When it comes to legendary races, the Indianapolis 500, Formula 1’s Monaco Grand Prix, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans are probably among the first that come to mind, thanks to their rich history and the prestige that comes with winning any one of them – or all of them, in the still-unique exploits of Graham Hill.
All three events feature in the latest RACER (No. 311), The Legendary Races Issue, but for very different reasons.
For Le Mans, we explore the past, present and future of the world’s greatest endurance race. Past? That would be Mazda earning the first win for a Japanese marque back in 1991, and Jimmy Murphy’s all-American win in the 1921 French Grand Prix, two years before the first 24-hour race.
Present? We explore three-time and reigning winner Toyota’s chances of continuing its victorious ways at the start of the World Endurance Championship’s Hypercar era.
And future? A look at how those Hypercars will go head to head with IMSA’s upcoming LMDh class to fight for the overall win at Le Mans, and at U.S. classics such as the Rolex 24 at Daytona and Twelve Hours of Sebring.
In the case of the Monaco GP street race and the Indy 500, we celebrate the return of fans to each, following last year’s COVID-related cancellation and behind-closed-doors running, respectively. Perhaps alone among the ranks of motorsports media, our own Chris Medland got to experience both, along with the necessary travel and testing complications that came with such a logistical undertaking.
On this side of the Atlantic, we have our own street racing classic in the Long Beach Grand Prix. A round of the Formula 1 World Championship from 1976 to ’83, it switched to CART in ’84 and is now one of the jewels of the NTT IndyCar Series. So why did F1 quit Long Beach? And Las Vegas, Detroit, Dallas and Phoenix, too? We look into the fractious relationship between F1 and its various non-permanent (in more ways than one) stops in the U.S.
And RACER No. 311 doesn’t end with its tales of legendary races. We talk to IndyCar breakout star Pato O’Ward, explore the mighty F1 battle between Red Bull Racing and Mercedes, check out the return of the WRC’s Safari Rally in Kenya, and debrief with Garrett Gerloff, the first American rider to start a MotoGP race in… well, way too long.
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