8th of March – In the past couple of days the Brazilian version of Grand Prix Insider went past the mark of 300.000 visits, although it hasn’t been updated for the best part of the last 8 months. Since October 2008 the English version, until then updated sporadically, has had its daily update and has reached 100.000 visits towards the end of the past week. I’d like to thank you all for dropping by, helping this little project to establish itself and allow a steady growth. Soon there’ll be some interesting news about the future of the blog. Oh, and thanks to the guys for their nice commemorative banner. You sure know who these guys are, don’t you?
Michael Bartels rose successfully through German karting and junior formulae to try his hand in Formula 1 with a struggling Team Lotus. He failed to qualify for 4 Grands Prix at the end of 1991 and decided to hang on to Formula 3000 for 1992, finishing 4th in the series. Dating tennis ace Steffi Graf gave him a popularity boost and Michael was hopeful to get a second chance in F1. As this never materialized, Michael switched to tin tops. He was top privateer in the 1994 DTM season, won the 24 Hours of Nürburgring in 2000 and 2001 and the Spa 24 hours in 2005, 2006 and 2008. In 2008 he won the FIA GT Championship for the 3rd time – after 2005 and 2006 – for the Vitaphone Maserati team.
Duane Carter was a midgets champion when he joined the AAA and USAC Championship Car series in 1948. As such he took part in 8 of the 10 editions of the Indianapolis 500 races that counted as a round for the Formula 1 World Championship. Duane managed a 3rd place finish in 1953 as his best result. But he got award only half of the points because he had to switch to Sam Hanks’ Kurtis Kraft after his Levosky fell ill with ignition problems. He retired from driving in 1956 to take the Competition Director position for USAC but came back in 1959 to raise his tally to those 8 starts recorded in F1 stats. Duane Carter was inducted in the in the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 1989 as well as the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 1991 and witnessed his son Pancho racing in the Indy 500, too, before passing away in 1993.
Born: 5th of May 1913 in Fresno, USA;
Died: 8th of March 1993 in Indianapolis, USA, aged 79.
Carlo Pintacuda began racing in 1925 but it was not until 1934, when he drove a Lancia Astura to victory in the grueling Giro d’Italia, that he managed to establish himself in the scene. A victory in the 1935 Mille Miglia in an Alfa Romeo P3, borrowed by Scuderia Ferrari, got him a deal from Enzo Ferrari. After a string of 3rd places in 4 Grands Prix during 1935, Ferrari sent him several times to South America where he won the Grande Premio de Sao Paulo at Interlagos in 1936 and the Circuito da Gavea race on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro in 1937 and 1938, making the Italian very popular in Brazil. He was on a high in sports cars, too, as he took a second win in the Mille Miglia in 1937. Winning the 24 Hours of Spa race pretty much made up for missing out on a third win in the Mille Miglia in 1938. After WW2 Pintacuda was out of a drive. He accepted an offer from Enrico Platé to drive in an old Maserati at Retiro, the first race of “La Temporada Argentina”. But Carlo fell in love with the country, he decided to stay in Buenos Aires and open the antiquities shop La Spiga. After the 1948 Gavea race in Rio Carlo Pintacuda retired from racing and passed away in Buenos Aires in 1971.
Born: 18th of September 1900 in Florence, Italy.
Died: 8th of March 1971 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, aged 70.