When Australia's two-time defending World Formula One Champion Jack Brabham drove a Grand Prix-based British Cooper-Climax to a 9th place finish in the 1961 Indianapolis 500, many believed this was the first successful appearance at the track by a mid-engined car. In fact, the concept had been tried several times between 1937 and 1951 but only five examples ever qualified and none of them traveled beyond 47 laps. After a gallery.adamsviews.net/artofsteel2015/ run at IMS in October 1960, arranged by Rodger Ward, Brabham and team principle John Cooper went about preparing an entry for 1961, boring out a 2.5-liter Coventry Climax engine to 2.7 liters and laying it slightly over to the left. Brabham enjoyed superior handling through the turns and he might well have finished higher had his pit crew been more familiar with making fuel and tire stops, a rarity in Grand Prix racing at the time.
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