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TS50
8th July 2016, 09:49 AM
http://www.speedcafe.com/2016/07/08/vale-carl-haas/

Vale Carl Haas


Friday 8th July, 2016

9:29am

Author: SpeedCafe ©



The final chapter in one of the great dynasties of American motor racing ownership has closed with the death of Carl Haas.

A self-made entrepreneur, Haas died aged 86 after a long fight with alzheimer’s disease.

Haas was a distributor for Lola and Hewland in North America but it was his alliance with actor and racer Paul Newman to form the eponymous Newman-Haas IndyCar team that he perhaps became best known for.

It was to be the start of the next stage in 1978 F1 champion Mario Andretti’s career as the founding driver of the team in 1983. He would be joined by his son Michael Andretti at Newman-Haas six years later.

The team compiled 107 IndyCar wins, 109 pole positions and eight CART/Champ Car titles.

Its championship-winning drivers were Mario Andretti (1984), Michael Andretti (1991), Nigel Mansell (1993), Cristiano da Matta (2002) and Sebastien Bourdais (2004-2007).

Newman-Haas famously signed Mansell for the 1993 season, fresh from his epic F1-winning campaign with Williams the year before.

Mansell came out in the opening round on the streets of Surfers Paradise converting pole position into a win on debut before going on to score the CART title.

It was on the Gold Coast where Haas endeared himself to fans where his well known eccentric ways would see him move around the pits with his unlit cigar before engaging in his favourite pre-race ritual of blessing the front of his cars.

Haas and Newman welcomed a third partner, Mike Lanigan, in 2007 but with Newman’s death the following year and the fracture in America’s open wheel ranks taking its toll, the team eventually folded in 2011.

Haas was also responsible for bringing 1980 World Champion Alan Jones out of retirement in 1985 when he formed a Formula 1 team funded by Beatrice Foods using a Lola chassis and Ford engine.

The operation folded after 1986 during which Jones had endured an agonising 11 retirements through the year.

The late Justin Wilson, who had replaced the squad’s four-times winning champion Bourdais, scored the team’s final IndyCar win in Detroit in 2008.

Tributes for the Chicago-born Haas – a true gentleman and giant of the sport – have started to pour in.

FTe217
8th July 2016, 12:15 PM
I was in Adelaide for the debut of the Alan Jones Haas F1 tenure, I knew it dead from the moment it kicked off sadly, big AJ fan and sad to see how it flopped, he didn't deserve that.
Anyway RIP Mr Haas.