The newest inductees into the Auto Racing Hall of Fame at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum are legendary driver and constructor Bruce McLaren and three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti.
New Zealander McLaren was a highly successful driver, designer, constructor and engineer, whose name lives on in the eponymous Formula One team that has captured eight constructors championships and 12 drivers titles. As a driver McLaren won four Formula One races, two Can-Am championships, and shared victory in the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans with fellow Kiwi Chris Amon, and the 1967 12 Hours of Sebring with Mario Andretti.
“Even decades after his passing, the name Bruce McLaren instantly conjures up vivid memories for racing enthusiasts around the world,” explained IMS historian Donald Davidson, “whether they be for his Formula One driving days; for his analytical approach to racing; his decision to start up his own marque, when he could well have continued to drive for other people; his utter dominance, along with fellow New Zealander Denis Hulme of the Can-Am series in the late 1960s; or for the legendary organizations he left behind which has compiled multiple Formula One constructor championships and Indianapolis 500 wins.”
The Scottish-born Franchitti won 31 races during his illustrious Indycar career, including a trio of Indianapolis 500 victories in 2007 (above, Jim Hatfield photo), 2010 and 2012. He also won four IndyCar series championships (2007, 2009, 2010, 2011) and lost a fifth, in 1999, on a tie-breaker. Franchitti also was part of the winning team at the 2008 Rolex 24 at Daytona.
“Dario Franchitti’s winning performances at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway are some of the most memorable in IMS history,” said J. Douglas Boles, IMS president. “His three wins in a five-race space, coupled with four front row starts and six top-seven finishes in just 10 starts prove Dario understood how to compete at IMS. In addition, Dario was a fan favorite because of the combination of his mastery in the car coupled with his understanding and appreciation of the history of the Indianapolis 500. He, more than most, will understand the honor of becoming a member of the Auto Racing Hall of Fame.”
The two inductees were chosen from a ballot of 16 nominees, seven of whom received at least 50 percent of the vote. A nominee needed to be named on 75 percent of the ballots, or finish first in his or her voting category, to be inducted.
The Auto Racing Hall of Fame at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum honors and celebrates individual contributions to the sport of automobile racing. It was founded in 1952 under the auspices of the Contest Board of the American Automobile Association (AAA). The Hall of Fame was moved to the original Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum in 1962 under the direction of then-Speedway president Anton “Tony” Hulman.