27 May was a busy day both in Formula 1 and at the Indy 500 over the years, starting with Juan Manuel Fangio’s Alfa Romeo won the 1951 Swiss Grand Prix at Bremgarten from Piero Taruffi’s Ferrari and Nino Farina in another Alfa Romeo, while Stirling Moss ended eighth on his GP debut.
The rest of the F1 races on this day were in Monte Carlo, where Jody Scheckter took his second Monaco win in 1979 for Ferrari, from former Ferrari men Clay Regazzoni’s Williams-Cosworth and Carlos Reutemann in a Lotus Cosworth in a race of attrition. Retirements included 1976 World Champion James Hunt from his final F1 race.
Ayrton Senna’s McLaren-Honda started the 1990 race on pole position, led every lap and set the fastest race lap, en route to his second Monaco win to the trot and third in all from Jean Alesi’s Tyrrell Cosworth and Gerhard Berger in the other McLaren.
Michael Schumacher beat Ferrari teammate Rubens Barrichello and Eddie Irvine’s Jaguar to his fifth and final Monaco win in 2001, while Fernando Alonso took his second of two Monaco wins from McLaren Mercedes teammate Lewis and Felipe Massa’s Ferrari in ’07.
The other two Monaco wins on this day resulted in Australian Red Bull Renault drivers taking a fully clad swim on the team’s yacht after winning the race – Mark Webber became the record sixth different GP winner of the opening six races of 2012 from Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes and ‘s Fernando Alonso in a Ferrari. Daniel Ricciardo followed his compatriot into the pool with a 2018 win over Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari and Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes.
27 May is a day of quite remarkable double victories on the same date at the Indianapolis 500, each separated by a number of years between the wins. Rick Mears won in 1979 and 1984, Ari Luyendyk in 1990 and ’97 and Dario Franchitti in 2007 and ’12, while Mark Donohue also won the 500 on this day in 1972.
Webb Jay won the Chicago Harlem Racetrack’s 1905 opening race aboard White’s ‘Whistling Billy’ on the steam car’s debut, Raymond Leroy drove his Bugatti 35C to win the ‘27 Dijon Six Heures de Bourgogne, Guy Moll’s Alfa-Romeo Tipo-B P3 won the ‘34 Berlin Avusrennen on the same day that Benoit Falchetto’s Maserati 8CM took GP de Picardie victory.
Andre Lagache and Rene Leonard’s Chenard & Walcker won the first Le Mans 24 hour this day 1923. In other sportscar racing, Inness Ireland’s Ferrari 250 GTO won at Brands Hatch ’62 and there were three Nurburgring 1000s where Stirling Moss, Piero Taruffi, Jean Behra and Harry Schell shared a Maserati 300S to win the ‘56 race, Olivier Gendebien and Phil Hill’s Ferrari Dino 246SP won in ’62 and Jacky Ickx and Brian Redman’s Ferrari 312PB ’73.
Over in the ‘States meanwhile, Elliott Forbes-Robinson’s Spyder NF10-Chevrolet won the ’78 Charlotte Can Am and in IMSA, Drake Olson’s Porsche 962 took the ’85 win and Gianpiero Moretti and Max Papis’ Ferrari 333SP ’96, both at Lime Rock.
There were three World Championship Acropolis Rallies over the years today, won by Jean-Luc Therier’s Alpine Renault A110 in ‘73 Miki Biasion’s Lancia Delta Integrale in ’80 and Sebastien Loeb’s Citroen DS3 in 2012. On the day that F1 racer Piers Courage and sportscar driver Pierre-Henri Raphanel share birthdays, Barney Oldfield broke the magic Indianapolis 100 mph mark aboard his front wheel drive Christie in 1916 practice and triple land speed and also water speed record holder Henry Segrave was knighted by King George V on this day 1929.
The four-day East African Coronation Safari in Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika began, as a celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953 before becoming the it was renamed the East African Safari Rally in 1960 and the World Championship Safari Rally from the ‘7os.