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3-4 August: This Weekend in motor

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

~3 August~

1924: Alfa Romeo, appearing in its first major race outside of Italy, became the first marque to win its initial grand prix event as Giuseppe Campari won the French Grand Prix in Lyon. The Bugatti Type 35 also made its racing debut at this event.

1939: Brooklands race circuit in Surrey, England hosted its final race, thereby ending the track’s 32-year history. It had opened in 1907 as the world’s first oval-style motorsport venue, as well as one of Britain’s first airfields. Nowadays it plays host to an aviation and motoring museum, and various vintage car rallies.

1952: The 18-lap German Grand Prix at Nürburgring was won by Ferrari driver Alberto Ascari after he started from pole position. His teammates Giuseppe Farina and Rudi Fischer finished in second and third places. The Maserati factory team finally appeared with their new car, the A6GCM, which was driven by Felice Bonetto.

1958: British racing driver, Peter Collins (26), the ‘Gay Cavalier’, died in the German Grand Prix at Nurbringring. Collins trying hard to keep up with the leaders went into the Pflanzgarten section of the circuit, entered a turn too fast causing his Ferrari to run wide and strike a ditch on the left side of the road. Though Collins was thrown clear as the car somersaulted, he struck a tree, sustaining critical head injuries.

1960: Lee Petty and his sons, Richard and Maurice, raced against each other for the first and only time, at Birmingham, Alabama’s, Dixie Speedway. Richard finished second, Lee third, and Maurice eighth.

1964: Racer Carel de Beaufort (30) died three days after his Porsche had crashed at the Nurburgring circuit during a practice run for the German Grand Prix.

1975: David Pearson drove a Wood Brothers Mercury to a dominant victory in the Purolator 500 at Pocono Raceway, leading 107 of the 200 laps. Richard Petty took second, 4.8 seconds behind. Buddy Baker came home third and Benny Parsons fourth as the only four drivers on the lead lap at the finish.

1996: Dale Jarrett passed Ernie Irvan with seven laps to go and wins the Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Speedway (US). Rookie Johnny Benson, Jr., led the most laps but dropped back in a pit-stop shuffle and finished eighth.

2003: Contested over 67 laps, the German Grand Prix was won by Juan Pablo Montoya driving for the Williams team after starting from pole position. David Coulthard finished second in a McLaren car, with Jarno Trulli third in a Renault.

2008: Contested over 70 laps, the Hungarian Grand Prix was won by Heikki Kovalainen for the McLaren team, from a second position start. Timo Glock finished second in a Toyota, with Kimi Räikkönen third in a Ferrari. It was Kovalainen’s first Formula One victory, which made him the sport’s 100th driver to win a World Championship race, and it was Glock’s first podium finish.

~4 August~

1951: Ibsley Circuit, situated at RAF Ibsley, on the Fordingbridge to Ringwood Road in Hampshire, UK, staged its first car meeting. Organised by the West Hants & Dorset Car Club (WH&DCC) on a track which Autosport described as “tricky enough to have good spectator appeal”. The programme consisted of sports cars races, Formula III and Formule Libre. The lap record for the day was set by Ray Merrick in his Cooper-Norton-JAP at a speed of 79.83 miles per hour (128.47 km/h). Dennis Poore won the main event of the day for racing cars over 500cc in his Alfa Romeo 8C from Oscar Moore (HWM) and Sydney Allard in an Allard.

1956: Lee Petty dismounted his car in disgust on the 32nd lap, climbed the flagstand, grabbed the red flag from the official starter, and waved the scheduled 100-mile NASCAR Grand National race at Tulsa, Oklahoma, US to a halt. Dusty conditions blinded the drivers and Petty acted on his own to prevent a catastrophe. The race was never completed or rescheduled.

1956: Curtis Turner survived a race of attrition to score a win in the NASCAR Convertible Series at Columbia (South Carolina, US) Speedway. Turner started second and finished two laps ahead of runner-up Glen Wood. Pole-starter Joe Weatherly, Turner’s teammate in Pete DePaolo-owned Fords, came home third despite retiring with a flat tire with four laps left. Only eight of the 25 starters were running at the finish.

1957: The Argentine racing driver Juan Manual Fangio won the German Grand Prix at Nürburgring to clinch his record-breaking fifth, and last, world title. The race was also the 24th and last Grand Prix win of his career, at the time a record. Unlike the other drivers Fangio started the race with the fuel tank of his Maserati half full. He drove carefully until the halfway stage at which point he refuelled. He came out of the pits with a deficit of 45 seconds to make up. The 46 year old proceeded to break the track record in lap after lap, eventually overhauling the race leaders to take the chequered flag.

1957: Buck Baker won the 100-mile NASCAR Grand National event on the road course in Watkins Glen, New York, US. Baker dominated the race, leading flag to flag.

1963: John Surtees in a Ferrari won his first Formula One race, the German Grand Prix. and Jim Clark (Lotus) finished second for the only time in an Formula One race. Jim Clark led away from pole in his customary fashion. Behind him Lorenzo Bandini spun in front of Innes Ireland who collected him, Willy Mairesse had an accident, and Chris Amon sustained a knee injury when the steering broke, catapulting him into the trees. Graham Hill retired leaving Clark to battle away with John Surtees and Trevor Taylor before engine problems befell Taylor. When Clark’s engine went down to just 7 cylinders, Surtees was able to pass him easily to lead him home to take his first F1 victory. Richie Ginther completed the podium. Gerhard Mitter finished in a superb fourth place in his home race from Jim Hall and Jo Bonnier. This race was notable for being the only time Jim Clark ever finished second in a World Championship race.

1968: Jackie Stewart, racing a Matra-Ford with a broken wrist, won the German Grand Prix held at the Nürburgring in mist and torrential rain rendering the track treacherous and visibility virtually non-existent. He won the race by a margin of four minutes in what is widely considered to be one of the greatest victories in the history of Formula One. Stewart thought it was not his greatest race — which he believed was the 1973 Italian Grand Prix at Monza, where Stewart unlapped himself on the entire field.

1985: Michele Alboreto won the German Grand Prix for Ferrari, his fifth and last Formula On victory. This event was the first occasion on which an onboard camera was used in a race; one was attached to François Hesnault’s Renault.

1997: Owner/driver Ricky Rudd gambled on fuel mileage and it paid off with a $571,000 triumph in the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis, Indiana, US. Rudd led the final 14 laps and finishes a scant .18 second in front of runner-up Bobby Labonte.

2002: Bill Elliott (cover image), 46, won the ninth Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, becoming the oldest driver to win the race. Indiana native Tony Stewart started from the pole for the race and led the first lap, becoming the first driver to accomplish both feats in the Indianapolis 500 and Allstate 400 at the Brickyard.

2007: Fernando Alonso was relegated from pole to sixth on the grid after stewards declare he deliberately impeded Lewis Hamilton in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix. McLaren forfeited all points won from the race for the constructors’ championship.

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