1960: American motorcycle hero Wayne Rainey was born. He won 23 500cc GPs for Yamaha and took a title hat-trick between 1990, 1991 and 1992. His career ended with a crash that confined him to a wheelchair in the Italian GP at Misano in 1993.
1966: Happy 50th birthday to Grand Prix driver, IndyCar Champion and multiple Paralympic gold medallist Alex Zanardi. The Italian raced in 41 GPs for Jordan, Minardi, Lotus and Williams between 1991 and 1999. He then took two IndyCar crowns for Chip Ganassi Racing in 1997/’98. He suffered an horrific accident at Lausitzring in 2001, in which he lost both his legs, but he soon returned to competition, with BMW in touring cars and took four wins in the World Touring Car Championship aboard a 320i fitted with hand controls. He then turned his attention to paralympic hand-bike competition and coolly secured gold medals in London 2012 and Rio 2016!
1977: McLaren’s James Hunt won the Japanese GP at Fuji, scene of his World Championship success 12 months earlier. This time he beat the Ferrari of Carlos Reutemann and the Tyrrell of Patrick Depailler for his 10th and final F1 win.
1993: Yorkshire-born, Scotland-raised Innes Ireland died, aged 63. He raced in 50 GPs for Lotus, BRP and BRM, famously giving the works Lotus team its maiden win – at Watkins Glen in 1961. He also won the Goodwood Tourist Trophy in 1962 at the wheel of a Ferrari 250 GTO.
2011: Marco Simoncelli was killed during the Malaysian MotoGP race. The Italian, who had taken a top-class career-best second place for Gresini Honda in Australia in the previous race, was 24.