Mario Andretti’s twin brother Aldo dies aged 80

Former racer Aldo Andretti, who was an intrinsic part of his twin brother Mario’s early ventures into motorsport, has died at the age of 80.

Mario Andretti’s twin brother Aldo dies aged 80

The four-time Indy car champion and 1978 F1 World Champion sent a message by Twitter:

“Aldo Andretti, my loving twin brother, my partner in crime and my faithful best friend every day of my life was called to heaven last night. Half of me went with him. There is no eloquence. I'm shaken to my core.”

 

After the family moved from Montona, Italy (now Motovun, Croatia) to America in June 1955, Aldo and Mario took with them their strong memories of witnessing the Mille Miglia and the Italian GP at Monza: it would prove to be the foundation of their dream to enter motorsports.

The pair were thrilled to discover a half-mile dirt oval in the town where their parents elected to settle, Nazareth, Pennsylvania.

After Aldo and Mario scored A-grades in English and mathematics, they worked part-time at a local gas station and saved their earnings to spend on rebuilding a 10-year-old Hudson into a racecar, and they shared driving duties.

Almost immediately they started winning at Nazareth Speedway despite their lack of points from the previous season forcing them to start from the back of the field. Suitably encouraged, they started trailering the Hudson further afield – Flemington, NJ and Hatfield, PA – all unbeknown to their father Gigi.

Then Aldo suffered a huge accident at Hatfield while running third in a heat race. His right-front wheel caught a protruding plank in the ‘safety’ fence which flipped the car into the air and when it landed the roof and rollbar gave way. Aldo’s helmet cracked in the accident and he was taken to hospital and fell into a coma.

Mario, who kept vigil by his bedside, finally had to come clean with his father about their racing activities. When Aldo came around 10 days later, he discovered his concussion was so severe that he had to learn to walk again.

In fact, throughout 1960, Mario was the only driver in their new (old!) racecar as Aldo continued to recover. Finally at the end of the year, Aldo felt ready to try driving at competition speed once again, but at Nazareth Speedway on his second outing since the accident, he suffered another heavy accident on the backstraight. Although this time he suffered nothing worse than a broken finger, Aldo’s aspirations for a frontline racing career were over. He would, however, continue on the sprint car trail until another accident in 1969.

Aldo remained a major racing enthusiast however, and thereafter regularly attended races, supporting his brother’s activities. Nor was it any surprise that two of his five children, Adam and John, went into racing. Adam most recently competed in Stadium Super Trucks and Trans-Am, while John had a successful career in Indy cars, IMSA and NASCAR. John succumbed to colon cancer in January this year.

Even after John retired, Aldo was a regular at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, supporting his nephew Michael and Michael’s son, Marco. The latter tweeted:

"RIP uncle Aldo. One of the toughest guys I have ever met. I have never heard him complain, a trait that he passed down to John. Always so positive and upbeat and raised an amazing side of our Andretti family.”

 

Andretti Autosport issued a statement: “It is with the deepest condolences we share that Aldo Andretti departed this life Wednesday evening in Indianapolis, Indiana. Aldo was born February 28, 1940 and passed peacefully with a heart full of love and spirit. 

Born in Montona, Italy, Aldo and his family emigrated to the United States in 1955 and he and twin brother Mario went on to become the start of the greatest racing dynasty in history. 

Though Aldo’s life took a different direction than brother Mario’s, Aldo forever shared a passion for racing and was a true motor enthusiast and entrepreneur. He could often still be found on the racing circuit supporting and following the careers of the family. 

Nothing mattered more to Aldo than family, and it brought him great pride to share his life with wife and high-school sweetheart Corky and their five children Carolyn, Mark, John, Mary Jo and Adam.”

Mario and Aldo Andretti at Indy in 1965, the year in which Mario won Rookie of the Year and finished third.

Mario and Aldo Andretti at Indy in 1965, the year in which Mario won Rookie of the Year and finished third.

shares
comments
Coyne: Driver line-up will be “wrapped up by mid-January”
Previous article

Coyne: Driver line-up will be “wrapped up by mid-January”

Next article

St Pete IndyCar Grand Prix postponed to April

St Pete IndyCar Grand Prix postponed to April
Load comments
Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021 Prime

Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021

In an enthralling 2021 IndyCar campaign, the series bounced back from its COVID-19 truncated year prior and series sophomore Alex Palou defeated both the established order and his fellow young guns to clinch a maiden title. It capped a remarkable season with plenty of standout performers

IndyCar
Nov 22, 2021
How Marcus Ericsson finally unlocked his potential in IndyCar Prime

How Marcus Ericsson finally unlocked his potential in IndyCar

Marcus Ericsson enjoyed a breakout year in the IndyCar Series in 2021, winning twice and finishing sixth in points with Chip Ganassi Racing. How did he finally unlock the potential that was masked by five years of toil in Formula 1 with Caterham and Sauber/Alfa Romeo?

IndyCar
Nov 16, 2021
Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing win Prime

Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing win

Saturday, Oct. 16th, marks the 10th anniversary Dan Wheldon’s death. David Malsher-Lopez pays tribute, then asks Wheldon’s race engineer from 2011, Todd Malloy, to recall that magical second victory at the Indianapolis 500.

IndyCar
Oct 16, 2021
Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up? Prime

Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up?

Jack Harvey’s move to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing sparked plenty of debate, but their combined strength could prove golden, says David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Oct 15, 2021
Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting Prime

Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting

Kyle Kirkwood, the record-setting junior formula driver, sealed the Indy Lights championship last weekend. But despite an absurdly strong résumé and scholarship money, his next move is far from clear. By David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Oct 6, 2021
2021 IndyCar title is just the start for Ganassi's newest star Prime

2021 IndyCar title is just the start for Ganassi's newest star

Alex Palou has captured Chip Ganassi Racing's 14th IndyCar drivers' championship, and in truly stellar manner. David Malsher-Lopez explains what made the Palou-Ganassi combo so potent so soon.

IndyCar
Sep 28, 2021
Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar Prime

Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar

One of motorsport’s worst-kept secrets now out in the open, and Romain Grosjean has been confirmed as an Andretti Autosport IndyCar driver in 2022. It marks a remarkable turnaround after the abrupt end to his Formula 1 career, and is a firm indication of his commitment to challenge for the IndyCar Series title  

IndyCar
Sep 24, 2021
IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch Prime

IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch

The 2021 IndyCar silly season is one of the silliest of all, but it’s satisfying to see so many talented drivers in play – including Callum Ilott. David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Sep 11, 2021