Events on January 31st
Interesting and notable events from the history of motor sport.
The first speed hillclimb in motor racing history.
The final stage of the Marseille-Nice automobile race in 1897 posed an unusual challenge: a steep slope that motorists had to climb at speed. The uphill dash was won by M. Pary in a steam-powered DeDion-Bouton automobile.
A G MacDonald was reported to be the 1st person to exceed 100 mph (161 kph) in a car at Daytona Beach, Florida. It was in fact Louis Rigolly in a Gobron Brillie at Ostend six months earlier on July 21st 1906. He achieved a speed of 103.56 mph.
The Parisian newspaper "Le Matin" anouncess Peking to Paris.
The Parisian newspaper "Le Matin" challenges men and machines to come forward and race from Peking to Paris -- a distance of 16,000 KM (9936 miles). Twentyfive teams will respond.
100-mile South Pacific Championship Race (Australia) won by Peter Whitehead in a 3-litre ex-GP Ferrari.
Peter Whitehead returned to Australia to race a single-seater for the first time since 1938. On his way home from New Zealand, he wss joined by exatriate Australian Tony Gaze, both driving 3-litre ex-GP Ferraris. Bira was there too but both his 250F Maserati and 4.5 OSCA failed.
Whitehead won the race on the Gnoo-Blas circuit at Orange, NSW, but Gaze was beaten to second by Jack Brabham in a Cooper-Bristol.
Buenos Aires 1000 Kilometers won by Phil Hill and Cliff Allison in Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa
Buenos Aires, Argentina. Phil Hill and Cliff Allison teamed in a 250 Testa Rossa to lead Ferrari to another 1-2 victory in the 'Buenos Aires 1000 Kilometers' World Sports Car Championship race.
Richie Ginther and Wolfgang von Trips placed second in another Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa.
Dan Gurney and Masten Gregory led the first 32 laps and turned the fastest race lap driving a 2.8 liter 'Birdcage' Maserati Tipo 61 entered by "Lucky" Casner. Though no match for the Ferraris, the Porsche RSK entries performed well with Jo Bonnier and Graham Hill finishing third.
For the third time, the race was marred by a fatal accident, this time when the Porsche RSK of American driver Harry Blanchard rolled and caught fire.
Timaru Gold Star race won by Graham McRae in a Begg F5000.
March 701, March's first F1 car, was unveiled.
CSI officially homologated the Ferrari 512S
CSI officially homologated the Ferrari 512S for international endurance racing on this day in 1970. It then made its race debut in the 24 Hours of Daytona the same day.
Daytona 24 Hour race won by RodrÃguez Kinnunen in a Porsche 917.
A brand new season, and Ferrari debuts its new 512S. Andretti had taken the pole in qualifying, but his pole position did not change the initial impression that the Ferrari 512 was more powerful but the 917 was more reliable.
This was illustrated during the course of the race. The Italian machines, with a 500 cc advantage over the Germanic prototypes, could not make a noticable the difference.
A determining factor in Porsche's superiority was doubtlessly the testing and sorting that had gone on before the race. Don EnzoÂ´s cars were worked on right up to the start, where as John WyerÂ´s cars prepared with the ease of someone that has everything in place and only has to put in the petrol. The night previous to the race, both the 917Â´s were locked up with their mechanics asleep. A few feet away the Ferrari garage was a hive of activity.
A fuel supply problem, forced MaranelloÂ´s mechanics to work intensively on the five 512S until early hours. The problem reappeared in the race forcing several of the cars to refuel every 50 minutes. The only Ferrari that was competitive was the Mario Andretti-Arturo Merzario car (specially when Andretti was driving).
In the race the Porsche handled better, had great acceleration , and an superior gearbox.
The Ferrari 512S were very quick, but their handling and braking as well as the build detail and the fragility of their chassis and engines, showed the speed at which they had been conceived and constructed.
On sheer race pace, the Porsche 917 of Siffert-Redman must have been the winner. But tire problems folllowed by brakes and electrical system worked against them.
Meanwhile free from unforeseen problems, the other 917 took advantage of the proven reliability of the Mexican Pedro Rodriguez and Kinnunen from Finland. The most spectacular part of the race took place on Sunday morning, Siffert retook second place at AndrettiÂ´s expense. In an impressive overtaking maneuver, going to the limit of the banking, and setting a new lap record, the Swiss clawed back 6 laps in one hour (between the 10 and the 11 in the morning). In spite of such a tremendous effort, he only managed second place, 45 laps behind RodrÃguez-Kinnunen. The Ferrari of Mario Andretti, Arturo Mezario and Jackie Ickx finished third.
Salzburg's 917 driven by Elford-Ahrens did not finish.
Brazilian Grand Prix won by Emerson Fittipaldi in a Marlboro McLaren M23.
The Brazilian GP at Interlagos saw Emerson Fittipaldi win in his Marlboro McLaren M23, he also sat on the pole for that race. Clay Regazzoni finished second in a Ferrari 312B3 and Jacky Ickx finished third in a Lotus 72E. Ronnie Peterson had a good race too, leading for 12 laps and eventually finishing 6th.
37th Rolex 24 Hour Race at Daytona USA won by Andy Wallace, Elliott Forbes-Robinson and Butch Leitzinger in a Ford powered Riley & Scott.
The 37th Rolex 24 at Daytona saw Team Dyson take the overall win with Andy Wallace, Elliott Forbes-Robinson and Butch Leitzinger in a Ford powered Riley & Scott car. In GT3, the team of Alex Job Racing with Cort Wagner, Kelly Collins, Anthony Lazzaro and Darryl Havens won in a Porsche 911 RSR. And GT2 saw another 911 win; Roock Racings' Andre Ahrle, Hubert Haupt, David Warnock and Raffaele Sangiuolo took those honors.