News & Multimedia

Record-Setting Indianapolis 500 Engineer Wardrop Dies

Tim Wardrop, one of open-wheel racing's most respected engineers, died Oct. 27 after a lengthy illness. He was 62.

The British-born Wardrop is probably best known in the United States for serving as the engineer for Arie Luyendyk when two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Luyendyk established the still-unbroken all-time Indianapolis Motor Speedway qualifying speed records. Qualifying on the second day of time trials in 1996 - the final year until 2012 for turbocharged engines - Luyendyk recorded four consecutive laps at an average speed of 236.986 mph and a single lap at 237.492 mph. A couple of days earlier, during practice, Luyendyk had turned an unofficial lap at an astonishing 239.260 mph.

A year later, Wardrop was engineer for the historic one-two finish by Treadway Racing with Luyendyk and Scott Goodyear.

Wardrop was an ex-Formula One mechanic with both Williams and McLaren, and in 1977 with the independent Walter Wolf team when Jody Scheckter finished second in the world championship. Wardrop was recently described by one former crew chief and official as being "beyond brilliant," while associates long ago nicknamed him "Doctor Who," after the genius superhero of a popular, long-running British science-fiction TV series.

Attempting to chronicle Wardrop's career is challenging because he helped with so many teams and companies over the years. For example, in 1992 he was the engineer on Goodyear's runner-up-finishing Lola for Derrick Walker's team while also having worked closely with Galmer designer Alan Mertens on the Rick Galles entry driven to victory by Al Unser Jr.

Wardrop was the engineer for Willy T. Ribbs when Ribbs made history by becoming the first African-American to qualify for the "500" in 1991. And when Ribbs made his second start in 1993, Wardrop also was in charge of that car's engineering.

An engineer for March Engineering for eight years, and later heavily involved with the "rebirth" of G-Force under Don Panoz, Wardrop indirectly could lay claim to a number of poles and wins, in addition to having worked at Indianapolis with teams like Newman/Haas, Team Menard, Fred Treadway, A.J. Foyt, Derrick Walker, PDM and others. He also worked with many leading drivers besides Luyendyk and Goodyear, including Michael Andretti, Juan Pablo Montoya, Tom Sneva, Teo Fabi, Bruno Junqueira, Robby Gordon and Scott Brayton, and most recently in May with Jean Alesi.
 

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Record-Setting Indianapolis 500 Engineer Wardrop Dies
 
Record-Setting Indianapolis 500 Engineer Wardrop Dies
Tim Wardrop, one of open-wheel racing's most respected engineers, died Oct. 27 after a lengthy illness. He was 62.
Read More
Related Media
A.J. Foyt
 
Legendary A.J. Foyt to Salute the Field of the 100th Indianapolis 500
As the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil has approached, the history of the race has been celebrated by countless numbers of fans and media.
Read More
Alexander Rossi
 
Diverse Five-Man Rookie Class Ready for Challenge of 100th Running
They are aware their fellow competitors will consider them as unknowns in Sunday’s 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil. Five rookies, including two with familiar names, will get their first taste of this demanding 500-mile test of endurance.
Read More
Helio Castroneves' Pit Crew
 
Castroneves' Crew Wins 2016 Tag Heuer Pit Stop Challenge
Castroneves beat Mikhail Aleshin of Schmidt Peterson with Team Pelfrey in the final round. This is the 17th win for Team Penske in the annual competition for Indy 500 pit crews. The winner of the competition has gone on to win the Indianapolis 500 six times, most recently with Castroneves in 2009.
Read More
Tony Kanaan
 
Kanaan Sets Pace in Hectic Final Practice for 100th Indy 500
Tony Kanaan and Carlos Munoz were fastest in Friday’s final practice prior to Sunday’s 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.
Read More
Helio Castroneves
 
INDYCAR and IMS Partner with Snapchat for 100th Indianapolis 500 'Live Story'
Snapchat, the ephemeral, mobile storytelling platform embraced by 100 million daily active users, is partnering with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to cover the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil on May 29 via a “Live Story.”
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 1,178
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact Laura Wyamn at (317) 492-8557 or email at lwyman@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
Today, we talk to Al Unser about his 1970 #Indy500 win and much more. Check it out! https://t.co/hKAXwa1w2A https://t.co/07fcjvXNJw
about 2 hours ago