With most of the world’s motorsport on pause, we delve into a glance at some of the sport’s archives to find the best bits that have occurred from yesteryear in this week of racing.
May 11/12 (1968) – Ferrari’s Chris Amon pips the BRM of Pedro Rodriguez to pole position for the Spanish Grand Prix at the Jamara circuit. The result was Amon’s first Formula 1 pole position and the first for a New Zealand driver.
It was also the first race since the passing of Jim Clark who perished in Formula 2 race at the Hockenheimring. Having won the first round of the championship in South Africa, Clark lead the championship standings heading into the weekend by nine points.
Amon’s Grand Prix victory curse meant he retired from the lead with 33 laps remaining when the fuel pump on his Ferrari failed. McLaren’s Denny Hulme then came within an earshot of the lead but lost second gear while hunting down subsequent lead Graham Hill. Hulme was compelled to back off and follow Hill home in second position.
May 13 (2012) – Pastor Maldonado shocks the Formula 1 paddock by claiming his sole Grand Prix victory at the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona (main image). The 28-year-old Venezuelan wrestled the dogged FW34 to second in qualifying and was promoted to pole after a post-qualifying penalty for Lewis Hamilton. He then valiantly fended off Fernando Alonso to claim Williams last win in the sport to date.
May 15 (2019) – Nissan confirmed they will terminate their partnership with Supercars outfit Kelly Racing, effectively ending the Japanese manufacturer’s relationship with the series. The agreement followed a tumultuous few years within Supercars paddock which only yielded three wins and often outshadowed by the more developed Falcons, Commodores and, later, the Mustangs.
May 15 (1922) Ground breaks and construction begins on the site that would later become the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza. The Italian Grand Prix venue became the world’s third permanent race circuit after Brooklands and Indianapolis and has hosted a Formula 1 Grand Prix every year of the World Championship except 1980.
May 16 (1982) – Allan Moffat drives his Mazda RX7 to victory in the 1982 ATCC season finale at Surfers Paradise. That same race would also secure Dick Johnson’s second consecutive series title in his XD Falcon.
May 18 (1968) – Joe Leonard puts the controversial STP turbine car on pole for the 1968 Indy 500. The car, which was powered by a Pratt & Whitney Canada ST6B-62 turbine engine mounted on the left side of the backbone, then suffered a flameout on lap 191 while in the lead. The project was then scrapped after the season.