THE INEVITABILITY OF RIVALRY
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“Prost-Senna was a rivalry that
would have flourished regardless
of whether they were teammates”
here was something other-worldly
about Ayrton Senna’s ability to take a
racecar up to and beyond its limits. But it
wasn’t just that he could perform at that
level that was so amazing; it’s the fact
that he wanted to. At Monaco in 1988,
driven by his determination to show that
he, not Alain Prost, was the best driver in
Formula 1, he entered “the zone” and
outqualified his McLaren teammate by a
barely believable 1.4 seconds.
In the race, having relaxed a little while
holding a 50sec-plus lead, Senna tried to
speed up in response to Prost setting
fastest race lap…whereupon the Brazilian
drove into the wall at Tabac corner. It’s
hard to imagine Gerhard Berger, Nelson
Piquet or even Nigel Mansell inducing
Senna to lose his sense of perspective to
that extent. No, it was because the man
who tried to steal a consolation prize was
Prost, who he’d dominated all weekend,
that Ayrton retaliated in that manner.
That Senna-Prost dynamic built a rivalry
that would have flourished regardless of
whether they were teammates, or where
they were in their careers. Every driver
wants to beat the driver to beat; every
driver to beat wants to fortify their
position. It’s why rivalries develop and
why we’re all so fascinated by them.
So this issue we’ve looked at some of
the classic rivalries between the aces of
IndyCar, F1 and NASCAR, as well as the
rivalries between teams, manufacturers
and racers in the movies.
We also take a look at the strange
situation that has existed in the World
Rally Championship for far too long,
where one man has dominated because
no true rival has emerged.
On the subject of rallying, the 600hp
Global Rallycross Championship Ford
Fiesta of Marcus Gronholm is the subject
of our latest In Focus, while our RACER
Interview is with Bobby and Graham
Rahal. They’re from very different eras,
yet father and son are united by desire,
the attribute fundamental to achieving
greatness…and acquiring rivals.
Contact Nick Iademarco at
Wrights Media. Tel: (281) 419-5725
COLOR SEPS: QuadGraphics, Irvine, Calif.
ELECTRONIC PRE-PRESS: QuadGraphics, Irvine, Calif.
PRINTING: R.R. Donnelley, Pontiac, Ill.
Michael Koelsch is the
man behind our cover
illustration. His amazing
work is often tinged
with nostalgia for
yesteryear. See more
Rick Graves might have elevated the art of shooting
racecars in the studio to a new level, but it doesn’t
mean he’s above getting down on his knees and
cleaning the wheels. The results begin on page 82.