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Roger Penske or Enzo Ferrari: Who's #1?


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Poll: Simply the best: Your choice (68 member(s) have cast votes)

Whose racing teams achieved more under their direction?

  1. Roger Penske (20 votes [29.41%])

    Percentage of vote: 29.41%

  2. Enzo Ferrari (48 votes [70.59%])

    Percentage of vote: 70.59%

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#1 nordschleife

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 04:32

Racing success is always the result of a team effort. That makes all team members racers. They must be funded, positioned, supplied, inspired and led. Obviously, Roger Penske and Enzo Ferrari have been uniquely, monstrously successful in achieving their ambitions throughout various series. No one man will ever do what they have done. But, setting aside their respective legacies, riddle me this ...

Who was the more successful racer in their lifetime: The Captain or the Commendatore?



The Captain

http://www.ultimater....php?uniqid=673
http://www.ultimater...php?raceid=6239


USRRC: champions 1967, 1968
CanAm: champions 1972, 1973
TransAm: champions 1968, 1969, 1971
Indycar: drivers champions x 12, teams/constructors champion x 6, Indy 500 winners x 15
F1: winner 1976 Austrian GP (Ferrari not present), best WDC total 7th, best WCC total 5th
Le Mans 24 hr: 41st 1971
Daytona 24 hr (World Endurance Sportscar): winner 1969
ALM LMP2: champions 2006, 2007
Sebring 12 hr: winner 2007
NASCAR Nationwide: champion 2010
Daytona 500: winner 2008
NASCAR Sprint Cup: champion 2012



The Commendatore

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=6N01ce9s1EI
http://www.grandprix.../con-ferra.html

Le Mans 24 h: winners x 12
Indy 500: 31st 1952
1000 km Buenos Aires: winners x 4
Carrera Panamericana: x 2
Daytona 3, 6, 12, 24 hr: winners
Sebring 12 hr: winners x 9
Nurburgring 1000 km: winners x 7
Spa Francorchamps enduro: winners x 6
Mille Miglia: winners x 17
Targa Florio: winners x 13
WC for Sportscars/equivalent: champions x 14+
F1: WDC x 8, WCC x 11 (to 1988)

contribution to Lancia's WRC championships?


No doubt these lists are incomplete. By all means, correct me.

Edited by nordschleife, 12 January 2013 - 05:00.


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#2 pingu666

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 04:49

I think i prefer roger as a person, enzo is more interesting, but for wrong reasons :/

#3 Rybo

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 05:09

If we are speaking purely on success it's a toss up, but if we are judging them in what they contributed then it has to be Enzo. His passion spawned one of the greatest racing/manufacturers.

#4 George Costanza

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 05:09

Let's wait until Roger is done with racing, or something...



#5 gm914

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 05:19

Sebring 12hr?

#6 404KF2

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 06:17

No brainer: Enzo. Penske is not in the same league because he did not run an important car company. Enzo's autobiography is definitely worth reading.

#7 George Costanza

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 06:24

If we are talking overall success, including cars, it's Enzo Ferrari by a mile. Only and probably Henry Ford can match.

#8 Sakae

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 08:11

I have nagging feeling that we are comparing apples and oranges, and the only common denominator between them is category of fruit. Contribution to racing by both men is enviable, and demands respect, but it is vastly different to be described in a simple post. I am not even sure how one can compare it. Ferrari (dynasty) is known world-wide, yet Penske, as I think, is known in US from his other transportation businesses as a man who is also involved in racing. Unfair, but most likely accurate.

I voted Enzo Ferrari, despite wanting more to vote on different level they should be treated equally with the same reverence, and vote for one should not diminish accomplishments of the other man.


#9 scheivlak

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 08:15

Sebring 12hr?

Yes, Ferrari won 9x before 1988.

#10 sesku

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 08:35

Ferrari for sure, Penske achievement mostly in North America, while Ferrari is worldwide. Nevertheless, Roger Penske still a great guy.

#11 wepmob2000

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 09:32


I voted Enzo, since his achievements were against far tougher competition, F1 teams used to win some of those U.S championships and races almost as a hobby when they were bored. This is a bit unfair though, since Roger Penske has never really bothered much with non-U.S competitions.

They're both motorsport legends, but it would probably be fairer to compare Ferrari with Bruce McLaren or Colin Chapman.... if they had had the longevity that Enzo Ferrari enjoyed.



#12 ensign14

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 09:45

In terms of racing, F1 triumphs all, so Enzo. Although the Commendatore vs Cosworth might be interesting...

#13 aditya-now

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 09:50

Racing success is always the result of a team effort. That makes all team members racers. They must be funded, positioned, supplied, inspired and led. Obviously, Roger Penske and Enzo Ferrari have been uniquely, monstrously successful in achieving their ambitions throughout various series. No one man will ever do what they have done. But, setting aside their respective legacies, riddle me this ...

Who was the more successful racer in their lifetime: The Captain or the Commendatore?



The Captain

http://www.ultimater....php?uniqid=673
http://www.ultimater...php?raceid=6239


USRRC: champions 1967, 1968
CanAm: champions 1972, 1973
TransAm: champions 1968, 1969, 1971
Indycar: drivers champions x 12, teams/constructors champion x 6, Indy 500 winners x 15
F1: winner 1976 Austrian GP, best WDC total 7th, best WCC total 5th
LeMans 24 hr: 41st
Daytona 24 hr (World Endurance Sportscar): winner
ALM LMP2: champions 2006, 2007, winner Sebring 12 hr 2007
NASCAR Nationwide: champion 2010
Daytona 500: winner
NASCAR Sprint Cup: champion 2012



The Commendatore

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=6N01ce9s1EI
http://www.grandprix.../con-ferra.html

LeMans 24 h: winners x 9 + (1/2/3/4?)
Indy 500: 31st
Daytona 3, 6, 12, 24 hr: winners
Nurburgring 1000 km: winners x 7 (+1?)
Spa Francorchamps enduro: winners x 6
Mille Miglia: winners x 18 (+?)
Targa Florio: winners x 13 (+?)
WC for Sportscars/equivalent: champions x 13 + (3?)
F1: WDC x 8, WCC x 11 (to 1988)

contribution to Lancia's WRC championships?


No doubt these lists are incomplete. By all means, correct me.


Imoressive lists, nordschleife, and thanks for taking the effort, it is quite interesting to analyze.

However, in terms of aura, presence, uniqueness and myth there is no one who will ever equal Enzo Ferrari.


#14 nordschleife

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 11:15

While this subjective comparison requires us to add weight to a win using the degree of difficulty perhaps a degree of delegation should be used to diminish the weight of a win where applicable. For example, being on the pit wall making the hard calls is a world apart from getting an overseas phone call Sunday night.

Edited by nordschleife, 14 January 2013 - 02:20.


#15 ForeverF1

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 12:00

While this subjective comparison requires us to add weight to a win using the degree of difficulty perhaps a degree of delegation should be used to diminish the weight of a win where applicable. For example, being on the pit wall making the hard calls is a world apart from getting an overseas phone call Sunday night.

:confused: Totally at a lost what you are saying here.

#16 Risil

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 12:10

:confused: Totally at a lost what you are saying here.


We should value an owner's achievements more whenever he had a hands-on role in his race team.

Much as I want to vote for Penske, Ferrari's world drivers' championships and Le Manses are unignorable.

Edited by Risil, 07 January 2013 - 12:11.


#17 ForeverF1

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 12:18

We should value an owner's achievements more whenever he had a hands-on role in his race team.

Much as I want to vote for Penske, Ferrari's world drivers' championships and Le Manses are unignorable.

That surly is a thread worthy of it's own.
Whether Roger or Enzo is No. 1, in the field of global racing, I would put Enzo ahead every time.

#18 noikeee

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 13:02

I'd like to go with Penske I really would, am not really a fan of good old late Enzo's personality at all and I don't think the comparison is fair because each specialized in their niches. But everywhere in the world the common man in the street doesn't dream to become rich so that he can buy a Penske.

#19 Risil

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 13:31

I'd like to go with Penske I really would, am not really a fan of good old late Enzo's personality at all and I don't think the comparison is fair because each specialized in their niches. But everywhere in the world the common man in the street doesn't dream to become rich so that he can buy a Penske.


Perhaps, but over the years Penske Racing has done a lot for the desirability of Camaros, Porsches and AMC Javelins.

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#20 ForeverF1

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 13:33

Perhaps, but over the years Penske Racing has done a lot for the desirability of Camaros, Porsches and AMC Javelins.

Whereas, Enzo, has been Ferrari, a global brand.

#21 teejay

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 14:35

I dont see why the need comparing

Ron Dennis vs Chip Ganassi?

Roger has done an incredible amount for motorsport, just because it happens to be non F1 doesnt make it any less impressive.

Given the categories and rule sets he has played in, Penske has always done rather well.

Also, his business activities are pretty successful - he is worth a billion or so.

He nearly become a manufacturer too - tried to buy Saturn off GM, but they had to turn it down as part of getting their US bail out dollars.

Edited by teejay, 07 January 2013 - 14:39.


#22 ForeverF1

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 14:40

I dont see why the need comparing

Ron Dennis vs Chip Ganassi?

Roger has done an incredible amount for motorsport, just because it happens to be non F1 doesnt make it any less impressive.

Given the categories and rule sets he has played in, Penske has always done rather well.


Obviously, some do need to compare. Are we talking about on a global platform who is number one?


#23 senna da silva

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 14:51

A tough comparison to make. Personally I think the only person alive right now that could be directly compared to Enzo would be Ron Dennis, due to the similarities in their career paths.
I have to give the nod to Enzo. Roger has excelled in America but Enzo has created a lasting and competive brand in the global sense, plus I feel that F1 accomplishments need to be weighted due to the competitveness of the series.

#24 teejay

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 14:53

Obviously, some do need to compare. Are we talking about on a global platform who is number one?


It isnt stated.

I could fairly assume this was who #1 in America if I wanted to.

On a global scale it is obvious who wins.

Once again I dont see why a comparo needs to happen, putting Roger 2nd for the sake of it doesnt give due respect for his contribution to the sport we love.

#25 nordschleife

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 15:33

I raise the question because it occurs to me, "Who is the greatest racer ever?" The aspect of greatness that is subjective or emotional is locked up by the Commendatore. Another aspect of greatness is who won more and what was the difficulty and value of that win. But of course when the arenas are different the comparison suffers. Is it justifiable that Ferrari didn't seriously take on the richest prize in racing? Not exactly a global point of view. Can Penske be described as all-in if he hasn't made every effort to win Le Mans or the WDC/WCC? When Ferrari wins became geographically widespread his presence at them had dwindled to next to nothing. Penske, on the other hand, despite building an vast commercial empire has always seemed to be present and deeply involved on race-day. To be fair, I don't doubt that almost every waking minute of Enzo's adult life was concerned with how to improve the Scuderia's chances of winning. Still ...
Maybe they shouldn't be compared but when you ask yourself who did more to bring about wins that are difficult and significant that begs an answer even if it makes your head hurt.

Edited by nordschleife, 09 January 2013 - 05:05.


#26 sopa

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 18:55

I agree with who said that it is like comparing apples and oranges. They were mostly competing in different spheres.

Enzo Ferrari and Colin Chapman would be a closer match. Both had a very successful F1 teams and also built up a company of sportscar production.

#27 scheivlak

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 23:03

IIs it justifiable that Ferrari didn't seriously take on the richest prize in racing? Not exactly a global point of view.

To think that the richest prize is also the biggest prize is a very narrow minded typically provincial US of A kind of view.

#28 jj2728

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 01:40

Perhaps, but over the years Penske Racing has done a lot for the desirability of Camaros, Porsches and AMC Javelins.


Yeah, but I've seen alot more Ferraris on the road than I have Penskes.

#29 nordschleife

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 06:01

To think that the richest prize is also the biggest prize is a very narrow minded typically provincial US of A kind of view.


Who said it was the biggest (i.e. best) prize? I will say it was the elephant in the room, however, and not just because the prize money dwarfed any offered elsewhere. Throughout much of Enzo Ferrari's career whenever there was action at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway it was reported worldwide and usually was the leading motor racing story of the day. And no wonder. During that period it certainly was "the Greatest Spectacle in Racing". The cutting edge of automotive science? Seldom, I suppose, but the power! If a random human knew the name of only one race it was the Indy 500. So if Brabham and Broadley and Chapman could do it why couldn't Ferrari? I'm sure he dismissed the subject claiming he simply wasn't interested. Understandably, he wouldn't do it without building the whole car so maybe the actual answer is engines. The cost, to be specific. He didn't have Ford's budget or Offenhauser's long development.




#30 scheivlak

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 07:40

Who said it was the biggest (i.e. best) prize? I will say it was the elephant in the room, however, and not just because the prize money dwarfed any offered elsewhere. Throughout much of Enzo Ferrari's career whenever there was action at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway it was reported worldwide and usually was the leading motor racing story of the day.

It wasn't.
At least here in continental Europe it was - in the 50s/60s/70s and certainly 80s - just a sideshow that hardly made the news.
Newspapers and other non-motorsports media hardly mentioned more than the winner and the number of deaths or severely wounded - if they mentioned the race at all.

Now Le Mans - that was something different!



#31 nordschleife

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 17:45

And yet the Automobile Club of Milan put their money where their customers' interest was and rebuilt Monza's American-style sustained-speed banked section. And brought the American stars and cars over to do battle with F1's stars in the Race of Two Worlds which must have been utterly fascinating to any race fan and extraordinary to anyone else. If the spectacle the Indy cars provided didn't impress then their domination of the results should have, to all but the most provincial, that is.
http://en.wikipedia....e_of_Two_Worlds
By the way, I've got some great news for Grootmoeder Luyendyk!

This is my microscopic quibble with the limitations Penske and Ferrari placed on themselves: In spite of having what appeared to be limitless capabilities they didn't/haven't taken on every challenge they could have. Not with the determination that has been their trademark. Why, I wonder. Lotus and Porsche were screwed by USAC. The ACO was no less capricious. Maybe they avoided costly debacles. Still, what if ...

Edited by nordschleife, 11 January 2013 - 17:21.