One of the things I’m keen to highlight this year on MotorSportsTalk is the 1996 open-wheel season, which was a fairly divisive one in the grand scheme of things as it marked the first year of the split between CART and the Indy Racing League.
But it was also the year that Target Chip Ganassi Racing took its first CART championship, when Jimmy Vasser secured the 1996 title at Laguna Seca Raceway – now Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Vasser’s title triumph, however, was overshadowed by teammate Alex Zanardi in his final race of the rookie year.
Zanardi put the move on Bryan Herta at the top of the Corkscrew that was probably illegal, but who cares, because it was epic… and it came to be known simply as “The Pass.”
We have to thank Zanardi – who remains an inspiration 20 years later – for digging into the archives and finding this gem, which is Vasser’s even funnier retelling of the story from his perspective.
And if you need to rewatch “The Pass” itself, it’s linked below: