Beast by Jade Gurss

Big Bend, WI (May 5, 2014) – In today’s motorsport, one of the biggest complaints you may hear is the lack of diversity in the cars of the various disciplines. Back in the mid 1990’s there was still several chassis and engine manufactures in the IndyCar series. Thanks to a change in the rulebook for the prestigious Indianapolis 500, heavyweight racing icon Roger Penske and Ilmor Engineering teamed up with a secretive plan involving discreet discussions, secret track testing and handpicked personal sworn to secrecy that later would shock the racing world. The program was a big gamble for a successful but relatively small engine manufacturer that took center stage at the 1994 Indianapolis 500.

The ’94 Indianapolis 500 can be considered the start of a turning point for American open wheel racing. The book details all the inside stories and chronicles how this unique engine came into being. What is ‘Beast?’ The Beast was the nickname of a shocking new race engine unveiled for the 1994 Indianapolis 500. The 1,000-horsepower engine developed for Team Penske by Ilmor was a major player in the deconstruction of the Indy 500 and open-wheel racing. Author, Jade Gurss does an excellent job detailing the massive effort it took to design and build it in a nearly impossible timeframe. In a way it reads like a spy novel as he details the subterfuge and debunks many of the myths about not only the impending open-wheel split, but also the legendary engine that persist twenty years on.

Gurss interviewed many of the key players involved who give an entertaining inside look on how this project got off the ground. Co-founders of Ilmor, the late Paul Morgan and Mario Illen who developed many successful engines in American open-wheel and Formula One racing are also detailed in this book. We also see how Roger Penske’s talented team was able to mate “The Beast” to their elegant Penske PC23 chassis. Many of Team Penske members reveal the inner workings on how the engine and car were tested and developed. Legendary drivers Al Unser Jr., Emerson Fittipaldi, and Paul Tracy provide provocative details on the tense weeks leading up race day. The book reaches a suspenseful climax as the powerful three-car Penske team take their ‘rookie’ engine and welcome all rivals in front of 275,000+ fans inside the walls of the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

This book is one of the best I’ve read on the subject of motorsports. The book flows easily and describes in detail how this immense project was conceived, developed and refined. The anecdotes are entertaining as the players involved are easy to follow and their individual personalities are explored and uncovered. Gurss places you in the dyno room in England, various board rooms of corporate America, the snow-covered Nazareth Speedway and inside the walls of the Brickyard. If you’re a fan of racing in general this a must-have, but also a good read for anybody interested in corporate espionage and covert gamesmanship.

About the Author
Jade Gurss is an author and publicist with more than 25 years in the motorsports industry. As owner of the sports publicity agency fingerprint inc., Gurss represented Budweiser and Dale Earnhardt Jr. for nine seasons. He has also worked with clients and employers such as Mercedes-Benz, Ilmor Engineering and Andretti Autosport. He is the best-selling author of In the Red: The 2001 Season with Dale Earnhardt Jr, DW: A Lifetime Going Around in Circles and Driver # 8. A native of Topeka, Kansas, Jade now resides in Concord, North Carolina.

Pages: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 9781937747336
Publisher: Octane Press
Publication Date: May 25, 2014
Product Dimensions: 6×9 inches

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