Impressive weekend for ex-F1 drivers across the board

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Formula One’s cut-throat nature means that in recent years many capable drivers have fallen by the wayside and been forced out of the sport due to a lack of finance or for simply being too old. However, this weekend has proven that there is life after F1 as a number of drivers have thrived in other series.

On Saturday, former Sauber, Williams and Lotus driver Nick Heidfeld claimed his first win at Petit Le Mans as a curtain was drawn over the American Le Mans Series at Road Atlanta. Driving for Rebellion Racing, the German driver was part of the victorious three man team that also comprised of Nicolas Prost (son of F1 legend Alain) and Neel Jani, both of whom claimed their second successive Petit Le Mans win. Heidfeld raced in 183 grands prix, finishing on the podium thirteen times without managing to win a race.

An early start on Sunday saw a number of former Formula One drivers racing in the latest round of the World Endurance Championship at the 6 Hours of Fuji in Japan. However, just sixteen laps were completed due to torrential rain and the race was eventually red flagged with over three hours left on the clock. This handed Toyota their first win of the season with former Williams drivers Alexander Wurz and Kazuki Nakajima piloting the winning car and three-time Le Mans winner and former Toyota driver Allan McNish finishing in second place. Gianmaria Bruni and Giancarlo Fisichella finished second in the GTE Pro class whilst Bruno Senna was victorious with Aston Martin Racing in the GTE Am race.

Finally, former Toyota and Virgin (now Marussia) driver Timo Glock claimed his first win in the German touring car championship, DTM. The German driver took advantage of the wet conditions at Hockenheim to win the final race of the season and cap off a memorable debut year in the championship.

Chip Ganassi to be honored in Petersen Museum exhibit

Joe Skibinski / IndyCar
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This Saturday, the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles will debut a new exhibit honoring one of the most successful teams in American motorsports.

Titled “Chip Ganassi Racing: Fast Tracks to Success | 30th Anniversary Tribute,” the exhibit will display several significant cars, trophies, and other artifacts from CGR’s storied racing history. Ganassi will formally be honored April 15, 2020 at the Petersen’s Annual Racers Night before the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Dario Franchitti’s 2010 Dallara IR-05. Photo Kahn Media

Vehicles displayed in the exhibit will include the 1983 Patrick Wildcat MK9B raced by Chip Ganassi to his best finish in the Indianapolis 500, the Lexus-powered Riley MK X1 raced by Scott Dixon in the 2006 24 Hours of Daytona, the Dallara IR-05 driven to victory by Dario Franchitti in the 2010 Indianapolis 500, the Ford GT that finished first in the LM GTE category at the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 driven by Kurt Busch in the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series.

“Chip Ganassi is an influential member of the automotive community, and his team’s penchant for success is a reflection of his raw skill and passion for the sport,” said Petersen Automotive Museum Executive Director Terry L. Karges. “Complemented by a visually dynamic and compelling 180-degree video, ‘Chip Ganassi Racing’ will celebrate the team’s victories and tell its story while taking visitors on a trip down memory lane.” 

“Chip Ganassi Racing: Fast Tracks to Success | 30th Anniversary Tribute” will run through January 31, 2021. The museum will host a ticketed opening reception on December 13. More information on the Petersen Museum can be found at www.petersen.org.

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