Fivina Galica, an English racing driver, can rent an Indianapolis-type car for the Sept. 2 Ontario, (Calif.), 500-miler if she can come up with $25,000. An outstanding road racer, the 33-year-old has never competed on an oval track.
"I am aware some road-racing drivers have not found ovals to their liking," she said in a phone interview. "It is quite different. But I must drive a car, any car, on an oval to prove I can do it to others, and to myself."
Bobby Hillin has offered two cars to Galica, if the money is there. She came to the U.S. at his invitation and her agents are contacting prospective sponsors. Tom Bagley of State College, Pa., is Hillin's No. 1 driver.
"They want to enlarge the grid (field) for that race," she said. "That's what gave me my chance." Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) wants to muster a full 3-- car field. Up to now, 24 or 25 machines have made their races.
Once captain of Britain's Olympic ski team, Galica has raced only five years. She has been very successful in Formula 5000 cars, similar to but slower than Indianapolis machines.
"I admit this season has been a headache for me so far," she said. "I wanted to do the European Formula 2 championship (one step below Grand Prix) but sponsorship fell through. It would have been good experience. As for the Ontario ride, I am very encouraged I will be able to get it."
The U.S. Auto Club (USAC) is reviving an old idea. It is considering using the same size engine for its major racing divisions, Indianapolis, dirt track, sprinters and stock cars. By specifying a 355-cubic inch stock block (mass produced) for all groups, USAC and car owners feel costs would be reduced and more cars would be in action. Next year's rules will be settled in September.
On the dark side, last Sunday's Milwaukee race was the last this season for USAC Indianapolis cars. CART took the Ontario event away from USAC. It isn't likely USAC will want its drivers helping the rival group under any conditions.