TODAY IN RACING – 7 September – Stewart & Vanwall clinch titles
There’s a distinctly Italian feel to race history on this day, the traditional time of Monza in the Grand Prix calendar. It goes back well before the War too, where the first Monza Grand Prix comprising four heats, a repêchage and a 35-lap final. Achille Varzi won from Maserati teammates, Luigi Arcangeli and Ernesto Maserati himself.
Post war, in F1 but before the world championship, Count Carlo Felice Trossi steered his Alfa-Romeo 158 to Italian Grand Prix victory at La Fiera in Milan, before Alberto Ascari took the ’52 win for Ferrari, back at Monza. Tony Brooks won the 1958 Italian Grand Prix ahead of Ferrari pair of Mike Hawthorn and Phil Hill to clinch the Constructors’ Championship for Vanwall with one race left to run.
Ferrari’s fifth win of the ’75 season
Jackie Stewart took his sixth win of the season in a Monza classic to win his his first world championship in ’69 and in 1975, Clay Regazzoni’s Ferrari 312T beat outgoing Emerson Fittipaldi’s McLaren M23 to his third and Ferrari’s fifth win of the season. Eleven years later, Nelson Piquet led teammate Nigel Mansell to Williams 1-2 with Stefan Johansson’s Ferrari third, while David Coulthard won the 1997 race in a McLaren MP4/12 Mercedes.
The other GP on this day was in Belgium 2008 where Felipe Massa took his Ferrari F2008 to victory at spa, but not before Lewis Hamilton was controversially slapped with a 25-second penalty for ‘gaining’ an unfair advantage’ when he skipped the chicane while attempting top passing Kimi Raikkonen, in spite of Hamilton handing back the place immediately after the overtake.
it was an oddly quiet day elsewhere in racing on 7 September over the years, but thgre were a couple of highlights in NASCAR, where Buck Baker stole a 1953 Darlington Southern 500 win tin what’s said to be the fiercest race in Grand National history after four drivers swapped the lead a record 35 times on the day that Junior Johnson made his NASCAR debut. Harry Gant meanwhile became the oldest ever NASCAR winner by taking the Richmond win in 1991.
Petter HAS won in WRC AND WRX Today
In sportscar racing, Giorgio Francia and Roberto Marazzi won the 1980 Vallelunga 4-hour in an Osella PA8-BMW and off the beaten track, Timo Salonen won the ’86 Finnish World Rally in a Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 and Petter Solberg WRC Australia 2003 in a Subaru Impreza, 11 years to the day before he took 2014 French World Rallycross honours aboard his Citroen DS3 at Loheac