7-8 August: This Weekend in Motorsport History

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

~7 August~

1915: Driving a Peugeot, race-car driver Dario Resta won the 100-mile Chicago Cup Challenge Race at the Maywood Board Speedway in Chicago, Illinois, US. He averaged 101.86 mph, the first time that 100 mph barrier had been attained in the United States for a race of this length.

1915: The first of two motorcycle events, the so-called ‘all Khaki” meetings was held at Brooklands during the First World War. Both meetings were organised by the British Motor Cycle Racing Club for men serving in the Armed Forces.

1915: Des Moines, Iowa, mile board track opened with a 300-mile race in front of 10,000 spectators. The day was to be marked by tragedy, however. Two racers were killed and two seriously injured.

1926: The first British Grand Prix (cover image) was held at Brooklands in Surrey, over a distance of 110 laps (287 miles). The full banking wasn’t used for the race and, instead, cars continued straight on at ‘the Fork’ and drove down the finishing straight, on which two chicanes were constructed. Winners at 71.68 mph were Frenchmen Louis Wagner and Robert Sénéchal, sharing a Delage. This car overheated so badly that its drivers changed it during the race, which later became customary. Runner up was Sir Malcolm Campbell in a Bugatti 39A.

1938: In the opening event of the XVIII Coppa Ciano, Emilio Villoresi won the voiturette race on the Montenero circuit in Livorno, Italy. It was the first race win for the Alfa Romeo 158 Alfetta. The Grand Prix race was won by Hermann Lang driving a Mercedes-Benz W154, while Nino Farina placed second with the new 12 cylinders Alfa Romeo 312.

1939: The British Automobile Racing Club held its last ever meeting at Brooklands. Raymond Mays in an ERA B-Type won the Campbell Trophy. The `Third August Outer-Circuit Handicap was won by G L Baker on a Graham-Paige and the band leader Billy Cotton was victorious in the Mountain Handicap in a ERA.

1948: The first race meeting at the Zandvoort circuit in Holland was organised by the British Racing Driving Club. The principle event the Zandvoort Grand Prix was won by Prince Birabongse, ‘Bira’, in a Maserati 4CL at 73.25 mph.

1949: The third race of the inaugural NASCAR Strictly Stock season was held at the Occoneechee Speedway, North Carolina, US. Jimmy Thompson won the pole. Bob Flock scored his first win of the season in the 200-mile Strictly Stock race, giving Oldsmobile its second straight victory.

1953: British racing driver Nigel Mansell CBE, who won both the Formula One World Championship and the CART Indy Car World Series, was born in Upton-upon-Severn. Nigel Mansell, won 31 F1 Grand Prix races between 1980 and 1994, his first win coming in 1985 for the European Grand Prix at Brands Hatch . He retired from Formula-1 racing in 1992 to join the Haas-Newman Indy car racing team in the U.S., becoming an Indy car champion within his first year. He later returned to Formula One racing clinching his last F1 win at the 1994 Australian Grand Prix.

1966: Australian Jack Brabham won the German Grand Prix on his way to becoming the first man to win the World Drivers Championship in a car he built himself.

1993: Rene Arnoux won the German Grand Prix for Ferrari by over a minute from Andrea de Cesaris in an Alfa Romeo 183T. Riccardo Patrese in a Brabham-BMW completed the podium. Niki Lauda was disqualified for reversing his McLaren-Ford in the pits.

2004: The outright Craigantlet Hillclimb, Northern Ireland record of 39.87 seconds was set by Adam Fleetwood. Unlike other hillclimbs in Great Britain, the 1460 yard (1335 metre) course is laid out on closed public roads.

2005: Tony Stewart, a native and resident of Columbus, Indiana, scored an emotional win at the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, becoming the first Indiana-born driver to win the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, and the first driver from Indiana to win a race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway since Shelbyville native Wilbur Shaw won the 1940 Indianapolis 500-Mile Race.

2015: The body of the grand prix legend Juan Manuel Fangio was exhumed to try to resolve paternity cases brought by two men claiming to be the five-times world champion’s son. Judge Rodrigo Cataldo ordered the exhumation in Argentina to take DNA samples from the body. The former racing driver Oscar Espinosa, who was commonly known as Cacho Fangio in motor racing circles, and Ruben Vazquez have brought separate paternity claims. Fangio, who won his five titles in the 1950s and died aged 84 in 1995, never married and was thought to be childless.Vazquez, (73), stated that he is not after money and was merely seeking to clarify whether he is Fangio’s son. “There are no economic interests in my request,” he said. “I just want to be recognised for the Fangio surname.”

~8 August~

1948: Bobby Hill and Billy Huber finished in a dead heat in the 10-mile National Championship motorcycle race at Lakewood Speedway in Atlanta, Georgia. This was the only dead heat in American Motorcycle Association history. Coming into the final lap of the race Indian’s Bobby Hill held a 30-yard lead over Harley’s Billy Huber. Huber cut the lead in half during the first turn, holding his position on the back straight. Hitting the final turn wide open, Huber drove out of the corner on the inside and pulled up to just 10 feet behind Hill. Taking advantage of Bobby’s draft, Billy Huber swung out with the finish line only 150 yards away. Determined, Billy cranked it pulling neck and neck with Hill. Both riders crossed the finish line simultaneously in a photo finish, setting a Lakewood Park track record of 7:46.47. With the crowd going batshit, President Mike Benton of the Lakewood Park Speedway declared both riders winners, and both riders received first-place prize money.

1953: Mid-Cheshire MC (UK) promoted a trial motor race meeting on behalf of the Cheshire Car Circuit Ltd. and for the first time Oulton Park echoed to the strain of open exhausts. The RAC banned the public from attending but some 3000 Club members and their guests managed to watch the racing which was run over the original rectangular shaped track of 1.504 miles.

1976: Pole-starter Dave Marcis took the lead from Buddy Baker with 15 laps left and outruns him to win the Talladega 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, Alabama, US. Marcis, whose pass for the lead was the last of 58 lead changes, finished 29.5 seconds ahead of Baker at the checkered flag.

1978: Pete Brock won the Australian Touring Car Championship. Brock was most often associated with Holden for almost 40 years, although he raced vehicles of other manufacturers including BMW, Ford, Volvo, Porsche and Peugeot.

1982: Patrick Tambay won the German Grand Prix for Ferrari after his teammate Didier Pironi was injured in practice.

1993: Nigel Mansell won the New England 200 Indy car race. He passed Paul Tracy with three laps to go to win the New England 200 IndyCar event for his fourth victory of the season and second straight win.

2004: Jeff Gordon became the first four-time winner of the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. He also set the race record for most laps led, with 124.

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