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Arie Luyendyk © Gallo Images

Record-setting Indy engineer dies

Tim Wardrop, engineer for the fastest car in Indianapolis 500 history, died aged 62 on October 27 after a long illness, IndyCar officials announced on Monday.

The British racecar veteran served as a Formula One mechanic at Williams and McLaren and was on Jody Scheckter's crew in 1977 when the South African finished second in the driver's championship.

Wardrop was the IndyCar engineer for Arie Luyendyk in 1996 when the Dutchman set the all-time Indianapolis Motor Speedway one-lap record speed of 237.492 mph and the four-lap qualifying record of 236.986 mph.

Luyendyk's car also clocked an unofficial practice lap at 239.260 mph that year.

Wardrop, nicknamed "Doctor Who" after the British television science-fiction hero, also was the engineer for Luyendyk in 1997 when the pole-sitter won his second Indy 500 crown.

In 1991, Wardrop served as engineer for Willy T Ribbs when the American became the first black driver to qualify for the Indy 500.

Wardrop also worked with such drivers as American Michael Andretti, Italy's Teo Fabi, Colombia's Juan Pablo Montoya, Brazil's Bruno Junqueira and last May at Indy with Frenchman Jean Alesi.


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