1926: German nobleman Wolfgang Alexander Albert Eduard Maximilian Reichsgraf Berghe von Trips was born. More easily identifiable as Wolfgang von Trips, he competed in 27 Grands Prix for Ferrari, Cooper and Porsche, winning twice in the ‘sharknose’ 156 – in the Dutch and British GPs – in 1961. He was killed, aged 33, in that year’s Italian GP while fighting for the title from pole position after his car collided with Jim Clark’s Lotus and went into the crowd.
1946: Happy 70th birthday to Irishman John Watson! ‘Wattie’ raced in 152 GPs for Brabham, Surtees, Lotus, Penske and McLaren, winning on five occasions – for Penske in Austria in 1976 and McLaren in the 1981 British GP, ’82 Belgian and Detroit GPs and ’83 Long Beach GP. He also won four rounds of the World Sportscar Championship – one for Porsche and three for Jaguar. After retiring from the cockpit he became a well-known commentator on Eurosport’s F1 coverage and still wields a microphone in various series to this day.
1948: US sportscar racing legend Hurley Haywood was born. He won Le Mans in 1977, 1983 and 1994, the Daytona 24 Hours in 1973, ’75, ’77, ’79 and ’91 and the Sebring 12 Hours in 1973 and ’81 – all for Porsche.
1980: Didier Pironi landed his first F1 win, taking his Ligier JS11/15 to victory in the Belgian Grand Prix at Zolder. Outqualified by Alan Jones, the Frenchman went on to beat the Australian’s Williams by 47 seconds. Jones’ team-mate Carlos Reutemann finished third.
1987: Moto GP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo was born. The Spaniard has to date taken 41 top-class wins since 2008 – all for Yamaha – and has lifted the title on three occasions, in 2010, 2012 and 2015.