1951 Indianapolis 500
In the first eleven years (1950-1960) of the automotive world championship included the 500 miles of Indianapolis with the drivers' championship. This, however, had neither to the one nor to the other side of the Atlantic significant impact on the race. Hardly a European driver showed up in Indianapolis and vice versa. Even the dates of the race did not start to mutual mostly. 1951 was the race held three days after the Swiss Grand Prix.
The qualification system of the 500 miles of Indianapolis differs significantly from the usual method in Europe. Overall, 59 riders for the 33 starting places trying to qualify. Like last year, Walt Faulkner achieved a new lap record ( 220.274 km / h ), but this time it was only enough for a starting place in the fifth row, because he had driven his time on the second day of qualifying. On the pole position went Duke Nalon, who completed his four rounds lasting qualifying ride with an average of 219.672 km / h. Since this was achieved on the first day of qualifying him, he stood on the top spot. In general, the results achieved during the qualifying speeds were about 3-4 km / h higher than in the previous year, as Firestone began a new type of tire, the less inclined to slip.
In hot weather, Jack McGrath got the best start before Lee Wallard. Both fought in the first 10 rounds of head-to -head race, with times of one, sometimes the other was in the lead. Then succeeded Cecil Green to close in on the leading duo. Further back Faulkner, Nazaruk, Davies, Agabashian, Schindler and Parsons gave an equally exciting duel. In lap 23 Green could conquer the second place, while McGrath fell back slightly. Behind the chasing group split up. Faulkner, Davies and Agabashian formed a trio, The Schindler, Nazaruk and Bettenhausen followed. Davies took over the lead as the cars in front of him casting their pit stops. When he himself stopped short Faulkner was ahead, but was quickly overtaken by Green. In the 81st round exploded greens engine, Wallard inherited the leadership position after he had just overtaken Faulkner. On lap 100 McGrath stopped for the second time and complained of leg cramps. Therefore, just took his car at halftime Manuel Ayulo. Faulkner had dropped back a bit, came through the failures of Agabashian ( round 109) and Davies ( round 110) back to third place, as the constantly pressing forward Mauri Rose drew him back to fourth place. On lap 123, the race was for Faulkner to an end when his crankshaft broke. Just three laps later, Rose had the good fortune to remain unhurt when his car overturned as a result of a defective wheel. In the last 50 laps happened then not much, apart from the assumption that Linden pushed past ball and Banks. Wallard was the unrivaled leader, but got in the final laps problems with the brakes, which did not prevent him to win the race. It was the first time that the winner covered the 500 miles in less than four hours.
Standings after the race
The first five were 8, 6, 4, 3, 2 points; one point there was for the fastest lap. There are only the four best results from the eight races. (* ) Includes the point for the fastest lap, the same color marked fields show a vehicle pick-up ( division points ) on.