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24-25 June: This Weekend in Motor Sport History

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~24 June ~

1923: Opel recorded its finest racing moment when a 12-litre car built in 1913 won a beach race on Fano Island, Denmark at a speed of 128 mph.

1951 Le Mans Peter Walker in Jaguar C-type
1951 Le Mans Peter Walker in Jaguar C-type

1951: Peter Walker and Peter Whitehead in their works-entered Jaguar C-type, claimed the first Le Mans win for the marque. This year marked the real start of the modern era of sports-car racing, with the arrival of Jaguar’s purpose-built racer, and the first showing for Porsche and Lancia. It was also the final time for Delahaye and Bentley (for 50 years). The race was marred by the death of French driver Jean Larivière within the opening laps of the race.

1951: Curtis Turner scored a convincing victory at Dayton (Ohio, US) Speedway, pulling away from Dick Rathman to win the 200-lap main event. Runner-up Rathman was nearly a full lap behind Turner — who led 177 laps — at the finish on the half-mile asphalt track. Pole-starter Tim Flock led the other 23 laps and came home third, just ahead of his brother Fonty.

1956: George Amick won the USAC Championship race at Langhorne, Pennsylvania. It was the first win for an Andy Dunlap prepared car.

1962: Phil Hill and Olivier Gendebien drove a Ferrari 330 TR/LM to victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Second overall and first in the GT class was the Ferrari 250 GTO of Jean Guichet and Pierre Noblet.

1973: The National Drag Racing Championship held its first meeting at Silverstone. It attracted a less-than-expected 8000 spectators.

1984: Starting on pole, Nelson Piquet in a Brabham BMW led from flag to flag at the Detroit Grand Prix and held off a brilliant charge by first-year driver Martin Brundle in the normally aspirated Tyrrell to win by less than a second

Winner Alain Prost (FRA) Ferrari 641 leads Ayrton Senna and Nigel Mansell at the 1990 Mexican Grand Prix
Winner Alain Prost (FRA) Ferrari 641 leads Ayrton Senna and Nigel Mansell at the 1990 Mexican Grand Prix

1990: Alain Prost driving a Ferrari 641/2 won the Mexican Grand Prix held at Hermanos Rodriguez. In winning Prost became only the second multiple-winner in Mexican Grand Prix history, joining British driver Jim Clark. It was Prost’s second win for the year after winning the Brazilian Grand Prix. Continue Reading →

2001: Michael Schumacher driving a Ferrari F2001 won the European Grand Prix at Nürburgring. Juan Pablo Montoya finished second driving for Williams, with David Coulthard third driving for McLaren. The race was Michael Schumacher’s fifth win of the season, his third at the Nürburgring, and the result meant that he extended his lead in the Drivers’ Championship to 22 points over Coulthard and 36 ahead of Rubens Barrichello. Continue Reading →

~25~ June ~

1898: The first race in Belgium, from Brussels to Spa was run. It was won the following day by Pierre de Crawhez in a Panhard.

Grandstands at the 1912 French Grand Prix at Dieppe
Grandstands at the 1912 French Grand Prix at Dieppe

1912: (25th – 26th): The French Grand Prix race was run over two days with the drivers completing ten laps on each day and their times being aggregated to produce the winner. Coupe de l’Auto cars competed alongside Grand Prix cars. Riding mechanic Jean Bassignano was killed in a lap 3 crash when his driver Léon Collinet put a wheel off and flipped. Continue Reading →

1939: Richard Seaman (26) crashed during the Belgian Grand Prix held at Spa-Francorchamps on the La Source hairpin into a tree, causing the fuel line to break. Fuel rushed over the car and the car caught fire. Seaman couldn’t move because his right hand was broken and he was also trapped by his steering wheel. Continue Reading →

Seaman's fatal crash at the 1939 Belgian Grand Prix
Seaman’s fatal crash at the 1939 Belgian Grand Prix

1939: Hans Stuck driving an Auto Union Typ D won the Bucharest Grand Prix.

1949 (25-26th): The first Le Mans 24 hours was held following the end of World War II. Even though the war had ended four years prior, major reconstruction throughout France meant that the return of the race was of secondary concern, and thus was not run until after France had established itself again. Luigi Chinetti won the race in the first Ferrari barchetta by driving 23. Continue Reading →

1950: Jimmy Florian, sponsored by Euclid Motors, gave Ford their first NASCAR Grand National stockcar victory when he wom the 100 mile race on the 1/2-mile dirt oval in Dayton, Ohio, USA. Florian drove bare-chested to beat the heat.

1961: Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (formerly Mosport Park and Mosport International Raceway), the second purpose-built road race course in Canada, held its first major race, the Player’s 200, a sports car race bringing drivers from the world over to rural Ontario. Stirling Moss won the two-heat event in a Lotus 19. Second was Joakim Bonnier with Olivier Gendebien third. Continue Reading →

A.J. Foyt (21), Buddy Baker (71) and Richard Petty (43) race three abreast on the Banked oval of Texas World Speedway as they try for the lead of the 1972
A.J. Foyt (21), Buddy Baker (71) and Richard Petty (43) race three abreast on the Banked oval of Texas World Speedway as they try for the lead of the 1972

1961: Augie Pabst drove a Scarab MK2-Chevrolet to victory in the USAC Road Racing Championship event at Indianapolis Raceway Park, in Indianapolis, Indiana, US.

1972: Pole-starter Richard Petty lapped the field on a steamy day at Texas World Speedway (US), leading 186 of 250 laps to win the Lone Star 500. Bobby Allison finished second, one lap down at the end. Coo Coo Marlin took third place, six laps off Petty’s pace. Continue Reading →

1983: John Pratt drove a Lola to victory in the Townsend Thoreson FF1600 race at Oulton Park, England.

1995: Steve Read became Europe’s first four second Top Fuel driver when he ran 4.966/280.72 at Eastern Creek Raceway, NSW Australia. This added to Steve’s record as being the first European Alcohol driver into the fives.

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