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In a move to attract sponsors and an audience, IndyCar Racing League (IRL) announced that at the series finale this year, five professional racing drivers who are currently not in IRL, would be granted a wild card entry. If any of these drivers go on to win the event, they would receive a prize of $5-million.
This healthy prize has gotten many former racing stars to get out of bed and start knocking on IRL team doors in the hopes of landing a race seat. The latest news is that former Ferrari F1 driver, Jean Alesi might get to compete.
Alesi, whose career highlight was his sole win at the Montreal GP in Canada back in 1995, has been keeping himself busy with open wheel racers recently. Alesi is an ambassador for Group Lotus, and is also a test-driver for the Lotus T125 project. He could join KV Racing Technology, a team affiliated with Lotus, to compete at the Las Vegas Indy. Other big names taunted to get a race seat include Petter Solberg, Jimmy Vasser, Jacque Villeneuve, Juan Pablo Montoya, Paul Tracy and Al Unser Jr.
Race fans have to just wait and see the final line-up, but this has surely got race fans talking about IRL racing.
A Florida-based dealer of airplanes, helicopters, and all manner of rare and exotic vehicles called Aero Toy Store Collection has recently listed Jean Alesi’s 1991 Formula 1 ride for sale, this chassis no. 126 Ferrari F1 Scuderia Tipo 642.
It may not have the race-winning pedigree of a Schumacher era Ferrari, but at “just” $700,000 it’s a relative bargain and would still make a nice conversation piece for a well-heeled Ferrari collector. Alesi did manage a third place finish at the ’91 Monaco Grand Prix, and in general the Tipo 642 is considered the beginning of Ferrari’s F1 resurgence.
What’s interesting (and perhaps a bit distressing for a potential buyer) is that the dealer lists the engine as turbocharged, yet turbos were banned from Formula 1 in 1989. But at least the dealer got the 3.5-liter V12 part right. To be more specific, the engine is Ferrari’s 035/5 65° V12 giving 660 hp at 13,000 rpm.
Perhaps this oversite on the engine’s specification can be forgiven when you consider that Aero Toy Store, founded by Morris Shirazi and located in six hangers at the Ft. Lauterdale Executive Airport, specializes primarily in selling or leasing customized private jets and helicopters as well as luxury vehicles. Still, Shirazi made his fortune dealing in Ferraris, so listing this ’91 Tipo 642 as “the last of the turbocharged Formula One cars” is a mistake you wouldn’t expect.
If you’ve got the cash to invest in this Ferrari, then you’ve also got the means of calling the dealer to clarify its history and engine configuration. Also keep in mind that we’re available for test drives once you buy it. In the meantime, check out the extra pictures after the jump.
[Source: Aero Toy Store Collection]