RACER August/September 2022: The Legendary Races Issue

RACER August/September 2022: The Legendary Races Issue

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RACER August/September 2022: The Legendary Races Issue

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Be it football, basketball, soccer, or even baseball, bar the occasional lopsided outfield or “Green Monster,” the pros know that they’re showing up to play on a pretty standard, and usually level playing field.

But that’s far from the case in motorsports, where space, topography, imagination or whimsy, prevailing trends, and oftentimes existing routes or city grids, help define so many of the classic road courses and street tracks in North America and around the world.

Mid-Ohio’s challenges are as much down to its founder, Les Griebling, having fun on a bulldozer as the rolling terrain the track sits upon, while scary-fast Silverstone takes much of its form from the runways and perimeter tracks of a World War II airbase, for example.

Ovals, too, are way more varied than might first appear. From Indy’s fearsome, low-banked turns that can wildly differ with the slightest of wind shifts or temperature changes, to Darlington’s fish pond-avoiding egg shape, to 1.5-milers with unique quirks and subtleties that belie their “cookie cutter” reputations, there’s massive variety in turning left, too.

But for our Legendary Races issue, we’re sticking to road and street courses (you’ll get your turn, Talladega…) and taking a deeper dive into some of the corners or sequences that truly define a track and the challenge it presents. From VIR’s panic-inducing Esses, to the endless complexities of WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca’s Turn 9, to a much-missed, risk vs. reward “ski jump” on the streets of Long Beach, the pros give us their take.

And it wouldn’t be a Legendary Races issue without a look back at the Indianapolis 500 and those ice-cool final laps from first-time winner Marcus Ericsson. The Swede also graces our cover, courtesy of RACER collaborator Michael Levitt grabbing him for an exclusive shoot just hours after his victory.

Ditto, a look at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, this time focused on the return of Team Penske… some 51 years after its only previous attempt. Sure, the track’s changed since The Captain’s last visit to Circuit de la Sarthe, but like many classic road courses it still retains its essence and its challenge.

And for a unique road course that provided a challenge like no other, we recall Sicily’s Targa Florio with its 44-plus miles of mountain passes and ancient village streets playing unforgiving host to state-of-the-art prototype sports cars until the mid 1970s.

Add in a look at how the new-for-2022 Formula 1 rules are shaping up, Chip Ganassi Racing’s expanding Cadillac sports car program, checking in with NASCAR Xfinity Series rising star Riley Herbst, plus a lot more, and we hope you enjoy a deep dive into issue No. 317 of RACER.

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