Thursday, 26 September 2013

The Andrettis - A motorsport dynasty

Mario and Marco Andretti
You can't possibly call yourself a motorsport fan if you haven't heard of Mario Andretti. The legend has won in everything from NASCAR to Formula one and is widely regarded as one of the best drivers the world has ever seen. But Mario is just one of many is a family that oozes history and success.

Mario's twin brother Aldo began racing at the same time
as his brother, the pair rebuilding a Hudson Hornet together before winning two races each in just four weeks. But whilst Mario would go on to become one of the best known figures in world motorsport, Aldo would retire aged just 29 after suffering 14 facial fractures in an accident in a sprint car race.

Mario kept racing though, going on to claim a Formula One title, an IndyCar title plus wins in the Daytona 500, Indy 500 and a class win at Le Mans before retiring in 1994.

Aldo's children Adam and John clearly weren't put off and they both began careers as drivers with varied levels of success.
John Andretti

Whilst John won races in NASCAR and Champcar, Adam's racing career never really got off the ground, only making one start in the second tier Indy Lights series.

Michael and Jeff Andretti, both sons of Mario also followed the family tradition by venturing into the world of motorsport and whilst Jeff's career never reached the heights of his father's, Michael went on to secure an IndyCar title, and a podium in a short and ill-fated venture into Formula One with McLaren.

Michael Andretti
Since he retired from full time competition in 2003, Michael Andretti has gone on to become a hugely successful team owner in IndyCar and it's various feeder series. Andretti Autosport as it is now known has won four IndyCar titles, including the 2012 championship with Ryan Hunter-Reay.He's also a successful promoter and was instrumental in the return of Milwaukee to the IndyCar calendar.

Currently, the only Andretti racing full time is Marco Andretti, son of Michael and grandson of Mario.

Since making his debut in 2006, Marco has won two IndyCar races and claimed four pole positions. the 2013 season looks set to be his strongest yet. He currently sits fourth int he IndyCar standings with three races remaining.

Aged 26, Marco has many years ahead of him and 

Michael Andretti also has another son, Lucca and also recently announced he was expecting twins with his wife Jodi, so who knows, we could be seeing yet another Andretti in Victory Lane soon.

Other Famous motorsport families


The Pettys

Richard Petty

Legends in the world of NASCAR, the Petty legend began in 1959 with Lee Petty winning the first ever Daytona 500 before going on to win three championships. Next was his son Richard who went on to win a record 200 races and a record equalling seven championships. His son Kyle also became a NASCAR driver. He won eight races over his 30 year career, competing in close to 1000 top level races in that time. Kyles son Adam looked set to become the next great Petty in 1999. However, his career was tragically cut short a year later when he died in a practice crash in New Hampshire.


The Hills

Graham Hill

The only family to have two generations of F1 champions, Graham winning in 1962 and 1968 and his son Damon taking the crown in 1996. Graham is also the only driver to win the Indianapolis 500, The 24 Hours Of Le Mans and the Formula One World Championship. Damon's son Josh was set to follow in his father's footsteps after competing in Ginetta Juniors, Formula Ford, Formula Renault and Formual 3 before opting for a music career in July 2013.


The Schumachers

Mick Schumacher

Not much really needs to be said about the Schumachers. Michael Schumacher, quiet and often controversial, holds just about every record in Formula One history whilst brother Ralf has six wins, six poles and 27 podiums in F1 as well as a pole position in DTM. Michael's son Mick currently races in karts with the seven time champion having high hopes for him in the future.


The Earnhardts

Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Jr.

Ralph Earnhardt was the first driver for this iconic family, making his NASCAR debut in 1956. Whilst he never managed to win any races at the top level of NASCAR competition, his son Dale would go on to become one of the greatest, most feared drivers inthe history of the sport. Known as 'The Intimidator', Dale won 76 races in27 years and also won seven chapionships. Sadly, he died in 2001 after crashing out of the last lap of that year's Daytona 500. His sons Kerry and Dale Jr. also became NASCAR drivers. Kerry's 10 year career in NASCARs three top levels failed to yeild a single victory whereas Dale Jr. won two NASCAR Busch series titles in 1998 and 1999, the DAytona 500 in 2004 and still competes to this day. Jeffrey Earnhardt, son of Kerry, made his NASCAR debut in 2009.

Images have been taken from various sources across the internet. No copyright infringement is intended and any images can be imediatley removed upon request

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