1945: Just under 50 years before Colin McRae was performing heroics in the WRC, Britain’s previous great rally hero was born. Tony Pond contested 27 events in Opel, Triumph, Talbot, Datsun, Vauxhall, Nissan and Austin Rover machinery between 1974 and 1986. His giant-killing performances on the British rallying scene, in Triumph’s TR7 V8, were only bettered by his titanic run to third behind the works Martini Lancia Delta S4s on the 1985 Lombard RAC Rally on the debut of the MG Metro 6R4. One of the last of the great British rallying heroes, complete with trademark moustache, he died from cancer in February 2002, aged just 56.
1954: One of F1’s greatest technical minds, Ross Brawn, was born. He worked for Arrows, Benetton, Ferrari and Honda, before picking up the pieces of the beleaguered Japanese firm, rebranding it Brawn and taking the 2009 world title with Jenson Button. After masterminding the team’s sale to Mercedes and running it until the end of 2013, he took a sabbatical. Recent stories link him to a return to F1, possibly in Sporting Director role within the sport’s new regime…
1954: The last edition of the Carrera Panamericana road race, the final round of the World Sportscar Championship, was won by the Ferrari 375 Plus of Umberto Maglioli, the Italian beating the 375 MM of Phil Hill and Richie Ginther by almost 25 minutes. German Hans Herrmann took third in a Porsche 550 Spyder.
1989: Pentti Airikkala took a hugely popular maiden WRC win with victory on the Lombard RAC Rally for Mitsubishi. Co-driven by Irishman Ronan MacNamee, the Finnish veteran finished ahead of a trio of works Toyotas, driven by Carlos Sainz, Juha Kankkunen and Kenneth Eriksson.