Legendary Mechanic Bignotti Dies At 97
SPEEDWAY, Ind. – Legendary Indianapolis 500 chief mechanic George Bignotti died Sept. 27 in Las Vegas. He was 97 years old.
Bignotti tuned cars to seven Indianapolis 500 victories, more than any chief mechanic in the history of the race. His Indy-winning drivers included A.J. Foyt, Graham Hill, Al Unser, Gordon Johncock and Tom Sneva.
“I’d say he was one of the greatest mechanics that was ever at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. We had such a close relationship and even though I went on my merry way, we were still close up to his death,” said A.J. Foyt. “He was such a great mechanic and he had such fast race cars and I was just a snot-nosed kid coming up. I drove at Ascot (Speedway in Gardena, Calif.) and drove midgets for him and we won a lot of races at Ascot. About everywhere I drove for him we won.”
California native Bignotti also is the winningest chief mechanic in IndyCar history.
“We’re saddened to learn of the passing of George Bignotti. George is a true legend. He set a standard for mechanical excellence and preparation at the Indianapolis 500 that has yet to be matched and may never be reached,” said Indianapolis Motor Speedway President J. Douglas Boles. “George’s love and loyalty toward the ‘500’ never waned throughout his wonderful, long life, and he had countless friends and admirers in Gasoline Alley and the IndyCar community. Everyone at IMS extends their thoughts, prayers and sympathy to the Bignotti family.”