Don't you hate it when someone assures you “there's nothing like it” in order to sell you a product, concept or experience and it turns out to be something that leaves you with a seen-it-all-before feeling? Well, when we assure you there's nothing like an NHRA Top Fuel or Funny Car race, we mean it, hand on fibrillating heart. If you've never been, we urge you to rectify that.
To whet your appetite, check out RACER Magazine's Nitro Special in our brand-new October issue, now mailing to subscribers. It gives a unique insight into this crazy-loud world of drama. The figures, fumes and feelings evoked will take your breath away. Yet the paddock at an NHRA event is one of the most open and friendly you could dream of, with drivers easily accessible by all. In fact, you could almost believe these men and women are just like you and I…until you see them doing their day job.
Similarly, there can't be many (any?) people who watch Lewis Hamilton
in action who could honestly say, “Yeah, I could do that.” But in 2011, the frustrations of trying to beat the Red Bulls each year with an underdeveloped McLaren seemed to get to him. In between bouts of peerless brilliance, there were moments of recklessness. Thankfully, the former trait has become predominant again. However, as Mark Hughes explains in this month's issue, he won't stay at his spiritual home forever if McLaren can't present him with a genuine chance of beating Sebastian Vettel.
Hamilton's counterpart in IndyCar, at least in terms of sheer pace, is Will Power. But whereas Lewis at least has one championship to his name, Will is still seeking his first. The Aussie has had his Team Penske teammates tucked up nicely for a couple years now, but Chip Ganassi Racing's three-time champion Dario Franchitti has a near-genius ability to stay out of trouble, push when he can and bank points when he must. David Malsher sizes up their epic fight in this issue.
Dario's NASCAR equivalent, Jimmie Johnson, hasn't had a bad year in that, at time of writing, he lay second in points. But with just one win to his name and some strange lapses from the No. 48 team in 2011, a sixth Sprint Cup could be a just a pipe dream, as Tom Jensen explains.
Also on tap this issue:
• Exclusive insights into the 2012 Dallara IndyCar from its Project Director, Tony Cotman, and IndyCar vp of technology Will Phillips
• Gary Watkins delves into the prospects for the newly revived World Endurance Championship and what it means for global sports car racing
• How JR Hildebrand has turned Indy 500 heartbreak into a stronger bond with his Panther Racing team
...and much more
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