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.”

X44 Racing win 2022 Extreme E championship as Abt Cupra score first race victory

2022 Extreme E Uruguay
Extreme E
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Abt Cupra Racing’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and Klara Andersson scored their first win in the Extreme E Energy X Prix in the 2022 finale in Uruguay as Lewis Hamilton’s X44 Vida Carbon Racing drivers Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez survived a chaotic finale to edge the 2021 champion Rosberg X Prix team of Johan Kristoffersson and Mikhaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky, by two points.

“There are so many emotions,” Andersson said in Extreme E’s coverage. “I’ve been waiting for this for so long. In my second race, first full weekend to be at the top of the podium: it’s big.”

Andersson was behind the wheel at the finish.

Rosberg Racing entered the event with a 17-point advantage over X44, but the standings were close enough that four teams remained in contention in Round 5.

“It’s a crucial weekend for us,” Loeb said in Extreme E’s coverage prior to the race. “We are not in the best position to win the championship, but the only thing we can do is try to win the race and score as many points as possible.”

The top two title contenders each crashed in qualification and were relegated to the Crazy Race, Extreme E’s version of the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ). For the moment, they had the steepest hill to climb, but then the other two championship contending teams, Chip Ganassi Racing and Acciona Sainz Racing failed to advance from their heats.

Only one team advances from the Crazy Race, so the X44 drivers were in a must-win situation to simply keep hope alive.

More: Extreme E 2023 schedule

Ahlin-Kottulinsky and Gutierrez ran wheel to wheel into the first turn at the start of the LCQ.

The Rosberg racer experienced crash damage in that turn that damaged her front steering, but managed to limp back to the pits at the end of her two-lap stint. The team attempted to fix the steering, but incurred a penalty for having too many mechanics in the pit area.

Meanwhile, Gutierrez took the early lead, but knew she would need to sit through a five-second penalty for an incident earlier in the weekend. The female half of the gender equal pair erased the penalty by entering the Switch Zone with a five-second lead before turning the car over to Loeb.

That was all the nine-time World Rally Championship titlist needed to give him the advantage needed to win the Crazy Race.

But the championship was not over yet. X44 Racing needed to finish third or better in the five-car finale to earn enough points for the title and after advancing from the LCQ, they were forced to take the worst grid position.

A chaotic start to the Finale saw Loeb run as high the lead and low as fourth after getting pushed off course during his first lap. And that is how he entered to Switch Zone.

On her first lap, Gutierrez slammed into Molly Taylor. With one lap remaining, X44 and Gutierrez were still in fourth and the title hope was quickly evaporating, but it was announced halfway through the lap that the third-running Andretti United team would suffer a penalty for a Switch Zone infraction. The seven-second deduction for Timmy Hansen braking too late in the zone made the difference in the title.

Coming off a disappointing Copper X Prix when Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour crossed under the checkers first, but were relegated to fifth by penalty, the McLaren pair scored their first podium of the season in second.