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Motor ace Amon dies at 73

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 3/08/2016

Motor-racing great Chris Amon has died, a fortnight after his 73rd birthday.

Amon, who had battled cancer in recent years, died in Rotorua Hospital on Wednesday morning, his family said in a statement.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of his and fellow New Zealander Bruce McLaren's win in the Le Man 24-hour race in a Ford GT40.

In 1967, Amon signed for Ferrari, remaining with the famed Italian marque for three seasons during which 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 F1 in 1976, and from all motor racing in 1977, when he returned to New Zealand.

"Amon was widely regarded internationally as not only the best driver never to win a Formula 1 Grand Prix, but one of the best drivers never to be crowned world champion," his family said in its statement.

Amon was made an MBE for his services to motorsport in 1993, and was inducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame in 1995.

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