There is no doubt that Juan Pablo Montoya is the most important pilot in Colombian history. His illustrious track record boasts huge milestones, including two memorable wins in the Indianapolis 500, which to date make him the only Spanish-speaking Latin American to win at the legendary oval. The 107th edition, which is broadcast by Star+, is expected to see Agustín Canapino and Pato O’Ward join the club, which currently has only one member.
Montoya had a baptism of victory in the first edition of the 21st Century 500, the 84th in history, with Chip Ganassi’s team, which played in the CART tournament at a time of disputes over the supremacy of formula cars in the United States. joined in. On the other side was the Indy Racing League, with 500 miles on the agenda. Ganassi decided that his team would cross the border in 1999 to compete in an oval meeting with the Colombian, CART champion, and Jimmy Vasser. Montoya, as a rookie in the Indy 500, secured the second starting grid in the classification (Greg Ray secured the pole position).
Montoya had a lot to do at Indy weekend. That is, on May 27, the day before the 500, he was to run a postponed CART event in Nazareth. Fulfilling the commitment, Bogotano devoted himself to Indianapolis. The race was significantly delayed due to rain, until it could finally be held and the Chip Ganassi driver’s command was ready to milk for the first time.
In 2001, Montoya continued his career in Formula 1. His time in the top flight lasted until 2006, a period in which he took seven wins including the 2003 Monaco GP, completing a second box check in his quest for the Triple Crown. 500 and 24 Hours of Le Mans. Carrada, in his Formula 1 phase, went to Colombian Nascar and in 2014 he joined IndyCar. Thus, the Indianapolis oval returned to its circle of action. And he won again.
This was in the 2015 edition and the process had nothing to do with the almost quiet success of the 2000s. With the Team Penske car, Juan Pablo suffered a broken rear wing and dropped to 27th. From there, he made a great comeback to take the lead with five laps to go and take the Borg-Warner Trophy for the second time. The 15-year gap between the first and second 500 wins is the largest time interval between drivers who have achieved at least one double. The man from Bogotá broke the mark set by Gordon Johncock, which took nine years to repeat (1973–1982).
Montoya undoubtedly made history and for now remains the only Spanish-speaking Latino to win the most famous oval on the planet.