Motorsport Legends

Legends in any sport are usually revered and looked upon for inspiration for they are not made in a day. It takes a lifetime of achievements and unrelenting determination to gain that height. In motorsports too, legends are always there to instill inspiration in young drivers who dream of becoming Schumacher or Fangio one day. Here is our list of some of the best motorsport legends.
 

Ayrton Senna
a.k.a “Magic Senna” – 1960 — 1994 – Brazil
 

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Three-time F1 World Champion Ayrton Senna gave birth to his legacy at the age of four, when his father bought him his first go-kart. By 1984, Senna was racing under Toleman-Hart, where he made his debut, and later on moved to Lotus-Renault, where he won six Grands Prix. He then moved to McLaren-Honda, where he won his first World Championship and eventually ended up with Williams- Renault. His life was claimed when technical difficulties got the best of him and his car crashed into a barrier during the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola, Italy, in 1994.
 

“Because in a split second, it’s gone.”
 

Facts
Senna won World Championships in the years of 1988, 1990 and 1991; as well as 41 wins and 80 podiums.
 

He held the record for most pole positions from 1989 to 2006.
 

Niki Lauda
a.k.a “King Rat” – 1949 — Present – Austria
 

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Three-time F1 World Champion Niki Lauda was said to have a natural love for automobiles that rooted back to him exploring the suburbs of Austria in his 1949 Volkswagen Beetle. After participating in his first race, which resulted in second place, his family rejected the thought of him becoming who he is today. After working his way up in the stages of Formula racing, Lauda joined Ferrari’s Formula 1 team in 1974, when the famous rivalry between him and James Hunt began. The tragedy of the season was Lauda’s crash at the infamous Nurburgring track during the 1976 German Grand Prix, where his car went diving into the barriers and caught on fire, leaving him trapped. After suffering severe burns and damaged lungs, retirement was in question. Nevertheless, six weeks later, Niki Lauda was back in the seat going head-to-head with James Hunt for the final race of the season.
 

“There are more important things in life than the world championship, like staying alive.”
 

Facts
Niki Lauda is the only man to win a race in an F1 car fitted with a fan to generate downforce.
 

He has 25 wins, 54 podiums, 24 pole positions and 24 fastest laps.
 

Michèle Mouton
a.k.a “der schwarze Vulkan” (The Black Volcano) – 1951 — Present – France
 

Quoted as the fastest girl on earth, Michèle Mouton had a history of driving and a love for cars from the age of 14. At 22, a friend of hers asked her to be co-driver for a rally in France, which soon escalated into her father pushing her to become the well-known rally driver of her day. She joined Fiat in 1977 to partner with Jean-Claude Andruet, who is himself a well-known French professional rally driver who competed in the World Rally Championship. After becoming familiar with the ways of rally driving, Mouton was contacted by Audi in 1980, and they signed her for a World Rally Championship for the next coming year, which turned into a first win for a female in the rally world. To quote the words of Mouton, “I remember not just because it was a win, but also because it was a big fight right into the last night.”
 

“Once I had a goal, I never gave up.”
 

Facts
She believes that her background in dancing actually helped her rally in the 1970s and 1980s, comparing her car moving on gravel with that of a dancer’s moves.
 

Mouton has said that she never went into rallies trying to beat men. She simply wanted to compete at their level and not come off as looking ridiculous.
 

Sébastien Loeb
a.k.a “E.T.” – 1974 — Present – France
 

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Best known for being the most successful driver in the World Rally Championship, Sébastien Loeb was formerly a gymnast who gave it up in 1995 to become what he is today. His journey grew with Citroën, leading to nine World Championships between the years of 2004 and 2012. Alongside his rally career, Loeb was also a three-time winner at the Race of Champions in 2003, 2005 and 2008, and he also took second place in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. As the helmet of many race drivers, this world champion has a comic drawn — together with his sponsor’s logos — of his best friend’s work, which he supposes gives him luck.
 

“To be honest, it didn’t matter if I was first, second or third in this rally — I just wanted to win the championship.”
 

Facts
When asked if he had any regrets, Loeb responded with, “No, I don’t have any regrets after winning nine world titles.”
 

Loeb once worked as an electrician while he was doing gymnastics.