Mario Andretti triumphed in many categories of motorsports, such as IndyCar, NASCAR and Formula 1, and is the last American to win the F1 world championship, in 1978.
On the eve of the tenth United States GP, to be held this weekend in Austin, Texas , COTA announced on Monday that its final corner will be renamed “The Andretti” in honor of Mario.
“Andretti” is a tight left-hander to close out the lap that takes drivers onto the main straight ahead of the climb into Turn 1, which was renamed “Big Red” in 2020 after one of the co-founders of the clue.
This Thursday a naming ceremony will take place at the Circuit of the Americas to officially rename Turn 20 as ‘The Andretti’ with Andretti himself in attendance.
Mario Andretti was the first driver to complete a lap of COTA prior to its inaugural grand prix in 2012, and the track has since become an integral part of motorsports in the United States.
In addition to hosting MotoGP since 2013, the circuit began hosting NASCAR races last year, and has previously hosted IndyCar and IMSA events.
This weekend’s United States Grand Prix will be the busiest race yet at COTA, after the circuit has added grandstands to meet high demand from American fans.
Last year’s race, the 2021 United States GP, drew 400,000 fans over three days, setting a record for F1 that looks set to be broken again this weekend. That’s despite the fact that the race will no longer be decisive after Max Verstappen claimed the drivers’ title in Japan two weeks ago.
Andretti will be in Austin for the ceremony, having enjoyed driving a McLaren F1 car at the age of 82 at an event in Laguna Seca over the weekend.
Andretti got behind the wheel of a 2013 McLaren MP4-28 after McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown arranged an act for him during the private event which featured several classic McLarens.