Bring some of racing’s biggest names out of retirement from Indy car, sports cars, NASCAR, and even the NHRA, wedge them into 12 of Jaguar’s brand-new, ultra-rare $1.3 million road racing XJ220C supercars, then drop the ageing heroes onto the claustrophobic 0.686-mile Indianapolis Raceway Park oval and eventually its ‘roval’ as part of the first made-for-TV racing series for 50-and-older icons.
What could go wrong?
Back in the summer of 1993, the gorgeous XJ220Cs, built in England by Tom Walkinshaw Racing, were bashed and battered for our amusement like demolition derby cars at the county fair. The six-week special airing on ESPN, modeled off the cable channel’s Thursday Night Thunder concept, delivered five weeks of heat races to whittle down the grid for Fast Master’s grand finale. Quickly dubbed the ‘Crash Masters,’ it received the sport’s most accurate nickname.
On its 25th anniversary, the Fast Masters series continues to stand as one of the most delightfully unhinged racing concepts to become a reality.
Told by Terry Lingner, the series’ creator and producer, Bobby Unser, its first and only champion, and TWR USA boss Tony Dowe, who supplied and maintained the cars on behalf of Jaguar, here’s the oral history of a racing series that barely survived its first event, presented as a special feature on the Marshall Pruett Podcast.
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