Records supposedly are made to be broken, but apparently not Danny Sullivan’s.
The 1985 Indianapolis 500 winner and 1988 CART series champion still holds the record for fastest average speed in a 500-mile race (170.720 mph) at Pocono Raceway.
Well, there’s a caveat to that — Sullivan set the mark in 1989, the last time the 2.5-mile tri-oval on the cusp of the Pocono mountains hosted an open-wheel Indy car race. He also won there in 1984 (both times on the CART circuit).
Now, after a nearly quarter-century, Indy car racing returns to the infamous “Tricky Triangle” on Sunday for the IZOD IndyCar Series’ Pocono IndyCar 400 Fueled by Sunoco.
“I think Pocono is an ideal track for IndyCars,” Sullivan said in a story on IndyCar.com. “With all of the upgrades, improvements in safety, you should see a great return from the IndyCar Series.”
Will a modern day driver like Will Power, Dario Franchitti, Marco Andretti, Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan, current points leader Helio Castroneves, Ryan Hunter-Reay or James Hinchcliffe finally break Sullivan’s 24-year record?
Time will tell. And even if someone does break his mark, Sullivan will still have some great memories both of Pocono and his past time there.
“A great layout, and three distinctly different corners makes a good setup difficult,” Sullivan added. “Pocono used to be rough, but that added to the challenge. My races there were always close and competitive. Winning it twice was special.”
Lewis Hamilton believes that this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be remembered as the last race with good-looking Formula 1 cars ahead of the introduction of the ‘Halo’ cockpit protection for next year.
Officials from the FIA and F1 Strategy Group confirmed earlier this year that the Halo would be fitted to all cars from the 2018 season in a bid to improve safety standards, with the deaths of Justin Wilson and Jules Bianchi putting head protection high on the agenda for the series’ chiefs.
Hamilton has long made his opposition to the Halo clear, believing it will ruin the look of F1 cars, and echoed his thoughts ahead of the final Halo-less race in Abu Dhabi this weekend.
“It’s the last year of looking good I think in the cars. It’s the last race where the cars will look good,” Hamilton said.
“I think next year, it’s all downhill from there in terms of how they look.
“But safety will go up at least, and maybe it could be successful in some way.”
Hamilton’s F1 title rival Sebastian Vettel was less bothered about the change, believing the field will adjust and move on.
“The cars will look different next year. Everything I’ve seen so far looks different, but on the other hand it is something we all get used to,” Vettel said.
“But no doubt the cars look better now, but we’ll get used to it, and we’ll work on the aesthetics so it can be better. It is less of a big deal.”
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo shared Vettel’s view, saying: “I don’t think it’s gonna be as dramatic as most people make it out to be.”