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Best of British on the track

ESPN staff
January 4, 2014
Allan McNish called it a day in 2013 © Getty Images

The recent retirements of Dario Franchitti and Allan McNish - and the probable absence from F1 of Paul di Resta - have made it a sad time for British motor sport. Franchitti and McNish largely made their reputations outside F1 - who has been the most successful British driver in all forms of racing? asked Mark Compton

That's an awkward one, because these days it's almost impossible for a driver to shine in more than one category of motor sport at the time: Formula One, for example, is more than a fulltime job now, with 20 GPs and many other commitments in the average season.

Back in the 1950s and '60s, though, when there were usually fewer than ten GPs in a year, it wasn't unusual to find the top drivers popping up in lesser races, or different formulae.

Graham Hill is the only man to win the F1 world championship, the Indianapolis 500, and the Le Mans 24 Hours; the American AJ Foyt has a similar unmatched triple, having won the Indy 500 (four times), the Daytona 500 and Le Mans. And any list of other great cross-formula performers would have to include the talented Americans Mario Andretti and Dan Gurney, who are the only drivers to win races in F1, Indycars, NASCAR and the world sports-car championship. Andretti was the F1 world champion in 1978.

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