Today in Racing: 30 April

Damon Hill won an emotional 1995 San Marino Grand Prix for Williams over the Ferraris of Jean Alesi and Gerhard Berger in his FW17 Renault.

Hill’s victory came year after former teammate Ayrton Senna died at Imola. That was also the only race that teammates for five years, Alesi and Berger shared a F1 podium.

Valtteri Bottas won the only other Grand Prix on his day in Russia 2017, overcoming Ferrari’s first front-row lockout in ten years to beat Sebastian Vettel by half a second with Kimi Räikkönen third in the second Ferrari.

Outside of Formula 1, 30 April was a very good day for Scuderia Ferrari as Tazio Nuvolari led Trossi and Brivio to a Scuderia Ferrari Alfa-Romeo 8C-2300 1-2-3 at the 1933 Circuito di Alessandria. 23 years later, Eugenio Castellotti drove single-handedly to win the 1956 Mille Miglia in a Ferrari 1-2-3-4 over Peter Collins, Luigi Musso and Juan Manuel Fangio.

Olivier Gendebien and Wolfgang von Trips kept a great Ferrari day going when they won the 1964 Targa Florio in a Dino 246SP 61 Targa Florio following a terrific duel between Wolfgang von Trips and Stirling Moss’ Porsche until ended when their 904’s blew.

Looking further back elsewhere, Ettore Bugatti drove his Prinetti & Stucchi to win the 90 km 1899 Turin-Pinerolo-Avigliani-Turin road race and Duesenberg drivers and Joe Thomas Pete DePaolo won the respective 1921 and ’26 Raisin Day Classic AAA Champ Car board track races, both averaging over 100 mph.

John Cobb steered his Delage V12 L3R to lift the British Empire at Trophy Brooklands in 1932 and Georges Grignard won the 1950 Paris Grand Prix in a Talbot-Lago, 50 years before Adrian Fernandez won Indy racing’s 2000 Rio di Janerio 200, while Dan Wheldon won the 2005 Indy Japan 300 at Motegi.

Ferrari’s positive day even touched rallying, when Bernard Darniche won the 1981 WRC Rally Corsica driving a Lancia Stratos HF that shared a similar Dino V6 engine with that Targa Florio winner. In other World Rally action, Sebastien Loeb’s Citroen Xsara won in Argentina 2006, where Thierry Neuville’s Hyundai i20 also won in 2017.

30 April however has a dark tinge to it as it leads in a tragic few days in motorsport history. Fréderic Toselli and mechanic Jacques Peltran died in a practice crash a Val de Cuech in 1933 and Roland Ratzenberger aged 33 became the first casualty in qualifying for that terrible 1994 San Marino Grand Prix weekend.