13-14 March: This Weekend in Motor Sport History

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

~13 march~

1920: Marmon successfully met a challenge to lap the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in a stock, fully equipped sedan at a mile a minute, as the Model 34 sedan recorded a lap at 63.2 mph.

1927: Robert Benoist driving a Delage 15-S8 won the Grand Prix de l’Ouverture at Montlhéry.

1928: Tazio Nuvolari drove a Bugatti 35C to victory in the Grand Prix of Tripoli for his first international auto racing win.

1951: Ak Miller, Marvin Lee, and Wally Parks created the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) in a booth in the Tam-O-Shanter restaurant in Los Angeles, California.

1955: The Briggs Cunningham entered Jaguar D Type driven by Mike Hawthorn/Phil Walters was eventually declared winner of a confused Sebring 12 Hour World Sports Car Championship race. Protests and counter protests over scoring delayed confirmation of the Jaguar’s win until 8 days later. The Carroll Shelby/Phil Hill driven Ferrari was awarded second.

1964: Derek Bell participated in his first motor race, a handicap event. He drove a Lotus Seven to victory.

1965: Mike Spence driving a Lotus-Climax 33 won the Race of Champions at Brands Hatch.

1977: Richard Petty drove his Dodge to a win in a wreck strewn NASCAR Grand National Carolina 500. An asphalt sealer recently applied to the surface of the 1.017 mile North Carolina Motor Speedway led to many of the wrecks, none of which resulted in injury. Overall, the yellow flew 11 times for 118 laps. Darrell Waltrip’s DiGard Chevy finished 8 seconds behind Petty.

1982: Phil Parsons wins the first Busch Series race at Bristol, Tennessee, US. David Pearson starts on the pole and is the only other car on the lead lap of the Southeastern 150. Thirty cars start and 14 finish the 80-mile race.

1983: Richard Petty scored his 196th career win, leading the final 29 laps at North Carolina Motor Speedway in Rockingham, North Carolina, US. Petty prevailed by half a car-length to deny Bill Elliott his first win in NASCAR’s premier series. Darrell Waltrip was third as the only other car on the lead lap.

1983: The Brazilian Grand Prix at Jacarepagua was won by Nelson Piquet in a Brabham-BMW BT52 from the 4th place spot on the grid. Niki Lauda was second, 51 seconds,back in a McLaren and Jacques Laffite had a great drive from 18th spot to finish third. Keke Rosberg sat on pole but was DQ’d after he stalled and was push started.

1988: 20-year-old Jeff Burton, making his first NASCAR start, finishes last in the 200-lap Miller Classic Nationwide Series race at Martinsville, Virginia, US. Twenty-eight cars started the race, and Burton’s engine failed after two laps.

1999: British American Racing escaped with a mild rebuke from the FIA instead of a fine or suspension after apologising for its behaviour in a dispute over liveries and logos. BAR had fallen foul of the governing body when it presented one car painted in red, white and black and emblazoned with a Lucky Strike logo, the other in blue and yellow and promoting the 555 cigarette brand. “It’s like having a football team with different shirts,” Max Mosley, FIA president, said. “It’s important that cars from the same team should be easily identified.”

2002: Phoenix Formula One, the outfit which bought the remains of the failed Prost team, were told to stay away from the forthcoming Malaysian Grand Prix by the FIA who claimed to have told both parties that their proposed entry was invalid because they had not purchased the all-important “right to compete”. It had arrived in Kuala Lumpur with two of last year’s Prost AP04 cars, which they intended to race on Sunday. The Argentinian Gaston Mazzacane was named as one driver, with the Brazilian Tarso Marques tipped as the other. As it was, faced with the brick wall of the FIA, it never raced.

2003: In what was to become a tediously drawn-out story, Silverstone’s future was put under threat by Bernie Ecclestone. Who had said: If the British grand prix disappears from Britain, it will be because no one can afford Silverstone’s rent.” But Martin Brundle, the former grand prix driver and chairman of the British Racing Drivers Club, which owned the Northamptonshire circuit, reacted furiously. “It is clear for anyone to see that Bernie seems to have been trying hard to destabilise the British grand prix, Silverstone and the BRDC,” he said. The saga dragged on another six-and-a-half years before the circuit’s long-term future was assured.

2004: Deep discontentment at McLaren after a poor Australian Grand Prix, with newspapers reporting long-time boss Ron Dennis was under pressure to quit. “There are a lot of disillusioned people in the camp, people who have stood by Ron Dennis for many years,” an insider told the Sunday Mirror. “Ron has got a real problem on his hands. They could see what was coming – they knew the car wasn’t good enough. They feel Ron has taken his eye off the ball, that he’s too concerned about style and image. He seems to have forgotten the fundamentals and lost sight of the fact that McLaren is supposed to be, first and foremost, a racing team.” He survived.

2006: Despite failing to finish the Laguna Seca, USA Feature race, A1 Team France’s weekend performance was enough to guarantee an unbeatable lead making them the first world champions at the penultimate race of the season.


~14 March~

1897: Emile Levassor (54) died from complications arising from injuries suffered near La Palud, France during the Paris-Marseille road-race. Four days later a daughter was won to Anna and Gottlieb Daimler in Stuttgart, Germany, who was christened Emillie in his honour.

1899: Ettore Bugatti in a Prinetti & Stucchi 3 won the 100 mile (161 km) Verona-Brescia-Mantua-Verona road race in just over 5 hours.

1935: The great “romantic” age of South American road racing began with the start of the first Gran Premio International. The 2733.6 mile (4409 km) event from Buenos Aires to Santiago de Chili was a rally which was won by Arturo Kruuse of Patagonia, Argentina, in a Plymouth.

1937: Tommy Elmore drove a Ford V-8 Special to victory in a 100 mile Stock Car race on a 1 mile beach course in Florida. Elmore averaged 57.6 mph.

1954: Jim Kimberly won a 150 mile Sports Car race on a 5 mile airport course at Hunter Air Force Base, Georgia, US. Kimberly averaged 97.2 mph in his Ferrari.

1957: Eugenio Castellotti (26) was killed during a private Ferrari test session at the Modena Autodrome. Castellotti was testing a new Ferrari Grand Prix car for the 1957 season. He crashed against a curve of the Autodrome and his body was hurled 100 yards (91.4 metres). He had just been told to accelerate his speed so that he could average 85.127 miles per hour (137 km/h). The car turned over several times and finished up in the members stand. No one else was injured. Doctors said Castellotti died instantly from a fractured skull.

1964: The Daily Mirror Trophy at Snetterton, England was won by Innes Ireland in a BRP-BRM 1.

1972: David Pearson drove a Chevrolet Camaro to victory as NASCAR inaugurated it’s new Grand National East division with a 100 mile race on the 1/2 mile dirt Jacksonville Speedway. Pearson finished 2 laps ahead of another Camaro driven by Charlie Blanton with veteran Buck Baker 3rd in a Pontiac Firebird. Veteran Grand National independents Wendell Scott and James Hylton rounded out the top 5

1976: James Hunt won his second consecutive non-championship Race of Champions at Brands Hatch with his McLaren M23. He also set fastest lap on the way to victory. Alan Jones was second in his Surtees and Jacky Ickx finished third in one of Lord Hesketh’s cars.

1992: Jeff Gordon notched his first-ever NASCAR victory, starting from the pole and dominating the Atlanta 300 Busch Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Georgia, US. Gordon, driving a Baby Ruth-sponsored Ford, led 103 of 197 laps to hold off runner-up Harry Gant by 3.57 seconds. Hut Stricklin finished third in the series’ first race on the Georgia track.

1993 The Sauber made its Formula 1 debut in the South African Grand Prix at Kyalami with a Type C12 driven by J J Lehto finishing 5th.

1993: The last South African Grand Prix was held at Kyalami. Alain Prost scored took pole position, recorded the fastest lap, and won the race in his Williams Renault, despite a wobbly start which saw him beaten to the first corner by Ayrton Senna, Damon Hill and Michael Schumacher respectively.

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