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Question of the Week: Who is your favorite racing driver?

Racing drivers are a rare breed, highly capable both physically and mentally. Regardless of the time period in which they raced, many were gods among men. The balance between risk and reward doesn’t seem to exist for many of the top drivers in history, which makes for exciting racing.

There are also those who are exciting to watch off the track, with personalities bigger than their sponsors can sometimes handle. They don’t have to win races to become well known; racers with flamboyant personalities tend to gain fans in short order whether they’re winning or not. From local SCCA hot shoes to the best of Formula 1, the best drivers share the desire to win and push the car to its limits.

So, sound off below and let us know your favorite driver and why. We’ll compile a list of the top answers and share them next week, so be sure to check back and see if your suggestion made it to the podium.

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Current F1 champ: Lewis Hamilton - you cannot discredit everything he has achieves thus far

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Mario Andretti for Indy Car and Formula One. Richard Petty and Jeff Gordon for NASCAR. But I believe if Davey Allison had not died, Jeff Gordon would not have been as successful as he was.
Jim Gano

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Juan Manuel Fangio. He dominated Formula 1 for several years and raced successfuly in other classes.

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Fernando Alonso. 2 time Formula 1 World Champion. Incredibly talented, best driver in the rain maybe ever, even-tempered, always a good sport, always a smile. Seems to be able to rise above whatever situation he’s presented with. A true gentleman who happens to be an amazing driver. As far as you can get from those spoiled brat prima donnas who are too numerous to count in motor sports.

Mario Andretti. IndyCar Champ; F1 Champ; NASCAR competitor and successful in every form of racing he competed in. It’s a bonus that he did it with grace. Some recent and current stars in all forms of competitive racing could learn a lot about poise and grace from Mario!

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Ken Miles for endurance racing and development (finally getting recognition in a movie next month!), Mark Donahue for CanAm, and Senna for F1. Dedication, brilliance, innovation, and team work unite all three.

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I am partial to Hurley Haywood. He not only is in the Motorsports Hall of Fame – he won Le Mans and Sebring multiple times – Brian Redman (no slouch) calls him the best American endurance race driver of all time. He also was my instructor at the Porsche Sport Driving School so I learned that he’s a genuinely nice guy.

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Really like current F1 champ Lewis Hamilton. Prior, I was always partial to Al Unser, Jr. He could consistently maximize and manage his equipment no matter how good or bad it or the track was.

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I used to follow F1 earlier (40 - 50 years ago) and since Mario Andretti has already been mentioned by others I would like to add Ronnie Peterson and Emerson Fittipaldi who both were very successful F1 Grand Prix drivers

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Dan Gurney - he did everything, and he did it all very well. Only driver Jim Clark “feared,” according to Clark’s father. And Gurney was a real gentleman. I had the honor of seeing him win at Spa in '67, met him in the pits at the USGP in '80, and interviewed him for a couple articles. A great man.

8 Likes

Jim Clark is my favorite driver. F1 and Indy champ and brought mid-engine design to champ cars now indy cars.

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Niki Lauda will always be my favourite racing driver - brilliant racing skills, indomitable spirit, constant focus and a great ‘people person’. Niki’s opinions were always much sought after, by professionals and amateurs throughout the motor sport world.

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Dale Earnhardt Sr
“He could see air”

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Phil Hill, the only American-born driver to win the F-1 World Championship. (Mario Andretti was born in Italy.)

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Sir Sterling Moss, the benchmark in my book

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Dan Gurney. He was as comfortable in a Trans Am sedan as he was in a Formula 1 car.

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Really Favorite and not Favorites? I am going with Favorites
Big Daddy Don Garlits
Mark Donahue
Jim Hall
AJ Foyt
Richard Petty

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Niki at #1 followed very closely by Zanardi. Their will and spirit to overcome career ending accidents speaks to their dedication and courage.

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