29-30 July: This Weekend in Motor Sport History

~ 29 July~

1950: British racing driver Joe Fry (34), a distant member of the Fry’s Chocolate family died. He became the primary driver for the highly successful Shelsley Special “Freikaiserwagen”, created by his cousin David Fry and Hugh Dunsterville, with help from Dick Caesar. Tragically, Fry was killed at the wheel of the Freikaiserwagen at the 1950 Blandford hillclimb, less than two months after driving a Maserati 4CL in the 1950 British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Continue Reading →
1951: Alberto Ascari drove a Ferrari 375 to victory in the German Grand Prix on the Nurburgring. Alfa Romeo once again fielded four cars, with local driver Paul Pietsch replacing Consalvo Sanesi, joining Fangio, Farina and Bonetto. Following on from their maiden victory at Silverstone, Ferrari also entered four drivers. Continue Reading →
1951: Three big-time drivers, each of whom were veterans of the Indianapolis 500, and who together constituted the 11th (last) row for the 1951 starting field, lost their lives. At the Williams Grove Speedway in Pennsylvania, Walt Brown was warming up an ill-handling car, the Jack Robbins Special. This car, as the Noc-Out Hose Clamp Special, had been driven to victory in the 1941 Indianapolis 500 by Floyd Davis and Mauri Rose. Continue Reading →
1951: Fonty Flock started from the pole position and held off Gober Sosebee to prevail on Asheville-Weaverville (North Carolina, US) Speedway’s half-mile dirt track. The win was one of eight that season for Flock, who went on to finish a career-best second in the standings in NASCAR’s premier series. Herb Thomas, a 2013 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee, came home third.

1956: The British Jaguar team of Ninian Sanderson and Ron Flockhart won the Le Mans 24 hour race, driving a 3.4 litre Jaguar D, for the new Ecurie Ecosse team. This race also marked the golden jubilee of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) founded in 1906, however because of the previous year’s terrible accident, celebrations were deferred to 1957 to go along with the imminent 25th anniversary of the race. Continue Reading →
1962: Although Roger Penske and Hap Sharp each won one heat of the USAC Road Race Championship Hoosier Grand Prix at Indianapolis Raceway Park in Indianapolis. The event was won on aggregate by Jim Hall, who drove his Climax-powered Lotus 21 to second and third place finishes in the two heats.
1973: Roger Williamson (25) was burnt to death at the Dutch Grand Prix in his March 731 racing car. Fellow British driver David Purley attempted to save Williamson’s life, for which he was awarded the George Medal. In 2003, on the thirtieth anniversary of his fatal crash, a bronze statue of Williamson was unveiled at the Donington Park circuit in his native Leicestershire.
1978: The spectacular Group 5 Zakspeed Capri was introduced to the world at the support race for the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim on this date – half way through that year’s DRM championship.The car retained very little of the Capri, the roof and pillars as well as some parts of the rear end. The body mainly consisted of aluminium profiles and 80 metres of aluminium tubing. Continue Reading →

1979: Alan Jones, in a Williams-Cosworth FW07 won the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim. Clay Regazzoni secured finished second also in a Williams. Pole starter Jean-Pierre Jabouille spun off on the seventh lap in an ill-advised attempt at passing Jones on the outside. Continue Reading →
1990: The last Formula One Grand Prix to be held in West Germany prior to its re-unification with East Germany, was won by 1988 World Champion, Brazilian driver Ayrton Senna driving a McLaren MP4/5B. He took a six second victory over Italian driver Alessandro Nannini driving a Benetton B190 who was just two seconds in front of Senna’s Austrian teammate Gerhard Berger.
2001: Juan Pablo Montoya dominated qualifying and the first part of the German Grand Prix in his Williams car, until he retired after the first pit stop with a broken engine. The race was won by the other Williams driver Ralf Schumacher. Rubens Barrichello finished second in his Ferrari and Jacques Villeneuve finished third in his BAR-Honda. Continue Reading →
2007: Hoosier Tony Stewart won his second Allstate 400 at the Brickyard over runner-up Juan Pablo Montoya, the 2000 Indianapolis 500 champion. Montoya became the first driver to participate in three major racing events at IMS – the Indianapolis 500, the United States Grand Prix and the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard.

~30 July ~

1908: George Schuster arrived in Paris in the Thomas Flyer to win the New York to Paris Race having covered 13,341 miles – the German Protos had arrived 4 days earlier, but was penalised 30 days for riles violation.The race, which was the first of its kind among automobiles, commenced in Times Square on February 12, 1908. Six cars representing four nations were at the starting line for what would become a 169-day ordeal. Continue Reading →

1950: The “Bug”, generally considered to be the first rail dragster, raced for the first time. Dick Kraft was the driver.
1954: George Lister in Cambridge, England founded Lister Cars. Inspired by Cooper, he used a tubular ladder chassis, de Dion rear axle, and inboard drum brakes. Like others, he used a tuned MG engine and stock gearbox.Continue Reading →
1955: The London Trophy at Crystal Palace was won by Mike Hawthorn driving a Maserati 250F. The race comprised two heats each of 10 laps, followed by a final of 15 laps and then the Club Trophy Consolation Race of 10 laps.
1961: The 160,000 capacity Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee, formerly known as Bristol International Raceway and Bristol Raceway, held its first NASCAR race. Despite its short length (0.533 miles), Bristol is among the most popular tracks on the NASCAR schedule because of its distinct features, which include extraordinarily steep banking, an all concrete surface, two pit roads, and stadium-like seating. It has also been named one of the loudest NASCAR tracks.
1967: Phil Hill, in his last race as a professional driver, and Mike Spence drove the Chaparral 2F to victory in the BOAC 500 sports car race at Brands Hatch, England.
1972: Jacky Ickx driving a Ferrari 312B2/72 won the German Grand Prix at at Nürburgring and scored his only Grand Chelem (English:Grand Slam) (led and won the whole race from pole position and set fastest lap). He also beat François Cevert’s 1971 fastest lap record by more than seven seconds, and improved on the pole position record set by Jackie Stewart in the same year by 13 seconds. Championship leader Emerson Fittipaldi’s John Player Special Lotus suffered a rare mechanical failure and retired after a gearbox fire. Continue Reading →
1978: Mario Andretti won the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim in his Lotus. Starting on the Pole we won by 15.3 seconds over Jody Schecter in the Wolf. Continue Reading →
1989: Ayrton Senna won the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim in his McLaren. He sat on Pole and took set fastest lap, winning over his teammate Prost by 18 seconds. Nigel Mansell was third in his Ferrari.
1995: Scott Pruett won the Marlboro 500 at Brooklyn, Michigan, for his first CART win. It is also Firestone Tire’s first Indycar win after being away for over 20 years.

2000: The 62nd German Grand Prix and the 24th to be held at Hockenheim was held over 45 laps of the 6.8-kilometre circuit for a total race distance of 307 kilometres.The race was won by Brazilian driver Rubens Barrichello driving a Scuderia Ferrari F1-2000 in his debut Grand Prix victory. Barrichello won by 7 seconds over Finnish driver Mika Häkkinen in a McLaren Mercedes MP4/15. Häkkinen’s British team-mate David Coulthard was third.
2006: Contested over 67 laps of the Hockenheim circuit, the German Grand Prix was won Michael Schumacher for Ferrari.

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