Why The Majors is running the Tony Bettenhausen 200

August 26, 2019

In 1963, Milwaukee hosted a watershed race for Indycar. After their narrow defeat at the Indy 500 in 1963, Jim Clark and the Lotus team stayed in America and raced at Milwaukee, with Dan Gurney in a 2nd Lotus entry. This was a showcase of how superior the rear-engined cars were to the roadsters as Clark lapped the field on his way to claiming the first Indycar race won by a rear-engined car. A few have followed :-)

 

Why it's in The Majors This year?

 

We like to celebrate the things that make Motorsports unique and special. The first rear-engined victory in the US is worthy all by itself, but this race also pays tribute to the Bettenhausen's... a great racing and iRacing family.  Tony (grandfather to prominent iRacers, Todd and Cary) was the races namesake just two years after his death at Indy and five years after winning the USAC Drivers Championship in '58.

 

While iRacing doesn't have the exact Lotus that Clark piloted to victory, we felt the Lotus 49 was similar enough and would help us tell the story of the race. 

 

In fact, the race should be awesome, the Lotus 49 is simple by today's standards in terms of setup and there's way more power than grip so it's going to be a real test of driving skill, just the way it's supposed to be. Let's hope everyone enjoys this one!

 

Majors History

 

No of times run: Zero - new event

Past Winners: n/a

 

Real Life History / Status

 

There's some good articles about the track, the history of (mainly) Indycar racing there available. Here's 2 links, one about the track and it's history and one about the current situation (which sadly isn't great).

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milwaukee_Mile

https://beyondtheflag.com/2018/01/09/indycar-whats-the-future-of-the-milwaukee-mile/

 

Thanks to Adam Facciponti for the idea of doing those info articles - if we get good feedback, we'll do one for all races.

 

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