C&R Racing Silver Crown Car
Old as the beginning of American oval-track racing and new as next year. That’s the 2006/2007 C&R Racing Silver Crown car, which traces its lineage back to the very first open-wheel cars that raced on county-fair horse tracks a century ago and represents the future of United States Auto Club open-wheel superspeedway competition.
In the 1960s, Indycar design went to low-slung, mid-engine cars derived from Formula One technology of that time, so in 1971 USAC designated a separate championship, dubbed Silver Crown today, for the descendants of the classic upright, front-engine, tube-frame beasts that had dominated Indycar competition for decades. As more major races were held on 1.5-mile and larger superspeedways, USAC developed a new set of technical specifications for Silver Crown cars that reflected the safety, aerodynamic and other requirements for a car capable of 170+ mph laps around big racetracks.
New-look cars were constructed by several manufacturers, including BEAST, Riley and DRC. The iRacing model is by Indianapolis-based C&R Racing and was designed by C&R Racing owner Chris Paulsen and former Lola and Reynard Indycar designer Bruce Ashmore. USAC began organizing pavement races for the cars in 2006 and continued through 2007. While the sanctioning body is currently re-evaluating the class – team owners found the cost of re-equipping daunting - there’s no question but that this latest generation of Silver Crown car is one of the fastest front-engine, open-wheel, oval-track racers in history. It is also an excellent training tool for oval-track drivers, both those with open-wheel aspirations and those aiming for a stockcar career, as they transition from short tracks to superspeedway racing.
So, if it’s an oval-track driving challenge you’re looking for, this car will provide that and more. With 819 methanol-fueled horsepower at the rear wheels of a car that weighs 1,650 pounds, excess acceleration is always available – the best advice is “don’t be greedy.” A driver who can wheel this car around quickly and not put it in the fence is skilled indeed.