Schumacher’s first F1 championship car hitting auction block

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If you’ve got the cash, you can own a piece of Formula One history on Dec. 1, when the car that took Michael Schumacher to his first of seven World Driving Championships goes up for auction.

British auction house Bonhams is set to sell the 1994 Cosworth/Ford-powered Benetton B194, and it is expected that the car will fetch a price upwards of 600,000 GBP – or almost $1 million USD.

This won’t be the first valuable F1 machine that Bonhams has sold this year. Back in July, Juan Manuel Fangio’s 1954 Mercedes W196 was sold for 19.6 million GBP, which made it the most valuable motor vehicle ever sold at auction.

The B194-05 chassis that will be auctioned off Dec. 1 was used in the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix – known infamously as the race in which Formula One great Ayrton Senna lost his life. Schumacher won that race and went on to more wins in Monaco, Canada and France that year in the B194-05.

According to Bonhams, extensive recent engineering work on the car includes a restoration of its Cosworth/Ford Zetec engine, a new gearbox, and a paddle-shifting gear change system. Additionally, the lucky buyer will also receive a test drive of the B194 at its current base in Spain.

“Unlike so many other modern era Formula 1 cars, this one is complete, fully operational and effectively in race-ready condition,” said Bonhams Group motoring director James Knight in a release.

Al Unser Jr. back in IndyCar after a decade away: ‘Life is very good’

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There’s been somewhat of a hole in Al Unser Jr.’s heart ever since he retired from racing in 2007.

It was a void, something was missing.

But now, after a decade away from racing, Unser has found the right medicine to fill that hole in his heart: he’s back in the racing game again.

No, he’s not driving again (although he does participate occasionally in vintage races), but the two-time Indianapolis 500 (1992 and 1994) winner is definitely back in the IndyCar world.

And he couldn’t be happier.

“For me, it’s a dream come true,” Unser told IndyCar.com. “Since I stepped out of the race car and retired from racing, there’s been something missing from my life, and it’s racing.”

Unser has hooked up with Harding Racing. The team competed in three races last season as a ramp-up for a full 17-race effort this season. While Unser’s official title with the team is “consultant,” he’s involved in so much more.

His main role is as a driving coach to 2015 IndyCar Rookie of the Year Gabby Chaves. But he’s also involved in so many other areas, including helping the team obtain sponsorships and much more.

He then added, “I’m involved in every sense of the word except actually driving the car. And I’m happy about that because I’m too old to drive the car.”

Unser, who won CART championships in 1990 and 1994, is now 55. He’s so involved with his new job that he even moved from his native New Mexico and has relocated to suburban Indianapolis.

Not only is it a new start for Unser, it also is for Chaves. After running all 16 races in 2015 for Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian, he competed in just seven races for Dale Coyne Racing in 2016 and only three races for Harding Racing last season.

But he definitely impressed the team, with a fifth- (Texas) and ninth-place (Indianapolis 500) finish in the first two races and 15th (Pocono) in the team’s final run of the season.

That’s why when Harding Racing decided to go fulltime in 2018, Chaves was their pick for behind the wheel. And Unser was their pick to help guide him to potential stardom in the series.

“(Team owner) Mike Harding is definitely a person that when he decides to do something, he does it right,” Unser told IndyCar.com. “The potential for this organization is through the sky. We’re all working really hard here and we see the potential.”

And as for Unser?

“Life is good, life is very good,” he told IndyCar.com. “We’re back full force, eager and better than ever.”

Click here for the full story about Unser from IndyCar.com.