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“You can’t fail to be impressed at
the sheer exhilarating hedonism of
crazy amounts of horsepower”
ou’re now holding what may prove to
be a very dangerous magazine. If it’s true
that power corrupts and absolute power
corrupts absolutely, then you could be
changed for the worse by the time you
finish RACER No. 245. We hope so, anyway.
The fact is, we’re like many of you: we
didn’t first become addicted to this sport
because of its fascinating technology (we
came to appreciate that much later) or its
increasingly proactive environmental
stance (ditto). For us, “green” meant the
moment when huge amounts of power
were transmitted from engine to tires to
track, so that our heroes could display
their talents at mastering the chaos,
violence and noise that ensued.
Read our story on the height of Formula
1’s power war in the mid-1980s (page 26),
or Antron Brown’s descriptions of driving
his Top Fuel dragster (ABOVE RIGHT), the
subject of our In Situ (a neat variation on
our regular In Focus) and you can’t fail to
be impressed at the sheer exhilarating
hedonism of crazy amounts of power.
Speaking of which, Bernie Ecclestone
has governed F1 in a less-than-subtle and
certainly less-than-democratic manner
that occasionally enrages its participants
– but not one of them can deny he’s the
absolute master of big-picture thinking.
Bernie has built that branch of racing into
one of the absolute powerhouses of any
sport, along with everything that implies –
an ability to withstand global financial
crises, survive political infighting and
make its competitors very rich.
Those are among the qualities that
Formula 1 shares with NASCAR, which
has three drivers in the Forbes list of 50
highest-paid athletes. Top of these is Dale
Earnhardt Jr. who, as we went to press,
was leading the Sprint Cup Series point
standings. During the Brickyard 400
weekend, he and crew chief Steve Letarte
took time out to give us their opinions on
why they think team owner Rick Hendrick
put them together at the end of 2010,
and how they’ve formed such a strong
alliance, thus validating his decision.
Contact Nick Iademarco at
Wrights Media. Tel: (281) 419-5725
Mark Hughes has been
a top Formula 1 writer
for years, and a fan of
the sport since he was
a kid. Convincing him to
write about F1’s turbo
era wasn’t the most
difficult job ever...
COLOR SEPS: QuadGraphics, Irvine, Calif.
ELECTRONIC PRE-PRESS: QuadGraphics, Irvine, Calif.
PRINTING: R.R. Donnelley, Pontiac, Ill.
Tony Di Zinno (cousin of our web editor Tony
DiZinno) didn’t have to cajole Will Power and his
Team Penske colleagues to huddle – getting them to
stop huddling and talking racing was the difficult bit.
10 SEPTEMBER 2012