CART-era Indycar stars to reunite for Legends Cup race at Mexican GP

2022 Mexico City Grand Prix

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A dozen drivers largely drawn from Indycar’s famed CART era will compete in a new support event at the Mexican Grand Prix next week.

The drivers, who made their names in single-seater cars, will race closed-wheel machines powered by 500bhp V8 engines to do battle around the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

Among those confirmed to take part are five Mexican drivers including 1999 CART runner-up and 2009 American Le Mans Series champion Adrian Fernandez, aged 59, and his co-champion Luis Diaz (44). Le Mans 24 Hours winner Roberto Gonzalez (46), Champ Car race winner Mario Dominguez (46) and title contender Michel Jourdain Jnr (46) will also participate.

Indianapolis 500 pole winner Alex Tagliani (49) and 2003 Champ Car champion Paul Tracy (53) represent Canada. The sole US racer is long-time NASCAR Cup Series driver Casey Mears (44).

Bruno Junqueira (45), the 2000 International Formula 3000 champion and a three-times Champ Car runner-up, is the only South American on the grid. A trio of European racers complete the grid including former Formula 1 drivers Mark Blundell (56) and Max Papis (53), plus and ex-Formula E racer Oriol Servia (48).

The Mexico City venue is familiar to many of the racers, as it appeared on the Champ Car calendar from 2002 to 2007. Tracy won the 2003 edition of the race while Junquiera took pole the year before (pictured).

“Before hosting Formula 1 in Mexico, we used to promote the Champ Car World Series at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez and it was as big as F1 [those] days,” said the grand prix’s general director Federico Gonzalez.

“Being able to reunite all these legends together for a one-time only event here in Mexico is a huge privilege for us and for the Mexican fans.”

Free practice for the Legends Cup will take place shortly after Formula 1’s first session on Friday, at 2:30pm, with qualifying preceding F1’s own qualifying on Saturday at 1:45pm, then with the 35-minute race starting at 11:05am on Sunday.

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Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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11 comments on “CART-era Indycar stars to reunite for Legends Cup race at Mexican GP”

  1. As a huge fan of that era of American open wheeler, it’s amazing to see so many of the legends of that time. Would love to be there for it!

  2. That shot looks so pure, for some reason racing’s golden days don’t ever look ahead of us.

  3. WOW!!!!! This looks like the Grand Prix Master championship held in 2005 and 2006 where Nigel Mansell fought Emerson Fittipaldi and the likes!!! For anybody who has no idea:

    Maybe they might use the very same cars, which were IndyCars modified to have an F1 style air intlet and rear wing, but they had 650hbp custom engines.

    Full races on YouTube:

    1. Sadly the article says “closed wheel machines”.
      Also AutoSport says that the cars are the ones used in the “Gran Turismo Mexico Series”, which look more like regular GT3 cars.

  4. Last time I recall seeing Paul Tracy announcing Indy car, he didn’t look like he could fit into a car.

    1. “Last time I recall seeing Paul Tracy announcing Indy car, he didn’t look like he could fit into a car.” … sadly true. He’s a Big Ol’ Boy, now

  5. Please tell me where I can watch this?
    Sounds great fun

  6. That’s pretty much exactly what the cars are – originally built for CART, which is what the picture is of.
    Aero was later modified for Masters to make them look a bit more like F1 of the day (as the chassis design was pretty old by that point).

    Masters was a great concept – but just like many others (including A1GP and now W-series) they need more than just a good idea and some initial funding.

  7. I didn’t know Oriol Servia raced in Formula E – I only remember him from driving IndyCar/CART for nearly 20 years.

    1. He did race in the first season of FE. I think he drives the pace car in Indycar these days.

  8. CART era was so brilliant. I remember watching with excitement more so than F1 of same time. 900hp 2.6l v8 turbos, and a turbo car that actually sounded great, they revved to 16,000rpm. no power steering, manual gearbox, slick tyres. They were brutes. great tracks, great drivers. 240mph average lap speed on some ovals, with top speed 250mph. Great racing, great memories. A shame this legends cup race will be in tin tops.

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