30-31 October: This Weekend in Motorsport History

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

~30 October~

1909: The fifth Vanderbilt Cup Race is held on Long Island, New York. The fanatic drive of Billy Knipper’s Chalmers had seemingly clinched the Cup at 225 miles, but it was the unswerving Grant who subsequently thundered home in the long, rakish Alco chasis, a winner by five minutes over Parker’s Fiat, and averaging 62.8 mph for the 278 miles.

1909: Corbin recorded its first racing victory as Frank Free won a race at Ascot Park, California, US with a four-cylinder model.

1927: MG made its official racing debut with Alberto Sanchez Cires driving a 14/28 to victory in a race at San Martin, Argentina.

1950: 1949 NASCAR champion Red Byron, who ranked sixth in the 1950 NASCAR Grand National standings, had all 1315.5 points stripped for participating in a non-NASCAR-sanctioned race at Atlanta’s Lakewood Speedway. Byron drove at Atlanta rather than the NASCAR Grand National finale at Hillsboro. The Lakewood race was sanctioned by the National Stock Car Racing Association (NSCRA).

1950: Lee Petty captured the NASCAR Grand National finale at Hillsboro, North Carolina, US., as 23-year-old Bill Rexford wraps up the national driving cham­pionship. Rexford edges Fireball Roberts by 110.5 points.

1954: Wilbur Shaw, winner of the 1937 Indianapolis 500 and President of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway since 1951, was killed at the age of 51 in an airplane crash near Decatur, Illinois, US.

1955: Tim Flock led from start to finish to score his record 18th victory of the season in the finale at Hillsboro, North Carolina, US. Flock’s record-shattering 1955 performance includds 11 races in which he led from green flag to checkered flag.

1964: Bobby Marshman set an unofficial Indianapolis Motor Speedway track record of 162.3 mph in a Lotus-Ford.

1983: Sam Ard started second and converted a dominant day into a Cardinal 250 victory at Martinsville Speedway (Virginia, US) and the first of two straight NASCAR Nationwide Series championships. Ard led 211 of 250 laps on the .526-mile track, holding off pole-starter Dale Jarrett at the finish to clinch the title by 87 points over Jack Ingram, who came home third.

1987: Nelson Piquet clinched the Formula 1 World Driving Championship when his only title rival, Nigel Mansell, was injured in a crash during practice for the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka. Mansell missed the final two races of the season because of his injuries.

1988: Grand Prix newcomer Ayrton Senna won the Formula 1 World Championship title after winning the final race in Suzuka against team-mate Alain Prost to become the third Brazilian after Emerson Fittipaldi and Nelson Piquet to take the crown.

~31 October~

1925: The 1.25 mile board oval Rockingham Board Speedway in Salem, New Hampshire, US, with corner banking of up to 49 degrees, staged its first event, a 250-mile race won by Peter DePaolo in a Duesenberg. Racing was held on the board oval until 12th October 1928, the last race being cut short by Fred Comer’s fatal accident on what was a deteriorating surface.

1954: A prototype 1955 Packard Patrician sedan completed a 25,000 endurance run at the Packard proving Grounds in Utica, Michigan, US at an average sped of 104.74 mph.

1957: Joe Weatherly stormed to victory on Columbia (South Carolina, US) Speedway’s half-mile dirt track, but Bob Welborn’s fourth-place finish is enough to clinch the second of three championships in the NASCAR Convertible Series. Billy Myers finished second to Weatherly in the ragtop division’s season finale, with Gwyn Staley third, two laps down.

1965: The Rockingham Speedway opened as a flat, one-mile oval. In 1969, the track was extensively reconfigured to a high-banked, D-shaped oval just over one mile in length. In 1997, North Carolina Motor Speedway merged with Penske Motorsports, and was renamed North Carolina Speedway.

1967: The first official Baja 1000 off-road race started in Tijuana, Baja California – cover image. The course length was 849 miles (1,366 km) and ended in La Paz, Baja California Sur with the overall winning time of 27 hours 38 minutes (27:38) set by Vic Wilson and Ted Mangels driving a Meyers Manx buggy.

1971: Denny Hulme drove a McLaren M8F-Chevrolet to victory in the Can-Am race at Riverside, California, USA. His Team McLaren teammate Peter Revson finished second.

1999: Mika Häkkinen driving a McLaren clinched the 1999 World title in Suzuka by winning the Japanese Grand Prix.

1999: CART series driver Greg Moore, (24), of Canada, died in a crash in the final race of the 1999 season at California Speedway in Fontana, California. Moore lost control of his car at 220 mph on lap 10 and crashed into a wall, sending his car into wild spins.

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