30 November – 1 December: This Weekend in Motor Sport History

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

~30 November~

1905: Reo made its racing debut as Daniel Wurges won two of three races driving the Reo Bird at the Empire City track in Yonkers, New York.

1911: The American Grand Prize (cover image), the final race of the 1911 Grand Prix season was held on the Savannah, Georgia road course three days after the Vanderbilt Cup was held on the same track. It was sanctioned by the Automobile Club of America. David Bruce-Brown in a Fiat S74 won by just over two minutes over Eddie Hearne. Bruce-Brown’s average speed was 74.458 mph (121.478 km/h).

1975: Gulf Research Racing, which had won the 24 Hours of Le Mans earlier in the year (and had won it twice previously as John Wyer Automotive Engineering), closed its doors.

1976: Roger Clark became the first British driver to win a World Rally Championship (WRC) event when he triumphed at the 1976 RAC Rally with Stuart Pegg, driving a Ford Escort RS 1800. Clark passed his driving test in 1956, and immediately joined the Leicester Car Club, where he met Jim Porter, who was his co-driver for 20 years.

 

~1 December~

1929: Enzo Ferrari founded the Scuderia Ferrari.

1962: High praise for Stirling Moss who was described by Enzo Ferrari as the world’s best driver, likening him to the legendary Tazio Nuvolari. At the same time at Monza, Peter Arundell won a challenge from a German sports writer who claimed Lotus had used oversized engines in winning the formula junior races that season. Lotus offered £1000 that one of their cars could match speeds achieved in races.

1963: African American driver Wendell Scott passed Buck Baker with 25 laps to go, to win the 200-lap, 100-mile Grand National race at the Jacksonville Raceway Park by two laps. However, Baker was recognised as the winner, and celebrated in victory lane. Racial tensions of the time was blamed for the move, but it ultimately became a black eye for the sport. Hours after the race, NASCAR officials made scoring corrections and declared Scott the winner, but long after fans had left the track. Baker (2013) and Scott (2015) are both in the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

1968: The first official event was staged at Sears Point, in the southern Sonoma Mountains in Sonoma, California (US), an SCCA Enduro.

1974: John Greenwood drove a Greenwood Corvette to victory in the IMSA sports car race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida.

1997: Michael Schumacher was revealed by Forbes magazine as the fourth-highest earner in world sport. His income from F1 of £21.9 million ranked below Michael Jordan (£48.9m), Evander Holyfield (£33.9m) and Oscar De La Hoya (£23.5m).

2001: Bernie Ecclestone hit out at rumours of a rival F1 championship being launched, warning it would drive sponsors away from the sport. Paolo Cantarella, chief executive of Fiat, had met F1 teams to propose a rival competition offering them a bigger income. “The manufacturers came in because it was a shop window for them, so why do they want to destroy it?” said Ecclestone. “I have told them to wait and see what happens. They became involved because they liked the stability of F1 and knew that things were done properly. Once these companies leave it is hard to get them back.”

 

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