The doors are open to the 2016 Motor Sport Hall of Fame – and it’s up to you to decide which great figures from the past and present pass through them to join our exclusive club for racing heroes
For the first time, we are asking readers to determine who should join the 29 current members of the Hall of Fame, which was founded in 2010. On May 31, during a ceremony at the Royal Automobile Club, Woodcote Park, nr Epsom, Surrey, there will be five awards representing F1, sports car racing, motorcycling, rallying and US motor sport. Voting began with Formula 1 and Motor Sport’s podcast team followed up with sports car and rally stars before moving on to motorcycle riders and, now, the last but by no means least of our five categories: the US scene. Log on to our website to decide which of the adjacent names will enter the Hall of Fame from the world of US motor sport, joining past inductees Mario Andretti and Dario Franchitti.
As versatile a racer as the sport has known. Pivotal to Penske’s growth.
Simon Arron: “He won US Road Racing Championships, Trans-Am titles, scored Penske’s first Indy 500 win, Penske’s first NASCAR win, competed in F1 and was no mean engineer.”
Dale Earnhardt Sr
Won seven NASCAR titles, equalling the record of fellow legend Richard Petty.
Nigel Roebuck: “We’ve talked about various NASCAR drivers, but we can’t put together a list without Dale Earnhardt’s name on it.”
Raced roadsters in the ’50s, still active in the ’90s… and shared victory at Le Mans in ’67 between times.
Dario Franchitti: “He’s won everything and was the first four-time Indy 500 winner. Very few people are bigger than the sport, but…”
Bill France Sr and Jr
France Mk1 took part in the first Daytona beach race, in 1936, but is better known for developing NASCAR – a role his son continued from 1972.
Dario Franchitti: “Promoters get a hard, hard time – particularly in the States. We saw how single-seater racing over there got messed up, but the France family took a small regional sport and made it what it is today.”
Four-time NASCAR champion. Could also perhaps have made it in F1…
Damien Smith: “He was a blue-eyed Californian coming through, the antithesis of everything Dale Earnhardt stood for, and he was brilliant. He symbolised NASCAR’s move into the modern age.”
A winner of many things as a driver – and also as a team owner.
Nigel Roebuck: “At his son’s funeral, Jim Clark’s father told Dan that he’d been the rival Jimmy most feared…”
Dario Franchitti: “He’s got to be on the list simply because he’s Dan Gurney.”
The first driver to average 150mph around Indy. Won the 500 in 1963.
Nigel Roebuck: “I spoke to Jackie Stewart about racing at Indianapolis and asked him who was the best. He said, ‘Parnelli, without any shadow of a doubt. His driving was like silk.’ There was no one else like him.”
Four Indy 500 wins and three titles, but that’s only a small part of his story. Nigel Roebuck: “I spoke to people who ran his F1 test with Brabham. Herbie Blash still refers to him as the great lost world champion. He jumped into a car and went quicker than Nelson Piquet…”
Dario Franchitti: “I spent a day driving around LA with him and learned so much. Unfortunately that was towards the end of my career. I thought, ‘Where have you been?’”
Gifted racer, all-conquering team owner.
Damien Smith: “He’s the biggest and most important figure of the past 50 years in American motor sport.”
Dario Franchitti: “He is also my local car dealer – in Edinburgh!”
Known as ‘The King’, and with good reason. Active from 1958-1992.
Nigel Roebuck: “You can’t have an A-list of American drivers that doesn’t feature Richard Petty. People might say racing wasn’t as competitive back then, and perhaps it wasn’t, but 200 wins…”
Al Unser Sr
Took part in more than 300 top-level single-seater races over 30 years and won the Indy 500 on four occasions.
Simon Arron: “Given everything the family has achieved over the years, we have to include at least one Unser. I’ll go for Al Sr.”
Damien Smith: “You could also make strong cases for Bobby and Al Jr.”
Old-school NASCAR favourite who notched up 69 poles and 83 wins.
Simon Arron: “There’s a school of thought that his trackside punch-up with Bobby Allison increased NASCAR’s popularity tenfold, but he did also win three titles and four Daytona 500s, among other things.”