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1967 Indianapolis 500

Indianapolis 500

Tuesday, May 30, 1967
Fastest Lap:
Jones, 54.57s
United States
1967 season:

This year Indianapolis returned to normal, for the U.S.A.C. oval track racers seemed to have learnt how to build and drive the rear-engined "funny cars" introduced by Brabham and Lotus. The result was that qualifying speeds were impressively high and, apart from Gurney in one of his Eagle-Ford V8 cars, the Grand Prix-type drivers were relegated to the back of the grid amongst the also-rans, even Clark being unable to get higher than the sixth row in a Lotus-Ford V8. Fastest qualifier was Andretti at 168.982 m.p.h. and Gurney was second at 167.224 m.p.h., slowest qualifier was. Clark with 162.213 m.p.h. but as he did his official timed four laps on the first week-end of qualifying he kept his sixth row position even though the remaining five rows that qualified on the second official week-end were faster. Very impressive was the STP Turbine car driven by Parnelli Jones, which qualified at 166.075 m.p.h. in full race trim and was on the second row of the start, just behind cars that had qualified on nitro-methane fuel and which could not hope to repeat their performance in the actual race. The STP-Paxton Turbocar was built by the Granatelli brothers of the Studebaker Corporation and was powered by a Pratt & Whitney helicopter turbine engine giving 550 horsepower. Mounted on the left side of the car it drove all four wheels through a Ferguson 4-w-d transmission, and the driver sat on the right-hand side. As the only known formula for equating turbines to piston engines for racing car use was drawn up three years ago it is now rather outdated, in the light of later knowledge, so that the Paxton Turbocar was at quite an advantage over its piston-engined rivals. It is like equating supercharged and unsupercharged engines at the time when little development work had been done on the unsupercharged one.