until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


Legends Trophy: A driver-by-driver guide

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
6 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Saturday’s Legends Trophy – the curtain-raiser for The Race All-Star Battle 3 – brings together an extraordinary field of motorsport greats.

The entry list boasts a two Formula 1 world championships, multiple Indianapolis 500 wins and IndyCar titles, touring car crowns and Le Mans triumphs.

Here’s a full rundown of the incredible careers of those currently expected to take the start.

David Brabham

The most successful of his generation of the Brabham dynasty, David raced in Formula 1 with Brabham and Simtek but achieved his greatest accolades in a long sportscar career. He won Le Mans outright with Peugeot in 2009 after two GT1 class victories for Aston Martin, and was also a double American Le Mans Series champion.

Helio Castroneves

Blistering pace for small teams in the early years of his CART Champ Car career earned Castroneves a Penske chance for 2000 and he remains part of the team today. Though never an IndyCar champion, he’s a 30-time race winner who has triumphed in the Indy 500 three times. He’s now an IMSA SportsCar frontrunner with Penske’s Acura team.


Gil de Ferran

Though his junior career took him to the cusp of F1, it was in America where de Ferran thrived after joining Hall Racing for the 1995 CART IndyCar season. His stints at Hall and Walker Racing brought wins but joining Penske for 2000 elevated him to true great status and he won two championships and the 2003 Indy 500 with the team. De Ferran then switched mainly to team management, with stints with both Honda and McLaren in F1 sandwiching a period running his own sportscar and IndyCar team.

Adrian Fernandez

Mexico’s 1990s single-seater hero was a regular race winner in CART Champ Car, with his highlight a 2000 title bid that ended with him finishing runner up to Gil de Ferran in the championship. He transitioned to owner/driver status with Fernandez Racing in the 2000s across first Champ Car then IndyCar and the American Le Mans Series.

Emerson Fittipaldi

Fittipaldi’s first F1 title with Lotus in 1972 – only his second full season – made him at 25 the youngest-ever world champion at the time. He followed it up with a second championship for McLaren two years later. Though his F1 career waned with his move to family team Copersucar, he embarked on an extraordinary second career in CART IndyCar in 1984 after a four-year break from top-line competition and ended up winning the 1989 title and two Indy 500s.Imsc0343

Dario Franchitti

Starring for Mercedes in the DTM and ITC launched Franchitti into CART Champ Car for 1997, with stunning rookie performances for the Hogan team leading to the Scot being snapped up by Honda and Team Green. A relentless race winner and title challenger, he finally achieved both a championship and an Indy 500 victory in 2007. Though a subsequent brief NASCAR move was unsuccessful, it paved the way for an IndyCar return with Ganassi that produced a remarkable three straight titles and two more Indy 500 triumphs.

Bryan Herta

The rising American star of late 1990s CART was famous for his grudge matches with Alex Zanardi. He joined up with Andretti-Green to win in the IndyCar Series before a team ownership career that has included Indianapolis 500 wins with Dan Wheldon and Alexander Rossi. His son Colton was a race-winning rookie in IndyCar last year.

Tony Kanaan

When the 2020 IndyCar season gets going, Kanaan will be contesting a farewell campaign ahead of his retirement after two decades at the top of US single-seater racing. It’s headlined by his long and highly successful stint with Andretti-Green in the 2000s, which included the 2004 series title – but it was with the less-fancied KV team that he finally pulled off an elusive Indy 500 win in 2013.Gu1m1808

Jan Magnussen

Winning 14 out of 18 races in the 1994 British Formula 3 season led to Magnussen being compared to Ayrton Senna, though his relatively brief F1 career with first McLaren then Stewart didn’t go as planned. He ultimately settled in sportscar racing with Corvette and became a four-time class winner at Le Mans and an ALMS star.

Tiago Monteiro

The man who achieved one of the most unlikely podium finishes in F1 history – Monteiro beating the rest of the ‘non-Ferraris’ to take Jordan to third in the 2005 United States Grand Prix. He’s become a major touring car star since his F1 career ended, racing first for SEAT then for Honda teams, and was leading the World Touring Car Cup title race in 2017 before being severely injured in a test crash, from which he’s subsequently mounted a successful recovery.

Juan Pablo Montoya

Having conquered Formula 3000 in 1998, stunned with an extraordinary CART Champ Car crown as a rookie in 1999 and then won the Indy 500 in 2000, Montoya came to F1 with Williams for 2001 and took the fight to Schumacher in a way no one else could. That never quite produced a title, and after more wins with McLaren he made a dramatic departure for NASCAR and became a winner there. A shock single-seater return in IndyCar with Penske in the mid 2010s brought a title near-miss and another Indy 500 win and last year he added an IMSA title with the team’s Acura programme.

F1 Testing, Barcelona, Spain

Max Papis

After a stint with Arrows in F1 for part of 1995, star performances for Ferrari’s top team in US sportscar racing in early 1996 showed the world what Papis could really do and helped him into the CART Champ Car field. Initially an underdog doing what he could for Toyota’s then fledgling programme, he became a frontrunner and race winner during a stint with Team Rahal.

Emanuele Pirro

An F1 tenure  with Benetton and Scuderia Italia brought Emanuele Pirro to international attention across 1989-91 before a hugely successful touring car and sportscar career began. Initially a BMW driver, his move to Audi in 1993 started an incredible relationship that went from Italian and German touring car titles to being a lynchpin of the firm’s massively successful LMP1 programme – a role that featured five Le Mans wins and two ALMS titles.

Andy Priaulx

Dominant title successes in the unusual worlds of hillclimb and one-make Renault Spider racing headlined the early career of this future touring car great. He became a three time World Touring Car champion with BMW across 2005-07, having also won the title in the series’ European forerunner in ’04. Priaulx’s career has also included stints in factory GT programmes for both BMW and Ford, and a spell in the DTM, while he now represents Lynk & Co in WTCR.Wtcc Macau, China

Paul Tracy

Even with only one title to his name and – officially at least – no Indy 500 wins, Tracy is one of the drivers whose presence and achievements defined IndyCar’s 1990s and 2000s. From being the ultra-rapid wild young talent igniting Penske’s line-up to his years leading Team Green forward alongside Franchitti, Tracy was in the thick of every bit of action in CART’s greatest years. His electrifying presence at Forsythe was then one of the main reasons to watch Champ Car’s final years.

Darren Turner

A sometime McLaren F1 tester, DTM racer and factory SEAT touring car driver, Turner is best known for his long and highly successful sportscar relationship with Aston Martin. He’s been a key part of its GT successes in the 21st century and its brief prototype programmes, and has earned three Le Mans class wins along the way.

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