IndyCar drivers, owner honored at Autosport Awards
IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon, drivers Justin Wilson and E.J. Viso and team co-owner Carl Haas were recognized Dec. 6 at the annual Autosport Awards in London.
Dixon, who won a series record-tying six races including the 92nd Indianapolis 500, was a nominee in the International Driver of the Year category. Wilson was a nominee for the British Competition Driver award and Viso was nominated in the Rookie of the Year category.
“It’s definitely an honor and a big deal to be nominated,” said Dixon, who also was announced recently as a finalist for the Economaki Champion of Champions Award, presented by Speedway Motorsports, Inc., and National Speed Sport News, a finalist for the SPEED Performer of the Year Award, presented by SPEED-TV, and as the Sportsperson of the Year by the New Zealand Herald.
Haas was honored with the Autosport John Bolster Award on behalf of his partnership with the late Paul Newman for their services to motorsport. Haas and Newman joined forces to enter the 1983 CART season and hired Mario Andretti, the former Formula One champion and Indianapolis 500 winner, to drive. Andretti placed third in the championship standings in the team’s first season, and the first of eight titles followed in 1984.
“As I look back with fondness on the 12 years I drove for you, I know this honor is truly deserved,” Andretti said. “Your victories and championships were a testament to your passion and love for the sport, and the outstanding team you assembled during the years.
“Congratulations on this lifetime achievement award. Well done my friend.”
The Autosport John Bolster Award is given in honor of the magazine's long-time technical editor and reflects a lifetime of technical excellence in motorsport by an individual or group. Past winners include McLaren, Renault Sport, Ken Tyrrell, Roger Penske, Ross Brawn, Honda and Patrick Head.
“It is a great honor to receive the Autosport John Bolster Award,” Haas said. “The dedication of talented drivers and team members has enabled us to achieve many goals over the years. On behalf of the team, I would like to thank Autosport magazine for their recognition of our accomplishments.”
In its first year in the IndyCar Series, Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing won two races (one each by Justin Wilson and Graham Rahal). It was dealt a blow in September with the death of Newman.
“It was a great program we had together and we really miss him,” Haas said. “In 24 years, we won a lot of races and worked with some great people.”