People might not remember who won the 2003 British Grand Prix off the top of their heads, but chances are they do remember this guy.
Defrocked priest Neil Horan interrupted the race when he somehow made it onto the track, running on the Hangar Straight straight into oncoming traffic while carrying religious signage and wearing a kilt. Mercifully, he was taken down by a course marshal and moved off to the side of the track. He’d eventually face legal charges of aggravated trespass and spend two months behind bars.
As for his impact on the Grand Prix, it caused the year’s most abnormal safety car period and a flurry of cars entered the pits as a result. Rubens Barrichello eventually took the win from pole position, ahead of Juan Pablo Montoya and Kimi Raikkonen.
You can see this year’s British Grand Prix live on CNBC, not NBC Sports Network, at 7:30 a.m. ET Sunday morning and also live streamed via NBC Sports Live Extra.
MotorSportsTalk continues its review of the Verizon IndyCar Series field, driver-by-driver, with a look at Ryan Briscoe. Despite not having a ride to start the year, Briscoe ended strongly courtesy of a series of strong runs at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
Ryan Briscoe, No. 5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda
2014: 11th Place, Best Finish 4th, Best Start 4th, 1 Top-5, 11 Top-10, 5 Laps Led, 12.8 Avg. Start, 10.6 Avg. Finish
2015: 18th Place (8 starts), Best Finish 5th, Best Start 2nd, 1 Top-5, 4 Top-10, 10 Laps Led, 17.8 Avg. Start, 12.0 Avg. Finish
For those who slag on Briscoe as being undeserving of top level equipment, his 2015 second half provided a friendly reminder of his overall ability level in what might be less than the best machinery.
Briscoe was thrust into the No. 5 car under trying circumstances to begin with, getting all of an hour’s worth practice replacing the injured James Hinchcliffe ahead of the Indianapolis 500. But subsequent drives on the ovals there, Texas, Fontana, Milwaukee and Iowa – even if the results were less than ideal – showcased a driver determined to show to the paddock he still had it, and then some. His defense against Juan Pablo Montoya in Sonoma was nothing short of brilliant, and courtesy of double points he actually finished ahead of full-season driver Stefano Coletti.
The Australian immediately gelled with the SPM team, engineer Allen McDonald and race strategist Robert Gue. He continues to prove he’s an asset, as he has enjoyed multiple opportunities to extend his career in various arenas of motorsport in both open-wheel and sports cars, the latter of which he won at both the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring with Corvette Racing this year.