Today marks 20 years since Ayrton Senna’s final home victory in the 1993 Brazilian Grand Prix.
Senna raced his final season with McLaren with underpowered customer Ford engines on a race-by-race contract. As a result, although Senna qualified third behind the pair of all-conquering Williams-Renaults, 1.8 seconds in arrears, his race craft and ability in mixed conditions came to the fore on race day.
Alain Prost took pole but later made contact with Christian Fittipaldi, taking them both out, while Senna would eventually pass Prost’s Williams teammate Damon Hill for the lead once the rain had stopped and the dry conditions resumed.
Hill finished second ahead of Michael Schumacher, Johnny Herbert, Mark Blundell and Alex Zanardi. Zanardi’s sixth place in this race was his only points-scoring result in Formula 1.
The race was also noteworthy as it marked Rubens Barrichello’s Brazilian Grand Prix debut, for his F1 career that lasted from 1993 through 2011, and also the one and only start in this race for Senna’s McLaren teammate Michael Andretti. Andretti was one of four drivers eliminated in a first-lap accident.
NHRA: New book a celebration of life, love and drag racing
The overpowering smell from nitromethane that powers Top Fuel dragsters and Funny Cars in the National Hot Rod Association oftentimes brings fans to tears after getting a whiff of the stuff.
Now there’s a new inspirational book that will also bring tears to the eyes of die-hard drag racing fans.
Veteran crew chief Jim Oberhofer has released “Top Fuel For Life, Life Lessons From A Crew Chief,” a touching homage to both his late wife and persevering and overcoming adversity in the highly competitive world of NHRA drag racing.
Oberhofer wears a number of hats as vice president of one of the sport’s most veteran and successful teams, Kalitta Motorsports, including serving as crew chief for Top Fuel driver Doug Kalitta’s dragster.
Oberhofer relates a number of stories about overcoming adversity in the book, but none more touching than how he watched his beloved wife “Tammy O” lose a long and painful battle to stage 4 metastatic lung cancer.
While Oberhofer has spent his life using wrenches and tools working on 10,000-horsepower engines, his new book shows that he is also a very gifted writer.
Known in the sport as “Jim O,” Oberhofer describes the fight his wife went through in gritty and descriptive prose, but with a foundation built upon what the love of his life meant to him – and continues to mean to him more than two years since she passed away.
“When you take a long hard look at your life, I guarantee you that being a winner has little to do with crossing the finish line,” Oberhofer said. “After many mistakes and a whole lot of heartache, I learned that happiness comes from a deeper, simpler place. That’s the big win.”
“Top Fuel For Life” is available on Amazon for $19.95.