Mo Nunn dies (Update)

Mo Nunn with Alex Zanardi in 2000
Mo Nunn with Alex Zanardi in 2000

UPDATE Yesterday we reported Mo Nunn was 81. That was incorrect, he was 79.


Sad to hear that racing giant Morris (Mo) Nunn has passed away at the age of 81. He founded the Ensign F1 team back in the late 1970s and later worked for Chip Ganassi's highly successful Champ Car team, before founding Mo Nunn Racing for the 2000 season. At the urging of Mercedes-Benz Nunn again started a team for the 2002 Indy Racing League season.

The team was sponsored by WorldCom and Hollywood (tobacco) and initially hired Tony Kanaan and Felipe Giaffone. Giaffone finished 2nd in the 2003 Indianapolis 500 and Kanaan was leading but crashed in the last laps. A third car driven by Jeff Simmons finished ninth.

Mo Nunn with Tony Kanaan and Alex Zanardi in 2001
Mo Nunn with Tony Kanaan and Alex Zanardi in 2001

In 2002, Nunn entered one car each in Champ Car and the rival Indy Racing League. The IRL entry for Giaffone proved more competitive than Kanaan's Champ Car entry, encouraging the team to concentrate purely on IRL a year later.

With Toyota and Pioneer backing, the former F1 driver Tora Takagi joined the team. He finished 10th in 2003, while Giaffone missed races because of injuries. He was replaced by Alex Barron, who won the Michigan race. For 2004, only one car was entered, for Takagi, whose performance was not impressive after a heavy crash at Twin Ring Motegi. Other than a joint effort with Fernandez Racing at the 2005 Indianapolis 500, Nunn closed the team in 2005 and retired.

We do not yet know the cause of death, but we do know he spent a lot of time in retirement enjoying the game he loved – golf.

Our condolences to the Nunn family.

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