1997 Indianapolis 500

The discharged from 25 to 27 May 1997 81st Indianapolis 500 was the second Indy 500 under the direction of the Indy Racing League (IRL ) and as has already won the race in 1990 by the Dutchman Arie Luyendyk.

The race is due to several by separating the " IndyCar World Series " and the IRL -related problems as a low point in history. The IRL had a new rule introduced, after which the 25 top-ranked teams in the IRL previous season automatically qualified for the race, if they reached a yet to be defined minimum speed. Thus, only eight places for the usually very numerous guest starter would be left - also the IRL anyway had no fixed starting field. Two teams waived this right to start, but the problem remained that several cars were faster than them safely qualified cars - this is advertised but with the fastest 33 cars. After the actual qualification Lyn St. James and Johnny We were now not qualified, although they were not by far the slowest driver in the field. So defined to the rule in the short term in order, so that now the fastest 33 AND 25 IRL strain teams were qualified - for the first time since 1979 (at that time for a similar problem), and the second time since 1933, now more than 33 cars for the race qualified.

These 35 drivers also united in an average experience of just two Indy 500 starts; a value, after deduction of four experienced starters ( Arie Luyendyk and Roberto Guerrero had ever before twelve; Scott Goodyear and Eddie Cheever six starts) dropped to little more than a race. None of the 11 rookies had done before in any significant series a name; particular was not the only driver from the rival CART series.

According to the rules the weather took care of the next problems - the actually planned Sunday could not be moved because of rain (on an oval is not possible, the use of control tires for safety reasons) and on Monday it was only until lap 15 until it again raining. Even before the warm-up laps, had the complete fifth row of the grid, eliminated by an accident; including Kenny Bräck who should win the race two years later. Two other cars were spending before the start with technical problems, and with Claude Bourbonnais, who had his only Indy 500 start in 1997, after 10 rounds of the engine had burst. Thus, the field for the restart was already shrunk to 29 cars.

First you had that expected for the following Saturday, since during the week a handful of spectators would come - a similar scheme already existed in 1986, when Sunday and Monday were also rained out. But they decided on a start on Tuesday, where the race could now take place, whereby it until lap 28 took in the end, until you actually could be more than one round at a time gas - before that there were two warm-up laps and two incidents.

Then caused total confusion the end of the race: Input the 199th lap Tony Stewart collided slightly with the outside wall and buckled while the suspension. The race was ( as usual in such a case ) neutralized, which would normally mean the end of the race. However, for the 200th and final lap, the race was again released without any warning. The route technique was obviously overwhelmed, because it took almost half a lap until the warning lights had gone out around the track. Consequently kept Arie Luyendyk which gained only a few rounds leadership and so won his second Indy 500