2-3 June: This Weekend in Motor Sport History

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

~2 June~

Mannin Moar, Isle of Man – June 1934

1934: Mannin Moar (formally known as II Mannin Moar), a Grand Prix that was held at a street circuit in Douglas, Isle of Man, United Kingdom. It was the twelfth round of the 1934 Grand Prix season, but it did not count towards the championship. The race, contested over 50 laps of 3.659 mi, or 5.889 km, was won by Brian Lewis driving a Alfa Romeo Tipo B after starting from pole position. Tim Rose-Richards made the best start of the line, overtaking both Christopher Staniland and Freddie Dixon to get into second place after Lewis, who would eventually stay in the lead the entire race. Staniland retired after just two laps due to gearbox problems and Rose-Richards retired with a broken water pump, leaving second and third place open for Dixon and Vasco Sameiro.Between lap fifteen and lap forty, five drivers were forced to retire and the field was brought down to three cars. Although it was not an easy victory – his Alfa Romeo had lost a gear early in the race – Lewis took the flag after fifty laps ahead of Charlie Dodson and Cyril Paul.

Junior Johnson

1956:Future stockcar great Junior Johnson and his father were arrested for making moonshine whiskey. His father, a lifelong bootlegger, spent nearly twenty of his sixty-three years in prison, as their house was frequently raided by revenue agents. The Johnson family experienced the largest alcohol raid in United States history, seizing upwards of 400 gallons of moonshine from the house. Junior spent one year in prison in Ohio for having an illegal still, although he was never caught in his many years of transporting bootleg liquor at high speed. In 1955, Johnson began his career as a NASCAR driver. In his first full season, he won five races and finished sixth in the 1955 NASCAR Grand National points standings. In 1958 he won six races. In 1959, he won five more NASCAR Grand National races (including a win from the pole position at the 1959 Hickory 250); by this time he was regarded as one of the best short-track racers in the sport.His first win at a “superspeedway” came at the Daytona 500 in 1960. Johnson and his crew chief Ray Fox were practicing for the race, trying to figure out how to increase their speed, which was 22 miles per hour (35 km/h) slower than the top cars in the race. During a test run a faster car passed Johnson. He noticed that when he moved behind the faster car his own speed increased due to the faster car’s slipstream. Johnson was then able to stay close behind the faster car until the final lap of the test run, when he used the “slipstream” effect to slingshot past the other car. By using this technique Johnson went on to win the 1960 Daytona 500, despite the fact that his car was slower than others in the field. Johnson’s technique was quickly adopted by other drivers, and his practice of “drafting” has become a common tactic in NASCAR races.In 1963 he had a two-lap lead in the World 600 at Charlotte before a spectator threw a bottle onto the track and caused Junior to crash; he suffered only minor injuries. He retired in 1966. In his career, he claimed 50 victories as a driver, and 11 of these wins were at major speedway races. He retired as the winningest driver never to have a championship. Johnson was a master of dirt track racing. “The two best drivers I’ve ever competed against on dirt are Junior Johnson and Dick Hutcherson,” said two-time NASCAR champion Ned Jarrett. In the 1970s and 1980s, he became a NASCAR racing team owner; he sponsored such NASCAR champions as Cale Yarborough and Darrell Waltrip. He now produces a line of fried pork skins and country ham. He is credited as the first to use the drafting technique in stock car racing. He is nicknamed “The Last American Hero” and his autobiography is of the same name. In May 2007, Johnson teamed with Piedmont Distillers of Madison, North Carolina, to introduce the company’s second moonshine product, called “Midnight Moon Moonshine”.

1967: Jim Paschal stormed to the 24th of his 25 wins in NASCAR’s top series, leading 111 laps of the Asheville 300 at New Asheville (North Carolina, US) Speedway. Donnie Allison led the most laps (157) but wound up second, eight seconds behind at the finish. Pole-starter Richard Petty finished third, two laps down.

Bruce McLaren

1970: New Zealand race-car designer and manufacturer Bruce McLaren died at the age of 32, after crashing at the Goodwood Circuit in Sussex. He had been testing his new M8D Can-Am car when the rear bodywork came adrift at speed, leading to the loss of aerodynamic downforce and destabilising the car, which spun, left the track and hit a bunker used as a flag station.

1991: Nigel Mansell decided to wave to his fans during the last lap of the 1991 Canadian Grand Prix as he cruised to what seemed to become yet another dominant win. But as the electronic brain of his Williams-Renault got confused as to why the driver would want to drop the revs below the recommended level and disengaged the clutch. Nelson Piquet sped past the frustrated Englishman to score what would turn out to be Piquet’s last ever victory in Formula 1.

1996: The Spanish Grand Prix was held in Barcelona. Michael Schumacher’s first Ferrari victory, it is generally regarded as one of his finest. In the torrential rain, he produced a stunning drive, and a prime example of why he earned the nickname “Regenmeister” (“Rainmaster”), despite his early and unforced crash at a wet Monaco Grand Prix two weeks earlier. Mika Salo was disqualifed for the second time this season, for changing cars after the field was under starter’s orders. Damon Hill had started the race from pole position, but dropped to 8th after spinning twice in the opening laps, before another spin into the pit wall on lap 12 ended his race. Schumacher recovered from a poor start to take the lead from Villeneuve on lap 13, and from then on he dominated the race, lapping over three seconds a lap faster than the remainder of the field. Rubens Barrichello, who was running in second place after Jacques Villeneuve and Alesi made their pit stops, put in a strong performance in this race, but was forced to retire with 20 laps to go after a clutch problem caused his engine to fade out. On the previous lap, Gerhard Berger had spun his Benetton out of fourth place while trying to lap Diniz. After an uneventful race on his part, Heinz-Harald Frentzen finished in fourth, while Mika Häkkinen took fifth after surviving a spin off the track in the closing stages of the race. Jos Verstappen, running fifth after the retirements of Barrichello and Berger, crashed into the tyre barrier with 12 laps left, guaranteeing Pedro Diniz his first Formula One point as by this time only six drivers were left in the race. With no further retirements, Diniz brought his car home in sixth, after driving at a more cautious pace that saw him fall two laps adrift of the front runners by the end.

1999: A 49-year-old grandfather bettered the British land-speed record broken by him earlier in the day. Colin Fallows, an engineer from Northampton, beat the record at Elvington Airfield near York. He then went on to break his own record, clocking 269 mph – 5mph faster than his first successful attempt.. This new speed beat by 10 mph the former record set 18 years ago by Richard Noble, the man who broke the world land-speed record in October 1997 with the Thrust SSC car. Mr Fallows broke the record twice in his Vampire dragster, powered by an aero engine he had bought for just £500 19 years ago from the Red Arrows.

~ 3 June~

Levegh

1908: Alfred Velghe, known as Levegh, driving a Mors 28hp car won the Bordeaux-Perigueux-Bordeaux race (195.5 miles), in 4 hours 1 minutes 45 seconds The first stage of the race (72 miles) was accomplished in 1 hour 24 minutes 35 seconds, equal to 51 miles an hour.

1921: Australian Harry Hawker, driving an AC at the Brooklands race circuit in Surrey, became the first to officially exceed 100 mph in Britain driving a 1.5-litre car.

1928: Marcel Lehoux driving a Bugatti T35C won the Tunis Grand Prix held at Bardo just outside Tunis.

1934 Auto Union Type A, VIII ADAC Eifelrennen

1934: The VIII ADAC Eifelrennen, an annual motor race organised by ADAC Automobile Club, held in Germany’s Eifel mountain region (even before the Nürburgring was built there), was won by Manfred von Brauchitsch in a Mercedes-Benz W25/34.The start was delayed for several hours because of fog, rain showers and hail. At 3 PM the race was finally started with 44 cars in 3 classes flagged of after each other. A bunch of cars arrived together into the Südkehre on the first lap and Austrian driver Emil Frankl (Bugatti) touched another car and went, with damaged wheel, into a wild spin just missing the Mercedes cars, before overturning, killing the unfortunate driver. After the first lap it was Fagioli in front of von Brauchitsch, Stuck, Chiron, Tadini, Penn-Hughes, zu Leiningen and Pietsch. Then Neubauer gave order to Fagioli to let the other Mercedes car by and at Bergwerk on the second lap von Brauchitsch took over the lead from his team mate. On the third lap Momberger was out of the race with fuel pump failure and the problems for the Auto Union team continued. A flying stone has created a leak in zu Leiningen’s fuel tank and he fell far back while the tank was repaired and refilled. Von Brauchitsch had opened up a 46 second lead over Fagioli who was ferociously attacked by Stuck. Nuvolari was out of the race after a series of technical problems.Halfway through the race the Mercedes cars came in for tanking and a furious Fagioli started a bilingual verbal fight with team leader Neubauer over the team orders. Fagioli went off again but then, with one lap to go, simply abandoned his Mercedes on the track in disgust, giving Neubauer a taste of things to come.The Alfas did not need to come in for refueling but they were not able to keep up with the superior roadholding of the German cars. The Nürburgring took its tolls, Maserati drivers Rüesch och Siena were out with engine problems and zu Leiningen was also out, leaving only one Auto Union in the race. However, Stuck was now in the lead and opened up a gap of almost one minute to von Brauchitsch. The Mercedes team was worried: Was Stuck trying to do a nonstop race? Finally Stuck went in for tanking, tyres and new plugs and after a lengthy pitstop he rejoined the race 87 seconds behind von Brauchitsch. With such advantage the Mercedes driver had no problem to keep the lead from then on and he went on to win. He could hardly have got off to a better start as a works driver. Neither could the Mercedes-Benz team have had a better comeback, winning the first time out.

1934: The first and only Montreux Grand Prix was held and won by Carlo Felice Trossi, in an Alfa Romeo B/P3. The Montreux “round the houses” street race was a new addition to the Grand Prix calendar. Unfortunately it was run the same weekend as the Eifelrennen but Ferrari entered the trio of Varzi, Moll and Trossi. The main opposition consisted of some private Maseratis and Bugattis. On race day not only every grandstand but also every window and balcony of downtown Montreux was filled with spectators. There had been a storm before the race but the track had had time to dry out. Etancelin had been fastest in practice with his own blue painted Maserati and when the starter dropped the flag at 2 p.m. Etancelin took the lead followed by Straight, Moll and Falchetto. Moll was soon up to second position but on lap 11 he had to do a lengthly pitstop with oil feed problems, spoiling any chances for a good position. Varzi was going well, climbing to 3rd followed by teammate Trossi and Hamilton.By half distance Étancelin held a 65 seconds lead over Varzi with Trossi a further 13 seconds behind. Straight had dipped to fourth as oil from a leak sprayed over his goggles and he had been forced to do several pit stops to clear them. The Ferrari duo was catching Étancelin, who had brake troubles. But at lap 69 Varzi had to make a fast pit stop, falling down to third position. With five laps to go Étancelin was still leading with 13 seconds but an inspired Trossi, always at his best on street circuits, was catching him fast, making faster laps than the pole time, and on the last but one lap he passed the Maserati to the flag from Étancelin with Varzi’s Ferrari entered Alfa third. Maserati cars driven by Straight, Hamilton and Zehender took the next places.

1956: Peter Collins driving a Ferrari D50 won the Belgian Grand Prix run over 36 laps of the Spa-Francorchamps circuit.

1956: Herb Thomas scored an easy win in the 100-mile event at Merced, California, US, giving the Carl Kiekhaefer team its 16th consecutive NASCAR Grand National victory. It is a record that will likely live forever in the NASCAR record book.

1958: Erwin Bauer (45) was killed in a 2-litre sports Ferrari at Nürburgring where, not realising he had passed the chequered flag, kept on racing and crashed fatally on what was supposed to be his slowing-down lap.

1961: The 2nd Silver City Trophy run to Formula One rules, over 76 laps of Brands Hatch, was won by British driver Stirling Moss in a Lotus 18/21. The race was overshadowed by a fatal accident during qualifying when Shane Summers crashed his Cooper T53 into the concrete entrance to the paddock road tunnel.

Mosport International raceway. Moss Corner – Turn 5a and 5b.

1961: The Mosport International raceway, Ontario, the second purpose built circuit in Canada, opened with club races.The facility presently features a 2.459-mile (3.957 km), (length reduced through wider track re-surfacing done in 2003) 10-turn road course; a 2.9 km advance driver and race driver training facility with a quarter-mile skid pad (Driver Development Centre) and a 1.4 km kart track (Mosport International Karting).

1973: Jackie Stewart won the Monaco Grand Prix driving a Tyrrell-Cosworth 006, equalling the record of 25 Grand Prix victories set by his friend Jim Clark. This was the first race for the future world champion James Hunt. The track was heavily revised for this year, with a new, longer tunnel, a chicane around the new swimming pool and a wider pitlane on the start-finish straight, which also added the now famous Rascasse-corner.

1978:Cale Yarborough started second but dominated in leading all 420 laps of the Music City USA 420 at Nashville Speedway, Tennessee, US. Yarborough, who took over the points lead on the way to his third straight Cup championship, was two laps ahead of runner-up Lennie Pond at the finish. Richard Petty was third, four laps off Yarborough’s blistering pace.

1984:  Alain Prost driving a McLaren-TAG Porsche MP4/2 won the Monaco Grand Prix. The race, held amidst heavy rain, was one of the most contentious in Formula One history. Pole-sitter Prost led the race from the start, while first corner contact between Ferrari’s René Arnoux and the Renault of Derek Warwick pitched the Englishman’s car into the fence on the outside of St. Devote and into the path of his team-mate Patrick Tambay. Both drivers suffered leg injuries, Warwick bruised his left leg while Tambay broke his leg after his car’s suspension punched through the carbon fibre monocoque, causing him to miss the next round in Canada.

2006: Martin Groves became the first man to dip under 23 seconds at Shelsley Walsh hillclimb, when he recorded 22.86 seconds.

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