The 27th iteration of Northeast Florida's longest-running classic car event, and one of the nation's top concours d'elegances, has a modern racing legend coming in March as its 2022 honoree.
The Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance also is gaining a new name as well for the New Year.
Renamed The Amelia, the annual event March 3 through 6 will honor racer and winning race team owner Chip Ganassi in and around the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island.
The concours, founded in 1996 by Jacksonville businessman Bill Warner, was purchased last year by Hagerty.
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The automotive lifestyle brand and insurance company also owns other major classic car events such as the Concours d'Elegance of America, the California Mille and the Greenwich Concours d'Elegance. Hagerty began publicly trading late last year on the New York Stock Exchange.
“Honoring a hero from the racing community is an important component of The Amelia DNA," Hagerty CEO McKeel Hagerty said. "From the inaugural honoree, Sir Stirling Moss, to the recent celebration of Lyn St. James, The Amelia has anchored the celebration of the automobile to the incredible people who have devoted their lives as ambassadors for driving."
Chip Ganassi's legacy
Ganassi's racing legacy represents Hagerty’s love of driving and passion for the wellness of others, the CEO said.
Ganassi began his racing career in 1981, driving open-wheel Super Vee race cars, then started his first Indianapolis 500 in 1982. He retired from racing in 1984 after a crash at Michigan International Raceway but did race one more time at the 1987 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Three years later he founded Chip Ganassi Racing, which has become the only team to win the nation's biggest races within a 12-month period: the Daytona 500, Indianapolis 500, NASCAR's Brickyard 400 and the 24 Hours of Daytona.
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The team has an overall eight victories in the 24 Hours of Daytona, plus eight IndyCar Championships and four Indianapolis 500 victories.
Ford Chip Ganassi Racing came in first, third and fourth in class at the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans. And Ganassi currently fields teams in INDYCAR, NASCAR, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and Extreme E.
Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance's legacy
The Amelia was started by Warner to bring an automotive destination event to Northeast Florida, each year honoring famous race car drivers like Hurley Haywood, Sir Stirling Moss, Brian Redman and Bobby Allison.
The three-day event, normally in early March, features an RM Sotheby's classic car auction, gala dinners and racing seminars as 300-plus volunteers annually help run it.
The 2021 event saw an estimated 13,000 fans view 240 classic cars and more on May 25, two months later than its usual date due to COVID-19 concerns. Warner, who led the event for the past 26 years, stays on as chairman emeritus.
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Along with the event's name change, Hagerty has retitled an expanded and popular Saturday event that allows local owners of classics, hot rods and exotic cars to show their vehicles on the same Golf Club of Amelia Island course as concours' classics do the next day.
Now called Cars & Community, the long-running car event will be joined by a 1980s and 1990s-focused RADwood display, the Concours d’Lemons show of the unique and weird and The Amelia’s first-ever Kids Zone.
Formerly free to spectators, the expanded Cars & Community event's tickets are now $20 for adults, $10 for youth as well as military and first responders, and free for children 12 and younger.
Sunday concours tickets are $150 for adults (increases to $175 on March 1); $85 for military and first responders; $75 for children 13 to 22); and free for those younger than 12. Every ticket purchased for the concours automatically includes free admission to Cars & Community.
The Amelia has raised about $4 million for area charities like Community Hospice of Northeast Florida, Spina Bifida of Jacksonville and others.
Tickets and information for The Amelia's 2022 events are available online at AmeliaConcours.com website.
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This article originally appeared on Florida Times-Union: Race team owner Chip Ganassi 2022 honoree at The Amelia concours