Indy 500 Borg-Warner Trophy featured at this week’s Goodwood Festival of Speed

The Duke of Richmond with the legendary Borg-Warner Trophy. Photos courtesy Borg-Warner
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At the rate it’s going, the legendary Borg-Warner Trophy may want to sign up for its own frequent flyer account.

The Trophy, awarded to the annual winner of the Indianapolis 500, is spending this week in England at the 25th annual Goodwood Festival of Speed.

It’s only the second time the Trophy has been outside of the U.S.

Late last year, it made its maiden voyage to a foreign land when it traveled to Japan when Takuma Sato was honored by his homeland for winning the 2017 Indy 500.

The legendary Borg-Warner Trophy sits in front of a row of original bricks from Indianapolis Motor Speedway at this week’s Goodwood Festival of Speed in England.

Great Britain’s Duke of Richmond, who plays host to the Festival of Speed each year, is excited to have the Trophy on display during the four-day Festival, which runs from Thursday through Sunday.

“When we started the Goodwood Festival of Speed (1993) we certainly hoped we’d do something people would really love,” the Duke of Richmond said. “We had no idea it would be such a success. I never guessed that people would feel so strongly about the event and keep coming back – I can’t believe this is our 25th anniversary, our silver jubilee year which is an extraordinary thing!

“One of my fondest memories is when Dan Gurney came very early to the Festival of Speed with the Eagle, that was big one for me. I remember Dan racing here in the 1960’s. Dan was such a wonderful man, we all miss him. We’ve also had some of the world’s greatest Indy cars here over the years. That’s were we’ve been so lucky we’ve seen all sorts of all forms of motorsport from around the world represented and celebrated here and that makes it a very special place.

“I’ve obviously seen the fabulous Borg-Warner Trophy in the United States. I was at Indianapolis in 1993, a very important year for us, the first year we had the Festival of Speed and it inspired me with lots of great ideas actually. I can’t believe it is actually here on the starting line with some of the bricks from the Brickyard which makes it even more special. We are very thrilled and very honored to have it here with us.”

In addition to the Trophy, three former Indy 500 winners will also attend the Festival: three-time winner Johnny Rutherford, two-time Emerson Fittipaldi and solo winner Kenny Brack.

In yet another homage to the Greatest Spectacle In Racing, the starting line of the Festival of Speed is made up of original bricks from Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The Trophy may make another trip soon, potentially after the current IndyCar season to Australia, home of this year’s Indy 500 winner, Will Power.

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Cadillac, Acura battle for top speed as cars back on track for Rolex 24 at Daytona practice

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The new hybrid prototypes of Cadillac and Acura battled atop the speed chart as practice resumed Thursday for the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Chip Ganassi Racing driver Richard Westbrook was fastest Thursday afternoon in the No. 02 Cadillac V-LMDh with a 1-minute, 35.185-second lap around the 12-turn, 3.56-mile road course at Daytona International Speedway.

That pace topped Ricky Taylor’s 1:35.366 lap that topped the Thursday morning session that marked the first time the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship was back on track since qualifying Sunday afternoon that concluded the four-day Roar Before The Rolex 24 test.

In a final session Thursday night, Matt Campbell was fastest (1:35.802) in the No. 7 Porsche Penske Motorsports Porsche 963 but still was off the times set by Westbrook and Taylor.

Punctuated by Tom Blomqvist’s pole position for defending race winner Meyer Shank Racing, the Acura ARX-06s had been fastest for much of the Roar and led four consecutive practice sessions.

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But the times have been extremely tight in the new Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) category that has brought hybrid engines to IMSA’s premier class. Only 0.9 seconds separated the nine LMDh cars in GTP in qualifying, and though the spread slightly widened to 1.378 seconds in Thursday’s practices with teams on varying strategies and preparation, Westbrook still pooh-poohed the importance of speeds.

“It’s always nice to be at the top, but I don’t think it means too much or read too much into it” Westbrook said. “Big fuel tanks in the GTP class this year, so you have no idea what fuel levels people are running. We had a good run, and the car is really enjoyable to drive now. I definitely wasn’t saying that a month ago.

“It really does feel good now. We are working on performance and definitely unlocking some potential, and it just gives us more confidence going into the race. It’s going to be super tight. Everyone’s got the same power, everyone has the same downforce, everyone has the same drag levels and let’s just go race.”

Because teams have put such a premium on reliability, handling mostly has suffered in the GTPs, but Westbrook said the tide had turned Thursday.

“These cars are so competitive, and you were just running it for the sake of running it in the beginning, and there’s so much going on, you don’t really have time to work on performance,” he said. “A lot of emphasis was on durability in the beginning, and rightly so, but now finally we can work on performance, and that’s the same for other manufacturers as well. But we’re worrying about ourselves and improving every run, and I think everybody’s pretty happy with their Cadillac right now.”

Mike Shank, co-owner of Blomqvist’s No. 60 on the pole, said his team still was facing reliability problems despite its speed.

“We address them literally every hour,” Shank said. “We’re addressing some little thing we’re doing better to try to make it last. And also we’re talking about how we race the race, which will be different from years past.

“Just think about every system in the car, I’m not going to say which ones we’re working on, but there are systems in the car that ORECA and HPD are continually trying to improve. By the way, sometimes we put them on the car and take them off before it even goes out on the track because something didn’t work with electronics. There’s so much programming. So many departments have to talk to each other. That bridge gets broken from a code not being totally correct, and the car won’t run. Or the power steering turns off.”

Former Rolex 24 winner Renger van der Zande of Ganassi said it still is a waiting game until the 24-hour race begins Saturday shortly after 1:30 p.m.

“I think the performance of the car is good,” van der Zande said. “No drama. We’re chipping away on setup step by step and the team is in control. It’s crazy out there what people do on the track at the moment. It’s about staying cool and peak at the right moment, and it’s not the right moment yet for that. We’ll keep digging.”


PRACTICE RESULTS:

Click here for Session I (by class)

Click here for Session II (by class)

Click here for Session III (by class)

Combined speeds