Filed under: Classic News |
MARIO ANDRETTIOne of the legends of motor sport, Mario Andretti is the latest star to confirm his attendance at the GPlive event at Donington Park in May. The 1978 Formula One World Champion and Indianapolis 500 winner is set to be reunited with one of his JPS Lotus cars at the event and is looking forward to meeting his many British fans. “We are absolutely delighted that one of the most popular, approachable and eloquent drivers in the history of the sport has agreed to join GPlive. It is a huge complement to the event in its inaugural year” says event organizer Richard Morgan. “Perhaps more than any other driver in the sport’s history, Mario is a legend and an icon. GPlive is all about meeting your heroes, Mario is certainly a hero of mine!” The Andretti story is truly the stuff of legends. Born in Montona, Italy in 1940, Mario and his family emigrated to America at the age of 15. Not however, before becoming hooked on motor racing, when he and twin brother Aldo climbed the fence at Monza to watch their hero Alberto Ascari in the Italian Grand Prix. When the Andretti family arrived in Nazareth, Pennsylvania in 1955, they were penniless immigrants, but the two boys immediately began to haunt the local race track and within four years built their own car, to race on the oval track. For Mario it was the start of an amazing career. The 1978 Formula One World Champion remains one of the most successful and versatile drivers in the sport’s history. In addition to 12 Grand Prix victories, he won the Indianapolis 500, the Daytona 500 NASCAR event, endurance sports car events and the Pikes Peak Hillclimb. His winning total stands at 111 victories and he has the unique distinction of being given top accolades in five different decades. He was voted US Driver of the Year in the 60s, 70s and 80, Driver of the Quarter Century in the 1990s and Associated Press named him Driver of the Century in January 2000.