1921 May 30 Indianapolis 500 Ora Haibe changing tyre b

1921 Indianapolis 500
The 1921 ninth International Sweepstakes Indianapolis 500 was held on 30 May and was attended by 135,000. The 23 strong field was composed of the best of Europe (Ballot, Peugeot, STD) and America (Dusenberg, Frontenac, Miller). The drivers were equally impressive including Jimmy Murphy, Tom Milton, Roscoe Sarles, Albert Guyot and Jean Chassagne.

Three cars were entered by STD – two Sunbeams for Rene Thomas (no.17) and Ora Haibe (no.16) and one Talbot Darracq for Andre Boillot (no.11); the three cars were identical but for the shape of the radiator and badge. According to Ora Haibe, the STD team was instructed to save the horses for the French Grand Prix.

Ralph de Palma on a similarly designed Ballot dominated the race at 93mph for 112 laps when he retired with bearing trouble. For the rest of the race, it was mostly the American Frontenac and Dusenberg which excelled and of only nine cars to finish the 200 laps, eight were American who invariably also won the race with a 1,2,3 win for Frontenac (89.621mph & 85.025mph) split by a Dusenberg (88.609mph).

The talented American Ora Haiba in the Works Sunbeam was the only European car to finish and was placed fifth (84.277mph) winning a purse of $3,000. The Talbot Darracq suffered big-end failure on 41st lap due to jammed oil pump; Rene Thomas held 4th place until lap 144 when water connection broke.