Tuesday, May 15, 2012


As Jean Alesi did not make it on to the circuit at Indy today, we do not have a chapter to add to our Indy 500 story.  Thus, we offer a brief interlude.  We hope you enjoy...

In a display case at Jonathan Byrd's, in Greenwood, Indiana (Fan Force United team sponsor), there sits a special trophy.

The trophy was specially produced for the purpose of honoring a special feat, which was the setting of the 1 and 4 lap qualification records at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1996.  It is quite likely that these records will stand for all time.

It is a simple trophy, consisting of a picture, a plaque that lists the speeds in commemoration of the achievement, and a brick from the original racing surface of the Speedway (the Brickyard).

In the photo, from left to right, is Brad McCanless (crew chief), the late Jonathan Byrd (team co-owner), Tim Wardrop (engineer), and Arie Luyendyk (driver and Indy legend).  Of course, also featured in the photo is the record-setting racing machine.

Four of these trophies were produced, with one given to each of the men in the photo.

Tim Wardrop is currently the Director of Competition for the Lotus Fan Force United Indy 500 team and the Fan Force United Indy Lights team.

In conversation with Tim earlier this month, it was learned that though he still owns the trophy, at some point the brick came to be missing.  This unacceptable situation demanded to be rectified, and so it was.

In the FP Journe Watches/Lotus Fan Force United garage at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the perfect opportunity to rectify the situation presented itself, and Tim was presented with another original Speedway brick to replace the one that had been lost.

In the photo, from left to right, is Jean Alesi, David Byrd (standing in for his dad), Tim Wardrop, and Arie Luyendyk, as they briefly re-live that magical moment from sixteen years ago.

This is the kind of "United" that the "Fan Force" delivers!

Ah, Indy...

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