10-11 July: This Weekend inn Motorsport History

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

~10 July~

1907: The fourth Glidden Tour began in Cleveland, Ohio, with an indirect route to Chicago, Illinois, and then back to New York City. The contest was a club affair with teams from automobile organizations who represented different cities competing for the prize. Eighty-two cars carrying nearly three hundred passengers started out at Cleveland and concluded in New York City on July 24. The distance covered on this tour was 1,519 miles over roads that ran from gravel and clay to brick pavement or asphalt and many were in very bad condition.In addition to the Glidden Trophy, the AAA in 1907 also offered a new Hower Trophy, named for William J. Hower, chairman of the AAA’s Touring Board, for the winning individual runabout, with the Glidden Trophy awarded to the winning automobile club with three or more entries. There was also a third sub-division in the 1907 Tour, for motorists who desired to participate in the Tour but who were not competing for either trophy. The distance of the 1907 Tour was 1,519 miles, almost half again longer than that of the previous year and nearly 650 miles longer than 1905 Glidden Tour. The longest day’s run was 174 miles; the shortest day’s run, 97 miles. This Glidden was a very strenuous tour that was marred by several terrible accidents. Officials were criticized for setting short completion times for long distances, causing the tourists to push their cars to the limit. Mr. T. J. Clark died from injuries received when his Packard skidded on a sharp muddy turn and rolled into a ditch. Miss Teenie Rollins suffered a broken jaw and shoulder when she and other passengers in the Pierce Great Arrow driven by Kenneth R. Otis overturned. Contemporary reports of the tour show that accidents and breakdowns were simply considered to be part of early touring with the majority of starters persevering to complete their Glidden Tour.

1927: The legendary Rheims circuit staged its first major race, the Grand Prix de la Marne, won by Philippe Etancelin in a Maserati.

1949: The second race of the inaugural NASCAR Strictly Stock season was held at the Daytona Beach Road Course (Florida, US). Gober Sosebee won the pole. Sosebee led the first 34 laps and was passed by Red Byron of Atlanta with six laps remaining.

1955: Jerry Hoyt (26) died while taking part in a sprint race in Oklahoma City. On the first lap, his car made contact with a fence, causing it to overturn. The cars of the time provided little protected for the driver’s head, and Hoyt died the next morning of brain injuries.

1988: Ayrton Senna won a wet British Grand Prix at Silverstone, but the loudest cheers of the day were reserved for Nigel Mansell who chipped his way through the field to take second. It was less memorable for Alain Prost who retired on the 24th lap moaning his car was handling too badly for him to continue.

1994: What started as a poor weekend for Damon Hill when the suspension on his Williams fell apart on the first practice lap finished with him winning the British Grand Prix. Michael Schumacher’s good start was undone when he was slapped with a five-second stop-go penalty for twice overtaking Hill on the parade lap, but his Benetton team refused to call him in arguing the notification of the punishment was not handled properly. Eventually he was black flagged but he ignored that as well, claiming he hadn’t seen it, and it took a visit to the Benetton pit by the race director to finally bring the team to heel.

2005: Before the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, a minute of silence was held as a mark of respect for those who had lost their lives in the London bombings three days earlier. The race was won by Juan Pablo Montoya driving a McLaren-Mercedes MP4-20.

2011: Fernando Alonso won the British Grand Prix for Ferrari.


~11 July~

1925: The Laurel Board Speedway, Maryland, US, staged its first event, a 250 mile race that was won by Peter DePaolo driving a Miller, with an average speed of 126 mph, edging his rival Robert McDonough.

1931: Dick Seaman and Whitney Straight both made their debut in speed events at the same Shelsley Walsh Hillclimb in Worcestershire. Both drove Riley’s and neither of them gained an award.

1937: Rudolf Hasse driving an Auto Union Typ C won the Belgian Grand Prix held at Spa-Francorchamps.

1964: Jim Clark won the first British Grand Prix staged at Brands Hatch following the sale of the famous Aintree course for his third successive win at the event.

1970: Santa Pod Raceway, Northamptonshire, England held its first International meeting with “the top Swedish dragster and funny car in attendance”. These were Hazze Fromms “Roaring Viking” Capri Funny and the “Valkyrion” dragster of Bjorn Anderson. The meeting was run as two separate eliminations, one on the Saturday and one on the Sunday.

1971: Pedro Rodriguez (31) died. An eccentric, he everywhere with his famous deerstalker hat and bottle of Tabasco sauce for use at the world’s finest restaurants. After a slow start he had emerged to become a good Formula 1 driver and an even better one in sports cars.

1993: Alain Prost secured his 50th grand prix win at Silverstone, aided by early leader Damon Hill’s engine blowing up and Ayrton Senna’s McLaren dying on the last lap. Hill had seemed on course for victory despite Prost slowly closing on him, but the gap was wiped out when a safety car was brought out after Luca Badoer crashed his Lola; on the restart Prost was right behind Hill, capitalising when his car gave up the ghost.

1993: Rusty Wallace edged Mark Martin to win the first race in NASCAR’s premier series at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (US). Wallace, a 2013 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee, drove from 33rd starting position to lead 106 of 300 laps in the Slick 50 300. Martin, the pole-starter, settled for second place.

2004: Michael Schumacher in a Ferrari F2004 won the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Minardi removed all sponsor logos to mourn the death of the team manager, John Walton who died on July 9, immediately before the race weekend. However, after the event, the team lost their Dutch title sponsor Wilux, mainly because the logos had been removed without the sponsor’s agreement.

2006: At the British Grand Prix Fernando Alonso became the first Spanish driver and the youngest driver (24 years, 10 months, 13 days) to get the Hat Trick (pole position, winning and fastest lap in same Grand Prix). He fell one lap short of clinching the Grand Chelem (he would finally achieve this at the 2010 Singapore Grand Prix). This race also featured the first ever pit stop to have involved a woman, during a Midland F1 pit stop for Tiago Monteiro, ITV-F1’s then pit-lane reporter Louise Goodman was the left rear tyre changer.

2010: Fernando Alonso won the British Grand Prix for Ferrari. It was the ninth race of the 2011 season, and saw the introduction of a ban on off-throttle blown diffusers, the practice of forcing the engine to continue to produce exhaust gasses to generate downforce when drivers are not using the throttle.

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