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Ray Evernham wins prestigious awards for restoration of Mario Andretti’s rookie Indy Car

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Ray Evernham is a firm believer in what’s old can be new again.

That’s part of the reason why Evernham’s perfect restoration of Mario Andretti’s 1965 Brawner Hawk took top honors at the famed Amelia Island Concours D’Elegance.

Andretti drove the Brawner Hawk to both the 1965 USAC National Championship, as well as 1965 Rookie of the Year honors (finished third) at the Indianapolis 500.

Now, Evernham’s restoration of the car won Best in Class – Race Cars (1961-1967), as well as the Phil Hill Restorer’s Award. According to a media release, the Phil Hill award “is an award created to honor the artisan whose restoration of a classic, antique, historic or competition car is judged the best new restoration in its first concours appearance.”

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Ray Evernham and Jim McGee, former crew chief for Mario Andretti, worked together on restoring Andretti’s rookie Indy Car from 1965.

“From the historian’s point of view, Ray Evernham’s ’65 Brawner Hawk is a pivotally important car,” Bill Warner, founder and Chairman of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, said in a media release. “It crystalizes a moment of monumental change in American race car design and construction: a true ‘technological changing of the guard’ — the first American-built rear engine car to win the national championship.”

But the best is yet to come: Evernham’s winning restoration will appear at the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 in May. An added bonus: Andretti will get behind the wheel of his rookie Indy Car for the first time in a half-century.

“I’ve been a lifelong fan of Mario Andretti,” Evernham said. “I watched him race growing up and have always admired his talent, his business leadership, his commitment to philanthropy and his passion for the sport.

“To be able to restore his rookie Indy Car was truly a special opportunity. I can’t thank (Andretti’s crew chief in 1965) Jim McGee enough for leading the restoration of the car and am thrilled the Brawner Hawk was not only recognized for its historical significance but also for all of the effort Jim and the team put into it.”

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Valtteri Bottas fastest in Friday F1 practices for Russian Grand Prix

F1 Sochi Valtteri Bottas
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SOCHI, Russia — Valtteri Bottas paced both F1 practices Friday for the Russian Grand Prix on Friday as Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton was slowed by damaged tires in the first session.

Bottas turned a fast lap of 1 minute, 33.519 seconds in the second session that bettered Hamilton’s 1:33.786.

Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo was more than a second behind Bottas in third at 1:34.577, followed by the McLaren Racing duo of Carlos Sainz Jr. (1:34.723) and Lando Norris (1:34.847).

In the first F1 session at Sochi, Valtteri Bottas set the pace with a time of 1 minute, 34.923 seconds, beating Ricciardo by half a second. Max Verstappen was third quickest in his Red Bull, a further 0.147 back.

Hamilton could only manage 19th fastest after locking up his tires and leaving them with a flat spot. Ferrari again struggled to find pace with Sebastian Vettel ninth and Charles Leclerc 11th.

HISTORY IN SIGHTLewis Hamilton aims to tie Michael Schumacher’s record

The first session was briefly red-flagged when Nicholas Latifi crashed his Williams. Carlos Sainz Jr. spun his McLaren backward into a barrier and broke off his rear wing.

Verstappen spun during the second session but avoided damage to his car.