18-24 June: Motoring Milestones

Discover the momentous motoring events that took place this week in history …..

75 years ago this week, Simo Lampinen, Finnish former rally driver, and one of the first of the “Flying Finns” who came to dominate the sport, was born [23 June 1943]. Having contracted polio at a young age, Lampinen was left with a pronounced limp, and as a result he was granted a driving licence aged 17 so he could travel to and from school more easily. He quickly graduated to competitive driving, and won the Finnish Rally Championship twice in succession in 1963 and 1964. His early victories were in the Saab 96, before being lured to Lancia in 1970 where he continued his winning ways. He also drove for Peugeot, Fiat and Triumph, though without the same success. More recently, he has been Clerk of the Course at the Rally Finland, the event he won three times himself, and he has also assisted Saab in two racing events; their Saab 900 Talladega Challenge in Alabama in 1996 where several speed records were set, and the 2000 Pikes Peak race, when Per Eklund won in a race-prepped Saab 9-3 Viggen…….60 years ago this week, racers Guido Zerneri and Luigi Mora were killed during the Mille Miglia [21 June 1958]…….50- years ago this week, Jackie Stewart led the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort from flag to flag, scoring the first Grand Prix win for the Matra MS10-Ford [23 June 1968]. His teammate Jean-Pierre Beltoise finished second and BRM driver Pedro Rodríguez came in third…….40 years ago this week, the Aston Martin Volante, the marque’s first 8-cylinder convertible,made its long awaited appearance, almost nine years after the launch of the DBS V8 [21 June 1977]…….25 years ago this week, the second running of the American Solar Race was held [20-26 June 1993]. The race route covered over 1100 miles starting in Arlington, Texas and ending in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The first place car was Maize & Blue from the University of Michigan followed by Intrepid from Cal Poly Pamona and Solar Eagle II from Cal State LA…….30 years ago this week, Ayrton Senna’s third win of the season at the Detroit Grand Prix made it six out of six for McLaren in 1988, on the way to an unprecedented 15 wins and ten 1-2 finishes in 16 races [19 June 1988]…… on the same day [19 June 1988] Bobby Allison completed in his last race, the Miller High Life 500 in Pocono, Pennsylvania, US and was involved in a near-fatal accident during the first lap…….Molly Brennan, driving the General Motors Sunraycer at Mesa, Arizona, USA established the record for the highest speed attained in a solely solar-powered land vehicle (78.39 km/h / 48.71 mph) [24 June 1988]…….10 years ago this week, in New Jersey Scott Kalitta (46) died when his Funny Car crashed and burst into flames during the final round of qualifying for the Lucas Oil NHRA SuperNationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, New Jersey, US [21 June 2008].

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