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Indy 500 winners Bobby Rahal and Arie Luyendyk, Jim Vance, GM of KONI of North America,
and Phil Harris of Truechoice, present the 2007 Koni Heritage Award to Chris Locke,
owner and driver of the Lotus 77 originally driven by Mario Andretti.

Third Annual KONI Heritage Award Recognizes
the Value and Spirit of Historic Grand Prix Competition

KONI North America, the world leader in shock absorber technology, which is celebrating its 150th Anniversary in 2007, announced its third recipient of the KONI Heritage Award at the recent Historic Grand Prix, held in conjunction with the Indy Racing League and Grand-Am KONI Challenge weekend at Watkins Glen.

This year’s honoree, Chris Locke of San Francisco, CA, who drives a Lotus 77, received an original painting commissioned by KONI from noted artist Roger M. Cortani. Racing legend Bobby Rahal presented Locke with the award, and two-time Indy 500 winner Arie Luyendyk also was in attendance.

The KONI Heritage Award was created to honor participants within the Historic Grand Prix (HGP) series and is given each year to the “competitor who most clearly embodies the spirit and heritage of the era,” including vehicle livery, team uniforms and helmet graphics. The HGP is comprised of more than 50 Owner-Drivers of authentic Vintage Formula One racing cars from the FIA 3-litre Formula that ran from 1966 to1983. Typically, most of the cars from this era used KONI Shocks then and now.

“While the overall display of the racing spirit for this valued era is important, what we at KONI consider the critical ingredient to winning this award is the owner’s enthusiastic attitude,” noted KONI General Manager Jim Vance. “We all have tremendous respect for this noteworthy period in Formula One history, and we feel it is important to salute the one racer, his car and his team, for their enjoyment of the sport and their participation, on and off the track.

“KONI is delighted to be associated with the Historic Grand Prix in its efforts to preserve and embrace the history of this amazing time in motorsports, and we were honored to have Bobby Rahal present Chris with this small token of our appreciation of the heritage of Formula One.”

KONI commissioned artist Cortani to create a special award in the form of an original artwork depicting an F1 racecar and driver from this era. Cortani chose to portray a John Player Special Lotus 79 driven by Formula One Driving Champion Mario Andretti.

“I was quite surprised to have been selected by KONI to receive this year’s award,” said Chris Locke. “Vintage racing is an important part of motorsports and the Historic Grand Prix is a very special organization; one that has given me many great friendships, extraordinary opportunities and memorable events.  Being selected as this year's Award recipient will be among my most memorable events.”

Cortani is a graduate of the prestigious Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA, and currently resides in Virginia Beach, VA. Many of his historic paintings have been shown at the Virginia Air and Space Museum, the California State Railway Museum and the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC, as well as numerous private collections throughout the world.


KONI North America is a division of ITT Industries. ITT Industries, Inc. (www.itt.com) supplies advanced technology products and services in key markets including: fluid and water management including water treatment; defense communication, opto-electronics, information technology and services; electronic interconnects and switches; and other specialty products. Headquartered in White Plains, NY, the company generated $6.8 billion in 2004 sales and employs approximately 39,000 people around the world.

Click here to go to the 2009 Koni Heritage Award

Click here to go to the 2008 Koni Heritage Award

Click here to go to the 2006 Koni Heritage Award

Click here to go to the 2005 Koni Heritage Award

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