1968: Almost half a century on, April 7, 1968 remains one of the darkest days in motorsport history. Double World Champion Jim Clark, a man considered by many to be the best ever, was killed in a largely unexplained accident during a Formula 2 race at Hockenheim. The Scot had won 25 Grands Prix, in just 72 starts, for Lotus and taken the 1963 and ’65 world titles, as well as the ’65 Indianapolis 500. The feeling then, and for many years after, among his peers was: ‘if it can happen to Jim, what chance the rest of us…’
1980: British racer Brian Henton got his European Formula 2 campaign off to the perfect start by winning the season opener at Thruxton in the Toleman-Hart. Henton, who won at the Hampshire circuit in 1977 in the Boxer-Hart and took two wins for Toleman in ’79, beat the sister car of fellow Brit Derek Warwick, with the two Project Four March-BMWs of Andrea de Cesaris and Chico Serra next up.
1996: Damon Hill made it a hat-trick of wins in the opening three Grands Prix of the year thanks to victory in Argentina, where he led home Williams team-mate Jacques Villeneuve by 12 seconds to make it a perfect score aboard the Renault-powered FW18.