10-11 April: This Weekend in Motor Sport History

Discover the momentous motor sports events that took place this weekend in history …….

~10 April~

1908: Vincenzo Trucco in a Isotta-Fraschini (4 min 53 sec) won the final Padova – Bovolenta 10km race in Italy, followed by Nando Minoia in an Isotta-Fraschini and Domenico Piccoli in a SPA.

1909: The Rolls Royce Silver Rogue, driven by Percy Northey to victory in the 1908 Scottish Reliability Trial, was sold as a used car in London, England.

1921: Ralph DePalma won the 24th and final race of his Champ Car career in Beverly Hills, California setting a career record for wins that would not be topped until 1963.

1921: Jimmy Murphy drove his Duesenberg to victory in a 50 mile AAA Championship race at Los Angeles Motor Speedway. Duesenberg drivers Murphy, Joe Thomas and Eddie Pullen won earlier 25 milers as did Ralph DePalma in a Ballot. It was the last AAA wins for both Pullen & DePalma.

1938: The first hillclimb event at Prescott, Gloucestershire, England was staged, on what is now the Short Course (880 yards). As announced in Motor Sport: “The Opening Rally on April 10th will comprise an assembly at Cheltenham for lunch, followed by a run to Prescott and possibly timed runs up the hill, followed by tea at the Prescott club-house. Prescott will be ready for the first official meeting on Sunday, May 15th.” Unofficial fastest time in April was set by I. Craig in a 4.9-litre supercharged Bugatti in a time of 55.58 seconds.

1950: The Pau Grand Prix, a Non-Championship Formula One motor race was held at the Pau circuit, in Pau, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, France. It was the first race of the 1950 Formula One season, and was conducted on the same day as the 1950 Richmond Trophy. Maserati driver Juan Manuel Fangio won the race, contested over 110 laps, after starting from pole position.

1965: Lloyd “Lucky” Casner (36) , owner of the Camoradi MotorRacing Division team, died from injuries suffered in a crash during practice for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. He was featured in the 1961 film The Green Helmet.

1983: Harry Gant swept to the lead when Darrell Waltrip’s car developed ignition trouble with two laps left, scoring his third win in NASCAR’s premier series in the TranSouth 500 at Darlington Raceway, South Carolina, US. Waltrip, who led 70 of the 367 laps, nursed his ailing car home to a runner-up finish. Mark Martin finished third as the final car on the lead lap.

1983: Bob Tullius and Bill Adam drove the Group 44 Jaguar XJR-5 to victory in the IMSA race at Road Atlanta in Brazelton, Georgia, USA. It was the first win for Jaguar in a top level series in 25 years and the first win for a factory prototype in IMSA competition.

1983: Race of Champions, a non-championship Formula One race was held at Brands Hatch. It was also the last non-championship F1 race to be held in the sport’s history. The reigning world champion Keke Rosberg in the Williams FW08, narrowly beat Danny Sullivan in his Tyrrell.

1989: Rick Wilson captured his first career NASCAR Xfinity (Busch Grand National) Series win in the Budweiser 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Wilson led 161 laps from the pole and held off Mark Martin for the victory.

1993: Steve Grissom won the Mountain Dew 400 at Hickory Motor Speedway for his seventh of 11 career NASCAR Xfinity (Busch) Series wins. Grissom held off a hard charging Ricky Craven for the victory.

1993: Jason Keller led 182 laps from the pole and held off Dale Earnhardt Jr. to win the Moore’s Snacks 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway. It ended a 102-race winless streak for Keller and marked the second of his 10 career Xfinity Series wins.

1999: Larry Dixon mades the first “4.4” pass in NHRA history when he ran the 1/4-mile in 4.486 seconds in Don Prudhome’s Top Fuel car at Houston Raceway Park in Baytown, Texas.

2000: Martinsville Speedway. Hamilton took the win by 4.4 seconds over pole-sitter Mike Wallace, who led 53 laps. The race was held on a Monday after rain postponed the 250-lap event.

2004: Michael Waltrip inherited victory when the top four cars crashed on the second to last lap in the NASCAR Xfinity (Busch) Series Pepsi 300 at Nashville Superspeedway. Leaders Clint Bowyer (led 104 laps), Kyle Busch, Robby Gordon and Johnny Benson all tangled on the backstretch with two laps to go allowing Waltrip to drive by on the outside and score his 11th career Busch Series win under caution.

2005: Jeff Gordon came back from being three laps down and held off Kasey Kahne at the finish to win the Advance Auto Parts 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Gordon became the first repeat winner of 2005, also winning the Daytona 500. It was his 71st (of 93) career series win and sixth (of nine) at Martinsville.

~11 April~

1955: Roy Salvador won the Glover Trophy at Goodwood driving a Maserati 250F.

1955: The Pau Grand Prix held in Pau, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, southwestern France was won by Jean Behra driving a Maserati 250F. Italian Mario Alborghetti died during the race; his death announced spectators after the race.

1966: Europe’s first permanent, purpose built drags racing venue, the Santa Pod Raceway opened – cover image. It was constructed on a disused World War II American air base, RAF Podington, in Bedfordshire, England. A world drag-racing record of 3.58 seconds at 386.26 mph was at Santa Pod in 1984 by American Sammy Miller in his rocket-propelled Vanishing Point Funny Car.

1971: At the Easter meet at Santa Pod Raceway, Clive Skilton debuted his new dragster ‘Second Revolution’ and became the first to run 200 mph in the UK and set a new UK low E.T. with a 7.39/203 straight off the trailer.

1976: The 28th BRDC International Trophy, a non-championship Formula One race held at Silverstone was won by James Hunt in a McLaren-Cosworth M23.

1987: Morgan Shepherd won the NASCAR Xfinity (Busch Grand National) Series Budweiser 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway. It was his second straight win in the spring race and fourth overall at Bristol. Shepherd led 97 laps and held off Jack Ingram for the victory.

1993: At the Grand Prix of Europe held at Donington Park, England, Ayrton Senna in his McLaren, set the fastest lap on his way to victory in 1:50:46. Senna dominated from his 4th spot on the grid. Damon Hill in the Williams was second and started on outside pole. His teammate, Alain Prost took pole but could do no better than 3rd at the end, 1 lap down. Johnny Herbert had a pretty good day winding up 4th from his 10th spot and so did Fabrizio Barbazza finishing 5th from way back in 20th. Senna’s drive to victory is regarded as one of his finest, and his first lap exploits are particularly lauded, in which he passed four drivers—Michael Schumacher, Karl Wendlinger, Damon Hill and Alain Prost—to take the lead in a single lap in torrential rain conditions. The race was the first held under the European Grand Prix title since 1985, and to date is the only Formula One grand prix to have been held at the Donington Park circuit.

1998: Ed Berrier captured his only NASCAR Xfinity (Busch Grand National) Series win in the Galaxy Food Centers 300 at Hickory Motor Speedway. Berrier led 187 of the 300 laps, including the final 117, to record the win in his 208th start.

1999: Rusty Wallace held off Mark Martin to win the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Wallace led 425 of the 500 laps for his seventh of nine victories at the half-mile oval.

2005: Bobby Labonte (USA), driving a Chevrolet truck, won his first career NASCAR Craftsman Series race, at Martinsville Speedway. With that victory, Labonte became the first driver to win in all three major NASCAR series (truck, Busch and Nextel Cup series races) at the same speedway.

2010: Ryan Newman returned to Victory Lane for the first time in 77 races after he took advantage of a late-race caution and a two-tire pit stop to win the Subway Fresh Fit 600 at Phoenix Raceway. Kyle Busch appeared to be cruising to a victory and a sweep of the Phoenix weekend after his Xfinity (Nationwide) Series win, but a caution came out when Scott Riggs slammed the Turn 3 wall and set up a green-white-checkered finish. As the leaders ducked into pit road, several opted for two tires including Newman and Jeff Gordon. Busch took four and lost several positions in the process. On the final restart, Newman edged ahead of Gordon and stayed there for the final two laps to score his first win as a member of Stewart-Haas Racing.

2015: Erik Jones picked up his first career NASCAR Xfinity Series win in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway. Jones led six times for 79 laps, including the final 50 to score the win holding off Brad Keselowski and Dale Earnhardt Jr. to the checkered flag.

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