And the nominees are...

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Voting has closed for the 2016 Motor Sport Hall of Fame and we’re delighted to reveal the top three nominees you have chosen for each of the five categories. 

The new members will take their place in our exclusive club for motor racing heroes at a star-studded awards night at the Royal Automobile Club’s Woodcote Park estate in Surrey on Tuesday May 31. More than 25,000 votes have been cast to decide which great figures from the worlds of Formula 1, sports car racing, motorcycling, rallying and US motor sport will enter our Hall of Fame.

To find out how you can be there on the night to see who topped the polls, turn to page 80. For now, here are the 2016 Motor Sport Hall of Fame nominees, listed in alphabetical order for each category.

Formula 1

Mike Costin & Keith Duckworth

The clue is in their surnames. Together, they changed Grand Prix racing forever with the glorious DFV V8 engine that would win more than 150 races.

Gilles Villeneuve

‘Crazy diamond’ French-Canadian who lit up the Grand Prix scene and Ferrari all too briefly. The only real surprise is he’s not yet a member…

Professor Sid Watkins

F1’s late, much-loved doctor who contributed so much to driver safety from the late 1970s. His influence has stretched beyond his lifetime.

Sports cars

Derek Bell

Debonair five-time Le Mans winner and world champion who graced endurance racing through three decades. Remains a huge fan favourite.

Brian Redman

He’d argue (rightly) that he was much more than ‘just’ a sports car driver… But images of Lancashire’s finest in Gulf GT40s and 917s tend to linger.

Pedro Rodriguez

Drenched Brands Hatch BOAC 1000 in 1970 cemented the legend. Fierce, fast and brave – with a penchant for sporting a natty (and not very Mexican) deerstalker…

Motorcycling

Joey Dunlop

The stat – a record 26 Isle of Man TT wins – is only the tip of why he matters so much to the two-wheeled world, but also to his whole country. A genuine national hero.

Mike Hailwood

To many who saw him race, ‘Mike the Bike’ will always be the greatest. The comeback at the IoM after a decade away only embellished the legend.

Valentino Rossi

The record books have been at his mercy, but like all racing heroes it’s the style and manner of his approach that means the most. He’s transcended his sport.

Rallying

Richard Burns

England’s only world rally champion was the ice to Colin McRae’s fire. His loss through tragic illness at the age of just 34 remains keenly felt in rallying more than 10 years on.

Sébastien Loeb

Man or machine? The spirit that has taken him beyond nine WRC titles to Le Mans, Pikes Peak, the Dakar and now world rallycross suggests the former.

Hannu Mikkola

Stamped his mark in the ubiquitous Ford Escort, then led the four-wheel-drive revolution with a WRC title in the era-defining Audi Quattro.

US racing

Dan Gurney

At home in F1, sports cars, Can-Am, Indycars… Through five decades he’s been a benchmark in the cockpit and a charismatic leader for his sport out of it.

AJ Foyt

He won everything. The tough Texan isn’t to everyone’s taste, but the bullish personality belied silky skills to match anyone in just about any car.

Roger Penske

‘The Captain’ is approaching 80, but his energy and acumen for a deal – and the next race – remain undimmed. The single most important figure in American racing.

 

Awards time

– Luxury watchmaker Christopher Ward is the official timing partner of the Motor Sport Hall of Fame, which will feature a selection of great cars and star drivers at the Royal Automobile Club’s Woodcote Park on May 31.

– The afternoon Hall of Fame ‘Live’ event (details on page 80) will include a panel discussion with racing personalities. Motor Sport columnist Darren Turner is the latest to be added to a line-up that also includes Tom Kristensen and Derek Bell.

– The Donington Grand Prix Collection has offered a wonderful pair of racing cars to display in the grounds. The first is the Vanwall VW5 Tony Brooks shared with Stirling Moss to score a historic British Grand Prix win in 1957 at Aintree, marking the first world championship GP victory for a British-built car – and the last time F1 race spoils were shared by two drivers. Donington will also bring its 1969 BRM P139 in which John Surtees finished third in the United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen.

– Other confirmed displays include a pair of wonderful 1950s sports racers: the famous Jaguar C-type XKC005 in which Moss made history at Reims in 1952 by winning for the first time in a car fitted with disc brakes, and a glorious Ferrari 750 Monza.

– Straight Eight Logistics, the specialist in classic car transportation by land, sea and air, is the official transport partner for the 2016 Hall of Fame.

– We’re also delighted to confirm a new charity partner for the Hall of Fame. The Sean Edwards Foundation, created in memory of the late GT racer, campaigns for improved safety in motor sport and is supported by ambassadors such as former F1 test driver Susie Wolff and World Endurance Champion Brendon Hartley. Sean’s father, Guy Edwards, has kindly added to our line-up of racing cars with the famous Penthouse-liveried Hesketh 308 in which he made four Grand Prix starts during 1976.

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