21st of March – Today Ayrton Senna would be commemorating his 50th birthday and what better way to honour the late triple World Champion with this shot from his record breaking 6th win at Monaco, the 5th in a row at the principality. Two records that are most likely to last eternally. This year the Ayrton Senna Foundation is providing a unique way for you to honour Ayrton. By accessing www.senna50.com.br you can leave your personal message, which will transform itself in one of the many tiny Senna helmets on the homepage. When placing the cursor on each one of those yellow helmets, you can read the individual messages from fans from all over the World. Of course, P1Mag will honour Ayrton in issue no. 08, check it out on Tuesday at http://www.p1mag.de.
George Abecassis was the son-in-law of David Brown, owner of Aston Martin and Lagonda and gained the reputation as the fastest Alta driver in the late 1930s, battling against the 1.5-liter ERA and Maserati. After WW2, when he was a RAF bomber pilot, got shot down and became a war prisoner, he returned to racing in all sorts of cars. In 1948 Abecassis entered a partnership with and John Heath, founding race and sports car manufacturer Hersham & Walton Motors HWM outside London. George himself lined the first HWM Grand Prix racer up at the start of the 1951 Swiss GP at Bremgarten. In the following years drivers of the caliber of Stirling Moss and Peter Collins would drive the HWM, but it was Paul Frére who managed the best result ever for HWM with a 5th place in the 1952 Belgian GP, right after George had had his 2nd and final appearance in he World Championship, once again at Bremgarten. After John Heath’s fatal accident at the 1956 Mille Miglia, George retired from racing to concentrate on running HWM, but the company ceased its racing activities the following year. George Abecassis remained connected to the sport and in 1991 he passed away peacefully at his home in Ibstone.
Born: 21st of March 1913 in Chertsey , UK;
Died: 18th of December 1991 in Ibstone, UK, aged 78.
Francesco Godia-Sales was a Spannish collector of fine art and a racing driver, Chico Godia drove a wide variety of cars from a Hotchkiss to a Ford GT40 in a career that spanned 24 years. He competed in 16 World Championship Grand Prix with a best finish of 4th in Germany and Italy driving a Maserati 250F in 1956 to finish 6th overall in the final points standings. he founded a museum in Barcelona, which is still running, and it contains both works of art and Godia’s racing mementoes.
Born: 21st of March 1921 in Barcelona, Spain.
Died: 28th of November 1990 in Barcelona, Spain, aged 69.
Arthur Owen was a Jersey-based jeweler who started competing in Channel Island hillclimb events during the mid-1950s and, together with Bill Knight, built the Owen-Knight streamliner in 1957. It was based on a Cooper Formula 3 chassis in which the two of them set a record at Montlhéry in June 1958. Arthur’s first foray into Formula 1 came in the 1959 non-championship Gold Cup race at Oulton Park at the wheel of a Cooper T51, spinning off after just one lap. His only participation in a World Championship round came in the 1960 Italian Grand Prix in his own Cooper T45, crashing out in the first lap. We went on to win the 1962 British Hill Climb Championship at the wheel of a Cooper-Climax T53. In his later years he moved – as a retired author and jeweler – from St. Helier, in Jersey, to the sunnier Algarve but eventually returned to the UK. Arthur Owen passed away in 2000 at his home in Buckinghamshire.
Born: 21st of March 1915 in London, UK;
Died: 13th of April 2000 in Wexham Street, UK, aged 85.
Ayrton Senna da Silva needs no introduction. One would describe the 3 times World Champion as extremely committed, dedicated and taken by a willingness to go right to the very edge, very detailed in technical feedback, incredible speed and sometimes ruthless, a recklessness that would either impress or infuriate, depending on the point of view. Definitely he was one of the very best of all times. But aside what he was capable of in the cockpit of a race car, he was, on the other hand, a sensible and frequently misunderstood, highly emotional and compassionate man. . He was also accomplished businessman and worked for many charity causes. He perished in the San Marino GP of 1994His death, seen and mourned by millions all over the world, changed (and still does) the safety aspect in F1 competely. Fourteen years after his death he is still worshipped in his native Brazil as one of the greatest sports stars and as a remarkable personality.
Born: 21st of March 1960 in São Paulo, Brazil;
Died: 1st of May 1994 at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy
Kenneth Wharton was a true all-rounder, one of the most versatile and under-rated drivers of the 1950’s. Appart from winning the British Hillclimb Championship 4 times, he was also a race winner in sports and touring cars, and a front-runner in international rallies and single-seaters. His Formula 1 debut came in the 1952 Swiss Grand Prix at Bremgarten at the wheel of a Scuderia Franera entered Frazer-Nash FN48, finishing on a brilliant 4th place. Over the next 3 seasons he raced his own Cooper T23, an Owen Racing entered Maserati 250F and finally took part in the 1955 British and Italian GP as Vanwall works-driver. However, Ken never managed to repeat his best result, scored at his debut at Bremgarten. Ken Wharton died at Ardmore, New-Zealand, in 1957 during a sports car race.
Born: 21st of March 1916 in Smethwick, UK.
Died: 12th of January 1957 in Ardmore, New-Zealand, aged 40.