25-26 September: This Weekend in Motor Sport History

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

~25 September~

1936: American driver Bill Schindler crashed during a sprint race in Mineola, New York. Three days after the accident, his left leg had to be amputated, but this loss did not prevent him from continuing his career.

1949: The sixth race of the inaugural NASCAR Strictly Stock season was held at Martinsville Speedway, Virginia, US. Curtis Turner won the pole. Red Byron all but wrapped up the 1949 Strictly Stock championship with an overwhelming triumph in the 100-miler at Martinsville Speedway.

1982: For the first time since the World Championship began in 1950, a country hosted three rounds in the same season in 1982. The Las Vegas Grand Prix, the final race of the year, and the third in the US, decided the Championship. Keke Rosberg of Williams had 42 points, to 33 for McLaren’s John Watson, and needed to finish sixth or better to secure the title. Meanwhile, the race was former world champion Mario Andretti’s final grand prix. Michele Alboreto cruised to a comfortable victory, his first ever and the first for Tyrrell in four years. Alboreto was the 11th different victor that year. Cheever was also able to overtake the ailing Prost for third, nine laps from the end. Less than three seconds behind Prost, and the last car on the lead lap, was Rosberg, who therefore won the title.

1983: The European Grand Prix at Brands Hatch race saw Bruno Giacomelli score his final championship point, and was the first race for qualified doctor and current circuit owner Jonathan Palmer. It also took place exactly 22 years before the inaugural A1 Grand Prix event at Brands Hatch, September 25, 2005. It was the only race in F1 history that both Toleman cars finished in the points.

1994: The Portuguese Grand Prix was won by Damon Hill driving for the Williams team. David Coulthard finished second in the other Williams, with Mika Häkkinen third in a McLaren car. Hill’s win was his fifth of the season and his third consecutive win having won both the preceding Belgian and Italian Grand Prix

2005: The A1 Grand Prix of Nations, Brands Hatch, Great Britain was held, the first full racing event in A1GP’s history. A1 Team Brazil’s Nelson Piquet Jr took the double, winning both the ‘Sprint’ and the ‘Feature’ races.

~26 September~

1965: A.J. Foyt, drove a Lotus-Ford to victory at the USAC Championship race on the kidney-shaped oval at Trenton, New Jersey.

1993: Ernie Irvan won the Goody’s 500 at Martinsville, Virginia (US) in his fourth start with the Robert Yates team. Irvan was wearing a Davey Allison T-shirt under his uniform in honor of the late driver he replaced on the Yates Ford team.

1993: Alain Prost became only the second man after the legendary Juan Manuel Fangio to win four world championships when a second-place finish at the Portuguese Grand Prix secured him the title. Ironically, the winner was Schumacher, the man who went on to take five and equal Fangio. “These records only mean anything when you are racing,” Prost said.

2004: With Michael Schumacher’s fifth consecutive title (cover image) for Ferrari wrapped up before the end of August, it was team-mate Rubens Barrichello’s chance to take his rewards for his yeoman-like support, and he followed victory a fortnight earlier at Monza with another win at the debut Chinese Grand Prix. The race as a spectacle was helped by Schumacher being forced to start from the back of the grid after a spin during qualifying, and without him dominating there was a real ding-dong battle, less than a second and a half covering Barrichello, Jenson Button and the McLaren- Mercedes of Kimi Raikkonen at the finish. Richard Williams in the Guardian said of the new venue that it was an “outstanding new track, which combines a rich architectural spectacle with a layout that encourages the drivers to attempt the overtaking manoeuvres that used to be the point of motor racing.

2006: The ⅞ mile oval paved Iowa Speedway, in Newton, Iowa (US) track opened with the Soy Biodiesel 250, won by Woody Howard, for the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Four Champions playoff.

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