Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti and legendary constructor and driver Bruce McLaren have been voted into the Auto Racing Hall of Fame by an esteemed panel of journalists, participants and historians.
The Auto Racing Hall of Fame at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum honors and celebrates individual contribution to the sport of automobile racing. It was founded in 1952 under the auspices of the Contest Board of the American Automobile Association (AAA) and was moved to the original IMS Museum in 1962.
The final verdict on 2017 inductees was selected from what was originally a 16-name list, and was announced on "Founders Day", the 108th anniversary of the day the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Company was officially formed.
Franchitti claimed 31 race victories in his Indy car career, winning the Indianapolis 500 in 2007, 2010 and 2012 and took four series championships in the space of five seasons, 2007-’11. He also shared the winning car in the 2008 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona.
Doug Boles, IMS president said: "Dario Franchitti's winning performances at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway are some of the most memorable in IMS history. His three wins in a five-race span, 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."
Bruce McLaren scored four Formula 1 wins as a driver, two Can-Am Series championships, and co-drove with New Zealand compatriot Chris Amon to conquer the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans in a Ford GT40.
However, it is as a designer, constructor and engineer, and founder of one of racing’s iconic marques that he is best known. His Formula 1 team has captured eight constructors’ and 12 drivers’ championships, took 56 Can-Am wins between ’67 and ’72, and McLarens have also won Le Mans 24 Hours and the 12 Hours of Sebring.
In Indy car terms, McLaren-mounted drivers took three Indianapolis 500 wins (Mark Donohue in 1972, Johnny Rutherford in ’74 and ’76) and two championships (Roger McCluskey in ’73, Tom Sneva in ’77).
Said Davidson: "Even decades after his passing, the name Bruce McLaren instantly conjures up vivid memories for racing enthusiasts around the world, whether they be for his Formula 1 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 compiled multiple Formula 1 constructor championships and Indianapolis 500 wins.”