Today in Racing: 24 May

There were four Formula 1 grands prix on this day, starting with Jimmy Clark winning the 1964 Dutch Grand Prix in a Lotus Climax from John Surtees’ Ferrari and Peter Arundell in another Lotus

The other three GPs were all in Monaco and all of them won by Mercedes engines in different chassis. Mika Häkkinen put his McLaren on pole and led every lap to take his fourth win of the ‘98 season from Giancarlo Fisichella’s Benetton and Eddie Irvine’s Ferrari.


Jenson Button similarly led from lights to flag off pole position from Brawn teammate and Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari in 2009. Nico Rosberg took his third consecutive Monaco win for the factory Mercedes team in 2015 from Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari and pole man Lewis Hamilton, whom his team apologised to after a pitstop bungle cost him the race

It’s late May, which means it’s Indy time and the Unsers feature strongly in 500 history today. Bobby was first home in 1981 only to be stripped of the win to hand victory to Mario Andretti, but he won the race back on appeal three months later. Al Unser Senior became the oldest ever 500 winner in 1987, while Al Junior became the first second-generation racer to sip the milk in victory lane after the closest finish in Indy history with Al Sr. third.

Eddie Cheever won the ‘98 500 after long-time leader Tomas Scheckter crashed late in the race. Alex Zanardi meanwhile won the 1998 CART US 300, Sebastien Bourdais the 2004 Monterrey Grand Prix and Jerome d’Ambrosio the 2015 Berlin ePrix.

Racing of note on this day goes back to 1900 when Pavan steered his de Dion-Bouton to victory in the Este-Montagnana-Este road race, while Fernand Gabriel drove his JAW 70 to victory in the disastrous 1903 Paris-Madrid road race.

Post WW1, none other than Enzo Ferrari steered an Alfa-Romeo RLTF to win the 1924 Circuito del Savio, while Luigi Arcangeli won the 1930 Premio Reale di Roma in a Maserati 26M 8C-2500 and Tazio Nuvolari and Giuseppe Campari shared an Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 to win the 1931 European Championship Italian Grand Prix.

In sports car racing, Edgar Barth and Wolfgang Seidel’s Porsche 718 RSK won the 1959 Targa Florio and Hans-Joachim. Stuck and Nelson Piquet’s BMW M1 the 1981 WSC Nurburgring 1000.

Over in the ‘States, Brian Redman’s Lola T600-Chevrolet won the 1981 Lime Rock Can Am, where Al Holbert’s Porsche 962 took IMSA honours in ’87 and Max Papis and Scott Pruett’s Lexus Riley the Grand Am 2004 6 Heures du Circuit Mont-Tremblant.

There were three World Championship Rallies on this day – Tommi Makinen’s Mitsubishi Lancer Evo won in Argentina ’97. 24 May was good to Jari-Matti Latvala with two wins, in a Ford Focus RS in Sardinia 2009, and driving a Volkswagen Polo in Portugal ’15 on the same day Petter Solberg’s Citroen DS3 took British World Rallycross honours at Lydden Hill.

On the day that occasional F1 runner Lamberto Leoni, Indy team owner Chip Ganassi, F1 racer Ivan Capelli and NSACAR star Joey Logano were born, Marcel Renault who co-founded the eponymous car brand and his mechanic were two of several people killed in the tragic Paris-Madrid and double Targa Florio winner Herbert Muller perished aged 41 in a 1981 Nurburgring 1000 accident.