1983: Ayrton Senna got his first taste of Formula 1 power when he tested the FW08C of the team’s lead driver Keke Rosberg at Donington Park. Eleven years, 41 GP wins and three world titles later the Brazilian would make the ill-fated move to race for the British team…
1992: The final World Sportscar Championship race on British soil took place at Donington Park. The 500km race produced a one-two for the Peugeot team, Philippe Alliot and Mauro Baldi heading Yannick Dalmas and Derek Warwick.
2009: Multiple World Champion John Surtees’ son Henry was killed, aged just 18, in a freak accident in the second FIA Formula 2 race at Brands Hatch. He was struck on the head by a detached wheel from a fellow competitor’s car. The tragedy came the day after he’d scored his maiden podium finish in race one.
1943: Happy 73rd birthday to Kiwi legend Chris Amon. Dubbed the unluckiest man in Formula 1, he raced in 96 Grands Prix for Lola, Lotus, Cooper, Ferrari, March, Matra, Tecno, Tyrrell, Amon, BRM and Ensign, leading seven of them but never winning. Amon, about whom Mario Andretti once joked ‘if he became an undertaker, people would stop dying’, had more luck in sportscar racing, winning the Le Mans 24 Hours for Ford in 1966 and the Daytona 24 Hours and Monza 1000km for Ferrari in ’67. He also won the Tasman Series for Ferrari in 1969.
1957: History was made in the British Grand Prix at Aintree when Stirling Moss and Tony Brooks won their home race in a British car – the first time this had happened in the World Championship. Moss took over Brooks’ car after his own had failed and Brooks had slowed while suffering from the effects of his accident at Le Mans. The duo defeated a trio of Ferraris driven by Luigi Musso, Mike Hawthorn and the shared car of Peter Collins/Maurice Trintignant.
1959: Finnish rally co-driver Ilka Kivimäki was born. Best known for sitting alongside countryman Markku Alén, he contested 126 WRC events – all bar one with Alén – and won 19 times for Fiat and Lancia between 1975 and 1988.
1968: Jo Siffert took his maiden F1 win in the British GP at Brands Hatch in a Rob Walker-run Lotus 49. The Swiss ace defeated the Ferrari 312s of Chris Amon and Jacky Ickx.
1986: The Brands Hatch 1000km World Sportscar Championship qualifier was won by the Richard Lloyd Racing-run Porsche 956 GTi of Mauro Baldi and Bob Wollek. They beat the Reinhold Joest 956B of Derek Bell, Klaus Ludwig and Hans Stuck by four laps. The Brun Motorsport 956 of Thierry Boutsen and Frank Jelinski completed the podium.
2003: The British GP at Silverstone was won by Rubens Barrichello’s Ferrari, but not until a marshal had rugby tackled and removed track invader Neil Horan during his 11th-lap demonstration.