6-7 February: This Weekend in Motor Sport

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

-6 February-

1952: NASCAR distributed over $40,000 in points money at the annual Victory Dinner at the Princess Issena Hotel in Daytona Beach. Herb Thomas collected $2,264.50 for winning the 1951 NASCAR Grand National ­championship.

1960: Bruce McLaren drove a Cooper-Climax to victory in the Argentine Grand Prix at Buenos Aires. McLaren won from way back in the 13th spot on the grid, Cliff Allison finished 2nd in a Ferrari, 26 seconds back and Maurice Trintignant finished 3rd in another Cooper. Stirling Moss set fastest lap on his way to finish just off the podium in 4th. He also sat on the pole for that race but could not bring it home for the win.

1962: Jerry Richert won the Florida State Fair IMCA Sprint Car race in Tampa, Florida (US). Johnny White was second followed by Johnny Rutherford, Pete Folse and Arnie Knepper.

1966: The first Daytona 24 Hour event was won by Ken Miles and Lloyd Ruby driving a Ford Mk. II. Motor Sport reported: “For their first 24-hour race the basic organization was good, but the various officials in many cases were out of touch, childish and lacked the professional touch which one now finds at Watkins Glen.” After having lost in 1966 at Daytona, Sebring and Le Mans to the Fords, the Ferrari P series prototypes staged a 1–2–3 side-by-side parade finish at the banked finish line in 1967. The Ferrari 365 GTB/4 road car was given the unofficial name Ferrari Daytona in celebration of this victory.

1971: Iggy Katona won the ARCA 300-mile Stock Car race at the Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Florida (US).

1972: Reliability concerns for the 3 liter cars led to the Daytona 24 Hours being replaced by a 6 hour event. Ferrari took the win with the 512P of Mario Andretti/Jacky Ickx gaining the lead when Ferrari teammate Tim Schenken had a tire puncture with 15 minutes left. Schenken and co-driver Ronnie Peterson still finished second despite the puncture and late gearbox problems. The Jo Bonnier entered Lola challenged early before retiring, while the lone Alfa-Romeo threat ended when the Peter Revson/Rolf Stommelen car blew late.

1972: Graham McRae drove his McRae GM1-Chevrolet to victory the Tasman Cup race on the 2.0 mile Surfers Paradise International Raceway, Australia. The race was round 5 of the 1972 series for Formula 5000 cars. It was McRae’s 8th career Tasman Cup race win.

1981: The political battle between the sport’s governing body FISA and the Formula One Constructors’ Association (FOCA) came to a head when FOCA held a non-championship race in Kyalami and threatened to create a breakaway series. The two sides were battling over regulations, the distribution of income and FISA’s perceived bias towards the manufacturers Ferrari, Renault and Alfa Romeo. Members of FOCA, including Max Mosley, came up with the idea while eating lunch in the French Alps and immediately called the organisation’s ring-leader Bernie Ecclestone. Ecclestone, at the time the boss of Brabham, loved it and FOCA just about scraped together enough money to stage the race, using old Avon tyres from Ecclestone’s warehouse. With the exception of the three manufacturers, most of the major teams took part. In reality FOCA didn’t have the means to hold a full championship, but the threat worked nonetheless and in the same year FISA president Jean Marie Balestre agreed to the first Concorde Agreement.

2002: Jack Fairman (88), British racing driver who participated in 13 Formula One Grands Prix, debuting on 18 July 1953, died. He scored a total of five championship points, all of which came in the 1956 season.

-7 February-

1954: Two-time NASCAR Grand National champion Herb Thomas won the 1954 NASCAR season opener at West Palm Beach (US) in his Hudson Hornet. Thomas collected the $1,600 first prize, which was sweetened by the contingency money from Pure Oil Company and Champion Spark Plugs.

1959: The Daytona International Speedway formally opened.

1960: Bruce McLaren took his second F1 victory at the season-opening Argentine Grand Prix. The win was rather lucky as both Innes Ireland and Joe Bonnier retired with mechanical failures while running ahead of the New Zealander. McLaren failed to win another race that year but his consistent results meant he finished runner-up in the championship. Stirling Moss finished third in a Cooper Climax he had taken over from Maurice Trintignant on the 66th of 80 laps – he had been leading until the rear springs of his own car broke.

1981: Carlos Reutemann won the disputed South African Grand Prix in a Williams – the race did not count towards the FIA World Championship as it was not sanctioned, but one used as leverage by FISA in an ongoing battle with the governing body. It was probably the last Formula Libre race staged as the cars did not conform to FIA rules prohibiting the use of skirts. Ferrari, Renault and Alfa Romeo refused to have anything to do with the race in which Reutemann led from start to finish in drying conditions after stealing a march on his rivals by switching to dry tyres minutes before the start. “FOCA have proved themselves capable of staging a race,” wrote Maurice Hamilton in the Guardian, “but even the most ardent enthusiasts had to admit that a race without Ferrari was like an international rugby championship without Wales.”

1988: Dale Earnhardt won the NASCAR Winston Cup Busch Clash race at the Daytona International Speedway, Daytona, Florida (US). Davey Allison was second followed by his father Bobby Allison, Geoff Bodine, Bill Elliott, Rusty Wallace, Ken Schrader, Morgan Shepherd, Terry Labonte and Harry Gant.

1999: Umberto Maglioli, who gave Porsche their first overall Targa Florio win, died at the age of 69, after a long illness, in Monza, Italy. An accomplished and versatile sports car racer, Maglioli won the 1953 Targa Florio and 1954 Carrera Panamaricana for the Lancia team and 14 years later posted the last major win of his career in the Targa Florio, this time sharing a factory Porsche with Vic Elford. In between, Magioli competed as an occasional reserve driver for the Ferrari factory team, finishing third in the 1954 Italian Grand Prix (sharing with Froilan Gonzalez) and third in the 1955 Argentine Grand Prix (sharing with Giuseppe Farina and Maurice Trintignant). In 1956 he had three races in a Maserati 250F and his final Grand Prix outing came at the Nurburgring in a 1.5-liter Porsche the following season.

2000: Ferrari launched its car for the F1 2000 season. It proved to be the team’s most successful since Jody Scheckter’s championship winning 312 T4 of 1979. Michael Schumacher took his third world championship in 2000, accumulating nine wins along the way, heralding five years of complete domination by the Schumacher-Ferrari partnership.

2002: Jack Fairman (88), British racing driver who participated in 13 Formula One Grands Prix, debuting on 18 July 1953, died. He scored a total of five championship points, all of which came in the 1956 season.

 

 

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