19th of April - Yesterday I recalled Jackie Stewart giving Tyrrell their first win as a constructor back in 1971. Well, guess what the Scotsman did a year earlier? Yep, that’s right: He gave March their first ever victory by winning the 1970 Spanish Grand Prix at the wheel of Ken Tyrrell’s March 701 with its unique wing car looks.
Taking a lift with his famous father, German speedway champion Kurt Ahrens, Karl re-branded himself as Kurt Ahrens Jr. during his early racing career. After winning the German Formula Junior title twice he acquired a Brabham Formula 2 car taking part in theEuropean Championship and in three German GPs in the F2 class, the third participation in 1968 actually driving a third works Brabham. From 1969 he joined the Porsche factory sportscar team and shared victory with Jo Siffert in the Austrian 1000 event. The following year he partnered Vic Elford to victory in the Nurburgring 1000. He retired in 1971 taking over the family’s car dealership and a scrap metal business.
30/12/1976, Rudolf Fischer dies.
A restaurateur and highly proficient amateur racer and hill-climb expert, Fischer enjoyed great success with his own single-seater Ferraris in the early fifties, run under the banner of his very own Ecurie Espadon.
Born: 19th of April 1912 in Stuttgart, Germany;
Died: 30th of December 1976 in Luzern, Switzerland, aged 64.
Jac is the only member of the Danish Nelleman racing dynasty that made it to Formula 1. Sort of. A Danish Formula 3 Championship twice, Jac got a single entry into the 1976 Swedish Grand Prix sorted with the RAM team. Despite taking part in qualifying sessions in two cars, a BT42 and a BT44B, he failed to qualify for the race.
A businessman and part-time racer, Piotti made his Formula 1 debut in 1955, taking seventh place in the Syracuse GP in a works Maserati 250F, before purchasing a car for the 1956 season, in which he proved hopelessly slow, especially in the Argentine GP where he continually balked faster cars, eventually colliding with Collins’ Ferrari. Later he caused a furore at the Italian GP by using his car to push Moss’ fuel-starved machine into the pits and thus give the Englishman a chance to win the race. Piotti plodded through the 1957 season with the Maserati, and after finding little success in an OSCA in 1958 wisely returned to a more sedate occupation.
Born: 27th of October 1913 in Milan, Italy;
Died: 19th of April 1971 in Godiasco, Italy, aged 57.
Basil was dominant in the South African touring car scene when he got sponsorship from STP to move into national Formula 1 series in 1968 with a Brabham BT24, although he had to make do with John Love’s old Cooper for the Grand Prix. Switching to a McLaren M7A for 1969, Basil managed to score a couple of wins but then wrote the car off in a huge shunt at Kyalami and that was it as far as F1 was concerned. After another stint in touring cars he came back in 1975 with a Chevron when the South African Championship had switched to Formula Atlantics.