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20-26 August: Motoring Milestones

Discover the momentous motoring events that took place this week in …….

80 years ago this week, Rudolf Caracciola in a Mercedes-Benz W154/38 won the Swiss at Bremgarten [21 August 1938]…….. 70 years ago this week, was forced to ­cancel a number of ­scheduled events due to an outbreak of polio in North Carolina, US [20 August 1948]…….60 years ago this week, Stirling Moss led home Mike Hawthorn and Stuart Lewis-Evans for a British 1-2-3 at the Portuguese Grand Prix [24 August 1958]. Mike Hawthorn  was at first disqualified during this race, losing seven points. However, Championship rival Stirling Moss had seen the incident which caused the disqualification and went to the judges to revert the decision since he felt Hawthorn had done nothing wrong. Eventually, Hawthorn was classified and retained his seven points. Maria Teresa de Filippis became the the first woman ever to compete in Formula One racing, when she drove a Maserati at Oporto,

Volvo PV544

but was forced to quit the race due to engine troubles……… The Volvo PV544 was introduced, replacing the PV444. Subtle differences from the PV444 included the introduction of a curved one-piece windshield to replace the two panes of flat glass, larger taillights, and a ribbon-type speedometer [26 August 1958]. The PV544 added a 4-speed manual transmission to replace the 3-speed unit that had been in the 444…….50 years ago this week, the Mazda Cosmo 110S, featuring a Wankel rotary engine, made its racing debut at the Nurburgring in Germany [21 August 1968]…….. 40 years ago this week, pole-starter David Pearson passed Darrell Waltrip on the final lap to win the Champion Spark Plug 400 at Michigan International Speedway, clinching the last of 43 wins with the legendary Wood Brothers team [20 August 1978]. Pearson, who led 56 of the 200 laps in a Mercury, then held off runner-up Cale Yarborough by .32 seconds at the finish as Waltrip faded to third. There were 34 lead changes, including three in the final six laps on the 2-mile oval…….. 30 years ago this week, future driver Johnny Herbert’s career was thrown in doubt after he was caught up in a huge accident at Brands Hatch in an F3000 race [21 August 1988]. Herbert’s legs took the brunt of the impact and he was lucky not to lose one of his feet. He astonished doctors with his determination to recover and despite still struggling to walk properly, he finished a heroic fourth on his F1 debut for Benetton in Brazil in 1989……. 30 years ago this week, the United States Postal Service issued a booklet of 25c in 5 different designs – 1928 Locomobile, 1929 Pierce-Arrow, 1931 Cord, 1932 Packard and 1935 Duesenberg – in Detroit, Michigan, as designed by artist Ken Dallison [25 August 1988]……..20 years ago this week, the record for the longest ramp jump by a car, with the car landing on its wheels and driving on afterwards, was set at 72.24 m (237 ft) by Australian stunt man Ray Baumann at Ravenswood International Raceway in Perth, Western Australia [22 August 1998]…….  Jordan finished 1-2 at the Belgium Grand Prix to take their first win, but controversy erupted after Michael Schumacher collided with David Coulthard while lapping him. Schumacher had to be restrained when both drivers returned to pit lane [24 August 1998]. The race was won by Damon Hill driving for the Jordan team, with Hill’s team-mate Ralf Schumacher finishing in second place and Jean Alesi finishing in third for the Sauber team, taking his last podium of his F1 career. The race ran entirely in extremely wet weather, and on the first lap David Coulthard lost control of his McLaren,

causing a multiple collision involving thirteen drivers, which led to the race being stopped. After a delay of more than an hour to clear the track, a second attempt was made to start the race, albeit without four of the drivers involved in the incident. At the restart, championship leader and pole-sitter Mika Häkkinen spun his McLaren at the first corner and was hit by the Sauber of Johnny Herbert, forcing them both to retire from the race. Hill took the lead, but was overtaken on lap eight by Michael Schumacher. Schumacher had built up over 30 seconds of advantage over Hill by lap 24 when he came up to lap Coulthard. After being instructed over the team radio to let him past, Coulthard slowed down but stayed on the main racing line; due to the spray behind Coulthard Schumacher was unsighted, hit the back of the McLaren, and caused terminal damage to his Ferrari. Coulthard initially retired due to damage on his own car, but eventually rejoined the race and finished seventh. Hill then inherited the lead again, with his Jordan team-mate Ralf Schumacher behind him. In the latter stages of the race, the younger Schumacher was catching Hill. Initially the team informed Hill about his team-mate’s pace and implied he should let him past. Hill, however, stated clearly that he would not step down, telling team owner Eddie Jordan they either race for first place and risk ending up with nothing, implying a collision, or hold positions and bring the team a 1–2 finish. Team orders were ultimately issued, requiring both drivers to hold their positions to the finish. Hill brought home the first F1 win for the Jordan team (the second for Mugen Motorsports engines) after 126 starts, bringing his own win tally to 22. It would turn out to be his last F1 win…….10 years ago this week, part of the M1 by the Tinsley Viaduct (Sheffield, England) was closed to allow safe demolition of the Tinsley cooling towers.

 

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