Dario Resta

Dario Resta created a sensation when he burst on the American racing scene in 1915. Driving a privately owned Peugeot, he would be the man to beat in both 1915 and 1916. He finished second to Ralph De Palma in his first Indianapolis 500 and won the following year, in 1916, when the race was scheduled for 300 miles. Resta was also a great road racer, winning the Vanderbilt Cup in 1915 and 1916 as well as the American Grand Prize in 1915.
 
His drive in the 1915 American Grand Prize set him apart from his competitors as the race was conducted in a deluge of rain whipped by gale-force winds around the palatial pavillions of San Francisco's Pan-American exhibition. Several drivers - De Palma among them - simply gave up in the trecherous conditions which reduced Macadam-dirt roads to a quagmire. Resta was unstoppable, sealing his reputation as a force in the sport. It was probably his bravest, most significant drive.
 
Resta went on to become the first national champion as awarded by an American Automobile Association (AAA) points system (with the exception of a AAA track championship in 1905) in 1916. Married to Mary Wishart, the sister of American driver Spencer Whishart, who was killed at Elgin in 1914, Dario found his new wife extremely nervous about his career choice. Constantly encouraging him to abandon his exciting and dangerous pursuit, Mary convinced Dario to retire in 1917. The lure of the sport proved too strong, however, and Resta continued to race cars intermittently for the next several years until his death at Brooklands in 1924 as he attempted to set new speed records.

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