Today in Racing: 20 May

Future double Formula 1 World Champion, Graham Hill won his first Grand Prix victory driving a BRM P57 on this day 1962.

Trevor Taylor was second in a Lotus 24, while reigning World Champion Phil Hill’s Ferrari 156 completed the podium in third. Jackie Stewart led Tyrrell-Cosworth 006 teammate Francois Cevert to a 1973 Belgian Grand Prix 1-2 over Emerson Fittipaldi’s Lotus. The Zolder track was resurfaced a week before the race in the face of a boycott led by Stewart and Emerson Fittipaldi.


Niki Lauda’s McLaren TAG Porsche won the 1984 French Grand Prix from Patrick Tambay in a Renault and Nigel Mansell in a Lotus-Renault. It was the last French GP to race at Dijon, which was considered too short by the FIA as lap times dipped below the minute mark

Race history goes a long way back on this day – Léon Théry’s 80 hp Richard Brasier won the 1904 Gordon Bennett Elimination Trial at Argonne, France, while Louis Chevrolet won two New York Hippodrome races on his 1905 racing debut in a 90 hp Fiat, the same day that Dr. Arnold Hildesheimer’s Mercedes 60 won the Vienna-Wroclaw-Vienna road race.

Umberto Borzacchini won the 1928 Coppa Etna in a Maserati 26B 8C and Willy Longueville’s Bugatti T35B the 1934 Grand Prix des Frontières at Chimay. Nino Farina the 1951 Grand Prix de Paris in a Maserati 4CLT and Willy Mairesse the ‘62 Gran Premio di Napoli at Posipolo in a Ferrari 156, while Sebastien Buemi won the 2017 Formula E Berlin ePrix.

In sportscar racing, Achille Varzi won the 1934 Targa Florio in an Alfa-Romeo Tipo-B, Randy Lanier and Bill Whittington’s March 84G-Chevrolet took the Charlotte IMSA honours in ’84 and Martin Brundle and Alain Ferte’s Jaguar XJR-11 won the 1990 WEC Silverstone 6-hour

Rinaldo Capello and Tom Kristensen’s Audi R8 took 2001 ELMS honours at Jarama and Jorg Bergmeister Patrick Long’s Crawford-Porsche the 2007 US Laguna Seca Sports Car Invitational. Off the beaten track, Marcus Gronholm’s Ford Focus RS won in Sardinia 2007 and Thierry Neuville’s Hyundai i20 Portugal 2018

Today is also famous for Enzo Ferrari telling the Ford Motor Company to take a hike on its 1964 takeover bid for his brand, to which an angry Henry Ford II responded by taking the Blue Oval to Le Mans.

1949 Indianapolis 500 and 20-time AAA winner Bill Holland passed away aged 76 on this day, while F1 driver, Targa Florio winner European Hillclimb champion Edgar Barth succumbed to cancer aged 48 in 1965.