62 JUNE 2014
sizE doEsN’t mattEr
Bryan Herta Autosport, led by Herta
and co-owner Steve Newey, had made
its IndyCar debut in the 2010 Indy
500 with a rookie. Its second race in
the series was the 2011 “500.” But
this time it came back with a former
winner, Dan Wheldon, who’d found
himself out of a full-time ride at the
end of the previous season.
Wheldon and engineer Todd Malloy
focused purely on race setup in the
Month of May, but Dan also gave
pep talks to the 12-strong team of
part-timers working on his car.
Come the race, Wheldon ran top
six all day, and when bigger teams’
fuel strategies were thrown out of
line when the last 35 laps went green,
suddenly only JR Hildebrand’s
Panther Racing car stood between
Wheldon and victory lane. The rookie
wavered under the veteran’s pressure
and an unnecessary lapping maneuver
turned into a final-lap, final-turn wreck.
Dan had nailed his second Indy win.
Tragically, just five months later in
Las Vegas, this great underdog
story became racing’s most
poignant tale of the 21st century.
DAN WELL DONE
BRYAN HERTA AUTOSPORT
Rob Walker Racing won Monaco three times
in four years. Pictured (ABOVE and TOP)
is Moss’s 1960 triumph in a Lotus 18.
rob’s reign in the principality
Bryan Herta’s interview after victory
was TV gold. “Can you believe that?”
he blurted. “We came here to win
and all month we kept saying, ‘We’re
here to win,’ but…we actually won!”
ob Walker, heir to the Johnnie Walker
Scotch whisky firm, was born into wealth,
but the funds directed toward his race
team were spent with great shrewdness.
Mr. Walker emphatically was not in the
sport just to be part of the scene.
Thus, when he quit club racing to focus
on Formula 1, he hired proven grand prix
winners – the steady Maurice Trintignant
and the brilliant Stirling Moss (these days,
Sir Stirling) – and purchased rear-engined
Cooper-Climaxes, the British cars that were
changing the face of junior formula racing.
Walker started a similar revolution in F1
when Moss won the 1958 Argentine GP as
his Cooper didn’t require the tire changes
necessary for the more powerful front-
engined cars. Then Trintignant won in
Monaco. Rob Walker’s little squad had thus
scored the first rear-engined wins of the
World Championship (which started in 1950)
and also the first two GP wins for Cooper.
The factory team would sweep the Drivers’
and Constructors’ titles in ’ 59 and ’ 60.
For ’ 60, Walker switched to the new
Lotus 18 chassis and, amazingly, again he
and Moss reached victory lane before the
official team did so, racking up two wins
that first year, and two more in ’ 61.
Moss’s retirement left RWR without an
ace for several years, but Jo Siffert’s perfect
drive at Brands Hatch in 1968 brought
Walker his ninth and final grand prix win.
Rob Walker Racing, particularly with the great Stirling
Moss at the wheel, proved F1’s giants could be slain.