Things That Never Happened
Over the years in motorsport, many classic stories never actually happened.
Whether they were genuine and never eventuated for a multitude of reasons, or pure speculative clickbait, in times before clicking was a thing, numerous pipedreams and plans have never come to light.
It’s one of our favourite topics – for instance, check out our earlier yarn on the many race track plans that never made it from the pages of newspapers and magazines.
Here’s a tiny selection of memorable, and not-so-memorable stories, we have collated.
Got one of your own? Send us a tip on the socials to @theracetorque – we’d love to see them!
By the end of the 1980s, it appears that not all was happy in Formula 1 circles, with multiple manufacturers mocking together challengers for the alternate Indycar series. How different would the world be if Ferrari jumped from the F1 ship?
Lotus was another brand to show their interest.
The Lotus nameplate eventually reached Indycar, although its involvement was far from auspicious.
While the Delta Wing concept made a play to be the basis of the new generation Indycar, that concept went on to a somewhat successful life in sportscar racing.
This concept, however, never saw the light of day.
Here’s one that did happen, kind of.
The HDT Director was the final nail in the original coffin between Peter Brock and the Holden factory.
Unlike its mega-successful predecessors, only 12 of this model were ever produced.
There have been many F1 concepts over the years that have never made it to a Grand Prix weekend.
Here is the Ford-powered Lola T95/30 with Allan McNish behind the wheel, the forerunner to the ill-fated 1996 Mastercard Lola.
When Bathurst was trying to figure out its future configuration, this plan was put forward for the pits to be reconstructed on the outside of the pit straight, with a rather extravagant grandstand built on its roof.
By 2004, the current-day complex was opened for business.
One day, we will produce a ten-part special on Bob Jane’s various ideas for Calder Park.
This one for a 24-hour production car race clearly never happened.
Last year, when we looked at the former race track that ran outside Melbourne’s Cherry Lake, we uncovered the story of plans to host the 1964 Australian Grand Prix at a new circuit in Altona.
This was the proposed layout, which was ultimately scuppered when Sandown Park opened across town.
While the Daytona International Speedway essentially took this form, aspects of the design were somewhat altered in the final form.
The infield road circuit through the swamp, the short track through the tri-oval, and the back straight moat never happened.
Before the Indianapolis Motor Speedway opened for racing in 1909, they took a few swings at the layout.
Interestingly, the road course did happen, in a totally different design, in the year 2000.
We will forever be fascinated with Darlington Park, and we covered its story in three parts:
A Speedway, Drags and an extended road circuit would have changed the game at Oran Park…
Like Oran Park, Calder and Bathurst, Lakeside Raceway is another classic venue that has had its fair share of big plans that never eventuated.
This map from the 1980s shows a number of facets that started but were never properly finished.
Formula Nippon and this circuit never did arrive in Western Australia.
Various grand plans were put forward for Queensland Raceway – we ran through their details here.
Please note: in this render, the sun is setting in the south. Shifting the rotation of the earth was indeed lofty.
This story from Racing Car News runs through numerous race circuit plans, including for Darlington Park, Canberra, and an alternate location for the Gold Coast Indycar race on the nearby Spit.
The year is 2023, and we can confirm that this indeed did not happen.
From Supercars to race DTM, to V8 traction control, and the infamous Mark Webber non-test at McLaren, Auto Action bowled some front cover wides over the years.
Meanwhile, Motorsport News had its own battles.
Firstly, shortly after the cover on the left was published, Craig Lowndes absolutely left HRT, while on the right, CL did move, but to Ford Performance Racing, then Triple Eight, both with Ford.