Aldo Andretti, twin brother of Mario, dies at 80

Aldo Andretti dies
Andretti Autosport/Indianapolis Monthly/Tony Valainis

Aldo Andretti, the twin brother of auto racing legend Mario Andretti and father of the late John Andretti, died Wednesday night at 80, according to a release from Andretti Autosport.

The IndyCar team said Aldo Andretti “passed peacefully with a heart full of love and spirit.”

In a tweet Thursday afternoon, Mario Andretti wrote that “Aldo Andretti, my loving twin brother, my partner in crime and my faithful best friend every day of my life was called to heaven last night. Half of me went with him. There is no eloquence. I’m shaken to my core.”

Aldo and Mario were born in Montona, Italy, and spent several years in a Tuscany refugee camp before immigrating with their family to the United States in 1955. Their father arrived in the country with $125 and a promise to stay for at least five years.

The Andretti twins soon began racing and winning on dirt ovals near their home in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania. Though Aldo Andretti’s driving career was cut short by a crash, he retained his passion for motorsports.

He often attended races to support his son John and many other family members who raced.

Aldo Andretti
Aldo Andretti (hand on helmet) helps congratulated USAC Sprint feature winner Bruce Walkup after a July 7, 1968 race at Dayton Speedway (Alvis Upitis/Getty Images).

John Andretti, a versatile winner in NASCAR, IndyCar, the Rolex 24 at Daytona and NHRA, died of colon cancer in January.

Pepsi 400 NASCAR Winston Cup race
Aldo Andretti in the pits before the July 2, 1994 race at Daytona International Speedway (Brian Cleary/Getty Images).

From the Andretti Autosport release: “Nothing mattered more to Aldo than family, and it brought him great pride to share his life with wife and high-school sweetheart Corky and their five children Carolyn, Mark, John, Mary Jo and Adam.”

Marco Andretti tweeted of his great uncle: “RIP uncle Aldo. One of the toughest guys I have ever met. I have never heard him complain, a trait that he passed down to John. Always so positive and upbeat and raised an amazing side of our Andretti family.”

According to the team, a Mass of Christian Burial will be held at noon, Jan. 13 at St. Malachy Catholic Church in Brownsburg, Indiana. A family visitation will be held from 4-7:30 p.m. Jan. 12, at Stevens Mortuary in Indianapolis.

Beta Motorcycles joins SuperMotocross in 2024, Benny Bloss named first factory rider

Beta Motorcycles 2024 Bloss
Beta Motorcycles

Benny Bloss will race for the factory Beta Motorcycles team in 2024 as that manufacturer joins SuperMotocross as the ninth brand to compete in the series. Beta Motorcycles will make their debut in the Monster Energy Supercross opener at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California in January.

Benny Bloss finished among the top 10 twice in Pro Motocross, in 2016 and 2018. – Beta Motorcycles

“The wait is over and we can finally share everything we have been working towards,” said Carlen Gardner, Race Team Manager in a press release. “It has been a great experience being a part of this development and seeing the progression. The only missing part was finding a rider that would mesh well with our Beta Family.

“After a one phone call with Benny, we knew it would be a good fit for him, and for us. We are happy to have him on board for the next two years and can’t wait to see everyone at Anaheim in January.”

Bloss debuted in the 450 class in 2015 with a 15th-place finish overall at Ironman Raceway in Crawfordsville, Indiana.

Bloss has a pair of top-10 rankings in the division with a sixth-place finish in the Pro Motocross Championship in 2016 and a seventh in 2018. His best Supercross season ended 15th in the standings in 2018.

“I’m extremely excited to join the Beta Factory Racing team,” Bloss said. “It’s cool to see a brand with such a rich history in off-road racing to come into the US Supercross and Motocross space. I know this team will be capable of great things as we build and go racing in 2024.”

Bloss is currently 22nd in the SuperMotocross rankings and has not raced in the first two rounds of the Motocross season.

Testing for Beta Motorcycles is scheduled to begin in August and the team expects to announce a second rider at that time.

The family-owned brand adds to the international flare of the sport. The company was founded in Florence, Italy in 1905 as Società Giuseppe Bianchi as they built handmade bicycles, The transition to motorcycle production in the late 1940s.

Beta Motorcycles competed and won in motocross competition in the late 1970s and early 1980s with Jim Pomeroy and other riders.

Beta will join Triumph Motorcycles as a second historic brand to join the sport in 2024. First established in 1902, Triumph has won in nearly every division they have competed in, dating back to their first victory in the 1908 Isle of Man TT. Triumph will debut in the 250 class in 2024 and plans to expand into 450s in 2025.