20-21 May: This Weekend in Motor Sport History

grand_prix_de_1950

~20 May~

1903: The first commercial vehicle race began in New York City, with two races on two days sponsored by the Automobile Club of America (ACA). The light truck winner for both races was a Waterless Knox driven by Harry Knox, while the heavy truck winner for both races was a Herschmann steamer.

Léon Théry

Léon Théry

1904: Léon Théry won the Gordon Bennett Elimination Trial at Argonne, France, driving a Richard-Brasier 80 hp car.

1905: The first races are stage at the Hippodrome in Morris Park, Bronx, New York, US. Louis Chevrolet made his racing debut, and won two of the three races in his 90 hp Fiat – the White steam-powered race car, ‘Whistling Billy’, driven by Webb Jay, made its debut and covered a mile in 53 seconds during an exhibition run.

1920: Sir Henry Segrave, driving his 1914 Opel 1.4 litre Grand Prix car, won his debut race at Brooklands

1950: Juan Manuel Fangio won the Monaco Grand Prix in an Alfa Romeo 158, the first of 24 Formula 1 Grand Prix victories.

1962: The Dutch Grand Prix held at Zandvoort was won by Graham Hill driving a BRM P57. It was the first Grand Prix victory for the future dual-World Champion and the second time a BRM driver had won the race after Jo Bonnier in 1959. Hill finished over 27 seconds ahead of Team Lotus driver Trevor Taylor driving a Lotus 24. Continue Reading →

1964: Enzo Ferrari abruptly pulled out of a near-agreement with the Ford Motor Company for the takeover of his firm, an event often cited as the catalyst through which an angry Henry Ford II authorised Ford’s return to racing

Bill Holland

Bill Holland

1964: Bill Holland (76), winner of the 1949 Indianapolis 500, died in Tucson, Arizona, US. An AAA championship driver from 1938 to 1951, then again from 1953 to 1954, he scored 20 victories, including 17 in the 77-race 1946 season, scoring three top-five championship finishing positions, the best being second place in 1947. He competed in the Indianapolis 500 five times, including three while it was a Formula One championship race, winning the race in 1949 and finishing second the two previous years as well as the following year.

1965: Edgar Barth (48), German driver, winner of the 1959, 1963 and 1964 European Mountain Championships (Hillclimb) for Porsche and also the 1959 Targa Florio, died.

1973: The Belgian Grand Prix at Zolder was won by Jackie Stewart driving a Tyrrell-Cosworth 006. The entire Zolder track had to be resurfaced a week before the actual Grand Prix after a few drivers such as Jackie Stewart, Emerson Fittipaldi and François Cevert walked around the track to inspect it. They found that the track started to break up as a result of a previous race, and the track owners immediately decided to resurface the track, only a week before the Grand Prix. Continue Reading →

1984: The 5th French and 6th and last ever World Championship Grand Prix was held at the 3.801km (2.361m) Dijon-

Dijon-Prenois circuit

Dijon-Prenois circuit

Prenois circuit as it was deemed too short by the governing body FISA (circuits where lap times were under 60 seconds were considered too small for Grand Prix racing). With speeds increasing, it was felt that another race at Dijon would see the cars lapping in under one minute. Dual World Champion Niki Lauda won the race in his McLaren-TAG, his first win in France since 1975.

2007: The record Le Mans-winning 1962 Ferrari 330 TRI/LM Testa Rosa Spyder was auctioned by RM Auctions and Sotherby’s for €6,875,000.

~21 May ~

1905: In the inaugural motor racing events on the 1.39 mile dirt Morris Park oval, New York. Louis Chevrolet drove a Fiat

Morris Park, New York - 1905

Morris Park, New York – 1905

to the fastest time in a 1 mile time trial and also won a 3 lap “Free for All” event, while Charles Basle drove the Flying Dutchman I Mercedes to victory in the 5 mile race. Continue Reading →

1927: Barney Oldfield, driving a Hudson Super Six 2-door coach at Culver City Track, in California, US, established a non-stop 1,000 mile record for stock cars of 13 hours, 8 minutes – at an average speed of 74.6 mph.

1927: Motor racing started at the Crystal Palace park when a motorcycle race was held over a mile-long course there. A crowd of over 10,000 turned out in glorious weather to watch seven solo and three sidecar events over a one mile circuit. The two main races were the Crystal Palace solo Grand Prix, won by L. Continue Reading →

573b0f629ae151933: On the first day of practice of the Avusrenen, one of Germany’s best drivers, Otto Merz (33), crashed to his death. This calamity overshadowed the entire event. The 1933 Avusrennen eclipsed all previous races at this track due to the impressive and exciting battle of Count Czaykowski and Varzi in their 5-litre Bugattis. Continue Reading →

1939: The XII Adac Eifelrennen run over 10 laps (141.7 miles) of the Nürburgring was won by Hermann Lang driving a Mercedes-Benz W154/39.

1949: Juan Manuel Fangio in a Simca-Gordini T15 won the Marseille GP held at Prado.

1950: The very first multiple first lap pile-up in the World Championship took place at the Monaco Grand Prix. Waves crashing over the harbour front caught out Farina who skidded, stalled, and helplessly took out eight other cars. Juan Manuel Fangio picked his way through the wreckage to win the race by two miles! The victory was the first of the 24-Grand Prix victories in his illustrious Formula One career. Continue Reading →

1993: Warren Johnson made the first 195 mph NHRA Pro Stock 1/4-mile run at Englishtown, New Jersey, USA.

2000: Eventual 2000 world champion, Michael Schumacher driving a Ferrari F1-2000 won the European Grand Prix at Nürburgring. The win was Schumacher’s fourth win of the season and his third European Grand Prix victory, a new record. McLaren drivers, Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard, finished second and third, respectively.

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