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  • Senna Testing for Penske

    When and where did this happen? Saw a pic on Facebook and have to admit to drawing a complete blank.
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  • #2
    Firebird Raceway, late 1992 or early 1993, a ploy to get McLaren to give him what he wanted.
    "Only a fool fights in a burning house."-Kang

    "If you listen to fools....The Maaahhhhb Ruuuules....."-Ronnie James Dio

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    • #3


      I didn't know about it until I read Beast.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Truth Detector View Post
        When and where did this happen? Saw a pic on Facebook and have to admit to drawing a complete blank.
        Ayrton Senna tested a works Penske at what was then known as the Firebird International Raceway West circuit in early December 1992. The team was in Arizona to develop the 1993 PC22. It brought a '92 PC21 to use as a baseline. Senna drove the '92 Penske on the 1.1-mile circuit, running some two dozen laps. Senna remained with the team and observed, but turned down an offer to drive, when testing shifted to the Phoenix oval. Senna, outmaneuvered by Alain Prost for a '93 Williams drive, had yet to cement a deal to remain in F1. He solicited the Penske test through Emerson Fittipaldi and Marlboro. Fittipaldi said he relayed Senna's request to Roger Penske. Roger Penske quickly arranged a contract for Senna that permitted him to test.
        Last edited by editor; 11-12-2019, 12:31 PM.

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        • #5
          Thank you. Here is a pic:
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          • #6
            And a comment from one who was there.

            The Senna test was an unforgettable experience. He loved that the car didn’t have active suspension, he had to take his hand off the wheel to shift, and his post run debrief lasted 20 minutes. His detail of what he felt during his run was so precise, even Rick Mears was impressed.
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            • #7
              Too bad it was basically just a negotiating ploy. It would have been interesting to see Mansell and Senna continue their rivalry in Indy cars in 1993-not to mention to have seen Senna at the wheel of a Penske/Ilmor-Mercedes "Beast" at Indy the year after....he wouldn't have been in that Williams at Imola...

              I also have wondered what Bernie Ecclestone must have said about the prospect of losing two of his top-draw names (Mansell and Senna) to Indy cars at the same time....
              Last edited by Sea Fury; 11-12-2019, 05:31 PM.
              "Only a fool fights in a burning house."-Kang

              "If you listen to fools....The Maaahhhhb Ruuuules....."-Ronnie James Dio

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Truth Detector View Post
                Thank you. Here is a pic:
                You're welcome.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Truth Detector View Post
                  And a comment from one who was there.
                  We had people there, too.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Sea Fury View Post
                    Too bad it was basically just a negotiating ploy. It would have been interesting to see Mansell and Senna continue their rivalry in Indy cars in 1993-not to mention to have seen Senna at the wheel of a Penske/Ilmor-Mercedes "Beast" at Indy the year after....he wouldn't have been in that Williams at Imola...

                    I also have wondered what Bernie Ecclestone must have said about the prospect of losing two of his top-draw names (Mansell and Senna) to Indy cars at the same time....
                    That was the peak of Cart competing with F1. I'm sure Bernie was involved with getting a deal done for Senna in F1.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by editor View Post

                      We had people there, too.
                      I don't know who your "we" is/are/was/were. Is that public knowledge?
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Truth Detector View Post

                        I don't know who your "we" is/are/was/were. Is that public knowledge?
                        Yes.

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                        • #13
                          indycar-ayrton-senna-penske-test-1992-ayrton-senna-emerson-fittipaldi-rick-mears-paul-trac.jpgSenna.jpg
                          "Only a fool fights in a burning house."-Kang

                          "If you listen to fools....The Maaahhhhb Ruuuules....."-Ronnie James Dio

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by editor View Post

                            Yes.
                            Okay. Thanks.
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Baulz View Post
                              That was the peak of Cart competing with F1. I'm sure Bernie was involved with getting a deal done for Senna in F1.
                              My memory may be incorrect, but I believe Senna started the '93 season with McLaren on a race-by-race deal. He was unhappy with the Ford engine and the underdeveloped active suspension. It didn't stop him from spectacularly winning two rain races and briefly leading the championship.
                              You have the IndyCar you deserve.

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