Emerson Fittipaldi, double Formula 1 World Champion and two-time Indy 500 winner, will be the honoree for the 23rd annual Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance on March 9-11, 2018 at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island.
Meteoric is the most apt and accurate description of Fittipaldi's illustrious racing career. Emerson was victorious in just his fifth World Championship Formula 1 race, the 1970 U.S. Grand Prix at Watkins Glen.
Two years later he became the youngest Formula 1 World Champion at that time, at just 25. That record stood for 33 years. In 1974 he logged his second F1 world title. There might have been more but the double-World Champion's family loyalty and patriotism saw him struggle through the rest of the 1970s with his brother Wilson's star-crossed F1 project.
Emerson was the first of a new breed of racers," said Bill Warner, founder and Chairman of the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance. "Born after the war his path from karts to the World Championship and Indy's Victory Lane has become the template for a generation of racing superstars."
Fittipaldi retired from Formula 1 in 1980. The double World Champion was lured back to active competition by Miami Grand Prix impresario Ralph Sanchez. Emerson returned to professional motorsport with a vengeance winning the pole position for the 1985 Miami Grand Prix. Soon he was back in major league open-wheel competition with Patrick Racing, a top rank Indy Car team. He won the 1989 Indy 500 and the CART National Championship for Patrick Racing, then the 1993 Indy 500 for Penske Racing.
"In a century just five racers have won both the Formula 1 World Championship and the Indy 500," said Warner. "We've had five Indy 500 winners and two World Champions as Amelia Honorees, but 'Emmo' is the first who has scored motorsport's ultimate 'double'. Having Emerson as our 2018 honoree is an unprecedented honor for 'The Amelia'."