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SPM, Calmels Indy 500 effort called off

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The potential Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Calmels Sport Indianapolis 500 effort, which was meant to field Tristan Gommendy in the 2018 Indianapolis 500, will join the annals of “announced entries that never actually materialized beyond the press release.”

SPM confirmed the end of the partnership in a press release today.

In a statement, the team wrote: “Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Calmels Sport have mutually agreed to end their partnership of a 2018 Indianapolis 500 program. SPM will continue to focus on raising the level of performance of its involvement in the Verizon IndyCar Series. Both parties wish another well in the future.”

The initial partnership news was one of the more out-of-left-field entries in recent years and quickly gathered negative headlines once some digging was done regarding some of Didier Calmels’ past.

An announcement regarding SPM’s replacement third car entry for this year’s Indianapolis 500 with another partnership is known to many in the IndyCar paddock, and will be announced officially on Friday.

Relive the 1911 Indy 500 in living color

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Race fans and historians will have an opportunity to relive the 1911 Indy 500 in color this Sunday, November 25 at 8 p.m. ET.

Airing on the Smithsonian Channel as part of their America in Color series, a colorized version of the first Indy 500 highlights a race that began a tradition more than 100 years old.

The Indy 500 helped establish the auto racing industry and part of the episode deals with the lives of the Ford, Firestone and Edison families.

On board mechanics were a fixture of racing at the time – in part because they also served as spotters. On Lap 90 Joe Jagersberger (running three laps down at the time) broke a steering mount and his rider tumbled onto the track, causing Harry Knight to careen into the pits – which had no wall separating it from the track. Remarkably, no one was killed.

The documentary describes how Ray Harroun likely won because of his use of a rear view mirror that allowed him to drive without an on board mechanic. Innovation in that inaugural race set the tone for racing today.

Harroun beat Ralph Mumford by a margin of 103 seconds in a race that took six hours, 42 minutes to run.