The inaugural Motor Sport Hall of Fame evening took place in February 2010. In the US it has ever been the tradition to choose four inductees to a Hall of Fame each year and, with a sport as rich in heritage as motor racing, we hardly lack for choice. Eight founding members – Tazio Nuvolari, Enzo Ferrari, Juan Manuel Fangio, Stirling Moss, Jim Clark, Jackie Stewart, Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher – were adopted, and then, for the inaugural ceremony, we chose Mario Andretti, Jacky Ickx, Tony Brooks and Ron Dennis.
Read Rob Widdows’ review of the 2010 Hall of Fame evening.
In 2011, Sir Jack Brabham OBE, Sir Frank Williams CBE, Jody Scheckter and Dario Franchitti were all honoured with specially-made awards and TAG Heuer timepieces. However, before any of them were asked on stage, Lady Susie Moss presented her husband and founding HoF member Sir Stirling with a lovingly inscribed helmet for the 2011 racing season. Inside the traditional open-face helmet were the words, ‘Have fun, all my love, Susie’, complete with luck horseshoe. All went well on stage, but leading up to the event things hadn’t been quite so relaxed…
The Motor Sport Hall of Fame became 20-strong in 2012, with John Surtees, Adrian Newey, the late Colin McRae and the brilliant Giacomo Agostini inducted.
The fourth annual Motor Sport Hall of Fame event took place in 2013. As usual, we inducted some of racing’s greats into our exclusive club: Colin Chapman, Damon and Graham Hill, Niki Lauda and Tom Kristensen. The 2013 event had much more to offer than the annual ceremony.
The event was held in the Royal Opera House for the first time, and it turned out to be a fine venue for the start of our racing year. Outside, the place was adorned with two of lead sponsor Audi’s race cars: an R8 GT3 and one of last year’s R18 e-tron quattros, which were driven to victory at Le Mans, Silverstone and Bahrain. in 2013, and you can watch highlights of the evening
The most recent members were inducted at the 2014 event, held at the Royla Opera House. Engineer, technical director and team principal Ross Brawn, 1976 Formula 1 World Champion James Hunt, 20-time Isle of Man TT winner John McGuinness and four-time Formula 1 world champion Alain Prost joined the eight founding members and 17 previous inductees in the Motor Sport Hall of Fame.
2014 inductees John McGuinness, Ross Brawn, Tom Hunt (on behalf of his father James) and Alain Prost
Our charity sale with RM Auctions was again in aid of the Grand Prix Mechanics Trust, raising £23,000.
2015 has been a pause for breath for the Hall of Fame, but we expanded the concept beyond a glitzy VIP evening in London, beyond the pages or the magazine and website, and out to the people who matter most: our readers and visitors to the London Classic Car Show.
The display at the show turned the spotlight on our founding members, pillars of the sport’s history. The eight were represented by cars that played a major role in their stories., including the Benetton B193, the car in which Schumacher gave the first hint of the greatness to come.
Senna’s first Grand Prix victory was marked by the actual Lotus 97T he used to take the honours in the 1985 Portuguese Grand Prix while Stewart’s third title was represented by his blue Tyrrell 006.
Two cars wearing the Prancing Horse of Ferrari. inextricably linked to Grand Prix racing, joined the Hall of Fame display. The first was the Scuderia Ferrari Alfa Romeo P3 from 1934 in which Nuvolari, ‘The Flying Mantuan’, confirmed his status as the benchmark driver of his age, while the second was a 1952/53 Ferrari 500, Il Commendatore’s first World Championship winner.
The Ferrari was kindly loaned by Kevin Wheatcroft and his Donington Grand Prix Collection, whichalso offered the two great British cars that have been chosen to represent the careers of Fangio and Moss. The great Argentine raced the hugely complicated BRM V16 in 1953 and although the car proved unreliable, he was always positive about its potential.
Moss also drove the BRM, but had far greater success in the Vanwall. The car on show was the actual one Moss shared with Tony Brooks to win the British Grand Prix at Aintree in 1957, the first GP win for a British car.
Completing the inaugural Hall of Fame was another great British marque, one synonymous with the late Jim Clark: Lotus. The innovative Lotus 25, the first F1 racer built around a complete monocoque chassis, gave Clark his first GP wins in 1962 and his first title in 1963.
For 2016, the Motor Sport Hall of Fame will be split into categories to give equal chance to the full motor sport spectrum. The Formula 1 ‘long-list’ will be decided in the next podcast, expected to be available on Tuesday July 7, and you will then be able to cast your all-important vote. The remaining Hall of Fame categories – sports cars, the US scene, motorcycling and rallying – will open for voting following podcasts at carefully selected points later this year, and you can play a part in each.