Racing legend Chris Amon dies

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The boy from Bulls who went on to huge motor racing success has died.

Chris Amon died in Rotorua aged 73.

A family statement released yesterday afternoon said "the Amon family regret to advise that Chris passed away on the morning of August the 3rd in Rotorua Hospital. Chris had celebrated his 73rd birthday a fortnight prior to his passing."

Amon, who was born in Bulls and lived there and at Scotts Ferry was a motor racing legend who was renowned as the best Formula 1 driver never to win a championship Grand Prix.

This year marked the 50th anniversary of the victory for Amon and Bruce McLaren at Le Mans when the Kiwi duo won the famous 24 hour race in a Ford GT40. Signed by Ferrari, he won the Daytona 24 hour race, the 1000km of Monza, the New Zealand Grand Prix twice, and the Tasman Championship in 1969.

He went on to drive for March and Matra in Formula 1, and for BMW in the European Touring Car Championship. He retired from Formula 1 in 1976, and from all motor racing in 1977.
He was awarded an MBE for his services to motorsport in 1993, and was inducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame in 1995.

The press release from his family said "Chris battled cancer in recent years but retained not only a close interest in Formula 1 - and his very wide range of favourite topics - but also his wonderful sense of humour complete with infectious chuckle."

- Wanganui Chronicle

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