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26-27 August: This Weekend in Motor Sport History

~26 August~

55dc78002e13c1909: The Houpt-Rockwell made its debut in the 24-hour race at Brighton Beach, New York, but the car driven by George Robertson failed to finish.

1911: The grandstand collapsed on lap 2 of the Elgin National Trophy in Illinois. The race, run over a 8.47 mile road course, was restarted 35 minutes later and was won by Len Zengle.

The first Swiss Grand Prix was held at Circuit Bremgarten, near Bern. It was supported earlier in the day by the voiturette-class I Prix de Berne. Hans Stuck in an Auto Union, having led the race from pole position won the main event.

1939: The last pre-war racing event was held at Crystal Palace and the area was requisitioned by the military.. For its first decade of use from 1927 the track was typical for the time: tarmac on the bends, but just hard-packed gravel on the straights. Continue Reading →

1967: James Hylton, one of NASCAR’s longest-running independent drivers, was born. The Inman, South Carolina, US., native made 601 starts from 1964 to 1993 in NASCAR’s top series and won twice, at Richmond and Talladega, in the 1970s. Hylton, who still races at age 78, most recently competed in a NASCAR national series in August 2011, when he finished 30th in a Camping World Truck Series event at Pocono.

James Hylton
James Hylton

1973: Mark Donohue won the Road America Can-Am race in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, USA, driving a Penske Porsche 917/30. Porsches took the first five finishing positions. Road America is a permanent road course located midway between the cities of Milwaukee and Green Bay. Continue Reading

1979: Gilles Villeneuve cemented his cult-hero status at the Dutch Grand Prix when he refused to retire with a puncture, and instead drove a lap of the circuit on three wheels with sparks flying from the rear of his Ferrari. Villeneuve had been leading the race after a brave move on Alan Jones at Tarzan corner and looked set for victory until a spin on lap 47 dropped him to second. Villeneuve rejoined but two laps later he spun again, this time the rear-left tyre exploded and left the Ferrari strewn across the middle of the track. Continue Reading →

1985: Alain Prost led home Niki Lauda for a MacLaren 1-2 at the Dutch Grand Prix.

1990: Brazilian driver Ayrton Senna claimed his fifth race victory for the season at the Begium Grand Prix in his McLaren MP4/5B taking a four-second win over the Ferrari 641 driven the reigning world champion, Frenchman Alain Prost. It was Senna’s fourth victory in the Belgian Grand Prix, and his third in succession. Senna’s Austrian team mate Gerhard Berger finished third, while further back Maurício Gugelmin scored a rare point for the Leyton House team in his Leyton House CG901.

1996: One of the most iconic F1 sponsorship deals came to an end when the Philip Morris tobacco company announced it would not renew its sponsorship of McLaren in 1997. Philip Morris’ European president said: “During our 23 years of sponsorship, the Marlboro McLaren team has had unprecedented success, winning nine drivers’ world championships, seven wolrd constructors’ championships and 96 grands prix. We are very proud of that record.”

2007: Lewis Hamilton’s title bid took the first of two major blows as a result of a tyre failure. He had been running in a comfortable third position at the Turkish Grand Prix, ahead of title rival and McLaren team-mate Fernando Alonso, when his front left tyre failed at high speed. He dropped back to fifth, missing out on two points – the exact same margin he lost the championship by to Kimi Raikkonen. Continue Reading →

~27 August~

1899: A handicap race between walkers, cycles, motorcycles and cars was staged from Paris to Trouville (104 miles). Horses were allowed 14 hours, and finished first and second; cars allowed 3 hours, were third and fourth. ‘Antony’ won the contest in a Mors 16 hp.

1910: The first Elgin Road Races (Illinois, US) were staged. The 305-mile National Stock Chassis Chassis Championship was won by Ralph Mulford in a Lozier.

Junior Johnson
Junior Johnson

1961: Junior Johnson took the lead in the 33rd lap and storms to victory in a 200-lap main event at South Boston (Virginia, US) Speedway. Johnson finished one lap ahead of Jim Reed, who led the first 32 laps. Ned Jarrett wound up third, three laps off Johnson’s pace. Continue Reading →

1967: The first ever Canadian Grand Prix was held at Mosport Park. Brabhams driven by Jack Brabham and Denny Hulme finished first and second, respectively. Having already changed his battery on the grid, losing six laps, Al Pease in an Eagle-Climax spun and stalled out on the circuit during the race, and suffered another flat battery. Continue Reading →

1978: Mario Andretti won the Dutch Grand Prix. The fourth 1-2 finish of the season for Lotus meant that, with three races left to run, only Andretti or Ronnie Peterson could take the Drivers’ Championship. It would go to Andretti in the next race at Monza, when Peterson crashed fatally.

1989: The first seven second Pro Mod run was recorded at the Santa Pod Raceway Summernationals, Northamptonshire. Geoff Hauser broke into the seven second barrier for Pro Mod cars in his Ford Sierra. He ran 7.84, 7.85, 7.87 and then 7.88 in the final against Tim Cook, who had earlier also dipped into the sevens with a 7.97.

1989: Murray Walker was left to commentate on the Belgian Grand Prix by himself after his fellow BBC employee James Hunt failed to turn up. The 1976 world champion was a favourite among fans but often incensed Walker with his laid back attitude to life and off the cuff remarks. In the end Martin Brundle and Jonny Herbert made their way up to the commentary booth after retiring from the rain-soaked race. Continue Reading →

Felipe Massa
Felipe Massa

2000: Mika Hakkinen and Michael Schumacher went head-to-head at the Belgian Grand Prix, producing the overtaking manoeuvre of the season. Schumacher was leading after Hakkinen had spun at Stavelot earlier in the race but the McLaren was the faster car overall. Schumacher put up a spirited defence once Hakkinen was on his tail meaning the McLaren driver had to do something special to find a way past. Continue Reading

2006: The Turkish Grand Prix marked the first race victory, and also the first pole position, for Felipe Massa, who drove for the Ferrari team. Fernando Alonso finished the race in second position and Massa’s teammate Michael Schumacher occupied the final position on the podium. The race was also the first Grand Prix for future quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel, who was assigned a Friday test driver role for the BMW Sauber team.

 

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