer that question. It’s disorienting, frightening, it makes you question why you do what you do. But then you adapt. You wear a mask, you learn to focus in video meetings, to manage your children’s schoolwork, to have a beer with friends from across the yard. This is the first volume of R&T, the new evolution of the world’s most legendary magazine for car enthusiasts. Each bimonthly issue has a special theme. Volume…

3 min
horsepower hilton

1972 INTERNATIONAL FLEETSTAR 2110A TRAIL-R-VAN CUSTOM DIMENSIONS: 402.0 x 96.0 x 150.0 IN ENGINE: 9.0-LITER V-8 HORSEPOWER: 230 @ 3200 RPM MAX. GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT: 28,040 LBS REAL WORLD FUEL ECONOMY: 2 MPG MODERN RACING TRANSPORTERS are mobile command posts. They roll up to the paddock and expand into fortresses, hydraulics hissing like some science-fiction landing craft. But in the beginning, the average racing transport was just a flatbed truck and a couple of ramps. They were basic, pragmatic, open-topped workhorses. This 1972 International Fleetstar 2110A helped bridge the gap. One of two such machines built on school-bus chassis by aftermarket manufacturer Trail R Van, it features an aluminum-skinned steel frame and a fully enclosed hauling area. Designed by Indy 500 winner and Can-Am champion Mark Donohue, both Fleetstars entered service for Penske Racing in June of 1972. Painted…

3 min
speed math

A SPORTS GOD’S TRUEST GREATNESS lies not in his stats, but in his power to inspire. We revere Michael Jordan for his tongue-wagging aerialism as much as his championship rings. Same deal in motorsports. Despite three-time champion Alain Prost’s 1989 Formula 1 title win over Ayrton Senna, the scowling scarf-wearer is barely on anyone’s greatest-drivers list. But how do you determine who should be? A 2018 study from the University of Sheffield in the UK aims to rank, in absolutely definitive terms, the best F1 wheelmen of all time. It examines 695 drivers over 905 races from 1950 through 2014 and takes a hard look at their at-the-helm performance, as well as the conditions in which it was achieved. This is an important academic pursuit and a noble attempt to…

8 min
beautiful losers

1986 Buick LeSabre Grand National As homologation specials go, the 1986 Buick LeSabre Grand National is perhaps the least special of all. If the 250 GTO is at one end of the homologation-car spectrum, this mildly tarted up Buick holds down the other end, the one titled, “Strictly Perfunctory.” The LeSabre Grand National road car existed to allow GM to use a couple of aerodynamic mods in its NASCAR racing effort. As the rules went, if it was on a production vehicle, Buick could use it on the race car, right? That explains (if not excuses) the bizarre, hideous, and visibility-killing ribbed triangular pieces of black plastic covering part of the rear quarter windows. Somehow, even on Grand Nationals that were painted black, the tacked-on plastic still didn’t match. Underneath all…

1 min
alcohol racers

A.J. FOYT AND MARIO ANDRETTI were sometimes bitter rivals on the racetrack in the Seventies and Eighties. Decades removed from racing cars, they’re now doing battle in the strangest of places: the tasting room. This season, Foyt Family Wines is releasing a very credible special single-vineyard cabernet with notes of currants, wood, spice, and a deep, rich hue. Andretti Winery Sangiovese (from the sangiovese grape, or “the blood of Jupiter”), is a classic Italian red, delivering a fruity taste—especially cherries—and some minerality that will pair well against pasta dishes. IMSA legend Scott Pruett has rolled onto the vintner grid with the Pruett Vineyard Championship Cuvee Estate Syrah, a perennially awarded and highly rated wine from the Sierra foothills, packing potent aromatics, deep multilayered flavors of preserved berries, and a spicy…

4 min
the french kiss of death

SÉBASTIEN LOEB is the greatest driver who ever raced. Consider the evidence. Loeb collected World Rally titles like Pogs, nine in total, dominating racing’s toughest series for a decade. His flirtations with endurance racing and rallycross ended with, respectively, a podium at Le Mans and yet another title trophy. The Frenchman won three Race of Champions events, edging out the likes of Michael Schumacher and Tom Kristensen in apples-to-apples races. The only time he competed at Pikes Peak, Loeb set the all-time record—two years after he retired from WRC. But far more interesting than Loeb’s dominance in everything he did is his legacy: A decade of championships (nearly one-quarter of top-flight rallying’s organized history) that flattened the sport from total war to foregone conclusion. Attendance, television revenue, and automaker participation all dropped…