Quote from the Founder of Ferrari

"The Ferrari is a dream-people dream of owning this special vehicle and for most people it will remain a dream, apart from for those lucky few." -Enzo Ferrari

Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Legendary Phil Hill, America's only born Formula One Champion, dies

Phil Hill, the only American-born F1 champion in history, who suffered from Parkinson's and a different degenerative neurological disorder, died at the Community Hospital of The Monterray Peninsula at 81 years old on Thursday, August 28, 2008.
Phillip Toll Hill Jr. was born into a middle-class family in Miami, Florida, on April 20, 1927, one of three children. His family moved to Santa Monica, California, and he later went on to study business administration at University of California from 1945 to 1947 before dropping out to pursue his growing love of motorsport.
Initially working as a mechanic and salesman in Los Angeles, Hill began competing in sportscar races in the U.S.
In 1955 he joined Ferrari's line-up at the Le Mans 24 Hours and went on to win the endurance classic three times in 1958, '61 and '62.
He made his Formula 1 debut in a Maserati 250F at the French Grand Prix shortly after his first Le Mans victory and was soon promoted to chief driver for Ferrari following the deaths of Luigi Musso and Peter Collins who died in separate accidents in 1958.
Hill spent the next four years at Ferrari, taking each of his three grand prix victories with the team (the first in 1960 at Monza)-two of which came in his 1961 championship-winning campaign.
In 1961, Phil Hill won the Formula One championship by a single point over his German teammate Count Wolfgang von Trips, who died in Ferrari's final race that season.
After leaving Ferrari in 1962, he spent two more seasons in the sport before retiring in 1964 with 48 starts, three victories, six pole positions and 16 podiums to his name.
He went on to establish America's leading vintage car restoration company, Hill & Vaughn with partner, Ken Vaughn in his native California after his retirement. He was later joined by Mario Andretti as an American to have won the F1 world championship, who remains the only U.S.-born winner.
Ferrari, the team with which he enjoyed so much success during his career, issued a statement paying tribute to Hill's achievements.
Its president Luca di Montezemolo said: "I, as well as all employees of Ferrari are extremely saddened by the news of the passing of Phil Hill, a man and a champion who gave so much to Ferrari and who has always greatly represented the company's values inside and outside the racing track.
"Phil Hill raced and won many competitions both with prototype cars, like the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the 12 Hours of Sebring, won three times each, as well as with F1 single seaters.
With our car, Phil won the Formula 1 Championship title in 1961 as the first American-born to reach this result.
"Phil and I have always kept in touch throughout the years and I know I will miss his passion and love for Ferrari very much.
"My deepest sympathies are with his wife Alma and son Derek in this sad moment."

Source: http://www.itv-f1.com/, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/, http://bleacherreport.com/

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