8-9 July: This Weekend in Motor Sport History

~ 8 July ~

1950: The first race meeting was held at the former wartime airfield of Castle Combe, Wiltshire although spectators were not allowed. Spectators were allowed in to the next meeting on the 7th October, where a crowd of 12,000 saw Peter Collins and Stirling Moss competing in F3 race.

1951: Fonty Flock prevailed in a wreck-strewn 100-mile race at the Bain­bridge, Ohio, Fairgrounds. Only five cars finished the brutal event on the one-mile dirt oval

1961: The front-engined, four wheel drive Ferguson-Climax Project 99 made its racing debut in the Intercontinental British Empire Trophy race at Silverstone with Jack Fairman driving.

1962:Dan Gurney won the French Grand Prix at Roue-Les-Essarts driving a Porsche 804, the only Formula 1 victory for the marque.Gurney won a non-championship race in Stuttgart the following week, but Rouen remains Porsche’s only Grand Prix win. Qualifying resulted in Jim Clark setting the fastest time for Team Lotus with Graham Hill’s BRM and McLaren’s Cooper alongside on the front row. Continue Reading →

1973: Benny Parsons used help from relief driver John A. Utsman to win the Volunteer 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway, Tennessee, US. Utsman recalled in a 2010 article on NASCAR. Continue Reading →

1990: The French Grand Prix almost saw one of the most remarkable upsets in Formula One history with the Leyton House Racing team of Italian driver Ivan Capelli and Brazilian driver Mauricio Gugelmin running first and second for an extended period of the race in their Leyton House CG901s. French driver Alain Prost claimed the lead late in the race to take the win in his Ferrari 641 by eight seconds over Capelli. Brazilian driver Ayrton Senna finished third in his McLaren MP4/5B.

2007: Kimi Räikkönen won the British Grand Prix after overtaking pole position driver Lewis Hamilton during the first round of pit stops and took control of the race. Second place was taken by Fernando Alonso and Hamilton was third.

2012: Red Bull driver Mark Webber, won the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, his second victory of the season. The Ferrari of Fernando Alonso, who started the race in pole position, finished 3.0 seconds behind Webber, in second. Continue Reading →

~9 July ~

1939: German driver Hermann Paul Müller won the French Grand Prix driving an Auto Union Typ D.

1955: British racer Donald Beauman (26) died. The 1955 season had seen the London hotelier claim third place in the Glover Trophy at Goodwood and compete in the Le Mans 24-hour race in a works Jaguar. This shy and retiring figure, who had hoped to one day move into Formula 1 Grand Prix racing, lost his life when he crashed his Connaught in the 1955 Leinster Trophy sports car race in Wicklow, Republic of Ireland. Continue Reading →

1961: Fred Lorenzen drove a Holman-Moody Ford to a runaway victory in the Festival 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Georgia, US. Lorenzen, who started fifth, led 52 of 167 laps in lapping the field at the 1.5-mile track.Continue Reading →

1963: Swedish born rally champion Erik Carlsson married Pat Moss, sister of British racer Stirling Moss and herself a world class rally driver.

1967: Outdueling Darel Dieringer in a race long battle, Richard Petty drove his Plymouth to victory in the NASCAR Grand National ‘Northern 300’ on the 1 mile paved Trenton Speedway, New Jersey The crowd of 19,500 was thrilled for most of the race as Petty and Dieringer dueled for the lead in heavy traffic. The lead swapped 8 times among Petty, Dieringer and Jim Paschal, with Paschal leading for only 1 lap. Petty took the lead for good on lap 254 and led the rest of the way, crossing the line 28 seconds ahead of Dieringer’s Junior Johnson Ford. Continue Reading →

1967: Jochen Rindt won the F2 Rouen Grand Prix in France at the wheel of a Brabham BT23.

1989: Alain Prost in a McLaren-Honda MP4/5 won the French Grand Prix. The race is most famous for the multiple first corner collision involving Nigel Mansell, Maurício Gugelmin, Thierry Boutsen and other cars when Gugelmin locked the brakes of his March and hit the back of Boutsen’s Williams, launching itself upside down onto the back of Mansell’s Ferrari, causing chaos and resulting in a complete restart. There was actually a little noticed second accident at the first turn as René Arnoux used Jonathan Palmer’s Tyrrell to retard the progress of his Ligier JS33, launching his front wheels in the air. Continue Reading →

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