Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Team Lotus wins the 1965 Indianapolis 500

In 1962, Dan Gurney invited Colin Chapman as his guest at the Indianapolis 500 to show him the potential of bringing a Lotus race car there to compete.

Chapman was impressed and decided to give it a go with his rear-engine racers.

For 1963, Team Lotus raced a Lotus 29, and came very close to winning with Jim Clark driving. They came back in 1964 with the Lotus 34, but tire problems sidelined the cars.

Jim Clark - Lotus 38 - 1965 Indianapolis 500

Pen&ink, paint markers and markers on green archival paper
© Paul Chenard 2012
Private commission - Available as a limited edition

In 1965, they came back, this time with the lovely Ford-powered Lotus 38.

Clark went on to lead all but 10 of the full 200 laps, averaging a new record speed of over 150 miles-per-hour (241 kph), coming in to win with an amazing margin of victory of just under 2 minutes.

It was a first Indianapolis 500 win for Jim Clark, Lotus Racing and the Ford Motor Company. It also broke the long-standing curse of bad luck racing a green race car at the Indianapolis 500.

Significantly, it was the first win there for a rear-engine car, spelling the end of traditional front-engine roadster.

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