Christie at Speed

This image first appeared in the Sunday, December 19, 1909, Indianapolis StarJ. Walter Christie is seen at the wheel of his Christie front-wheel drive "freak" race car as it roared down the front stretch at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on December 18. It was part of a collection of pictures supporting the Sunday edition of the paper's coverage of the first time trials after the track was paved with 3.2 million bricks. Christie, Lewis Strang, and Johnny Aitken were the only drivers to brave the frigid temperatures on the second day of time trials. All the attention was on Strang and his Fiat, as well as Christie and this "freak" racer as those were the entries with the horsepower to really put up fast times.
 
This event was precipitated by Indianapolis Motor Speedway Founder & President Carl Fisher's determination to bury the memory of the track's first (and tragic) auto race meet the previous August as well as establish the Brickyard as the fastest track in America. This mantle had been claimed by rival Atlanta Speedway during their inaugural race meet in November. Fisher wanted to squeeze into 1909 new, official speed records so year-end reflections would list his facility at the top in America if not the world. The rivalry between the Brickyard and the Atlanta track was so strong that the southerners later cried foul, charging in a protest that IMS Director of Contests Ernie Moross had falsified records set at the time trial meet.

AttachmentSize
Christie.jpg39.83 KB