Marcus Ericsson unveiled his image on the Borg-Warner Trophy on Oct. 27 in Indianapolis, one of the most significant honors since he won the 106th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge on May 29 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The bas-relief, sterling silver image of Ericsson is the 109th face to be affixed to the iconic trophy, awarded annually to the winner of the Indianapolis 500 since 1936.
Ericsson, a native of Kumla, Sweden, earned his first victory in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” in the No. 8 Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing Honda and is the second Swede to win the race, behind Kenny Brack in 1999. This was the fifth Indy 500 victory for Chip Ganassi Racing as a sole entrant and sixth overall.
Renowned sculptor Will Behrends created Ericsson’s image, as he has for every winner since 1990. The unveiling ceremony took place at Union 50 in downtown Indianapolis.
“I’m truly honored to have my face sculpted onto the historic Borg-Warner Trophy as an Indianapolis 500 winner,” Ericsson said. “It was an incredible experience to work with Will Behrends and see his dedication and artistry firsthand. Will has done a marvelous job. Today is a very special day for me, as well as everyone at Chip Ganassi Racing. Joining all the previous winners on the trophy is something I'll always be very proud of and will never forget."
Behrends begins his creative process by studying a series of 360-degree photos of the winner to get a baseline for sculpting. Winners are then invited to an in-person session where Behrends constructs a full-scale clay model of the driver’s face in his studio in Tryon, North Carolina.
This life-size clay version is used as reference for Behrends to construct the smaller model, a piece created out of a mixture of oil-based clay. The smaller clay model is turned into a mold and casted in wax before being sent to a jeweler to be transformed into sterling silver. Behrends completes his process by polishing and buffing the sculpture before adhering it to the trophy.
“Marcus is a great champion of the ‘500’ who truly understands and appreciates the many traditions of ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,’ such as today’s memorable ceremony,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. “We are looking forward to continuing to celebrate his victory between now and when we see him on track next May for the 107th running of this iconic race.”
Originally designed in 1935, the sterling silver trophy measures over 5 feet, 4-3/4 inches tall and weighs more than 110 pounds as it carries the sculpted face of every victor since 1911. Following the unveiling in Indianapolis, the trophy will travel to Ericsson’s home country of Sweden to celebrate his victory on the racetrack.
Early next year, Ericsson will receive his BorgWarner Championships Driver’s Trophy, also known as the Baby Borg, a miniature replica of the large-scale Borg-Warner Trophy.
“The Borg-Warner Trophy represents much more than just a victory on the racetrack; it symbolizes the great tradition of the Indy 500 and honoring the driver for their triumph while paying homage to the champions of the past,” said Michelle Collins, global director, marketing and public relations for BorgWarner. “It is our honor to add Marcus’ image to the trophy and, together as a company, congratulate him on his countless hours of work and dedication to his craft.”
The 107th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge is scheduled for Sunday, May 28. Visit IMS.com for tickets and event information.