Emerson Fittipaldi, double Formula One World Champion, two-time Indy 500 winner and 1989 U.S. Indycar National Champion, will be the honoree for the 23rd annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, scheduled for March 9-11, 2018, at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida.
“Emerson Who?” was a question widely asked after the then 23-year-old Brazilian emerged victorious from just his fifth World Championship Formula One race, the 1970 U.S. Grand Prix at Watkins Glen, but it wasn’t asked for long. Within two years Fittipaldi had become the youngest F1 World Champion, setting a record that stood for 33 years. A second F1 crown followed in 1974, and there might have been more but family loyalty and patriotism led him to join his brother Wilson’s star-crossed Copersucar F1 project, and he never won another GP.
Having retired from Formula One after the 1980 season, he was lured back to active competition by Miami Grand Prix promoter Ralph Sanchez and took pole position for IMSA’s 1984 Miami Grand Prix. Within weeks he was back in major league open-wheel competition, driving Pepe Pombo’s March-Cosworth in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, and soon landed with Patrick Racing, one of the top Indycar teams. He won the 1989 Indy 500 and that year’s Indycar National Championship for Patrick, then switched to Penske Racing for which he won Indianapolis again in 1993.
“Emerson was the first of a new breed of racers,” said Bill Warner, founder and Chairman of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. “Born after the war, his path from karts to the World Championship and Indy’s Victory Lane has become the template for a generation of racing superstars.
“In a century, just five racers have won both the Formula One World Championship and the Indy 500,” Warner continued. “We’ve had five Indy 500 winners and two World Champions as Amelia Honorees, but ‘Emmo’ is the first who has scored motorsport’s ultimate ‘double.’ Having Emerson as our 2018 honoree is an unprecedented honor for ‘The Amelia’.”
For complete information, please visit www.ameliaconcours.org
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