Gallery: When Senna tested an Indy car

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Gallery: When Senna tested an Indy car
Dec 15, 2018, 5:31 AM

Formula 1 legend Ayrton Senna briefly tested an Indy car in the winter of 1992 amid declining fortunes for McLaren in grand prix racing. We recall the test in pictures.

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Photo by: Sutton Images

Senna was joined at the test by fellow Brazilian F1 champion Emerson Fittipaldi. Fittipaldi was an established name in American single-seaters by then and had even won the iconic Indy 500 race.

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Photo by: Sutton Images

The test took place at Firebird Raceway, a short 1.1-mile road course near Phoenix. Fittipaldi did some initial laps to provide a benchmark, setting a time of 49.7 in the 1992-spec Penske.

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Photo by: Sutton Images

Senna later went out on track and was surprisingly slow during his initial set of laps. On several occasion he lost his way through the gears as he tried to get to grips with Indy car's sequential gearbox.

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Photo by: Sutton Images

However, soon after he overhauled Fittipaldi's lap, clocking a time of 49.5s to show his prowess behind the wheel.

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Photo by: Sutton Images

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Photo by: Sutton Images

He went out again with softer springs on the rear axle but same old set of tyres - and improved his previous time to 49.0s.

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Photo by: Sutton Images

He returned to the pits and said, "Thank you very much, I've learned what I need to know." That would remain as Senna's only outing in an Indy car.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Ayrton Senna Shop Now
Teams Team Penske