18th of April – Jackie Stewart scores the first ever win for the Tyrrell marque at the 1971 Spanish Grand Prix. It was only the fifth race Tyrrell entered with its own 001 chassis and another seven wins would follow that year, a total seven by Stewart and one by François Cevert. All this success would culminate in Team Tyrrell winning the Constructors’ World Championship in its first full season in Formula 1 with its own car.
A test driver for British-American Racing since 2000, “Ant” Davidson got his break in Formula 1 when the Minardi team decided to drop Alex Yoong for a couple of races. He’s debut came at the Hungarian GP and despite showing a solid job he had no other options than remaining BAR’s test driver up until 2005. He got a chance to race for BAR at the 2005 Malaysian GP when Takuma Sato had to withdraw because of illness. The car lasted just a couple of laps. Davidson stayed on as a tester when Honda took over the team in 2006 and his loyalty with Honda was finally rewarded with a race drive with Super Aguri F1 in 2007 and 2008.
Bob Drake was a privateer driver and automobile restorer who used to race Aston Martin, Cooper sports car and, more famously, a Type 61 Birdcage Maserati. He gained some prestige by finishing 2nd in the 1960 Riverside Grand Prix driving an Ol’ Yaller Mk.II.
Born: 14th of December 1919 in San Francisco, USA.
Died: 18th of April 1990 in Woodland Hills, USA, aged 70.
Jochen Rindt’s breakthrough came by beating the likes of Graham Hill, Jim Clark and Denny Hulme in the 1964 London Trophy for Formula 2 cars at Crystal Palace and got him a three-year-contract with the Cooper Formula 1 works team. But it remained a winless association and so, in 1968, Jochen switched to the Brabham-Repco team. But yet again his season was blighted by technical problems. As a result, for 1969 he moved to Colin Chapman’s Lotus team, effectively assuming the mantle of the late Jim Clark. Rindt stormed to his first GP win in the US race at the end of 1969 then started his ’70 Championship charge with a dramatic last corner win at Monaco. Thereafter armed with the sensational Lotus 72, he won four more Grands Prix before being killed in practice for the Italian race at Monza becoming motor racing’s first posthumous World Champion.
Born: 18th of April 1942 in Mainz, Germany;
Died: 5th of September 1970 in Monza, Italy, aged 28.