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40TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE RAFAELA INDY 300 AT THE AUTODROMO DE RAFAELA, SANTA FE, ARGENTINA
2011 marks the 40th anniversary of Al Unser Sr.'s back to back victory at the Indy 500, but it also marks the 40th anniversary of his victory at the Rafaela Indy 300. 1971 found USAC (the United States Auto Club) acquiring a decided international flavor and joining forces with the Club Atletico Rafaela as the season opened with the Rafaela Indy 300 at the Autodromo de Rafaela in Rafaela, Santa Fe, Argentina. Built in 1952, the Autodromo Ciudad de Rafaela previously hosted the 500 Millas Argentinas organized by the Club Atletico Rafaela. Improvements to the road course and widening the track along with many other improvements took place to meet the safety requirements of USAC, the largest racing category in the United States. Challenging the notion that his ride was no longer competitive, Unser raced the same PJ Colt Turbo that took him to his first Indy 500 in 1970. The Rafaela 300 consisted of 2 -150 miles- 53 laps of the 2.874 mile course. Racing for separate championship points, a single purse was offered based on the combined results. Dueling with many of the great racers of the era, including his brother Bobby, Al avoided mishaps that befell other drivers and found himself in the lead on the most important lamp in each heat -the final one- winning both races.
 
Source Unser Racing Museum
Author Seth McFarland
Date 2011-06-29
Features Archive | Current Features