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INDYCAR names new managing director of engine development

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INDYCAR has named veteran engineer Darren Sansum as new managing director of engine development. Sansum comes to INDYCAR off a stint with Toyota Racing Development, which has won consecutive manufacturer championships in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

Sansum has also previously worked in INDYCAR in various capacities, including stints with Ford Motor Company, Cosworth Technology, and Ilmor Engineering.

“Darren is someone we targeted early on in the hiring process,” said Jay Frye, INDYCAR’s president of competition and operations, of Sansum’s hiring. “There is a lot happening within INDYCAR’s engine program, both current and future projects. Darren’s background makes him a perfect fit to lead our engine program today and into the future.”

In addition to overseeing the competition between current manufacturers Chevrolet and Honda, Sansum will also help develop a new set of engine regulations for the Verizon IndyCar Series while the series looks to add a third manufacturer alongside Honda and Chevrolet.
“What excites me about this role is that it’s an opportunity to use my 25 years of engine engineering,” Sansum said of the chance to join INDYCAR . “It’s an opportunity to help develop the sport itself and it’s particularly pertinent that it’s with INDYCAR since that’s where it started for me and it’s the fastest category in North America.”

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.