The Aussie driver got behind the wheel of childhood hero Dale Earnhardt’s 1984 Chevrolet Monte Carlo stock car over the weekend.
Australian Formula One ace Daniel Ricciardo fulfilled a lifelong dream on Saturday before most people had eaten breakfast, arriving at Texas’ Grand Prix circuit early to wrangle the race car of his childhood hero.
The ‘Gen 3’ Chevrolet Monte Carlo NASCAR – which won five races in 1984 and 1985 with seven-time champion Dale Earnhardt behind the wheel – is now owned by Ricciardo’s McLaren boss Zak Brown.
Brown had promised Ricciardo he could drive the car if he secured a podium this year, and, following the Aussie’s spectacular win at Monza last month, made good on the promise.
“Well, hell, boogity, I’m very excited – Earnhardt was an absolute hero of mine,” Ricciardo said. “It’s special … The livery is amazing. The Wrangler jeans, the blue and yellow, the big three on it.”Previous
While Ricciardo’s 2021 carbon-composite hybrid Formula One car tips the scales at just 752kg, the beefy space-frame stock car is almost twice as heavy, at 1.4 tonnes.
A 5.8-litre V8 petrol engine sends approximately 500kW to the rear wheels via a four-speed manual transmission.
Despite the weight, tall gear ratios, and relatively narrow tyres, the 0-100km/h sprint is completed in about five seconds. An F1-rivalling top speed in excess of 340km/h is reportedly possible at the redline.
After qualifying 6th, Daniel Ricciardo finished the US Grand Prix in 5th place. He currently sits 8th in the Drivers’ Championship with 105 points.
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