THE EDITOR sElf-EffAcIng HEROEs
“Prost had a well-formed ego, but
he had too much class to show it.
His quiet charisma is as effortless
as his driving appeared to be”
We asked Doug Garrison to paint our cover of Clark’s Lotus 38
because such an elegant car deserves Doug’s elegant style. See
more at DougGarrison.com, where you’ll also find this image of
Corvette No. 3 that conquered GTLM at Daytona and Sebring.
Robin Miller watched
all of Jimmy Clark’s
Indy 500s and saw
him score the first
Indy car win in ’ 63
at Milwaukee. Robin
was the only man
for our cover story.
here was one moment on his first visit
to the Racing Capital of the World – a
fact-finding mission in October 1962 ≠–
when Jimmy Clark’s pride got the better
of him. He was not impressed at having
to take Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s
compulsory Rookie Test. A driver used to
the perils of piloting a motorized cigar
tube around Spa-Francorchamps and the
Nurburgring was understandably peeved
at having to build up to his IMS v-max at
steady 10mph intervals.
But Clark did as bid, and astonished
official observers by (a) hitting the enforced
speed limits exactly, and (b) throwing a
completely unadapted 1.5-liter, 186hp
Formula 1 Lotus 25 around the Speedway
at an average of 143mph – just 7mph off
Parnelli Jones’ pole time from that year’s
“500.” It wouldn’t be the last time Jimmy’s
precision and speed at the Brickyard would
impress onlookers – even Indy’s legends.
One racer who set out to emulate Clark’s
driving style was a young Alain Prost, who’d
recently turned 13 when Jimmy was killed.
Now 60, it’s time to pay tribute to an F1 ace
who was easy to overlook in his era and is
often forgotten about today. Perhaps Prost
didn’t spend enough time seeking publicity
or acclaim. Sure, he had a well-formed ego
– all top racers do – but he had too much
class to show it. Alain’s quiet charisma is
as effortless as his driving appeared to be.
NASCAR’s equivalent would surely be
Jeff Gordon, whose first full season in Cup
coincided with Prost’s last year racing F1
and who, like Alain, is a four-time champ.
It’s strange to reflect on the fact that Jeff’s
last series title came in 2001, especially
as he’s won 34 races in the 13 seasons
since then! But more important than his
92 total wins is how he helped changed
the profile of NASCAR in this country.
As car No. 24’s most famous ace heads
towards his career sunset, so RACER enters
its 24th year bathing in the reflected glory of
some of motorsport’s biggest heroes. We
trust you’ll enjoy our anniversary issue.
COLOR SEPS: QuadGraphics, Irvine, Calif.
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PRINTING: R.R. Donnelley, Pontiac, Ill.
Contact Nick Iademarco at
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Editor David Malsher
Editor-in-Chief Laurence Foster
Executive Editor Andrew Crask
Editor-at-Large Gil de Ferran
Art Director Rob French
Founding NASCAR Editor Gerald Martin (1943-1999)
We remember Michael C. Brown, RACER founding
photographer and one of the good guys
Senior Writers Peter Brock, Adam Cooper, David
Evans, Mark Glendenning, Jen Horsey, Mark Hughes,
Richard S. James, Eric Johnson, Tom Jensen, Robin
Miller, Jeff Olson, David Phillips, Marshall Pruett,
Jeremy Shaw, Edd Straw, Todd Veney, Gary Watkins
Photo Services LAT Photographic
Senior Photographers Phillip Abbott, Tony Di Zinno,
Marc Gewertz, Rick Graves, Nigel Kinrade, Sean
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Miller, Steve Swope, Camden Thrasher, Paul Webb
Digital Artist Ree Tucker
Illustrations Paul Laguette
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Rahal, Oriol Servia, Zach Veach, Justin Wilson
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