Chris Amon dies aged 73 after battle with cancer

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Racing legend Chris Amon has died at the age of 73 following a battle with cancer, his family has confirmed.

Hailing from New Zealand, Amon is widely regarded as being one of the greatest Formula 1 drivers never to win a world championship grand prix.

Amon made his debut in 1963 at the age of 19, and went on to race with Ferrari, March and Matra across a 13-year stint in the sport.

Amon won a handful of non-championship F1 races, but enjoyed his most noted success in sportscars, winning the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans with Ford alongside Bruce McLaren, as well as the Daytona 24 Hours and Monza 1000km in 1967 with Ferrari.

Amon retired from racing in 1978, but continued to follow motorsport closely until his death.

“Chris battled cancer in recent years but retained not only a close interest in Formula One – and his very wide range of favourite topics – but also his wonderful sense of humor, complete with infectious chuckle,” a statement from his family read on Wednesday.

Tributes to Amon have poured in, with McLaren CEO Ron Dennis paying tribute to the New Zealander in a statement.

“It was with profound sadness that I heard the news this morning that Chris Amon had passed away,” Dennis said.

“Chris started 96 Grands Prix but won not one of them – and it is safe to say that he was the greatest racing driver never to have won a race at the very highest level.He nearly won a fair few, but always it seemed that his luck would run out before he saw the chequered flag.

“He nearly won a fair few, but always it seemed that his luck would run out before he saw the checkered flag.

“However, he won at Le Mans, in a mighty 7.0-litre Ford, exactly 50 years ago, his co-driver his friend and fellow Kiwi, Bruce McLaren, whose name still graces the team to which I have devoted my working life.

“I have not met Chris for many years, but, even so, I have extremely fond memories of him, and indeed I would describe him as one of the most likeable men I have met in my long racing career.

“For all those reasons I want to take this opportunity to extend the heartfelt sympathies of all 3300 of us at McLaren to the family and friends of a great New Zealander, a true gentleman, and one of the fastest racing drivers there ever was: the one and only Christopher Arthur Amon.

“May he rest in peace.”

SuperMotocross set to introduce Leader Lights beginning with the World Championship finals


In a continuing effort to help fans keep track of the on track action, SuperMotocross is in the process of developing and implementing leader lights for the unified series.

Currently Supercross (SMX) utilizes stanchions in the infield that are triggered manually by a race official. At least two stanchions are used in each race as a way to draw the eye to the leader, which is especially useful in the tight confines of the stadium series when lapping often begins before the halfway mark in the 22-bike field. This system has been in place for the past two decades.

Later this year, a fully automated system will move to the bike itself to replace the old system. At that point, fans will be able to identify the leader regardless of where he is on track.

The leader lights were tested in the second Anaheim round this year. An example can be seen at the 1:45 mark in the video above on the No. 69 bike.

“What we don’t want to do is move too fast, where it’s confusing to people,” said Mike Muye, senior director of operations for Supercross and SMX in a press release. “We’ve really just focused on the leader at this point with the thought that maybe down the road we’ll introduce others.”

Scheduled to debut with the first SuperMotocross World Championship race at zMax Dragway, located just outside the Charlotte Motor Speedway, a 3D carbon fiber-printed LED light will be affixed to each motorcycle. Ten timing loops positioned around the track will trigger the lights of the leader, which will turn green.

SMX’s partner LiveTime Scoring helped develop and implement the system that has been tested in some form or fashion since 2019.

When the leader lights are successfully deployed, SuperMotocross will explore expanding the system to identify the second- and third-place riders. Depending on need and fan acceptance, more positions could be added.

SuperMotocross is exploring future enhancements, including allowing for live fan interaction with the lights and ways to use the lighting system during the race’s opening ceremony.