20-21 March: This Weekend in Motor Sport History

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

~20 March~

1920: Tazio Nuvolari claimed his first auto racing victory in the 170 mile Verona Cup regularity race driving an Ansaldo Tipo 4.

1955: American race driver Larry Crockett died, at the age of 28, in a crash at the Langhorne speedway. He raced in just one F1 race, the 1954 Indy 500.

1966: The Lola T90 Indycar made its debut in the USAC Championship race at Phoenix, Arizona, USA.

1972: The Penske L&M Porsche 917/10 Can-Am racer was unveiled to the press and sponsors at Road Atlanta in Brazelton, Georgia, US.

1977: James Hunt driving a McLaren-Cosworth M23 won the Race of Champions at Brands Hatch.

1969: Porsche officially submitted the 917 to the FIA for homologation.

1993: Morgan Shepherd took the lead with 12 laps remaining to win the Motorcraft Quality Parts 500 at Atlanta, Georgia (US) an event postponed six days due to a blizzard. It was Shepherd’s fourth career NASCAR Winston Cup win, three of which have come at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

1994: Michael Andretti won the Australian CART Indy Car race driving a Reynard. This was Andretti’s first race after leaving Formula 1 and the first Indy Car race for Reynard.

2005: The second round of the 2005 Formula 1 championship took place in Malaysia. Fernando Alonso started from pole and went on to win the race from Toyota’s Jarno Trulli by a massive 24.3 seconds.

2006: Bill Lester became the first African American to start a race at NASCAR’s top level since Willy T. Ribbs in 1986. Lester qualified for the Golden Corral 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway and finishes 38th.


~21 March~

1899: The 75 mile (120.7 km) Nice-Castellane-Nice road race was won by Albert Lemaître driving a Peugeot 20 hp, at an average speed of 26.02 mph (41.87 km/h). He was driving the latest version of rear engined, 2 cylinder, (140 mm bore x 190 mm stroke) Peugeot, in which he also achieved a standing start mile in 1 minute 35 seconds.

1926: Bennett Hill won the 250 mile AAA Championship race on the 1.25 mile high banked Culver City Speedway, California. Hill averaged 131.29 mph at the wheel of a Miller.

1926: A Bugatti T35 driven by Alessandro Consonno won a Grand Prix held at the Pozzo Circuit in Verona, Italy.

1940: Felice Nazzaro (60), legendary Italian racecar driver, a native of Turin, died. He won the Kaiserpreis in 1907 as well as the French Grand Prix in 1907 and 1922 and Targa Florio in 1907 and 1913. His European wins in 1907 resulted in an invitation to compete in the 1908 American Grand Prize in Savannah, Georgia, where he finished third.

1948: The Gordini 8GC race car was completed and road tested by designer Amedee Gordini.

1948: Chico Landi won the Interlagos Grand Prix in Brazil driving an Alfa Romeo 308.

1954: Pole-starter Herb Thomas guided his Fabulous Hudson Hornet to victory at Lakewood Speedway in Atlanta (Georgia, US), prevailing by one car-length over Buck Baker. Thomas’s third win of the season was the 31st of his NASCAR Grand National career. Dick Rathman finished third on the mile-long dirt track.

1964: The Iso Rivolta Grifo prototype made its racing debut in the Sebring 12-Hour Grand Prix of Endurance for sports cars, in Florida, US.

1968: Cale Yarborough drove a Wood Brothers Mercury to victory in the NASCAR Grand National race at Atlanta, Georgia, USA

1971: The Race of Champions at Brands Hatch was won by Clay Regazzoni in a Ferrari 312B2.

1982: Alain Prost put on a strong performance in his Renault at the Brazilian Grand Prix, taking pole, setting fastest lap and winning the event, though by the disqualification of Piquet, in 1:44:33. John Watson had a great drive to finish second after starting 12th on the grid. Nigel Mansell also had a fine finish in third after starting from the 14th spot.

1987: Jochen Mass and Bobby Rahal drove Bruce Leven’s Porsche 962 to victory in the IMSA 12 Hours of Sebring endurance race.

1999: Jeff Burton’s crumpled Ford laid in a smoking heap on the frontstretch at Darlington Raceway, South Carolina, US as rain began to fall securing his victory in one of the zaniest finishes in NASCAR history. Burton was involved in a crash on lap 163, but managed to keep his car rolling until heavy rains curtail the scheduled 400-miler.

1999: John Force set a NHRA Funny Car speed record of 324.05 mph at Gainesville, Florida. At the same event, Tony Pendragon set an NHRA Funny Car quarter mile e.t. record of 4.779 seconds.

2004: The Malaysian Grand Prix took place at the Sepang circuit; Michael Schumacher took pole position and went onto win the race. The event also saw Britain’s Jenson Button stand on the podium for the first time, finishing in third position.

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