The true story behind the creation of a legendary race engine
The Beast was the nickname of a shocking new race engine unveiled for the 1994 Indianapolis 500. The massive effort to design and build it in a seemingly impossible timeframe is still hailed as one of the most herculean efforts and well-kept secrets in the history of the Indy 500. In the new book, Beast, bestselling author Jade Gurss chronicles the subterfuge and debunks the myths about this legendary engine that persist twenty years on.
Gurss interviewed key players involved in the race to undercover the story of how this engine powered the Penske PC23 chassis to one of the most talked-about Indy 500 races in history. The British race-engine experts at Ilmor Engineering offer detail about the design and manufacture of the engine. Roger Penske’s team reveals how the engine and car were tested and developed, and how Mercedes came to be involved in the project. The story unfolds as Roger Penske and Mario Illien and Paul Morgan of Ilmor play every card they possess to create an incredible race engine--even rare World War II fighter planes and supersonic jets roar into the heart of this high-tech tale. Drivers Al Unser Jr., Emerson Fittipaldi, and Paul Tracy provide details on the tense weeks leading up race day. The book reaches a suspenseful climax at 240 miles per hour at the Indy 500 noone can forget.
Wrapped up in the drama and intrigue are real business and motivational lessons which made Roger Penske one of the most successful businessmen in the world and that helped Ilmor and its cofounders, Mario Illien and the late Paul Morgan, design and manufacture Indy car and Formula 1 championship–winning engines. Beast is not only a must-read for sports and race fans, but a compelling narrative for those who enjoy genuine lessons in business and technology or thrilling mysteries based on actual events.
“Gurss nailed it! I lived between that engine and probing media for the entire month of May, 1994, and couldn't have told the story any better. Take the rest of the day off, Jade.”
“In “Beast”, Jade Gurss has shone a light into the shadows of the Skunk Works-style operation from which emerged one of the greatest machines in Indy car history."
—David Malsher, Editor, RACER
"This engine captured more notoriety for Ilmor and Team Penske than anything we have done together. Some people loved it, some hated it, but it's rare to meet anyone from that era of racing that doesn't have an opinion about it. Now everyone can read the truth and see the incredible effort it took to make it happen."
—Paul Ray, President, Ilmor Engineering Inc.
“An incredible tale told from the perspective of those who made it happen."
—John Zimmermann, Associate Editor, Vintage Racecar Journal
About the Author
Jade Gurss is an author and publicist with more than 25 years in the motorsports industry. As owner of the sports publicity agency fingerprint inc., Gurss represented Budweiser and Dale Earnhardt Jr. for nine seasons. He has also worked with clients and employers such as Mercedes-Benz, Ilmor Engineering and Andretti Autosport. He is the best-selling author of In the Red: The 2001 Season with Dale Earnhardt Jr, DW: A Lifetime Going Around in Circles and Driver # 8. A native of Topeka, Kansas, Jade now resides in Concord, North Carolina.
About the Foreword Contributor
Mario Illien is an engineer specializing in motorsport engine design. A native of Switzerland, Illien broke onto the race scene in 1971 with F1 and sports car driver Joakim “Jo”Bonnier. In 1983, Illien created Ilmor Engineering with Paul Morgan. Illien has designed numerous championship-winning Indycar and Formula 1 engines. Illien is the Technical Director of Ilmor Engineering.