Veröffentlicht: 9 April 2009 in Uncategorized

9. April – Ich fand dieses beeindruckende Video von den 500 Meilen von Indianapolis 1956 im Internet und zu Pat Flahertys Todestag passt dieser spannende Rennbericht über seinen Sieg doch bestens. Cool ist auch die dramatische Art und Weise, wie damals so ein Ereignis kommentiert wurde. Viel Spass.



9/4/1921, Jean-Marie Balestre is born in Saint-Rémy, France

Jean-Marie Balestre war 13 Jahre lang der mächtigste Mann im Motorsport in seinem Amt als Präsident der FISA (Federation Internationale de Sport Automobile) von 1979 bis 1991. Er massgeblich involviert in das, was allgemein als der FISA-FOCA-Krieg zitiert wird, ein politischer Machtkampf über die Finanzen und generell die Kontrolle über die Formel 1-WM in den Jahren 1980 bis 1982. Balestre und sein Widersacher Bernie Ecclestone erreichten erst durch die Intervention von Enzo Ferrari eine Lösung des Konflikts. Balestre unterzeichnete am Sitz der FISA am Pariser Place de la Concorde eine Vereinbarung, die der FOCA die kommerziellen Rechte an der F1 übertrug, während die nun als übergeordneter Weltverband auftretende FIA die Kontrolle über sämtliches Regelwerk, in sportlicher wie in technischer Hinsicht, behalten würde. Balestre wurde 1986 zum Präsidenten der FIA gewählt und blieb auch bei der FISA im selben Amt. Die Einführung von spezifischen Crash-Tests für Formel 1-Rennwagen, was zu einer wesentlichen Verbesserung der passiven Sicherheit in der F1 führte, ging vom Franzosen aus. Er war es auch, der den Wechsel zurück zu Saugmotoren ab 1989 vorantrieb, ebenfalls unter der Prämisse für mehr Sicherheit zu sorgen. 1991 verlor er dann die Wahlen zum FISA-Präsidenten an Max Mosley. Mit der Verschmelzung von FISA und FIA entglitt ihm auch das FIA-Präsidium, auch das Amt übernahm Mosley 1993, worauf Monsieur le President sich auf den Posten des Präsidenten des französischen Verbandes FFSA begnügen mussten, den er bis 1996 ausübte. Jean-Marie Balestre verstarb Anfang 2008 im Alter von 87 jahren.

Geboren: 9. April 1921 in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, Frankreich.
Verstorben: 28. März 2008 in Frankreich, 87-jährig.



9/4/2002, Pat Flaherty dies

George Francis Flaherty Jr was on his way to win the 1953 Indianapolis when he suddenly found himself spinning out of the lead. That year he crashed during a race at the Springfield dirt track, seriously injuring an arm and keeping him away from the race tracks for 2 years. In the Spring of 1956 he was minding his tavern on Chicago’s north side when he overheard some racing insiders conversation about car owner John Zink struggling to find a decent driver for the upcoming Indy 500. Flaherty, out of a ride at the time, quickly called Zink up and they struck a deal over the phone that would turn out to be a stroke of luck with Pat scoring pole position in Zink’s Watson-Offenhauser and then winning the race. As the „500“ was part of the World championship in that decade, Flaherty’s name appears on the winners list in all decent F1 stats. The duo continued their co-operation but Pat’s last participation at Indy didn’t go well. He alter retired from racing and became involved in pigeon racing instead for the next 20 years with considerable success. Pat Flaherty died in 2002 of emphysema at his home in California.

Pat Flaherty gewann den Grand Prix der USA 1956 endlich mit dem Sieg bei den 500 Meilen von Indianapolis. Der hätte ihm schon im Jahre 1953 gelingen können, hätte er sich nicht – in Führung liegend – von der Strecke gedreht. Insgesamt nahm er an 6 Ausgaben des Indy 500 teil.

Geboren: 6. Januar 1926 in Glendale, USA;
Verstorben: 9. April 2002 in Oxnard, USA, 76 Jahre alt.



8/4/1942, John Judd is born in Conventry, Reino Unido

John Judd had his first taste of engine design and preparation in the early 1960s, working on the Coventry Climax Formula 1 engine. When Jack Brabham did his deal with Repco, to 3-liter engines for the new F1 regulations, Judd was lured away form Climax to work on the project under engine designer Phil Irving. The Repco Brabhams won two consecutive Drivers‘ and Constructors‘ Championships in 1966 and 1967 but the revolutionary Ford Cosworth DFV soon became the engine to have and so Jack Brabham Conversions, which later would turn into Engine Developments, was founded and John Judd hired to do development work on the DFVs. In the late 1970s Brabham and Judd became partners in the company, which expanded to prepare Cosworth DFX Indycar engines and, in 1980, developing Honda’s Formula 2 engines. At the end of 1982, as Honda went into F1, Judd began designing his own engines, initially in Formula 3000 and then Indycars. He entered F1 in 1988 with a V8 customer engine that remained in use as late as 1992. In 1991 Judd revealed a V10 engine which was used by Scuderia Italia in a Dallara-designed car and began to began to work with Yamaha on its F1 engines the following year, producing the OX10 family of engines for 1993. In 1996 he came up with the OX11, the first of the new generation F1 V10 engines, much smaller and lighter than all existing units. When Yamaha ended the F1 program, Judd initially continued to develop his V10 engine but to no avail. In the interim Judd turned his attention to tuning engines for tBTTC and sports cars.



9/4/1922, Johnny Thomson is born in Lowell, USA

John Thomson was a Midget racing legend with many race wins and titles to his name. In 1953 he started in his first Indianapolis 500 and scored his first World Championship points in the 1955 Indy 500 with a 4th place as reigning Eastern Sprint Car champion. That title was followed by the 1958 USAC Sprint Car Series title. Formula 1 stats, the “500” being a round of the World championship up until 1960, also state a 3rd place in the 1959 Indy 500 and scoring points again with a 5th place in 1960. That same year he suffered an accident in a sprint car event at the Great Allentown Fair in Pennsylvania, his car crashing through the fence and flipping into the infield. Johnny Thomson declared dead at the scene and was posthumously inducted in the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 1996 and the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 1997.

Thomson foi outro piloto norte-americano a entrar nas estatísticas da Fórmula 1 por – em seu caso – estabelecer a pole-position nas 500 Milhas de Indianápolis, quebrando o recorde em classificação da pista em 1959 quando marcou a volta com média de 145,9 milhas por hora (234,7 km/h), uma marca e tanto à época. Ele terminou em terceiro em sua primeira corrida, seu melhor resultado nas 500 Milhas. Estatísticas de Fórmula 1 à parte, Johnny venceu sete corridas da IndyCar e terminou em terceiro na corrida do título em três ocasiões: 1955, 1958 e 1959. Infelizmente ele perdeu a vida em um acidente num evento em Allentown meses mais tarde.

Born: 9th of April 1922 in Lowell, USA;
Died: 24th of September 1960 in Allentown, USA, aged 38



9/4/1971, Jacques Villeneuve is born in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Canada

Jacques Villeneuve learned his craft in F3 in Italy and Japan before moving Stateside and to Formula Atlantic series and then the CART series. A promising 1994 season was followed by a superb one in 1995 as he took victory in the Indianapolis 500 as well as the Indycar championship. Eased into the top Grand Prix team in Formula 1 for 1996 and putting his Williams on pole position for his F1 debut, Villeneuve scored 3 wins and finished his 1st F1 season runner-up to team-mate Damon Hill. After beginning strongly in 1997, he suffered some mid-season weaknesses and this time the title chase went down to the wire with Michael Schumacher. In a dramatic showdown in the European Grand Prix at Jerez, which included a collision caused by the German, Jacques secured a title that had been won the hard way. A mediocre 1998 season followed, making a switch to the new British American Racing team a good career option. It wasn’t. The team never came near of fighrting for race wins and with all sorts of political trouble going on, Jacques left before the end of the 2003. He sat out most of the following season before being called back to F1 by Renault for the final races of the year, replacing Jarno Trulli. He moved to Sauber in 2005 and was kept on for 2006 when BMW bought the Swiss outfit. The relationship did not last long with Villeneuve leaving in the mid-season to be replaced by Robert Kubica. After spending time with his family and appearing in Le Mans, Asian Speedcars and the Craftsmen Truck Series, Jacques is trying to create his own team NASCAR and tries every year to complete the triple crown by also winning the Le Mans 24 Hours race.


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