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10-11 November: This Weekend in Motor Sport History

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

~10 November~

1968: Jim Hall’s Can-Am driving career was ended by injuries suffered in an accident during the Stardust GP Can-Am race in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Denny Hulme in a McLaren M8A-Chevrolet won the race and the championship.

1992: Ford won the Manufacturer’s Championship

1995: In the Friday Afternoon session for the 1995 Australian Grand Prix at Adelaide, Mika Hakkinen in his McLaren suffered a rear puncture heading towards Brewery Bend, causing him to spin over the curbs and to crash heavily. Hakkinen was given an emergency tracheotomy at trackside, before getting rushed to hospital. As with Ayrton Senna’s fatal accident the year before at Imola, information wasnít coming forth and some feared the worst. Thankfully Mika recovered well from the accident and went on to become a double World Champion. With today’s safety features, like HANS and lateral cockpit protection, Mika would have walked away unscathed.

1996: Atlanta Motor Speedway (US) hosted a banner day for the Labonte brothers as Bobby Labonte rolls to victory in the NAPA 500 and Terry Labonte finishes fifth to clinch his second championship in NASCAR’s top series. Bobby Labonte led 147 of 328 laps from the pole to score his first win at the 1.522-mile track, where he went on to post five more wins in his career. Dale Jarrett finished second while Jeff Gordon took third, ending up 37 points behind Terry Labonte in the final standings. The two brothers took a side-by-side victory lap together after the checkered flag fell on the ’96 season.

~11 November~

1906: Peugeot made its official racing debut finishing 3rd, 4th and 8th in a 126.1-mile race in Rambouillet, France.

1928: Two Studebaker Presidents started a 24-hour run, ending 12 November, where they averaged 85 mph.

Rex Mays

1949: Rex Mays (36) was killed during a race held at Del Mar, California, when he was run over by another car after being thrown from his vehicle in a mishap. A 1993 inductee into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, Mays earned his place among the all-time greats of as much for his willingness to put the welfare of others before his own as for his actual racing ability. Mays got his start on the West Coast midget racing circuit in the 1930s, winning numerous races before entering national competition where he added sprint and champ-car racing to his repertoire. In 1934, he entered the racing big leagues when he placed ninth in his first 500. Mays never managed to win the esteemed event, but he placed second in 1940 and 1941, the same two years that he won the national titles for champ-car racing. In 1941, Mays gave up the fame and fortune of motor racing to serve his country as an Air Force pilot during World War II. After the war, Mays returned to racing. Although he was not as winning a racer as before the war, two separate incidents demonstrated the distinction of his character, and guaranteed his venerable place in the racing history books. In June of 1948, while competing in a champ-car race at the Milwaukee Mile in Wisconsin, Mays deliberately crashed into a wall, nearly ending his life, in order to avoid hitting racer Duke Dinsmore, who was thrown from his car a moment before. And in the fall of 1949, at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, New York, May prevented a possible fan riot when he silently took to the racetrack alone after other racers refused to compete because of a dispute over prize money. One by one the other racers joined him and violence was prevented. In addition to his place in the Motorsports Hall of Fame, Rex is honored with a special plaque at the Milwaukee Mile, at the exact spot on the Turn One wall where he nearly gave up his life to save another.

1951: Tim Flock took the lead on the 14th lap and breezed to victory in the 100-mile NASCAR Grand National event at Lakewood Speedway in Atlanta, US. It was the first official NASCAR race staged at the venerable one-mile oval. Young Jesse James Taylor, runner-up in the 500-miler at Darlington, was critically injured in an early spill.

1956: In one of the most peculiar doubleheader days in NASCAR history, Speedy Thompson won the 100-mile race at Hickory and Marvin Panch won the same-day event at Lancaster, California, US. Curiously, Thompson’s win counted as a 1956 race, while Panch’s triumph was ­considered the opener of the 1957 NASCAR Grand National season.

1960: Robert “Red” Byron (45) – cober image,who won the first NASCAR sanctioned race and the inaugural NASCAR Strictly Stock (now Sprint Cup Series) championship, died of a heart attack in a Chicago hotel room. Along with Bob Flock, he is considered one of the best drivers of the era.

1976: Billy Arnold (70), winner of the 1930 Indianapolis 500 in which he became the first winner to average better than 100 mph while driving without a relief, died. His winning margin was 7 minutes and 17 seconds. He was 24 years old at the time. In 1931 he led 155 laps but crashed on lap 162 while holding a five-lap lead, becoming seriously injured along with his riding mechanic Spider Matlock. A tire came off the car, bounced over the fence and killed a young boy playing in his front yard outside the track. In 1932 Arnold led 57 laps before crashing on lap 59. He suffered a broken shoulder and riding mechanic Matlock suffered a broken pelvis.

1987: Early NASCAR stockcar racer Gober Sosebee (81) died from injuries suffered in an agricultural accident. He won on the Daytona Beach Road Course in 1949, 1950 and 1951. Sosebee also won 2 Grand national (now Sprint Cup Series) races, one in 1952 and another in 1954. He also had 4 pole positions (including his first NASCAR race at Daytona Beach) and 33 top 10 finishes during his Cup career.

1991: Max Mosley, Bernie Ecclestone, and the rest of the ‘s Sportscar Commission met in a hotel at Heathrow Airport in London, England. When the meeting ended, the Sportscar World Championship was terminated. Later, lobbying by Peugeot kept it active for one more year.

1996: Michael Schumacher signed a contract extension of two years to remain with Ferrari until the end of the 1999 World Championship in a deal believed to be worth in excess of $25m a year. Schumacher, however, will gain a great deal more money through his Schumacher Collection merchandising operation and from endorsements.

1997: The FIA World Motorsport Council [WMSC] met to discuss the fate of Michael Schumacher for his part in attempting to drive title rival Jacques Villeneuve off the circuit in the final race of the season at Jerez. A hefty fine or even a several race ban for the following season seemed possible but ultimately the FIA decided to merely exclude him from the championship standings and make him participate in a road safety campaign. Even German tabloid Das Bild described the decision as ‘crazy’.

1998: The decision was made at Panoz Motorsports to build the Roadster S race car.

2001: Bill Elliott passed Dodge teammate Casey Atwood with five laps remaining to end a personal seven-year winless streak with a victory at Homestead-Miami Speedway (US). Elliott gave Ray Evernham his first win as a NASCAR Winston Cup team owner.

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