Apologies if you have see this pic of Mark in a Can Am McLaren before I notice it bears the Legend Japan Sun Oil on the side anybody know if Can Am went to Japan ? Or when ?
The other thing that has been ticking away Mark won the Indy 500 in 1972 with a McLaren any idea what prompted the Penske Indy Team to move to Eagles for the 1973 season ?
The color shot in Mark Donohue: Technical Excellence At Speed of Mark, Karl Kainhofer, the McLaren M6A and Mt. Fuji in the background was taken in late November, 1968. The series was called World Challenge Cup. Mark (from Technical Excellence)..."qualified on the pole and had a dramatic wheel-to-wheel battle with Peter Revson before encountering fuel problems that eventually caused his retirement."
Chapter 143: Racing the Eagle excerpt from Mark Donohue: Technical Excellence At Speed page 254 by Michael Argetsinger
Penske Racing had their two new McLaren M16Cs ready to test at Indianapolis in March. Karl Kainhofer and Haig Alltounian had spent the winter in England building the cars at the McLaren works in Colnbrook. After working with the car Mark became convinced that it would not be fast enough to beat the Eagles. He asked Roger to purchase an Eagle in kit form from Dan Gurney's All-American Racers. Karl Kainhofer went to California and brought all the pieces to Newton Square and spent April building it into a race car. Working in the shop with Karl on the single-seat race cars were Walter Gass and Nick Olilla. This would be the first time the team had run three cars at the Speedway. In the meantime, Bobby Allison joined the team to race the second McLaren alongside Gary Bettenhausen. Allison had tested for Roger the previous fall at Ontario with impressive results the first time he had ever sat in an Indy car. At the Speedway Roger worked with Allison and Don Cox worked with Bettenhausen on setups and race engineering. Mark was his own engineer and Karl Kainhofer was the chief mechanic on his car.
"Roger took a lot of static from the press for deserting McLaren and buying the Eagle, but he did it because he understood what it meant to me," Mark told Road & Track's Mike Knepper. The Penske Sunoco-DX Eagle arrived at Indy without any previous testing. "We got the car just in time to get to the Speedway the first of May. I started having trouble right away: first oversteer, then understeer, everything. Gurney took me aside once and said he would help me all he could, but there was no way I could hope to make the car work in such a short time and against teams that had had Eagles for several weeks. He was right."
Looking back on this period of disillusionment and uncertainty, Mark was able to identify almost to the moment when he first thought seriously about giving up driving. "At the point I was most lost - which was half way through the development of the Eagle - I was sitting in the car thinking, 'What do I do next?' " he later remembered. "The crew was waiting for me to say 'Do this' or 'Do that' - and I really had no idea what to do next and I didn't have the energy or enthusiasm to figure it out - because it's the same old problem over and over again. The people change and the cars change, but the problem is always the same. I said to myself, 'I've had enough of this now. I'm starting to hate this. I should really stop. I can stop now.' "