Legends of Motorsports co-founder Bobby Rahal was a frequent rival of Andretti in the course of their respective, storied careers. The three-time CART champion and 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner said this about his long-time respected nemesis, “Mario Andretti is one of the most formidable race car drivers to ever live. No matter what the series, his talent and determination made him a threat to win every time. It’s an honor to have him celebrated at the inaugural Legends of Motorsports event at Barber Motorsports Park.”
Andretti is one of only two drivers to win races in Formula One, IndyCar, World Sportscar Championship and NASCAR. He also won numerous races in other racing disciplines including midget cars and sprint cars. During his career, Andretti won four IndyCar titles, the 1978 Formula One World Championship, the 1974 USAC Dirt Track Championship and IROC VI. To date, he remains the only driver ever to win the Indianapolis 500 (1969), Daytona 500 (1967) and the Formula One World Championship. No American has won a Formula One race since Andretti’s victory at the 1978 Dutch Grand Prix. All told, Andretti amassed 111 career wins on major circuits.
In addition to on-track competition, the Legends of Motorsports event at Barber will also include a charity gala on the evening of Saturday, May 22, at the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum, featuring Andretti as its honored guest. The museum houses one of the world’s largest collections of Lotus race cars. Much of Andretti’s Formula One glory came behind the wheel of Lotus entries. Lotus also will serve as the official marque for the Legends of Motorsports weekend.
Barring overriding obligations at Indianapolis 500 qualifications, Andretti will be a highly visible part of Legends of Motorsports race day activities at Barber on Sunday, May 23, including leading a featured Lotus race.
For more information, visit www.hmpseries.com.
[Source: Legends of Motorsport; photo credit, Hal Crocker]