10-11 December: This Weekend in Motor Sport History

10-11 December: This Weekend in Motor Sport History


1934: A new speed record of 311.98 km/h (193.86 mph) was set over five kilometres with a flying start on the Avus racetrack in Berlin by Rudolf Caracciola driving the record-breaking Mercedes-Benz W25.

1992: The French Grand Prix was axed following the introduction of tough anti-tobacco laws in the country. Organisers were concerned cars bearing illegal logos would be seized by the courts after a court in France fined the British-based Williams team £3.5 million under an old anti-tobacco law for displaying Camel logos in a broadcast televised from the Australian Grand Prix in Adelaide. In the event, a compromise was found and the race went ahead.

2003: An arrest warrant was issued for Eddie Irvine when he failed to turn up at Bow Street Magistrates Court in London to answer to a speeding charge. Irvine was accused of exceeding the 30mph limit on a scooter at Hyde Park Corner in London, as well as driving without insurance or a licence. Nothing more came of the incident or the warrant.

2004: Never a man to miss the chance to make a headline or two, Bernie Ecclestone announced he was interested in staging a grand prix through the streets of London. “I would sign a deal today,” he said. “It could happily run alongside a British Grand Prix at Silverstone. It’s finding the money to put it on.” The idea even got as far as a planning meeting at which it was established that grandstands would be erected in Hyde Park and a pit and paddock complex along Horse Guards Parade.


1921: The San Carlos Board Speedway in San Francisco, California staged its first race – the 250 mile main event was won by Jimmy Murphy in a Duesenberg.

1960: Jim Hall, driving a Maserati Tipo 61, won the feature race at Las Vegas, Nevada, US.

1963: Edwin Brailey (42) was killed when the vehicle he was driving crashed at an icy Brands Hatch during the making of a film. He lost control of his sportscar – a Lotus or an Elva, coming out of Clearways and went broadside into the end of the pit barrier.

1975: A fortnight after the death of Graham Hill, the sponsors of his F1 team, tobacco company WD & HO Wills, announced the withdrawal of its backing for the Hill team, dooming it to closure. “There is not enough time to rebuild the team to the standards of competitiveness we had set ourselves for the coming season,” a spokesman said.

1998: China’s first F1 Grand Prix, provisionally scheduled for March 28 1999,was dropped after the FIA decided that the Zuhai circuit organisers needed another year to finalise arrangements. In fact, it was not until 2004 that the race took place.

2003: Michael Schumacher tried to prove he was faster than a speeding plane when he took on an Eurofighter Typhoon in his Ferrari F2003 at the Baccarini military airport near Rome. However, he lost 2-1 over three distances – 600,900 and

1200 metres. The Ferrari boasted a top speed of 370kph against the fighter’s 2450kph; the jet, which was stripped of weapons, weighed in at 21,000 kilos against the Ferrari’s 600. The race was organised to mark 100 years of manned flight and the 50th anniversary of the death of Tazio Nuvolari. Nuvolari performed a similar stunt in 1931 when he raced his Alfa Romeo 8C2300 against a Caprioni 100 biplane. “It was a very interesting experience,” said Schumacher after the races. “I was glad to be here today – it was very impressive,”

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