Michael Andretti

Inducted 2011

He was born into one of the most prominent racing families, and he continued with his family’s tradition of success, both on and off the track in motorsport.

And for this success, Michael Andretti has been inducted into the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame as the 2012 International Category recipient.

A Pennsylvania native, Andretti never lived in the shadow of his iconic racing father Mario, proving he could drive his own race, and was a dominate racer in the PPG/CART IndyCar era. He won a record-setting 42 races in the open-wheel series, including a seven at the former Molson Indy between 1989 and 2001, another record he still maintains.

Starting in Formula Vee and Atlantic cars, the younger Andretti also competed at Le Mans before joining up with Kraco Racing in 1983. The next year he found racing in Canada to his liking, placing third at Sanair in Quebec.

He raced in the first three Molson Indy events in Toronto, starting in 1986 and with limited success, but after signing on with Newman/Hass, the team was a strong contender, placing in the top five all but three times from 1989 to 2000. He also had a stint at Formula One racing in a McLaren, which did not enhance his career at all.

After retiring from behind the wheel in 2003, Andretti became the major shareholder in the former Green Team, and changed the name to Andretti Green. As a team owner with drivers such as Dario Franchitti, Tony Kanaan, and Danica Patrick, he was successful, winning the IZOD IndyCar championship in 2004 and 2005, including the famous Indianapolis 500 in 2005.

Not content to stay behind the wall watching his team race, Andretti donned the driving gloves once again to compete, and drove in 2006 and 2007 with a third at Indy before taking up his place as team leader once again. He also watched the budding career of his son Marco, who has become an IndyCar star in his own right for the past several years under the tutelage of his father.

In 2009 the team’s name was changed again to Andretti Autosport, a year after he purchased the assets of the Toronto Indy, keeping this important race on the IndyCar schedule.

Andretti, who is Chairman, President, and CEO of Andretti Autosport, has property in Indianapolis and Florida, but retains a fondness for Canada.

“I’m extremely honoured to be inducted into the Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame,” he said recently. “Throughout my career, I’ve always considered Canada to be almost like my second home. The Canadian race fans have been some of the most supportive I’ve ever seen and I’m thrilled that almost a quarter of my career wins came on Canadian soil and in front of such enthusiastic fans.”

And in keeping with the Canadian theme, Andretti signed one of the series’ rising stars, James Hinchcliffe of Oakville, to drive one of the team Chevy Dallaras in the IZOD IndyCar Series this season.

Image courtesy of Gary Grant.

2012 CMHF GALA

Close to 300 Attend 18th Annual
Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame Gala

Close to 300 guests, the largest attendance in recent history , were on hand for the induction ceremonies of the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame’s 18th annual Hall of Fame Gala April 21, 2012 in Toronto.

Michael Andretti, who retired from active racing in 2003 to focus on team ownership and won 42 CART/Champ Car races in his 20-year racing career, including a record seven Toronto Indy victories was Inducted into the International Category along with seven Canadians.

The seven Canadians included : Dick Foley of Montreal, Quebec; Rudy Bartling of Courtrice, Ontario; Robin Edwardes, of L’Orignal, Ontario; Paul S Manson of Toronto, Ontario; Ben Docktor of Calgary, Alberta, Greg Sewart of Halifax, Nova Scotia and Norm Ellefson, who now lives in Spokane, Washington.

We are delighted to welcome Michael Andretti into the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame,” said Dr. Hugh Scully, Chairman of the Canadian Motorsport Heritage Foundation. “Two years ago the Hall of Fame introduced an international category at our annual induction gala to formally recognize non-Canadians who had made significant contributions to motorsports in Canada.

Besides entertaining thousands of race fans with his on-track performances in Canada over the years and holding the record for the most wins at the Toronto Indy, Michael Andretti’s contribution to the promotion of motorsports in Canada and to the development of Canadian drivers, is well established. ”
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