Triple Crown of Motorsport

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The Triple Crown of Motorsport is an unofficial motorsport achievement, often regarded as winning three of the most prestigious motor races in the world in one's career:[1][2][3][4]

Graham Hill is the only driver to have completed the Triple Crown.

Only 17 drivers in motorsports history have the distinction of competing in all three legs of the Triple Crown and to have won at least one of the events: Louis Chiron, Jack Brabham, Jim Clark, Masten Gregory, Graham Hill (who won all three), Jackie Stewart, Denny Hulme, Jochen Rindt (who won two), Dan Gurney, Mario Andretti, Mark Donohue, Vern Schuppan, Danny Sullivan, Stefan Johansson, Michele Alboreto, Eddie Cheever and Jacques Villeneuve.[5]

The fact that the Monaco and Indianapolis practices, qualifying, and races clash makes it effectively impossible for one driver to compete in both races the same year, as the two races take place on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean on the same day (the Indianapolis 500 race is currently scheduled to begin two hours after the Monaco Grand Prix concludes) and, since 1961, have been part of different championships.[6]

Alternative definitions[edit]

Including F1 Drivers' Championship[edit]

An alternative, and older, definition replaces the Monaco Grand Prix with the Formula One World Championship, though Graham Hill is also the only driver to have accomplished this, winning the F1 Drivers' Title in 1962 and 1968.[7][8][9]

Endurance racing[edit]

Endurance sports car racing has its own Triple Crown which features Le Mans and has added the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring. This crown has been won by several drivers, namely A. J. Foyt, Hans Herrmann, Jackie Oliver, Jacky Ickx, Al Holbert, Hurley Haywood, Mauro Baldi, Andy Wallace, Marco Werner and Timo Bernhard. Many drivers have come close to winning the crown with 2nd-place finishes in the third event, such as Ken Miles (who was famously denied the win by a technicality at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans), Mario Andretti (Le Mans '95) and Allan McNish (Daytona '12).

Indy car racing[edit]

From 1971–1980, Indy car racing contested their own "triple crown", which consisted of the three 500-mile events on the calendar: the Indianapolis 500, Pocono 500, and California 500. Al Unser (1978) is the only driver to win all three in the same season. Ontario was closed in 1980, and replaced with the Michigan 500. The triple crown continued through 1989, after which the Pocono race was discontinued. No driver won all three events during the 1980s.

The IndyCar Triple Crown was revived in 2013, with the 1971–80 format of the Indianapolis 500 (in May), Pocono IndyCar 500 (in July), and the American Real TV (California) 500 (in October, held at Fontana). A $1 million bonus prize is offered for any driver to win all three races.[10]

NASCAR[edit]

Since 2005 an unofficial Triple Crown, formed of the three surviving legs of NASCAR's Grand Slam (the Daytona 500, Aaron's 499, and Coca-Cola 600) after the Ferko' lawsuit took out the final leg (Darlington's Southern 500 in the autumn — not to be confused with the Rebel 500 in May) in favour of a second race at Texas Motor Speedway, has been established. No driver who made their first start in a NASCAR Sprint Cup race since 2005 has won more than one of the three jewels. So far, of active drivers, Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson have won all three parts of the Triple Crown multiple times, but not all three in the same year.

NHRA[edit]

The term is often used during the season in the National Hot Rod Association to refer to its three most prestigious races, the Winternationals, the U.S. Nationals, and the Auto Club Finals at Pomona. The Winternationals is the event that kicks off the NHRA season, held during the second weekend in February, the U.S. Nationals is often called "The oldest, richest, and most prestigious race in the NHRA," and carries the largest purse of any event on the schedule, and the Auto Club Finals at Pomona are held to mark the end of the NHRA season. Both the Winternationals, and the Auto Club Finals are held on the same track, Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, while the U.S. Nationals has been held at O'Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis since 1961 (prior to that, the race was held on a now demolished track in Detroit). By far, the person with the most Triple Crown wins in his division is 15-time funny car champion John Force.

American motorsport[edit]

A. J. Foyt and Mario Andretti are the only drivers to have won both the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500. Both drivers also won the 24 Hours of Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring. Foyt won four editions of the Indianapolis 500, and collected seven open-wheel titles and a 24 Hours of Le Mans win. Mario Andretti won three editions of the 12 Hours of Sebring, and also won four open-wheel titles, a Formula One world championship, and a class win and 2nd overall finish at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Australian motorsport[edit]

In Australia, a driver is said to have achieved the "Triple Crown" if they win the Sandown 500, the Bathurst 1000 and the International V8 Supercars Championship (formerly the Australian Touring Car Championship) in the same year.[11] Only two drivers have achieved this feat: Peter Brock, in 1978 and 1980, and Craig Lowndes, in 1996.

Active competitors[edit]

As of 2013, the only active drivers who have won two legs of the Triple Crown are Juan Pablo Montoya (currently racing in IndyCar) and Jacques Villeneuve. Villeneuve competed in the 2008 24 Hours of Le Mans where he finished in second place, a victory there would have allowed him to complete the Triple Crown (under the latter definition that includes the F1 Drivers' Championship, under the former definition of the Monaco GP his best finish was 4th in 2001).[12] Montoya also won the 24 Hours of Daytona three times and the CART series once.

List of Triple Crown winners[edit]

Driver Indianapolis winner Le Mans winner Monaco Grand Prix winner F1 World Champion
United Kingdom Graham Hill 1966 1972 1963, 1964, 1965, 1968, 1969 1962, 1968
Drivers listed below have completed two of the three legs of the Triple Crown
Italy Tazio Nuvolari 1933 1932
France Maurice Trintignant 1954 1955, 1958
United Kingdom Mike Hawthorn 1955 1958
United States Phil Hill 1958, 1961, 1962 1961
United States A. J. Foyt 1961, 1964, 1967, 1977 1967
New Zealand Bruce McLaren 1966 1962
United Kingdom Jim Clark 1965 1963, 1965
Austria Jochen Rindt 1965 1970 1970
United States Mario Andretti 1969 1978
Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi 1989, 1993 1972, 1974
Canada Jacques Villeneuve 1995 1997
Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya 2000 2003

Key: Drivers who are still active are indicated in italics.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dan Knutson (2003-06-03). "Points Race Stays Tight; Montoya Joins Elite Company With Victory". Retrieved 2007-12-03. 
  2. ^ Henri Boulanger. "Monaco Grand Prix Glitz Draws Rising Stars". IntakeInfo.com. Retrieved 2007-12-05. 
  3. ^ "Why not a Grand Prix in Monte Carlo?". Gale Force of Monaco. Archived from the original on 2006-05-02. Retrieved 2007-03-09. 
  4. ^ "Indy 500, Sunday May 27, 2007". Top Gear Magazine New Car Supplement 2007 (BBC Worldwide). March 2007. p. 30. 
  5. ^ Masten Gregory: Totally Fearless author Michael J. Cox research (2013)
  6. ^ Dan Knutson. "2003 Monaco Grand Prix diary". Retrieved 2006-08-28. 
  7. ^ "Tribute to Graham Hill". lastingtribute.co.uk. Retrieved 2007-12-05. [dead link]
  8. ^ Bette Hill with Neil Ewart (1978). The Other Side of the Hill. Hutchison/Stanley Paul. pp. p87. ISBN 0-09-134900-1. 
  9. ^ Oliver Irish (2007-06-15). "Stick to the day job, Jacques". London: Guardian Unlimited. Retrieved 2007-12-05. 
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^ "A Red Hot Go". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 2007-03-05. Retrieved 2013-07-19. 
  12. ^ "Le Mans glory for Audi and McNish". BBC.co.uk. 2008-06-15. Retrieved 2008-06-15.