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Today in Racing: 4 May

Such was Jackie Stewart’s domination in Ken Tyrrell’s Matra-Cosworth MS80S, that the 1969 Spanish Grand Prix at Montjuich Park was one of two where the winner ever finished two laps ahead of the runner-up, that being Bruce McLaren in his eponymous McLaren-Cosworth. Third-placed Jean-Pierre Beltoise was another lap down in the other Matra.

In a good day for French racing, Didier Pironi also drove a Ligier JS11/15 Cosworth to his maiden Grand Prix victory at Zolder in Belgium from Alan Jones’ Williams FW07B Cosworth. Michael Schumacher meanwhile won the 2003 Spanish Grand Prix at Barcelona driving a Ferrari F2003-GA from pole position from Fernando Alonso’s Renault team and Rubens Barrichello in the other Ferrari.

Delving further into race history to 1912 and AAA Champcar board track racing at Santa Monica, California,  Ralph DePalma’s Mercer won the Jepsen, Teddy Tetzlaff’s Fiat the Dick Ferris and George Joerimann’s Maxwell  the Chanslor & Lyon Trophies. It was also busy a dozen years later when Antonio Masperi’s Bianchi 18 won the Circuito di Mantova and Giulio Pucci’s Ansaldo the 1924 Coppa Nissena on this day.

Dave Charlton drove his Brabham BT11 Climax to win the 1966 Bulawayo 100 in Rhodesia, while Leo Geoghedan’s Lotus Repco the 1969 JAF Grand Prix at Mount Fuji on the same day that John Harvey won the Warwick Farm Tasman round in Australia in a Brabham Repco. Also today, Narain Karthikeyan won the 2008 British A1 Grand Prix of Nations Feature  for India, while Robbie Kerr took a home win in the Sprint

Sportscar racing goes back to the 1930 Targa Florio won by Achille Varzi’s Alfa Romeo after a race-long duel with  Louis Chiron’s Bugatti. 39 years later, Gerhard Mitter and Udo Schutz’s 908 Spyder led a Porsche top six clean sweep at the Targa Florio, while Derek Bell and Henri Pescarolo won the 1975 Spa 1000 in an Alfa Romeo T33TT. Marcel Fassler, Andre Lotterer and Benoit Treluyer won the 2013 Spa 1000 in an Audi R18 e-tron Quattro and John Fitzpatrick took Laguna Seca’s 1980 IMSA round in a-Porsche 935

Frenchmen were also prominent in World Rally action on this day as  Jean Ragnotti took his Renault 5 Maxi Turbo to the 1985 Corsica win, where Francois Delecour’s Ford Escort RS Cosworth won in ‘93 Corsica , while Sebastien Loeb steered his Citroen DS3 to win in Argentina 2013.

On the day that royal F1 racer Wolfgang von Trips, sportscar star Peter Gregg and F1 winner John Watson share birthdays, Harry Miller was granted a US patent for his 1920 racecar design that introduced an aluminium engine block and pistons, off-beat carburettors, intercooled supercharging and front-wheel drive.