Stirling Moss’ Vanwall dominated the 1958 Dutch Grand Prix from the BRMs of Harry Schell and Jean Behra, but 26 May was a big day for Graham Hill who won two of his five Monaco Grand Prix victories on this day.
Hill beat BRM teammate Richie Ginther and Bruce McLaren’s Cooper-Climax to his first Monaco win of three in a row in 1963 after pole man Jim Clark’s Lotus hit transmission trouble, but Graham started from pole to win again in ‘68 from Richard Attwood’s BRM and Lucien Bianchi in a Cooper BRM, in their only ever F1 podium finishes.
There were four other Monaco GPs on this day – Ronnie Peterson won for Lotus Cosworth in 1974 from Jody Scheckter’s Tyrrell and Jean-Pierre Jarier in a Shadow and David Coulthard took his only win of the 2002 season for McLaren Mercedes from brothers Michael Schumacher’s Ferrari and Ralf’s BMW Williams.
A delighted Nico Rosberg matched his dad’s victory with his first of three Monaco wins for Mercedes in 2013 from Red Bull Renault duo Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber.
Lewis Hamilton won the 2019 race from pole position with Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari and teammate Valtteri Bottas promoted to second and third after Max Verstappen was penalised for a pit lane incident with Bottas, demoting him to fourth.
Indianapolis winners on this late day in May include Johnny Rutherford taking his first 500 from 25th on the grid in 1974, Danny Sullivan in 1985on the day that AJ Foyt retired from racing, Rick Mears in ‘91, Buddy Lazier ’96, Helio Castroneves in 2002 and Tony Kanaan 2013, while Jimmy Vasser won the 1996 CART US 500.
Going much further back in time, Englishman Cyril Snipe was the first to beat the Italians in the 1912 Targa Florio in a SCAT and Achille Varzi raced his Alfa Romeo P2 to 1929 Premio Reale di Roma victory. Luigi Fagioli’s Mercedes-Benz W25B won the 1935 Berlin Avusrennen on a busy day of racing that also saw Robert Cazeaux’s Bugatti T51 take the Circuit d’Orléans and Robert Benoist the 1935 GP de Picardie in his Bugatti T59.
More recently, Bob Gerard won the 1949 Isle of Man British Empire Trophy in his ERA B-Type and John Pringle steered his Cooper Climax to Kirkistown victory in 1962, while Dave Charlton won the 1973 South African F1 Republic Day Trophy at Kyalami in his Lotus 72D Cosworth.
In a busy day in sports car racing too, Tony Brooks and Noel Cunningham-Reid’s Aston Martin DBR1 won the 1957 Nurburgring 1000 and Jacky Ickx and Brian Redman’s Ford GT40 took the ‘68 Spa 1000. This is Lime Rock week in US sportscars, where Peter Gregg and Al Holbert’s Porsche 911s shared the 1975 IMSA wins, Holbert won again in a Porsche 962 in ’87, Chip Robinson took ’91 honours in a Nissan NPT-91 and Andrea Montermini and Antonio Hermann’s Ferrari 333SP was victorious in ’97.
Motor racing said goodbye to two of its greatest characters on this day. Popular sportscar driver Paul Hawkins (31) was killed in a crash during the 1969 Oulton Park Tourist Trophy. “The Monza Gorilla’, as F1 race winner Vittorio Brambilla was affectionately known, passed aged 63 today in 2001.