|(8-11-11) Ron Falk STP Racing Team, Assistant
Crew Chief, 1963-1973
"The picture shown here is the STP Lotus Turbine Car Nr. 20.
The chassis is a Lotus Type 56, powered by a Pratt and Whitney ST6 Gas
Turbine engine. The car has 4 wheel drive, inboard brakes (Girling)
and a chain drive “transfer” case with a center differential, splitting
output to the front and rear differentials. This photo was taken
at the “Rex Mays 300”, Riverside Race track, November 1968, the last race
of that season for Indy Cars. The driver was the late Art Pollard.
Also in that race, was the team car, STP Lotus Turbine Nr. 60, driven
by Joe Leonard until late in the race when Firestone wanted Mario Andretti
to get in the car to gain points for the USAC Championship.. Three
laps later, Mario crashed into Pollard in turn 9, taking both STP Lotus
Turbines out of the race.
Both of these STP Turbines, along with STP Lotus Turbine Nr. 70,
driven by Graham Hill qualified and ran the Indy 500 in 1968, with Leonard
sitting on the Pole and leading with 10 laps to go, when the engine “flamed
Following Indy, Leonard and Pollard ran the rest of the USAC Indy
series with their STP Turbines. On your web page, you noted
the “brake problem”. When it became apparent that the brakes were
insufficient for short tracks and road courses, we fitted the car with
a 2nd set of brakes, mounted outboard on the uprights, resulting in 8 calipers
and discs. Even with this set-up, it was difficult to finish with
any pad wear remaining. Riverside was the last race, and the
last time any turbine powered Indy Cars raced.
The photo shown below, was taken in March, 1968 at Indianapolis,
where Jim Clark was testing the car. In the photo, left to right
is Andy Granatelli, Jim Clark, and Parnelli Jones. Clark was scheduled
to race the car at Indy 500, but was killed in a Formula 2 race at Hokenheim,
Germany in April."
1-20-10) From historic racer Eric Bernhard:
"Isn't this the Granatelli/STP turbine car? If so, driven by Parnelli
(1-20-10) From your webmaster:
"Did they run the turbine cars on road courses?"
(1-21-10) From Eric Bernhard:
"I didn't know they did, but all the publicity was about dominating
and then losing at Indy. The the shape got my attention, and then there
is what seems to be the "jet" exhaust on the rear deck. I cannot imagine
that the car in the picture could be anything else."