TODAY IN RACING – 9 SEPTEMBER: Jackie & Jody crowned at Monza
Jody Scheckter and Jackie Stewart will both have fond memories of Monza on this day — each wrapped up world championship at the Temple of Speed on 9 September.
Scheckter dominated the 1979 race in his Ferrari 312 T4 to tie up that year’s title, beating teammate Gilles Villeneuve on both counts. Stewart had to rely on Ronnie Peterson beating his Lotus 72 teammate Emerson Fittipaldi to second for his third world championship as the Tyrell driver cruised home fourth to wrap it up.
Monza has also dominated the grand prix history in this day for almost a century, with Carlo Salamano taking the 1923 win in a Fiat 805, while Louis Chiron won in a Bugatti 37A in 1928.
There is a poignant twist to race history on this day. Grand prix racer turned French Resistance fighter Robert Benoist was executed by the Nazis at the Buchenwald on 9 September 1944. Precisely a year later, Jean-Pierre Wilmille drove his a Bugatti to win Robert Benoist Cup in the first peacetime race in Paris as hostilities ebbed.
More recently in F1 it’s been all about McLaren at Monza as Niki Lauda took the 1984 win for McLaren TAG-Porsche in the first ever all-turbo GP following Tyrrell’s controversial exclusion from the championship. Ayrton Senna won again in 1990 for McLaren in a MP4/5B Honda, while Fernando made it a McLaren Mercedes 1-2 over Lewis Hamilton in 2007.
Looking all the way back to 1901 David Bishop’ drove a Panhard et Levassor to win the first long-distance 464 motor race in the United States over 464 in five days from New York City to Buffalo, without breaking down. 66 years later in South Africa, John Love drove his Brabham BT20 Repco to win the 1967 van Riebeeck Trophy SA F1 race at Killarney in Cape Town, two years before John Mcnicol took the 1969 Kayalmi Rand Winter Trophy in Johannesburg driving a Lola T142 Ford.
In 1990 Dale Earnhardt held off Mark Martin off a late a restart to win the NASCAR Richmond 400 in Virginia, while in US sportscar action, Derek Bell and Al Holbert drove their Porsche 962 to the ’84 Pocono IMSA win. Antonio Garcia and Richard Westbrook’s Coyote Corvette won at Lagina Seca in 2013, a year before Max Angelelli and Jordan Taylor won there in a Dallara Chevrolet.
And last but not least, South African Hein Wagner set a new 269km/h blind driver speed record driving a red Maserati in the Northwest on 9 September 2005.