The open-wheel world is mourning the passing of two individuals who played a big part in the evolution of the sport.
First, veteran Indianapolis 500 and Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network announcer Doug Zink passed away Sunday at the age of 78, according to The Indianapolis Star and a tweet by current 500 announcer Mark Jaynes.
Zink began a long association with the racetrack by serving as a backstretch reporter from 1966-1973, was Turn 3 announcer from 1974-1981 and Turn 2 voice from 1982-1984.
Zink spent 27 years with Indianapolis radio station WIRE before retiring in 1986.
The IndyCar world is also mourning Larry Slutter, 73, of Reno, Nevada. Formerly of Nazareth, Pennsylvania, Slutter passed away on Monday, April 4, one day before what would have been his 74th birthday.
According to LehighValleyLive.com, Slutter was a longtime fixture on the IndyCar scene, working for a number of top team owners including A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Lloyd Ruby.
Slutter was instrumental in developing the Ford racing engine in the 1960s, as well as the Cosworth DFX motor while working for Parnelli Jones.
He also worked for Toyota Racing Development before retiring in 2008, but continued to work part-time building racing engines in his own shop.
Overshadowed by a horrific crash involving Sophia Floersch was the fact that 19-year-old Dan Ticktum dominated and won the Macau Grand Prix – a victory that puts him closer to earning the superlicence required to allow him to race with Formula 1, according to Yahoo! Sports.
Ticktum won Macau’s qualification race as well as the Grand Prix, starting first in both events. For his victories, he earned 10 points, which combined with 25 for his runner-up finish in the European F3 Championship leaves him just five below the 40 needed for the license.
This was Ticktum’s second Macau Grand Prix victory.
“It was a dominant performance that I was preparing for,” Ticktum said on his web site. “I don’t think I’ve ever prepared as hard as I did for this race and it all worked out. In the final race a lot of variables were thrown at me but I handled them.”
On his way to victory lane, Ticktum had to survive several restarts including the lengthy red flag period following Floersch’s accident to repair the barrier.
“I can’t count how many safety car restarts we had to do,” Ticktum said. “It puts a lot of pressure on a driver here with such a long run down to the first corner. I can’t remember a weekend when I’ve put it all together so well.
“The car was absolutely perfect all weekend, it was so good and I can’t thank Motopark enough for that. I’ve never been so involved in the set-up, felt so at one with the car as I did this weekend.”