One of the world’s greatest road racers, Jacky Ickx, and a pair of NASCAR’s greatest driver-owners, Glen Wood and Alan Kulwicki, head the list of the six men who will be inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in April of 2002.
Ickx, who excelled in a number of different racing series’, won the 24 Hours of LeMans an incredible six times, claimed championships in World Endurance and Can-Am, and was one of the top competitors in Formula 1 for a decade.
Wood and Kulwicki were both chosen as one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers. Wood is half of the original Wood Brothers team that listed many of the greats as their drivers. Kulwicki was the last driver/owner to win a Winston Cup championship, and also was a top ASA driver before moving to NASCAR.
Joining them in the Class of 2002 are Italian car builder and engine designer Ettore Bugatti, New Zealander Denis Hulme who won the Formula One World Championship in 1967, and stock car racing great Tim Richmond.
Bugatti’s cars dominated European racing from 1911 until 1947, winning some 4,000 races. During World War I, he designed an aircraft engine for the French, and developed high-speed boats, trains and planes.
Hulme, in addition to his F1 title, also won two Can-Am championships, and was Rookie of the Year at Indy in 1967. Richmond was also an Indy Rookie of the Year (1980), and won 13 races in his abbreviated NASCAR career.
The 2002 Induction Ceremony will be held on April 18th in the Speed Channel Dome at the international Motorsports Hall of Fame. Reservations for tickets for the 12th Annual Induction Ceremony are being taken now at the Hall of Fame. Anyone interested should call 256/362-5002.
INTERNATIONAL MOTORSPORTS HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2002
ETTORE BUGATTI (1881-1947)
No vehicles have ever had such a dominance on the sport like the racing machines built by Ettore Bugatti from 1911 to 1947. Years of meticulously kept records were destroyed during World War II, but it is generally acknowledged that Bugatti-built cars won nearly 4,000 races during that period. Born in Milan, Italy, Bugatti began his career as a designer for other companies, but opened his own company in 1909 and began building his own cars. His first win came in a 1.4 liter production car in 1911 at LeMans, with his business associate and friend Ernst Friderich driving. Among his most famous cars were the Type 35 Bugattis, produced with four different engines in the mid-1920’s, the Type 59 that won three Grands Prix in 1934 and the 4.7 liter supercharged GP cars that were so successful in the late 1930’s. Earlier, in World War I, Bugatti designed an aircraft engine for the French and their allies, a variant of which was built by Duesenberg that led to the Miller and Offenhauser engines of American racing. Bugatti’s plans to build automobiles and aircraft to aid France in post-WWII recovery died when he did in 1947.
DENIS HULME (1936-1992)
If it’s possible to sum up New Zealander Denis Hume’s racing career in one word, it would be “versatile”. Hulme could, and did, drive any thing, with a high degree of success. He raced and won in Formula One, Group 7 cars, Indy cars, sports cars and off road vehicles. May and June of 1967 provided a prime example of his versatility. After winning the Monaco GP on May 1, Hulme raced Indy for the first time, finishing fourth and winning Rookie of the Year. In June he ran LeMans in a Ford GT, setting the fastest-lap-ever mark of 147.894. He also went on to win the World Championship that year. During his career, Hulme teamed with some of the biggest names in racing, Jack Brabham in GP, Bruce McLaren in GP and Can-Am, Peter Revson in Can-Am. He posted eight Grand Prix victories from 1967-1973, and won 22 Can-Am races, capturing titles in 1968 and 1970. At Brands Hatch in 1961, the year after he left New Zealand for England, he won a Formula Junior race in a Brabham car, the first-ever victory for Brabham.
JACKY ICKX (1945 – )
This talented Belgian driver began his career on motorcycles, and won the European 50cc championship at the young age of 12. He quickly turned his attention to 4-wheel racing, however. By age 21, Ickx was driving one of Ken Tyrrell’s Formula 2 cars, and at 23, won his first Grand Prix in France in 1968 driving a Ferrari. In 1969, driving a Brabham, he won both the German and Canadian GP’s, and finished second to Jackie Stewart in points. In 1970, back in a Ferrari, Ickx won the Austrian, Canadian and Mexican GP’s, and again wound up second in Formula 1 points, this time behind Jochen Rindt, who won the title despite being fatally injured in a crash at Monza before the end of the season. Ickx posted victories in eight Grand Prix races during his career. He was also successful in sports cars and in endurance racing, winning LeMans a record six times and winning at Daytona, Sebring and Watkins Glen with co-drivers such as Mario Andretti, Derek Bell, Clay Regazzoni and Brian Redman.
ALAN KULWICKI (1954-1993)
Alan Kulwicki, from Greenfield, WI worked his way up from the short tracks to become the first driver/owner to win the Winston Cup championship in more than a decade when he captured the title in 1992. Richard Petty, in 1979, was the last driver/owner to do so. A successful competitor on the American Speed Association circuit, Kulwicki sold all of his ASA equipment (so he could not go back), and joined the ranks of Winston Cup competitors in 1986. He won Rookie of the Year honors in ’86, and earned the reputation of a hardworking, no-nonsense competitor. His first win came in Phoenix in 1988, and it was there he made his first clockwise post-race lap, dubbed by the media as the “Polish Victory Lap.” He won again in both 1990 and 1991, but 1992 was his biggest season. Kulwicki’s team won at Bristol and Pocono, but were 278 points behind with just six races left in the season. They had two seconds, a fourth and a fifth in the last six races, and took the title by ten points over Bill Elliott. Kulwicki, the reigning Winston Cup champion, died in a plane crash on his way to a race at Bristol in April of 1993.
TIM RICHMOND (1955-1989)
Richmond, a native of Ashland, Ohio, began his career in open wheel cars, racing USAC sprints and the Silver Crown Series. He moved up to Indy Cars in 1980, and won Rookie of the Year honors at the Indianapolis 500 that year. However, his greatest fame and stardom came in stock cars. He drove five races for D.K. Ulrich in 1980, then won Rookie of the Year honors in 1981. His first two wins came in 1982, driving for J.D. Stacy. Racing for Raymond Beadle’s Blue Max Team in 1983-85, he won twice and finished second five times. In 1986, when he joined Hendrick Motorsports, Richmond and crew chief Harry Hyde got off to a rocky start before mutual respect set in and they began to win. In the last 17 races of 1986, they won seven times. However, by early 1987, a virus arose that was to claim his life two years later. Tim ran eight races that year, winning at Pocono and Riverside, but raced for the last time at Michigan in August.
GLEN WOOD (1924- )
It was Glen Wood that brought the famous Wood Brothers team into racing, forming a team in 1950 to run Modifieds on dirt. Glen was nominated as the driver. What started out simply as fun quickly became serious business. With Wood’s expertise behind the wheel the team was gaining recognition. In 1954, he won the North Carolina sportsman championship, and three years later he finished third in the NASCAR convertible division points. In 1959, the likeable Wood was named NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver. Wood dominated the track at Winston-Salem, winning there three times in 1960. In his final year behind the wheel, Glen raced only the two Winston-Salem races, winning one and finishing 3rd in the other. It was then he hung up his helmet for good and assumed the duties of crew chief for a list of drivers that reads like a “Who’s Who”, such names as Yarborough, Pearson, Foyt, Roberts, Turner, Weatherly, Panch and Lund. They also crewed Jim Clark at Indy in 1965. Although his driving career was brief, Glen Wood is still counted among NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers.