~ 15 July ~
1911: Jake DeRosier, on an Indian, defeated Charlie Collier, on a Matchless, in a 10 lap (22 mile) motorcycle race at Brooklands, England. He was one of the first factory-backed motorcycle racers of the early 20th Century. He rode for Indian and then Excelsior, and was the fastest rider in the United States in the early 1900s. Continue Reading ?
1922: The first 24-hour road race run in Europe, the Bol d’or at Sainte-Germain, was won by Andre Morel in a 1,100 cc Amilcar at 37.54 mph.
1922: The Bugatti Type 30 made its racing debut, with Pierre de Vizcaya and Pierre Marco taking second and third places at the French Grand Prix in Strasbourg.
1928: The Mercedes-Benz SS made its racing debut at the German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring and occupied the top three places – Halle in an Amilcar and Vinzenz Junek in a Bugatti were killed in accudents during the race.
1939: Carl Fisher (65), the founder of both the Indy 500 and Miami Beach, died in Miami. Born in Greensburg, Indiana, Fisher grew up racing cars and bicycles and aspired to be a successful inventor. He turned out to be a better businessman than an inventor, and left his first imprint on the business world when he partnered with Fred Avery, who held the patent for pressing carbide gas into tanks. Continue Reading ?
1961: Following a wet weekend, with torrential rain affecting both qualifying and the race start, the British Grand Prix at Aintree was ultimately dominated by Scuderia Ferrari, with their drivers taking all three podium positions. The race was won by German Wolfgang von Trips, who had led for much of the race after starting from fourth place. This was von Trips’s second and last Grand Prix victory, as two races later he was killed in an accident during the 1961 Italian Grand Prix. Continue Reading ?
1967: Jim Clark kick-started his faltering season with victory in the British Grand Prix. Lotus had the fastest car but struggled with transmission problems – both cars had retired while running 1-2 in the French Grand Prix a fortnight earlier – but as Clark and Graham Hill dominated all seemed to be right at Silverstone. Hill led up to the 55th lap when his car suffered from a rear suspension issues and then engine failure, but Clark held on.
1971: Richard Petty led all the way in the Islip 250, the final race for NASCAR’s top series at Islip (New York, US) Speedway, in an event shortened by 20 laps because of scoring confusion. Petty started from the pole and led all 230 laps, finishing two laps ahead of Friday Hassler, who posted his career-best finish in second. Elmo Langley was third, six laps down at the end.Continue Reading ?
1972: Emerson Fittipaldi won an eventful British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch. Jackie Icyx led early on before retiring with oil pressure problems, while Ronnie Peterson appeared set to take fourth place when his engine cut out and he crashed into the abandoned cars of Graham Hill and Francois Cevert.
1990: Alain Prost secured his third successive win at the British Grand Prix to move ahead of Ayrton Senna in the drivers’ championship. The early battle had been between Senna and Nigel Mansell as the pair swapped the lead, but mechanical problems took their toll on Mansell while Senna spun off, allowing Prost to cruise home. A fuming Mansell, who eventually had to retire on the 56th lap, said afterwards that he was “much quicker than anyone else … I’m bound to wonder why these problems don’t happen to the other guys”. Continue Reading ?
2001: In his period of dominance, the British Grand Prix was a rare failure for Michael Schumacher as he failed to win despite taking pole, the victory going to Mike Hakkinen. For Heinz-Harald Frentzen it marked the end of his time with Jordan who sacked him following a disappointing season.
2003: Following extensive wind tunnel testing, the final design of the first A1GP race car was shown in public for the first time at the Farnborough International Air Show in the UK.
~ 16 July ~
1899: The first Tour de France Automobile, a sports car race held on roads around France regularly – mostly annually – between 1899 and 1986, began. Organized by Le Matin, under the control of the Automobile Club de France, it was held in seven stages: Paris-Nancy; Nancy-Aix-les-Bains; Aix-les-Bains-Vichy; Vichy-Périgueux; Périgueux-Nantes; Nantes-Cabourg; Cabourg-Paris. Out of 49 starters, 21 vehicles finished the 1350 mile race, with René de Knyff driving a Panhard et Levassor winning the race 8 days later in Paris, at an average speed of 30.18 mph.
1924: Chrysler made its racing debut with Ralph DePalma winning the Mount Wilson Hillclimb near Los Angeles, US – his 22.1 mph speed for the 9.5 mile course established a n vent record for stock cars, but was the slowest speed for all of DePalma’s many victories.
1955: The British Grand Prix might have been staged in the shadow of the previous month’s Le Mans tragedy, which had led to the cancellation of the French Grand Prix scheduled for July 3, but it was nonetheless a classic race dominated by Mercedes. The venue was moved from Silverstone to Aintree and a 150,000 crowd saw an epic battle between Stirling Moss and Juan Manuel Fangio, the pair swapping the lead and racing nose-to-tail lap after lap. Continue Reading ?
1958: Robert Breeze, designer of the Breeze-Paris race car while on military duty in France and of the 1919 Breeze Midget upon his return to the United States, a developer of power braking systems, and an official of the Sebring (FL) International Raceway, died aged 72, while swimming off the coast of Lio Beach, New York.
1960: Reigning World Champion Jack Brabham won the British Grand Prix and Innes Ireland finished in third place. Between the two, multiple motorcycle Grand Prix World Champion John Surtees (in only his second ever Formula One Grand Prix) took second place.
1966: The first RAC British Grand Prix held at Brands Hatch was won by Jack Brabham driving a Brabham-Repco BT19.The race, the first of the new three-litre engine regulation era where starters reached 20 cars. It was Brabham’s his second win in succession after winning the French Grand Prix two weeks earlier. Continue Reading ?
1967: Scotty Cain won a dust shortened NASCAR PCLM race on a rough 1/2 mile dirt oval at the Alameda County Fairgrounds, California. The race was marred by a 10 car pile-up on the backstretch that saw 4 cars destroyed by fire, among them the Mercury driven by road racing standout Ed Leslie. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured. Continue Reading ?
1977: The British Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Silverstone was won by James Hunt driving a McLaren M26, and marked the debut of Canadian driver Gilles Villeneuve. The race was the first outing for the first turbocharged Formula One car, the Renault RS01, driven by Jean-Pierre Jabouille.
1977: NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip dominated the Nashville 420 (Tennessee, US) to score the sixth of his 84 wins in NASCAR’s top series. Waltrip, who led 300 of the 420 laps on the .596-mile oval at the Nashville Fairgrounds, was more than a lap ahead of runner-up Bobby Allison at the finish. Richard Petty took third, two laps down at the end.
1978: Carlos Reutemann in a Ferrari 312T3 won the British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch. At the start of the race, Mario Andretti (Lotus) took the lead from Ronnie Peterson (Lotus), with Jody Scheckter (Wolf) holding third and Alan Jones (QWilliams)moving up to fourth. The Lotuses quickly pulled out a large gap, and looked set to dominate, until Peterson retired on lap 7 with a fuel leak. Continue Reading ?
1983: The Spirit made its Formula 1 debut at the British Grand Prix, but the Type 201 driven by Stefan Johansson retired due to fuel pump belt failure. The 67-lap race was won by Renault driver Alain Prost after he started from third position. Nelson Piquet finished second for the Brabham team and Ferrari driver Patrick Tambay came in third.
1995: British driver Johnny Herbert, driving a Benetton-Renault B195 won the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. The race is best remembered for the rather clumsy attempt by Damon Hill on lap 46 to pass Schumacher, that resulted in a collision that forced them both to retire.
2000: Finnish driver, Mika Häkkinen driving a McLaren MP4/15 took the checkered flag at the Austrian Grand Prix staged at the A1-Ring circuit. The win was Hakkinen’s second of the season and McLaren’s fifth. Hakkinen won by twelve seconds over his British team-mate David Coulthard.Continue Reading ?
2006: At the French Grand Prix Michael Schumacher became the first driver in Formula One history to win the same Grand Prix on eight different occasions (having previously won the Grand Prix in 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002 and 2004). Schumacher also achieved his 22nd career hat trick (pole position, win & fastest lap at the same race), also a record. Fernando Alonso, driving a Renault at the team’s home race, finished second, whilst Schumacher’s Ferrari team-mate, Felipe Massa, completed the podium by finishing in third position.