Mercedosaurus Rex at Indianapolic Park
Appendix 2: Car and driver appearances and performances during the Month of May 1994
- Henri Greuter
- December 4, 2009; updated May 25, 2012
- March-Alfa Romeo 90CA - Fiasco Italo-Brittanico, by Henri Greuter
- March-Porsche 90P - The last oddball at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, by Henri Greuter
- Penske-Mercedes PC23-500I - Mercedosaurus Rex at Indianapolic Park, by Henri Greuter
- Part 1: Penske Racing at Indianapolis - new standards
- Part 2: Ilmor Engineering at Indianapolis
- Part 3: Mercedes, Benz and Mercedes-Benz at Indianapolis up until 1993
- Part 4: Equivalency formulas - waiting for things to go wrong
- Part 5: Stock blocks - keeping them rolling and promoting 'Born in the USA' technology
- Part 6: Indianapolis 1991 - Chevy And Rich Team owners
- Part 7: The Speedway narrowed, its speeds lowered
- Part 8: The forerunner
- Part 9: Pre-May '94 plans
- Part 10: Penske PC23 - a home for the engine
- Part 11: The 1994 Indycar season until mid-April
- Part 12: The unfair advantage and when others have it
- Part 13: Practice during the 1994 'Month of May'
- Part 14: Other bespoke-design 209s
- Part 15: From the last weekend of May '94 to the end of the season
- Part 16: Could the Mercedes Benz 500I have been stopped in time?
- Part 17: Creating an extinct species without it being forbidden, initially at least
- Part 18: The 1995 '500' - Did the Mercedosaurus bite its masters after all?
- Part 19: A possible twist of fate for Rahal-Hogan and Penske as a legacy of the 500I
- Part 20: Re-evaluation of our verdict
- Part 21: PC23's further active career after 1994
- Part 22: USACs points of views and some answers
- Part 23: The loose ends that didnt fit in anywhere else and the epilogue
- Part 24: "Plan your work; work your plan" - Chuck Sprague on the PC23
- Appendix 1: Specifications
- Appendix 3: Chassis, entry, practice and race numbers in 1994
- Appendix 4: PC23's 1994 results sans Mercedes Benz 500I
- Appendix 5: PC23's 1995-'96 results sans Mercedes Benz 500I
- Appendix 6: A reflection on the PC23 chassis used by Team Penske in 1994
- Appendix 7: A review of Beast by Jade Gurss
Acknowledgement: the update of this Appendix in May 2012 was possible thanks to the much appreciated cooperation of Team Penske members Chuck Sprague and Nigel Beresford who supplied data from factory records they had available to them.
During the preparations for Indy, PC23 chassis 004 was allocated to the test team that developed the 265/E-500I engine. Early May, the team had used five other cars in testing while racing with the regular Ilmor 265/D quadcam engine. Four of these cars were converted to PC23-500I specification as was a newly delivered seventh chassis. A total of six cars were entered, theoretically providing each driver with a primary car as well as a backup.
Of the seven existing PC23 chassis, 005 was the one chassis never to run with 265/E-500I power, that's why it never made it to the Speedway. The following six cars were entered as follows:
|Chassis number||Number on entry list and used on the track|
|PC23-001||31T, renumbered 3 after qualifying for the race|
These stats were primarily derived by using the 'Performance History' data sheets as released daily and kept up-to-date during the month of May. When sheets were not available, the booklet version of these daily reports, the 1994 Indianapolis 500 Daily Trackside reports, was used to supply the missing data of fastest lap and laps driven.
Days for which the booklet was used are indicated with a single *
Within this overview it is assumed that all USAC registration numbers as assigned to the cars have been retained over the month.
The stats were corrected and added to in May 2012 when original Team Penske data became available.
|Day results||Month results|
|May 11*||1||31||Unser Jr||57||226.478||146||226.478|
|May 14*||1||31||Unser Jr||23||229.481Q||264||229.481|
|May 20||3||2T||Unser Jr||52||225.028||260||225.694|
* No Performance History datasheet of that day available, 1994 Daily Trackside Reports
booklet used instead
** Fastest lap during qualifying attempt made
*** The 1994 Daily Trackside Reports list Al Unser Jr as the driver of car 3T on May 15. According to the Penske database, however, the car was driven by Emerson Fittipaldi
# Combined number of laps driven in race plus three warm-up laps
The overview of the amount of laps driven by the three drivers in the available cars during practice, thus excluding the race laps looks as follows:
|Car #||Driver||Days||Laps||Fastest lap|
With six cars and three drivers, a total of 13 different car/driver combinations were active at the Speedway. Curiously, Paul Tracy is the only man who drove a car assigned to one of his team mates, running Unser's 31 on May 8th while Unser was testing at Michigan. All three drivers drove the backup car with their own T-number but also the back-up cars with their team mates' T-numbers.
The amounts of practice laps in total for the individual cars looks as follows:
|Car #||Laps||Fastest lap (driver)|
|2T||364||225.694 (Unser Jr)|
|31||322||229.481 (Unser Jr)|
The total number of laps driven by all cars was 2128, during which no single 500I engine was lost.
It's a bit curious that Paul Tracy's eventual race car is the one with the least amount of laps of all cars during the first week of practice and only 5th fastest of them all.
As for the number of practice laps driven by the three men, this looks as follows:
|Driver||Laps||Number of cars used|
Tracy also drove 10 laps in one of the backup '93 Penske PC22-Ilmor/D cars, meaning that he drove no less than six of the eight cars entered.
The qualifying and race results for the cars and drivers eventually looked as follows:
|Driver||Car||Laps||Fastest lap||Qualifying attempt in practice||Start||Fin||Laps (fastest race lap)|
|Unser Jr||31||322||229.481||1: 39.872 225.722||1 (1)||1||200|
|2: 39.413 228.351|
|3: 39.383 228.525||Led 48 laps|
|4: 39.219 229.481|
|T: 2:37.887 228.011||217.986 (lap 12)|
|Fittipaldi||2||416||230.438||1: 39.476 227.987||3 (3)||17||184|
|2: 39.637 227.061|
|3: 39.613 227.198||Led 145 laps|
|4: 39.653 226.969|
|T: 2:38:379 227.303||220.680 (lap 121)|
|Tracy||31T*||122||226.057||1: 40.344 223.081||25 (19)||23||92|
|2: 40.493 222.261|
|3: 40.354 223.026|
|4: 40.454 222.475|
|T: 2:41:645 222.710||213.680 (lap 13)|
Finally, the most important results in one single overview:
|Driver||Chassis #||Engine #||Race #||Qual Pos (ranking)||Finish||Laps||Led||Fastest lap|
|Unser Jr.||PC23-007||131||31||1 (1)||1||200||48||217.986|
Sources: Carl Hungness Indianapolis 500 1994 Yearbook, Indy Review Volume 4 and Prime Movers by Karl Ludvigsen