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Mario Andretti visits New Zealand

Mario Andretti visits New Zealand

World champion driver to visit New Zealand

** Mario Andretti unveils Caltex Havoline V8 Touring Car **

AUCKLAND - Motorsport fans, petrol heads and celebrity spotters will get the chance to see one of the world's greatest drivers when Mario Andretti makes his first visit to New Zealand next week. Caltex is proud to bring the international racing legend to New Zealand to unveil the Caltex Havoline V8 Touring Car, which will feature in this year's V8 National Series.

Andretti, the world champion driver who took the chequered flag 111 times during his illustrious career will also make a special guest appearance at Caltex Fanshawe service station, on Fanshawe Street, opposite Victoria Park in Auckland city. He will be there from 1-2pm on Thursday 30 October to meet fans, answer questions and sign autographs.

Nine years since he officially retired from racing, 63-year-old Andretti is still very much involved in the world of motorsport. He is the international spokesperson for Havoline Motor Oils ? one of the world's top-selling brands, used by leading drivers around the world.

"Mario's active involvement in motorsport, his zest for life, his charisma and the way he interacts with people of all ages, interests and backgrounds, makes him the ideal face for us," says Nick Hannan, General Manager of Caltex Lubricants in New Zealand. "He is one of the most well respected and recognised drivers in motorsport history. We're all very excited about his arrival next week and can't wait to show him some of what New Zealand has to offer."

Andretti's 14 year relationship with global parent company ChevronTexaco is a top priority for him. Over the years he has assumed the company's goals as his own and measures his success by the degree to which his work furthers ChevronTexaco's business objectives.

"Mario's involvement within us goes beyond just advertising and promotional uses. Over the years, he has developed a keen sense of how he can contribute to our company's goals and objectives, particularly regarding the issue of safety in motor racing," says Hannan.

Andretti has a wide variety of different interests outside the world of racing. He is a shareholder in a Californian vineyard known as Andretti Winery, which is renowned for its world-class Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir, and he is also a huge fan of opera. Andretti also owns Toyota and Mitsubishi car dealerships, retail gas stations, a chain of car washes and an apparel business.

Andretti grew up in Italy during World War II, and lived in a refugee camp for seven years before moving to the United States when he was 15 years old. He has three children, of which the eldest, Michael Andretti, is also a successful driver.

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