1988 Penske PC-17

The Penske PC-17 was designed by Nigel Bennett and used during the 1988 season as a CART Penske Racing car. It was powered by an Ilmor-Chevrolet Indy V8 engine that provided enough power to carry Team Penske's Rick Mears to pole position at the 72nd Indianapolis 500 in 1988. Ilmor was a British independent high-performance engineering company formed in 1983 by Mario Illien and Paul Morgan. Team Penske first used the Ilmor-Chevrolet powered engines in 1986 for Al Unser Sr. at the Indianapolis 500. The following year, the engine was used to power the three Team Penske drivers of Rick Mears, Danny Sullivan, and Al Unser Sr. The engine's first victory was at the 1987 Long Beach Grand Prix driven by Mario Andretti of the Newman/Haas team. Andretti set the Pole for the 1987 Indy 500 with the potent Ilmor Chevrolet engine.

The engine was used the following season to power Penske's new PC17 chassis. The chassis and engine combination proved to be very competitive with Mears and Sullivan earning pole positions at the first two races of the CART season.

The PC-17 made Indy Speedway history in 1998 by claiming the front row in qualifying, with Rick Mears claiming the pole position at 219.198 mph - his fourth pole. Danny Sullivan in the Miller-sponsored PC-17 was second and Al Unser Sr. started on the outside of the front row in the Hertz-sponsored Team Penske PC-17. Mears had set a new track record by becoming the first driver to break the 220 mph barrier during the time trials.

The three teammates led 480 of the 500 miles (192 of the 200 laps), with Rick Mears claiming his third Indy 500 victory. Al Unser Sr., the defending Indy 500 champion, was in third. This was Team Penske's seventh Indianapolis 500 win on their 20th Anniversary of racing at the 'Brickyard.'

This was the first of six consecutive Indy 500 wins for the Chevy V8 engine ultimately winning 64 of 78 races. Its finest accomplishments were achieved when it was paired with the PC17 chassis.


by Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2020
Vehicle Profiles
1988 Penske PC-17 vehicle information

Roadster
Designer: Nigel Bennett

The PC-17 made history in Indianapolis 500 qualifying in 1998. For the first time in Indy Speedway history one team locked out Indy's front row in qualifying. Team Penske's Rick Mears took this Chevrolet-powered PC17 to the pole - his fourth pole - a....[continue reading]

Roadster
 


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