Discover the momentous motor sports events that took place this weekend in history …..
1901: The Coppa Italia run over 4 laps of the 75 km circuit at Padua was won by Guido Adami driving a Panhard 16 hp.
1910: The seventh Glidden tour ended in Chicago, and was won by Ray McNamara in a Premier. The original Glidden Tours were held from 1902 through 1913. They were named after Charles J. Glidden, a financier and automobile enthusiast, who presented the AAA with a trophy first awarded to the winner of the 1905 tour.
1929: The French Grand Prix (formally, the XXIII Grand Prix de l’Automobile Club de France) held over 37 laps of a 16.34 km (10.15 miles) Le Mans circuit for a total race distance of 604.58 km (375.67 miles), was won by “W. Williams,” driving a Bugatti T35B- cover image.
1956: “Tiger” Tom Pistone prevailed in the first of three races for NASCAR’s Convertible Series at Chicago’s Soldier Field (US). Pistone, a Windy City native, took the lead from Curtis Turner with six laps left to secure the first of two career wins in the old ragtop division. Turner, who led the other 194 laps, settled for second place. Bill Lutz came home third, two laps down on the half-mile asphalt track.
1963: Jim Clark took the lead at the start from Richie Ginther in the BRM at the French Grand Prix at Reims. All Graham Hill’s hard work in qualifying second despite mechanical problems in practice came to nothing when his engine died on the grid and his car had to be push started. The subsequent one-minute penalty dropped him well back. Clark led dominantly, his lead being extended when a stone pierced Ginther’s radiator, forcing him into the pits. Jack Brabham took second place after a strong fight with Trevor Taylor, who also suffered mechanical problems. Brabham then began to gain significantly on Clark as the Scot’s Climax engine started to splutter, however this proved to be a sporadic fault and he had enough of a lead to maintain the position. It was Brabham himself who dropped out when a lead came adrift, handing second and third to Tony Maggs and a delighted Hill. Clark was over a minute ahead of them after yet another start-to-finish victory. However, Hill was awarded no championship points for his third place after his push start.
1966: Giuseppe Antonio ‘Nino’ Farina (59) Italian racing driver died.
1970: Kelly Petillo (68), winner of the 1935 Indianapolis 500, died. Petillo competed in the Indianapolis 500 on ten occasions, winning the race in 1935 in a year that marked the first win by a car powered by an Offenhauser engine. Petillo went on to win the 1935 AAA National Driving Championship. In 1937, Petillo participated in the Vanderbilt Cup but engine problems forced him out of the race. In 1942, Petillo sustained a concussion and lacerations after a road accident when his car collided with a freight train. Petillo was denied entry to the 1946 Indianapolis 500, and sued the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for $50,000. Off the track, Petillo had numerous run-ins with the law, including charges of attempted rape and attempted murder. Police arrested him in victory lane after winning a race at Owosso Speedway, on charges of assault to commit murder seven days earlier. He was sentenced to ten years in the Indiana State Prison. He was released on parole in 1955, but went missing. He was re-captured in 1957, incidentally, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He was returned to prison until 1959, after which he was denied entry to the Indianapolis 500 in 1959 and 1960, officially due to age. After his exclusion in 1959, he again filed a lawsuit for $50,000 against the speedway and the United States Auto Club.
1974: Eddie Johnson (55), American racecar driver died in a plane crash near Cleveland, Ohio. The National Transportation Safety Board ruled the probable cause was pilot error, specifically attempting to fly visually in unsuitable weather and structurally overloading the airplane. He drove in the AAA and USAC Championship Car series, racing in the 1950–1952 and 1955–1966 seasons with 33 starts, including the Indianapolis 500 races in all of those years but the first two. He finished in the top ten 9 times, with his best finish in 3rd position, in 1959 at Trenton. Late in his career, Johnson frequently came to Indianapolis without an assigned car only to be signed on to a team which needed a driver to put a struggling car in the race. In 1965, Johnson became the last person on the track in the Indianapolis 500 mile race with a naturally aspirated Offenhauser in a roadster. Johnson was flagged to finish in 10th place. Johnson was a high school acquaintance of 1950 Indianapolis 500 winner Johnny Parsons.
1996: The French Grand Prix held over 72 laps of the Circuit de Nevers, Magny-Cours, France was won by Damon Hill for the Williams team, from a second position start. Jacques Villeneuve finished second in the other Williams, with Jean Alesi third for the Benetton team. Pole-sitter Michael Schumacher retired on the formation lap when his engine failed and Johnny Herbert was disqualified from 11th because of bodywork irregularities.
2013: Nico Rosberg won the British Grand Prix for the Mercedes team, from a second position start. Mark Webber finished second in a Red Bull car, with Fernando Alonso third in a Ferrari. Lewis Hamilton took pole position ahead of teammate Rosberg, with Championship leader Sebastian Vettel third. The race was marred by several tyre punctures. Hamilton, along with Felipe Massa, Jean-Éric Vergne and Sergio Pérez suffered left-rear tyre blowouts, while Esteban Gutiérrez was subject to a left-front tyre blowout and Alonso’s right-rear deflated just before a pitstop.
1934: The French Grand Prix (formally the XX Grand Prix de l’Automobile Club de France) held at Montlhéry over 40 laps of the 12.5km circuit, was won by Louis Chiron driving an Alfa Romeo B/P3.
1948: Italian racing driver Archille Varzi (43) died during practise for the Swiss Grand Prix. A light rain fell on the Bremgarten track. Varzi’s Alfa Romeo 158 skidded on the wet surface, flipping over and crushing him to death., which resulted in the FIA mandating the wearing of crash helmets for racing, which had been optional previously.
1951: Round 4 four of the 1951 World Drivers’ Championship, the French Grand Prix was won by Juan Manuel Fangio and Luigi Fagioli driving an Alfa Romeo 159. It was the first of three occasions where two drivers would be credited with a Grand Prix win after sharing a car.
1952: The first NASCAR Grand National event staged outside the U.S. took place at Stamford Park in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. Buddy Shuman outran Herb Thomas by two laps in the 100-mile race as Hudson Hornets finished first and second.
1956: Peter Collins showed his win at Spa was no fluke with a thrilling victory over Ferrari team-mate Eugenio Castellotti at the French Grand Prix, a result which gave him a four-and-a-half point lead in the drivers’ championship. This was the first time a Briton had led the World Drivers Championship. The self-effacing 24-year-old admitted afterwards he only raced for the fun of it. “My father gave me a motor business so I don’t have to race … but I like it and I like the money. I don’t think I’m as fast at Stirling [Moss] but my car today was. I always have a go.” There was a lot of local interest at Reims in the return of the famous Bugatti name but Maurice Trintignant had to withdraw with throttle problems after 18 laps. And the man who went on to mastermind Lotus, Colin Chapman, was entered in a third Vanwall but a practice crash saw him on the sidelines for the race. It turned out to be an all Ferrari front row with Collins, on the crest of a wave, on pole position ahead of team-mates Juan Manuel Fangio and Castellotti. The three Ferraris swapped the lead early on, but they were duly caught by Harry Schell, in the Vanwall started by Mike Hawthorn who had withdrawn as he had been taking part in an all-night race earlier. A mechanical problem on the 38th lap ended the team’s challenge if not its race and it finished down the field with a misfiring engine.Fangio, who had struggled since his win in Argentina, also had to pit, leaving Castellotti in the lead, but he was soon overhauled by Collins, and the pair crossed the finish line with 0.3 seconds separating them. Fangio came home fourth, narrowly failing to hunt down Jean Behra despite setting a lap record on the final circuit.
1962: Racer Hugh Randall (29) died when his Vargo Special crashed during the 100-mile USAC Championship Race in Langhorne, Pennsylvania, US.
1973: Ayrton Senna entered and won his first go-kart race.
1973: Swede Ronnie Peterson in a Lotus-Cosworth 72E, won his first Formula 1 race, the French Grand Prix held at the Paul Ricard Circuit. Tyrrell driver François Cevert finished in second place, whilst Carlos Reutemann finished in third place, driving a Brabham. This race was notable for a collision involving Jody Scheckter and Emerson Fittipaldi. Scheckter, who was given an opportunity to drive a factory McLaren for this event was leading from the start in just his third Formula One race. On lap 41, Fittipaldi had closed and attempted to pass the South African, but Scheckter closed the door and they made heavy contact, forcing Emerson into retirement. Scheckter continued but spun out shortly after. Fittipaldi ran to the McLaren pits, eventually resulting in fierce words between the two drivers. Scheckter claimed years later that Fittipaldi had called him a ‘young hooligan’ for his role in the incident. Many drivers wanted him banned from the sport, but McLaren instead decided to put him on the sidelines for a number of races.
1979: The French Grand Prix was held at Dijon.It marked the first victory of a turbocharged car in Formula One, with Renault overcoming the reliability problems that had initially plagued their car. For Jean-Pierre Jabouille it was a victory on home soil, driving a French car (Renault), on French tyres (Michelin), powered by a French engine (Renault), burning French fuel (Elf). Jabouille was the first Frenchman to win the French Grand Prix since Jean-Pierre Wimille in 1948.
1989: Davey Allison took control when pole-starter Mark Martin runs out of fuel while leading with five laps left to win the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway, Florida, US. For Allison, it was the sixth of his 19 wins in NASCAR’s top series. Morgan Shepherd held on for second, .18 seconds behind at the checkered flag, with Phil Parsons third. Martin limped to a 16th-place finish, one lap down.
2000: Jeff Burton held off the competition to win the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway. This was the final broadcast for the CBS network of Nascar.