28/1/1949, Jean-Pierre Wimille dies.
A frequent Grands Prix winner in the pre-war racing scene, Wimille had become a Bugatti works driver when he won the 1936 ACF GP (with Sommer), the 1937 Le Mans 24 Hrs (with Benoist) and the 1939 Le Mans 24 Hrs (with Veyron) in a series of Type 57 derivatives. However, in August 1939 Jean Bugatti died, and the following month France was at war. Wimille joined the French Armée de l’Air and was part of the French Resistance. After the war he immediately won the Coupe des Prisonniers on the 9th September 1945, the first race in peace, driving a works-supported Bugatti. He kept on winning and had there been a World Drivers Championship in 1947 and 1948 he would have been champion in both those years. In practice for a race of the Argentine 1949 Temporada series in Buenos Aires he was apparently blinded by the sun and his Simca-Gordini left the road, hitting a tree. Jean-Pierre Wimille died shortly afterwards from the sustained injuries and was posthumously awarded the Legion d’Honneur at his funeral.
Born: 26th of February 1908 in Paris, France;
Died: 28th of January 1949 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, aged 40.