Unlikely circumstances put Briscoe in position to make racing history

Ryan Briscoe could be the only driver since A.J. Foyt to win the triple crown of sports car races and the Indy 500, should things go his way in the next month.

Unlikely circumstances put Briscoe in position to make racing history
Ryan Briscoe, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda
Ryan Briscoe, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda
Ryan Briscoe, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda
Ryan Briscoe, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda
GTLM podium: winners Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia, Ryan Briscoe
#3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R: Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia, Ryan Briscoe
GTLM class winners Ryan Briscoe, Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia, Corvette Racing
Ryan Briscoe speaks to the media about replacing James Hinchcliffe
James Hinchcliffe crash
Ryan Briscoe speaks to the media about replacing James Hinchcliffe
James Hinchcliffe crash
#3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R: Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia, Ryan Briscoe
Ryan Briscoe

Ryan Briscoe has the potential to do something that only racing legend A.J. Foyt has accomplished.

Foyt is the only driver to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans (1967),  the Rolex 24 at Daytona (1983, 85), the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring (1985) and the Indianapolis 500 (1961, 1964, 1967 and 1977).

I am thankful to everyone at Chevrolet for giving me permission ... I hope it doesn’t come across as any lack of respect or loyalty towards them. You know, this is the Indy 500 and it’s unique circumstances

Ryan Briscoe on racing a Honda at Indy

This year, Briscoe has won the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring and was set to only compete in the crown jewel of sportscar racing – the 24 Hours of Le Mans next month. That would be history alone, but a near tragic accident to James Hinchcliffe has put Briscoe in a most interesting position, a seat in the Indianapolis 500.

An unlikely road to Indy

Hinchcliffe was severely injured in an accident while practicing for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 on Monday and was sidelined for the race. Briscoe, who is currently does not have a full time ride in IndyCar, became the most logical choice for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports to pitch hit for Hinchcliffe.

Now behind the wheel of the #5 Arrow Electronics Honda for the 500, Briscoe could join A.J. Foyt as a winner of Daytona, Sebring, the Indianapolis 500 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. If that isn’t enough, he can do something that even “Super-Tex” couldn’t do – win all four races in the same season.

“Any one of those is special and to have Daytona and Sebring is great in one year,” said Briscoe. “Any of these alone, not even in the same year is a great thing.”

A tough hill to climb

The 2012 Indy 500 pole-sitter has the potential to win on Sunday, but has some record-breaking obstacles ahead of him to accomplish that feat. Briscoe is starting in 32nd due to the driver change. The furthest back a winning driver has ever started was Fred Frame in 1932, where he started in 28th place.

“Honestly, there cars from top to bottom are equally prepared these days and a lot is going to happen over 500 miles and I truly believe we’re going to be one of the guys you’ll be racing for a shot at the win here on Sunday.”

Getting this seat at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports had an obstacle of its own. Briscoe is a Chevrolet factory driver in sportscars and needed to be given permission to compete for the Honda powered Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.

Permission granted

When asked if he was surprised that Chevrolet granted permission for him to race for a Honda outfit, Briscoe simply said, “Yeah I am.”

“I am thankful to everyone at Chevrolet for giving me permission. It’s not an easy decision for them, for sure, and I respect that. I hope it doesn’t come across as any lack of respect or loyalty towards them. You know, this is the Indy 500 and it’s unique circumstances.”

For Briscoe, the difficulty to achieve the feat is immense, but the Australian is already halfway through completing one of the most historic runs in motorsports history.

“It’s seems like sometimes this track chooses its winner and you never know who it’s going to be until the flag flies so we’ll see what happens.”

Tribute Racing / Josh Farmer

shares
comments
Behind the livery: Townsend Bell has always 'admired' Jeff Gordon

Previous article

Behind the livery: Townsend Bell has always 'admired' Jeff Gordon

Next article

BHA and Gabby Chaves Ready for 99th Indy 500

BHA and Gabby Chaves Ready for 99th Indy 500
Load comments
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Prime

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
The lasting legacy of a fallen Indy car rookie Prime

The lasting legacy of a fallen Indy car rookie

Jeff Krosnoff was plucked out of obscurity to become a respected and highly popular professional in Japan, and then got his big break in CART Indy car for 1996. But a tragic accident at Toronto 25 years ago cut short a promising career and curtailed his regular teammate Mauro Martini's passion for racing.

IndyCar
Jul 14, 2021
The winners and losers in IndyCar 2021 – Mid-season review Prime

The winners and losers in IndyCar 2021 – Mid-season review

At the halfway point in the 2021 NTT IndyCar Series season, we've had seven winners in eight races, spread between five teams – none of them Team Penske. In this unusual season, even by IndyCar standards, who’s excelling and who’s dragging their heels? David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Jun 18, 2021
The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness Prime

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness

Long-awaited wins for ex-Formula 1 drivers Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen in IndyCar and IMSA last weekend gave F1 a reminder of what it is missing. But with the new rules aimed at levelling the playing field, there’s renewed optimism that more drivers can have a rewarding result when their day of days comes

Formula 1
Jun 17, 2021
Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history Prime

Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history

Helio Castroneves’ overwhelming vivaciousness outside the cockpit belies a hardcore racer who knows how to plot his moves – and then recall it all for us. A day after his fourth Indy 500 win, Helio explained his tactics to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Jun 2, 2021
How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status Prime

How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status

Helio Castroneves joined AJ Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears with the most Indianapolis 500 wins after sweeping around the outside of Alex Palou on the penultimate lap in a thrilling climax. In one race, he validated Michael Shank's and Jim Meyer's faith in him, and Helio himself discovered there's life after Penske after all.

IndyCar
Jun 1, 2021
Indy 500 preview: Will experience or youth be victorious? Prime

Indy 500 preview: Will experience or youth be victorious?

A quarter of the drivers racing in the 105th edition of the Indianapolis 500 are former winners - but are they the favourites? The veteran drivers largely impressed in qualifying - but there's also a plethora of young guns looking to secure victory at IndyCar's flagship race...

IndyCar
May 25, 2021
What will it take to get American drivers in Formula 1? Prime

What will it take to get American drivers in Formula 1?

The FIA says it wants American drivers in Formula 1, but would it take an IndyCar driver to transfer or does an American need to join the European junior ladder system to get there? By David Malsher-Lopez.

Formula 1
May 19, 2021