Today in Racing: 16 June

There were three Grand Prix and five Le Mans 24 Hours over the years on 16 June, a slightly quieter day in this wild week of racing over the years.

It has been a good day for Italians and Williams in Formula 1 – Michele Alboreto moved to the top of the championship standings after leading teammate Stefan Johansson home in a Ferrari 156/85 1-2 over with Alain Prost’s McLaren TAG Porsche in the 1985 Canadian Grand Prix.

Riccardo Patrese beat Williams FW14 Renault teammate Nigel Mansell and Ayrton Senna’s McLaren Honda in a scrappy 1991 Mexican Grand Prix that took three attempts to get started. Damon Hill meanwhile won the 1996 Canadian Grand Prix in another Williams 1-2 ahead of home FW18 Renault hero Jacques Villeneuve and Jean Alesi’s Benetton Renault.

Le Mans history on this day goes back to 1929 when Woolf Barnato and Sir Henry Birkin’s Speed Six led a Bentley top four rout in that year’s 24 Hours, while Louis Fontes and Johnny Hindmarsh took the 1935 win in a Lagonda M45R.

Lorenzo Bandini and Ludovico Scarfiotti won the 1963 24 Hour in a Ferrari 250P, Gerard Larrousse and Henri Pescarolo made France proud with a ‘74 win in a Matra-Simca MS670C and Klaus Ludwig, Paolo Barilla and John Winter’s Porsche 956B won in ‘85.

Alex Wurz, Manuel Reuter and Davy Jones’ Porsche WSC95 won in ’96, Tom Kristensen, Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro took their third win in a row together in an Audi R8 in 2002 and Fernando Alonso, Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima took the ‘19 win driving a Toyota TS050 Hybrid.

Other sportscar highlights on this day include Jackie Oliver thundering to 1974 Mosport Park Can Am glory in a Shadow DN4A-Chevrolet and Wayne Taylor’s Intrepid RM-1-Chevrolet taking ‘91 New Orleans Grand Am honours.

Other major race winners on this day include Leon Thery’s Richard-Brasier winning the 1905 French Gordon Bennett Cup Qualifiers. Earl Cooper’s Stutz the 1917 AAA Champ Car War Derby in Illinois, Hans Simons’ Bugatti 35 winning the 1929 GP de Lyon and Rudolf Caracciola’s Mercedes-Benz W25B the ‘35 Nürburgring Eifelrennen.

Alec Mildren’ Cooper Climax won the 1959 Lowood Trophy, while Indy racing winners were Emerson Fittipaldi in Detroit 1991, Gil de Ferran in 2002 and Ryan Hunter-Reay in 2012 In the World Rally Championship, Colin McRae won Acropolis 2002in a Ford Focus RS and Danny Sordo’s Hyundai i20 WRC Sardinia ’19, while Tazio Nuvolari broke the 200mph mark driving an Alfa Romeo 6.3L on a run on the Italian Autostrada near Florence in 1935.

Also in 1935, Robert Cazaux died when he rolled his Bugatti T35B on his victory run after winning the French Sézanne Hill Climb.