Last week, we took you to Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, for a sopping September afternoon of non-racing action; when we left off, cars were parked after just three laps of the 1986 CART Indy Race for Life 200, denying us the Rahal/Unser Jr./Sullivan/Andretti/Andretti championship battle we anticipated.
They gave it another go at Road America a few weeks later. It wasn’t much drier the second time around, but they were able to run all 200 laps in what we deemed “one of the most spectacular races of the year.” And only those who braved the rain and 50-degree chill were able to experience it — it wasn’t broadcast on TV.
It was a tough race full of bumps, spinouts and stalled engines. Seemingly everybody spun at least once, including the eventual (and narrow) victor: Emmerson Fittipaldi behind the wheel of the Marlboro-liveried Patrick Racing car.
Fittipaldi had only begun racing in CART in 1984; this was his second win in an Indycar and his first on a road course, but his career picked up momentum going forward. All in all, the two-time F1 champion added the 1989 CART championship and two Indy 500 victories (in 1989 and 1993) to his record.
Read our full coverage of the race below. Note that the copy goes wonky in the first six paragraphs. This isn’t your brain melting: Something must have gone wrong during layout, leading to a few sentences that stop suddenly and resume paragraphs later. Things smooth out after that. We’ll be sure to scold the ’86 Autoweek crew for the slip up.
Autoweek October 13, 1986 — 1986 CART Race for Life 200 at Road America conclusion