There are very few machines in which a driving enthusiast can experience performance and build quality which are on par with what we create. The Mono is quite literally, in a class by itself. There are, fortunately, dealerships starting to pop up on this side of the pond... They are few and far between at this point, but at least we have a couple now.Man, I think I need to do a BAC Mono one day.
OK, here goes. Jim Trueman (Red Roof and Truesports founder) and Dick Leppla (Crane and Shovel Sales) both from Cleveland and both club raced. Friends pre-Truesports. Mike Rahal (Bobby's dad) also club raced when he lived in Medina (just south of Cleveland) and the three of them knew each other. Jim founds Truesports and eventually wants to move to Indycars. Bobby made that leap with them in '82. Dick bought the first chassis (the one pictured earlier). Steve Horne was crew chief. That year they won the first held at Cleveland (again, with that car) and Detroit. They won Indy in '86. Jim passed away shortly after that. They won the CART championship that year and next.I'd like to hear about that. If I remember right that's slightly pre-Newey. Besides, at the end of the day cars are just things. It's the stories involving their lives and all the people in and around them are what make them memorable.
That's an awesome story but I have a question: didn't Tasman run a combination of Dallara, Lola, and Reynard chassis in that time period (Honda power? I can't remember) and not March like the car in your photo. Nevermind. I think I am getting my facts fuddled. Too much useless crap in my brain...OK, here goes. Jim Trueman (Red Roof and Truesports founder) and Dick Leppla (Crane and Shovel Sales) both from Cleveland and both club raced. Friends pre-Truesports. Mike Rahal (Bobby's dad) also club raced when he lived in Medina (just south of Cleveland) and the three of them knew each other. Jim founds Truesports and eventually wants to move to Indycars. Bobby made that leap with them in '82. Dick bought the first chassis (the one pictured earlier). Steve Horne was crew chief. That year they won the first held at Cleveland (again, with that car) and Detroit. They won Indy in '86. Jim passed away shortly after that. They won the CART championship that year and next.
I met Dick at Nelson Ledges in '88 as a lowly mechanic. Bobby leaves for a succession of other teams including becoming owner. I sent Truesports my (at that point, very 'light') resume in '89. Sometime later, I get a letter of rejection from Steve Horne.
Jim's wife eventually closes Truesports after some years. Steve founds Tasman Motorsports in '92 for the '93 season with some others as minority owners. One of them is Dick (which I did not know at the time). I send a resume to Tasman and, after interviewing with the team manager and Steve himself, I'm hired and start working in November of '92 before the official start date (1-1-93) to get a head start on putting the shop together with my crew chief.
A week or two in, I'm in the shop alone and hear someone call out 'where is everyone?' I answered and walked toward the voice and round the corner. I face to face with Dick. He says 'Hi, Rand. What are you doing here?' and I say 'Hi Dick. I work here. What are you doing here?' He says 'I own a part of this place!' I don't remember what my response was, being surprised that A) he was part of the team and B) I hadn't seen him often enough for him to remember who the heck I was (maybe ten times over less than four years?).
We ended up with three drivers/chassis that first year. Dick bought the first one and it ended up being 'mine'. The team's first win (2nd of the season) came at Long Beach and it was my driver that bagged. Dick's/'mine'. He was there and it was a great feeling to see his reaction. The team also won at Cleveland (another driver) but, that being Dick's home race, another great reaction. We finished the championship in 1st, 2nd, and 8th with a total of 10 of 12 wins, 11/12 poles. '94 was more of the same. That year I worked with Eddie and his one win came at Cleveland with the same chassis as in '93. 'Dick's' car at Cleveland. '95 we get Honda's first Indycar win, pretty big deal. Dick was still an owner/sponsor on that car. I quit Tasman at the end of '97 and move to Rahal. In my case, this sort of completed a circle. In an odd way, only my brain can process, anyway.
I see that I failed at my condensing. And, I could go on and on about each of the people (and many others not mentioned). All that started by a pic of one car. :crazy:
Yes yes yes. That's awesome. Thanks for putting that all back together for me. I should have remembered some of that too because I have a good friend who raced Indycar in the 80's and early 90's and he was with March for a while (won with March, actually) and then I remember his telling me that March basically was outclassed by the 90's.March was gone by the start of '91. Porsche pulled the plug on their Indycar program at the end of '90 and Alfa Romeo switched to Lola chassis for '91. I don't recall anyone running old March chassis in '91, even the low-buck entries at Indy.
Tasman started in Indy Lights (spec Lola 93/20 chassis). We moved to Indycars for '95 and used Reynard chassis with Honda engines. Originally the plan was Lola/Ilmor. That changed quickly when Rahal and Honda had their big falling out at the end of '94. In '96 we switched to Lolas. Same for '97 (chassis was terrible that year). Carl Haas switched to Swift chassis for '97 (he was Lola's US distributor or 'ever') and a few other teams switched to Reynards. So, we were the defacto 'factory' team. They had bought Williams' old 40% wind tunnel and somehow never got a grasp of the differences between it and the tunnel they had used for years (Cranfield, I think). The result was the car had nowhere near the downforce they thought it had (and drag #'s were off, too).
As for Dallara, they were never part of Indycars until the IRL did the deal for them to supply the spec chassis. They had originally used old CART chassis. Only the spec Dallara cars were run starting in '97.