3-4 October: This Weekend in Motor Sports History

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

-3 October –

1896: The II Grand Prix de l’A.C.F Paris–Marseille–Paris, the first competitive ‘city to city’ motor race, where the first car to across the line was the winner, finished. Prior motor race events employed a variety of classification systems to select the winner. The race run in 10 stages from Paris via Auxerre; Dijon; Lyon; Avignon; Marseille; Avignon; Lyon; Dijon; Sens and return to Paris, was won by Emile Mayade who completed the ten day, 1060 miles (1,710 km), event over unsurfaced roads in 67 hours, driving a Panhard et Levassor.

1912: In the first professional racing victory for a car fitted with a Duesenberg engine, race car driver Mortimer Roberts won the 220-mile Pabst Blue Ribbon Trophy Race, held in and around the village of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, US.

1948: Ted Horn won the sprint car race on the 1-mile dirt oval at Trenton, New Jersey, US. He also set a 1-lap record of 40.13 seconds.

1965: Graham Hill in a BRM completed a hat-trick of successive wins at the US Grand Prix after an early ding-dong battle with Jim Clark in a Lotus-Climax which ended when Clark withdrew with engine trouble on the 11th of 110 laps.

1965: Buddy Cortines won and posted the UK’s first 200 mph terminal speed at RAF Woodvale Dragfest. He also recorded the fastest time of the ’65 Dragfest with a 7.74/201, which stood as an unofficial UK record until 1970. Also at this meeting Allan Herridge matched his 12.31 et with a terminal speed of 117mph.

1971: John Young ‘Jackie’ Stewart retained the World Drivers Championship driving a Tyrrell.

1976: James Hunt cut Niki Lauda’s lead in the drivers’ championship to eight points with two races remaining with victory in front of 85,000 at the Canadian Grand Prix.

1998: Mike McLaughlin made the most of his fuel mileage over the final green-flag stretch, winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series’ All Pro Bumper to Bumper 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, North Carolina, US. McLaughlin, who led 26 of the 200 laps, finished 24.074 seconds ahead of distant runner-up Matt Kenseth. Dale Earnhardt Jr., who went on to win the series championship that year, led a race-high 93 laps but settled for third.

2004: Dale Earnhardt, Jr., took the lead in the title chase with a win in the EA Sports 500 at Talladega Super­speedway, Alabama (US). During the television interview in victory lane, Junior’s response to a question included an expletive. Following a precedent set earlier in the year, NASCAR docked Earnhardt $10,000 and 25 points, dropping him from first to second in the standings.

– 4 October –

1924: The Montlhery Track, Paris, financed by M Lamblin, proprietor of L’Aero Sports and owner of the Lamblin radiator manufacturing company, was officially opened. Covering 12,000 acres (compared to 400 acres for Brooklands), construction took just 5 months. Two thousand labourers laid the concrete banked course at the rate of 30 metres a day.

1930: The 500 Miles Race at Brooklands was won by Sammy Davis & The Earl of March driving an Austin.

1953: Herb Thomas dominated from the pole position, leading all 200 laps in a Fabulous Hudson Hornet at Wilson (North Carolina, US) Speedway’s half-mile dirt track. For Thomas, a 2013 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee, it was the last of 12 victories in the 1953 season, which ended with his second championship in NASCAR’s top series. Speedy Thompson finished second in an Oldsmobile with Fonty Flock, who started second, taking third in another Hudson.

1955: The completed Bugatti Type 251 race car made its first test run at the aerodrome in Entzheim, France, with Pierre Marco at the wheel.

1964: Graham Hill’s second of three successive win in the US Grand Prix came on this day in front of a crowd of more than 100,000 at Watkins Glen. Jim Clark led for almost half the distance before his gearbox gave out – he took over the car of team-mate Mike Spence to complete the race but that rendered him ineligible for points – and from then on Hill led, eventually finishing half-a-minute ahead of John Surtees.

1970: Jochem Rindt (28), who tragically died the previous month during practice for the Italian Grand Prix when his Lotus 72 went out of control and hit the Armco barrier head on, was posthumously awarded the World Drivers Championship crown.

1992: The 1967 World Drivers Champion, Denny Hulme (56) died at the Bathurst 1000, held at the famous Mount Panorama track in Australia. He was driving a semi-works supported BMW M3 for the Benson & Hedges Racing when after complaining over the car to pits radio of blurred vision (originally thought to be because of the heavy rain) Hulme suffered a massive heart attack at the wheel whilst driving along the high-speed Conrod Straight. After veering into the wall on the left side of the track at about 140 mph (230 km/h), he managed to bring the car to a relatively controlled stop sliding against the safety railing and concrete wall on the right side of the track.

2009: Sebastian Vettel took a dominant victory in the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka, keeping his title hopes alive after leaders Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button finished well down the order in seventh and eighth. Vettel never looked under threat, keeping a comfortable gap between his Red Bull and the Toyota of Jarno Trulli, who fended off McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton for second.

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