May 19 - 10,000 Fans!

The May 19, 1913 Monday morning Indianapolis Star reported that an amazing 10,000 fans (or "bugs" as the papers called them in the day) flocked to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway the day before to watch in amazment the speeds attained by the daring drivers preparing for the May 30 Indianapolis 500. One of the big attractions was the Case company's Jay-Eye-See 290 HP land speed racer in the capable hands of Louis Disbrow. The car, named after a 19th Century race horse, did not conform to the rule book for the Indianapolis 500 - it was designed for pure speed. Disbrow was gunning for Bob Burman's pure speed mile record for the Speedway.
 
Disbrow's teammates Bill Endicott and Joe Nikrent were lapping the course as well as the Stutz contingent. Jules Goux and Paul Zuccarelli were reportedly still struggling with tire wear on their Peugeots. Albert Guyot, described as "the big Frenchman" arrived at the Speedway but did not get his Sunbeam out on the track. The Wolverhampton, England factory engineer Henry Crossman was on hand and was astonished upon seeing the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, saying, "My word. I had no idea your track was anything like this. I am really astonished." Crossman was also assigned to the car as relief driver.
 
Johnny Jenkins in the Schacht made an appearance in the morning and Billy Liesaw and his Anel racer were reportedly coming into serious speed. Note that starter Charles Root was seen meeting with other officials in obvious preparation for the upcoming race.
 
The second attachment (NewsPractice051913i) contains an article from the Indianapolis News. An evening paper, it had the advantage of providing at least some same-day news coverage on track activities. This piece focuses primarily on the imminent arrival of Theodore Pilette and the British Sunbeam team with French driver Albert Guyot. Pilette, a Belgian, was driving a Mercedes-Knight, a private entry of the Chicago Automobile Club. The appearance and sleek design of both cars is discussed.
 
Attachment NewsPractice051913 contains a grainy image with a caption that offers some very interesting information. The image is of Mercer teammates Ralph DePalma and Spencer Wishart practicing together. What's interesting is that Wishart's team car is noted to be 300 pounds lighter than DePalma's and Ralph planned to run third gear at top end while Wishart was planning on running fourth.
 
The attachment NewsGoux051913 offers a dramatic albeit grainy image of Jules Goux storming down the front stretch past the pits - check out the parked racer at the right of the photo in the background. The caption notes an interesting characteristic of the French driver's car in that its front tires were actually taller in diameter than those on the rear.
 
 

AttachmentSize
IMSFansStar051913.pdf673.12 KB
NewsPractice051913i.pdf2.62 MB
NewsPractice051913.pdf3.41 MB
NewsGoux051913.pdf2.52 MB