1987: Finnish rallying king Hannu Mikkola, World Champion of 1983, took his 18th and last WRC win – in the Safari Rally. The victory was the 24th and last for Audi, the German firm also securing a one-two thanks to the second 200 Quattro of Walter Röhrl.
2003: Japanese MotoGP sensation Daijiro Katoh was killed on the second lap of his home race at Suzuka, the opening race of the season. Honda rider Katoh, who was 26, was a former 250cc World Champion and very much a star of the future.
2008: Danica Patrick became the first woman to win an IndyCar race when she took her Andretti Green Racing Dallara-Honda to victory in round three at Motegi in Japan. She started seventh and eventually beat poleman Helio Castroneves’ Team Penske machine.
1985: Ayrton Senna blitzed the field in the wet at Estoril in Portugal to take the first of his 41 GP wins. He qualified his JPS Lotus 97T on pole for the first time and disappeared into the distance to win by over a minute. Michele Alboreto’s Ferrari was the only other car on the same lap, with Patrick Tambay’s Renault taking third.
1991: Happy birthday Max Chilton! The Brit won two races in GP2 in 2012 and graduated to F1 with Manor in 2013, with which he set an F1 record: finishing his first 25 GPs. He now competes in the US IndyCar Series for Chip Ganassi Racing.
1999: Citroen’s maiden WRC victory came on the Spanish asphalt of Catalunya, courtesy of Frenchman Philippe Bugalski and the two-wheel-drive Xsara Kit Car. Bugalski, who died in August 2012, did it again two weeks later in Corsica. His second career win in as many weeks was the last win for a front-wheel-drive car in the WRC.
1953: French rally veteran Alain Oreille was born. He began his career in the top flight in 1984 in a Renault 11 Turbo and stayed loyal to the marque for 10 years, contesting 27 more events in 5 GT Turbo and Clio machinery. His only win at WRC level came in the African Ivory Coast Rally in 1989 – in a Group N-spec 5 GT Turbo.
1973: Local hero Shekhar Mehta won the first World Championship-qualifying Safari Rally in a Datsun 240Z. Co-driven by fellow Kenyan Lofty Drews, Mehta tamed the African marathon to beat Swede Harry Källström’s Datsun 1800SSS on a tie-break – decided on penalty points accrued at time controls during the 5000km event.
1984: Derek Bell and Stefan Bellof got their World Sportscar Championship campaign off to the perfect start by winning the opening round, the Monza 1000km, for Porsche. Their Rothmans 956, which started on pole, beat the sister car of Jacky Ickx/Jochen Mass.