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Monday, May 16, 2022

Successful Indy automobile crew proprietor Vince Granatelli dies

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Vincent Joseph Granatelli, son of charismatic STP promoter Andy Granatelli, was a crew chief when STP ran the well-known turbine automobiles, and was additionally concerned within the STP crew’s temporary flirtation in Components 1, which noticed Mario Andretti rating a podium in a March 701.

However Vince actually emerged from the shadow of his father when he took over Dan Cotter’s Indy automobile crew within the Nineteen Eighties and nearly instantly discovered success.

After successful the Indy 500 in 1983 with Tom Sneva, the Bignotti-Cotter crew’s fortunes dwindled as Sneva departed and Bignotti retired. Roberto Guerrero scored solely 4 podiums in three seasons.

Vince Granatelli of STP, Invoice Dunne, Mario Andretti and March designer Robin Herd at Kyalami F1 GP in 1970.

Picture by: David Phipps

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Nonetheless, with Vince Granatelli in cost from 1987, the crew received solely its second race, Guerrero charging from the again of the sector at Phoenix (his automobile had failed post-qualifying scrutineering) to take victory.

On the subsequent race, the Indy 500, Guerrero took over the lead after the dominant Mario Andretti retired with 23 laps to go, however his automobile’s clutch had been broken in a collision with one other automobile’s errant wheel – which flew up into the grandstands and killed a spectator. Departing pitlane after his final cease, Guerrero’s defective clutch brought on him to stall twice, handing Penske’s Al Unser his fourth Indy 500 victory. Guerrero got here house runner-up.

He confronted additional disappointment at Milwaukee and Portland regardless of taking pole for each, and a pole at Cleveland yielded solely fifth place, however at Pocono Guerrero scored a podium and two races later he was a winner at Mid-Ohio.

An enormous shunt testing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway put the Colombian star in a coma, out of motion for the final three races of the season, but he nonetheless completed fourth within the championship.

By comparability, 1988 was a bust, riddled by unhealthy luck and accidents, with simply two podium finishes. On the finish of the season Guerrero departed, and Granatelli switched to the Buick engines for 1989 however the ageing Tom Sneva, John Andretti and Didier Theys may barely muster a high 10 end, and 1990 would show little higher.

Arie Luyendyk with Vince Granatelli after their second and last win together at Nazareth in 1991.

Arie Luyendyk with Vince Granatelli after their second and final win collectively at Nazareth in 1991.

Picture by: Dan R. Boyd

Nonetheless, on the finish of the yr, Granatelli merged with the now Bob Tezak-owned Doug Shierson Racing and thus acquired the providers of the latest Indy 500 winner Arie Luyendyk and a contract with Chevrolet. The Luyendyk-piloted Lola-Chevrolet received at Phoenix, Granatelli by some means stored the crew going via the summer time regardless of falling out with Tezak, and was rewarded for his perseverance with one other win, when Luyendyk captured victory at Nazareth and went on to complete sixth within the championship.

Regardless of this, Granatelli couldn’t discover the funding to proceed and so shut down the crew.

A sorrowful Luyendyk, who remained involved along with his former boss, tweeted: “Simply heard that Vince Granatelli handed away at present, I’m gutted, devastated by this unhappy information. We’ve misplaced an icon of our IndyCar group and an amazing good friend.”

Vince Granatelli with Parnelli Jones and Mario Andretti in 2014.

Vince Granatelli with Parnelli Jones and Mario Andretti in 2014.

Picture by: Brad Hoffner



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