Today in Racing: 2 June

In a quiet day following motor racing’s mad end to the month of May over the years, 2 June nonetheless has its highlights.

Triple world champion Nelson Piquet for instance took his final F1 victory for Benetton Renault in Canada at Nigel Mansell’s expense in 1991. Nige was so far ahead that he slowed to wave to the crowd on the final lap when his Williams’ Renault’s revs dropped too low and the car went into limp mode to allow Piquet to steal the win! Ayrton Senna was third for McLaren-Honda

While many remember Senna’s ’93 Donington win in the wet as a milestone race, Michael Schumacher’s masterful maiden win for Ferrari at a sodden 96 Spanish Grand Prix was probably just a significant a display of driving. He cruised home 45 seconds clear of Jean Alesi’s Benetton-Renault with Jacques Villeneuve Williams-Renault a close third.

In other racing on this day, Juan Zanelli won the 1929 GP Bugatti du Mans in his Type 35, Raymond Sommer the ‘35 Montlhéry GP de l’Union in an Alfa Romeo Tipo-B P3 and Nino Farina’s Alfa-Romeo 159 the ‘51 Dundrod Ulster Trophy. Peter de Klerk won the ’62 SA championship Bulawayo Heany Trophy in Rhodesia driving his Alfa Special and Chris Amon’s Lola Climax the ‘63 Mallory Park UK Midlands Trophy.

The Andrettis starred in Indycar races on this day as Mario won the 1985 Dana Classic and
Michael both the ’91 and ‘96 Miller 200s, which race Paul Tracy won in 2002. Simon Pagenaud meanwhile won the 2013 Detroit Dual 2, Scott Dixon the 18 Dual 1 and ‘19 Dual 2.

In sports cars, Gerard Larrousse and Henri Pescarolo’s Matra MS670C won the ‘74 WSC Imola 1000, Davy Jones’ Jaguar XJR-16 IMSA Mid-Ohio 91, Joao Barbosa and Darren Law’s Coyote Corvette the 2012 Detroit Grand-Am and Eric Curran ‘s Acura the 2018 Detroit Sports Car Classic. A sports car in essence also won the only World Rally on this day when Bernard Darniche took the ’81 Tour de Corse in a Lancia Stratos HF

On the day of the multi-talented Jan Lammers’ birthday, motorsport lost a legend when
Bruce McLaren died after a testing accident at Goodwood in his new M8D Can-Am car aged 32 in 1970.