22-23 May This Weekend in Motor Sport History

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


~22 May~


1913: Guido Bigio (31), italian racing car driver and founder of the Turin-based Itala car manufacturer (with Matteo Ceirano and others), died in an accident, testing an Itala two months before the 1913 French Grand Prix.

1932: From the elite of 16 international drivers only five finished the AVUS-Rennen, the fastest high-speed race in Europe. Dreyfus was the first leader and had to stop his 16-cylinder Maserati after lap one. Divo in the 5-litre Bugatti then held the lead until lap five when his engine started leaking oil badly. World record holder Sir Malcolm Campbell in the 4-litre V-12 Sunbeam also retired early. From lap six onwards Caracciola with his 2.3-litre Alfa Romeo was in front. The young German von Brauchitsch in his strange looking streamlined 7.1-litre Mercedes-Benz SSKL followed closely. This duo provided an exciting battle for the lead until the end when von Brauchitsch came out on top as a surprising winner. Behind Caracciola were the Swiss Stuber (Bugatti) in third place, then the Germans Stuck (Mercedes-Benz SSKL) and Kotte (2.5-litre Maserati). The remaining drivers all retired their cars, which did not hold up in this high-speed chase. Lewy (Bugatti) crashed on lap one, as did Czechoslovakian driver Prince Lobkowicz who died shortly thereafter in hospital.

1933: Manfred von Brauchitsch won the AVUS race in Berlin with a Mercedes-Benz SSKL, setting a 200 km/h (124 mph) world record for the class. The “SSKL” (standing for “Super-Sport-Kurz-Leicht”, Super, Sport, Short, Light) was the last stage of the development of the “S” series.

1934: ERA’s first raced at Brooklands. By the end of the year ERAs had scored several victories in fields containing many more established marques, and through the mid- and late 1930s ERA came to dominate voiturette racing, with drivers of the calibre of Dick Seaman driving for the team. As soon as 1935, in a major race at the Nürburgring, ERAs took first, third, fourth and fifth places.

1935:Luigi Fagioli drove a Mercedes-Benz W25 to victory in the Monoco Grand Prix. He was the first driver to lead at Monoco from flag to flag.

1955: French driver Maurice Trintignant driving a Ferrari 625 won the Monaco Grand Prix. Stirling Moss had been signed by Mercedes for the new season and Maserati had replaced him with Jean Behra. The Silver Arrows of Fangio and Moss dominated, running 1-2 until half distance, trailed by Ascari and Castellotti. At the halfway mark, Fangio retired with transmission trouble, giving the lead to Moss. Almost a lap ahead, a seemingly sure win for Moss was ended on Lap 80 when his Benz’s engine blew. The new leader Ascari got it all wrong at the chicane coming out of the tunnel, his Lancia crashing through the barriers into the harbour so that he had to swim to safety. Maurice Trintignant, in a Ferrari 625 thought to be noncompetitive, inherited the lead and scored his first Formula One victory. Mercedes driver Hans Herrmann injured himself in practice and was replaced by André Simon. This race marked the Grand Prix debut for Cesare Perdisa. It was the only Grand Prix appearance for Ted Whiteaway. This was the last Grand Prix appearance for Alberto Ascari; he was killed four days later testing a Ferrari sports car at Monza. It was the first win for Maurice Trintignant and Englebert tyres. It was also the first podium and points for Eugenio Castellotti and Cesare Perdisa,[citation needed] and the first win for a French driver.

1959: Lee Petty won the 100-mile race at Charlotte, North Carolina, US in an Oldsmobile, the last victory for the marque until 1978,

1961: The Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort was won by Wolfgang von Trips in a Ferrari 156. It was the first World Championship Grand Prix in which no driver retired and none made pit stops. Fifteen cars started and fiftenn cars finished, eight on the same lap as the winner.

1966: The 24th Monaco Grand Prix was run, the first of a new era for Formula One, the ‘return to power’ as engine regulations were altered from 1.5 litres of maximum engine displacement to 3.0 litres. It was won by Jackie Stewart driving a BRM P261. He took a forty second victory over the Ferrari 246 of Italian driver Lorenzo Bandini. It was Stewart’s second Grand Prix victory after winning the Italian Grand Prix the previous year. Stewart’s team mate, fellow Briton Graham Hill finished a lap down in third position in his BRM P261. The only other driver to be classified as a finisher was American driver Bob Bondurant driving a BRM P261 entered privately by Team Chamaco Collect.

1966: Marvin Panch scores his final victory in NASCAR’s premier series in unusual fashion, with Richard Petty taking over his car in relief and driving to the checkered flag in the World 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, North Carolina, US.

1977: Janet Guthrie from Iowa, became the first female to qualify for the Indianapolis 500. Guthrie failed to finish the 1977 race due to mechanical troubles. The next year, however, she not only finished the race but landed in ninth place, a remarkable achievement considering her meager race funding.

1977: Jody Scheckter won the Monaco Grand Prix, the 100th victory for the Cosworth DFV engine.

1983: The first Belgian Grand Prix race to be held on the modern Spa circuit was won by Alain Prost driving a Renault RE40.

2005: The Monaco Grand Prix at Monte Carlo was won by polesitter and McLaren-Mercedes MP4-20 driver, Kimi Räikkönen. This was the first Monaco Grand Prix held after the death of Prince Rainier III. His death was the reason why the Princely Family did not attend the Grand Prix.

2007: NASCAR announced that the new car would be used full time in 2008. The original plan was to use the new car in 16 races in 2007, 26 races in 2008, and the full 36-race schedule in 2009.


~23 May~

1914: A quarter-mile track opened in Toronto, Canada with all 7,000 seats full and many more standing. 1,000 candlepower nitrogen bulbs lit the saucer. Races roared far into the summer nights, two to three nights a week all summer. Racers reached speeds of 80 mph over long distances, but thundered at over 90 mph in shorter races. Racers played rough and dirty elbowing and kneeing to get to the head of the pack.

1948: NASCAR staged three championship events in different locations in the US on the same day. Gober Sosebee won at Macon, Georgia, Bill Blair captured the feature in Danville, Virginia, and Johnny Rogers tops the field at Dover, New Jersey.

1954: Lee Petty lapped the field to notch a rain-shortened win in the only appearance for NASCAR’s top series at Sharon Speedway in Hartford, Ohio, US. Buck Baker finished second with pole-starter Dick Rathman third in the race, which was stopped 40 laps short of the scheduled 200-lap distance.

1971: After taking pole by more than a second, Jackie Stewart produced a dominant display to win his second Monaco Grand Prix. Ronnie Peterson put on a show as he wrestled his March from sixth on the grid to second for his first F1 podium, with Jacky Ickx in third.

1982: Don Prudhomme set an NHRA Funny Car top speed record of 250.00 mph in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, US.

1982: The Monaco Grand Prix was held, the first race following the death of Gilles Villeneuve at the Belgian Grand Prix; consequently Ferrari entered only one driver, Didier Pironi. By around lap 67, the race became a 2-horse sprint between Alain Prost and Riccardo Patrese. Once it started to rain and while Patrese was pushing hard Prost was storming around the track, trying to finish the race before it started to rain; and by lap 74, Prost pushed too hard and crashed into the Armco barriers coming out of the Chicane du Port (also known as the Dog Leg). On lap 75, Patrese led, spun and stalled at Loews. On the last lap, Didier Pironi led into the tunnel and ran out of fuel, Andrea de Cesaris also ran out of fuel before he could take over the lead, and Derek Daly, the next leader, already had a car with no front or back wing- and then a damaged gearbox which seized up before he could start the final lap. Patrese, who had managed to restart his car by rolling downhill and bump-starting, took his first race win. Pironi and de Cesaris were classified 2nd and 3rd, with Daly sixth. BBC commentator and 1976 world champion James Hunt commented, “Well we’ve got this ridiculous situation where we’re all sitting by the start-finish line waiting for a winner to come past and we don’t seem to be getting one!”.

1993: Ayrton Senna driving a McLaren-Ford MP4/8 won the Monaco Grand Prix. It was his sixth win at the Grand Prix, breaking Graham Hill’s record for most wins at this circuit, set 24 years earlier. Damon Hill finished second for the Williams team with Ferrari driver Jean Alesi third.

2004: The Monaco Grand Prix (formally the LII Grand Prix de Monaco) was held at the Circuit de Monaco, contested over 77 laps. The race was won by the Renault driver Jarno Trulli. The BAR driver, Jenson Button finished in second position, one second behind Trulli.

2005: Ernst Henne (cover image), one of the most successful German motorcycle racers, died at the age of 101. After joining the BMW works team, he became the 1926 German champion in the 500cc class, 1927 German champion in the 750cc class and the 1928 winner of the Targa Florio. Starting on 9 September 1929 at 216.6 km/h (134.6 mph) on a supercharged 750 cc BMW, Henne achieved a total of 76 land speed world records, increasing his speed annually from 1929 to 1937. His last motorcycle land speed record was set on 28 November 1937 with a speed of 279.5 km/h (173.7 mph) on a fully faired 500cc supercharged BMW. This record stood for 14 years. Henne competed in the International Six Days Trial, and was a member of the winning German teams of 1933, 1934, and 1935. He also raced sports cars, winning the two-litre class of the 1936 Eifelrennen in the first appearance of the BMW 328. Having earned his pilot’s licence in 1932, Henne was conscripted by the Luftwaffe during World War II, but was declared unfit due to the skull fractures and concussions he had suffered during his racing career. After the war, he developed a contract workshop with Mercedes-Benz. In 1991 he founded the Ernst-Jakob-Henne Foundation to help innocent victims of misfortune. From 1996 until his death, Henne lived in retirement with his wife on the Canary Islands.

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