1945: French rally ace Jean Ragnotti was born. He made 41 WRC starts between 1973 and 1995, all bar one of them in Renault machinery. He won the Monte Carlo Rally in 1981 and the Tour de Corse in ’82 in the Renault 5 Turbo and took a third win – again in Corsica – in ’85 at the wheel of the Group B R5 Maxi Turbo. Now into his seventies, he’s still a popular showman at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
1947: British legend James Simon Wallis Hunt was born. The charismatic playboy racer won 10 GPs – one for Hesketh and nine for McLaren – and captured the 1976 World title in dramatic fashion in the Japanese GP decider. He died, aged just 45, in June 1993.
1964: Graham Hill won the seventh and final RAC Tourist Trophy at Goodwood, aboard Maranello Concessionaires’ Ferrari 330P. He beat the 250 LM of fellow Brit David Piper and a trio of Shelby Cobras pedalled by Dan Gurney, Jack Sears and Bob Olthoff. It was the Englishman’s second successive win in the event, having taken a 250 GTO to victory the year before.
1976: Birthday boy James Hunt won the Dutch GP at Zandvoort for McLaren, defeating the Ferrari of Clay Regazzoni by less than a second. Mario Andretti took third for Lotus. It was two in a row in the dunes for 29-year-old Hunt following his maiden F1 win there for Hesketh 12 months earlier.
1982: The Swiss GP was held at Dijon in France (motorsport was still banned in the country following the 1955 Le Mans disaster) and won by the Williams FW08 of Keke Rosberg. The Finn beat Alain Prost’s Renault to take the championship lead with two rounds to go.
2009: Australian cult hero Frank Gardner died at the age of 78. The gritty New South Welshman won the British Touring Car Championship three times – twice for Ford and once for Chevrolet. He also made eight F1 starts in 1964/’65 in a Brabham and won a round of the European F2 Championship – in a Brabham at Hockenheim in 1967. In later life he ran a team of BMWs in the Australian Touring Car series.