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27 June: Today in Racing

Today in racing history was a busy one on all fronts, not least of all in Formula 1 where Jim Clark continued on his dominant 1965 path when he set the fastest lap on his way to winning the French Grand Prix from flag to flag in his impeccable Lotus 25 Climax.

Clark’s third win in four races was also his second pole-record-win of the season as he left Jackie Stewart’s BRM to fend John Surtees’ Ferrari off for second.

Heinz-Harald Frentzen had to work a little harder to win the 1999 French Grand prix in his Jordan 199 Mugen Honda – the German started fifth on the grid and had to beat world champion Mika Häkkinen to second in his McLaren Mercedes. Rubens Barrichello was third in a Stewart Cosworth.

Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull RB6 Renault may have had to fend off Lewis Hamilton fighting back after serving a drive through penalty in his McLaren Mercedes with Jenson Button third in the other McLaren in the 2010 European Grand Prix in Valencia, but that race is also remembered for another reason.

Mark Webber suffered an enormous airborne accident when his Red Bull took flight over the back of Heikki Kovalainen’s Lotus, adding to his frightfully similar ’99 Le Mans accident in a Mercedes.

Other significant racing stretches far back on this day, starting with Henri Fournier’s JAW winning the 1901 Paris-Berlin race, while Vincenzo Lancia won the 1902 Mont Cenis Hillclimb in Italy driving a Fiat. Emilio Materassi won the 1926 Circuito del Mugello in his Itala Special. Hispano-Suiza and Jules Goux took his Bugatti 39A to ’26 French Grand Prix de l’ACF victory.

Alberto Ascari held off teammate Luigi Villoresi’s similar Maserati 4CLT to win the 1948 San Remo Grand Prix, while John Love took his Cooper-Climax to 1965 Ray Amm Trophy victory at Marlborough in Rhodesia. Indy racing winners on this day include Al Unser in 1976, Emerson Fittipaldi in ’93 Juan Pablo Montoya ’99, Scott Dixon in 2009 and Graham Rahal, on the same day that Sebastien Buemi won the 2015 Formula E London ePrix.

Moving on to sportscar racing, Dickie Attwood and Pedro Rodriguez’ Porsche 917 took 1971 Osterreichring 1000 WEC honours, where Gunnar Nilsson and Dieter Quester took WCM honours driving a BMW 3.5 CSL in 1976, the same day that Jochen Mass and Rolf Stommelen’s Porsche 936 won in WSC at Enna-Pergusa in Italy.

Emanuele Moncini and Christian Pescatori’s Ferrari 333SP took 1999 Enna-Pergusa honours, while over in the ‘States, Jackie Stewart took 1971 St Jovite Can Am honours in a Lola T260-Chevrolet, Patrick Tambay drove his Lola T530-Chevrolet to the 1980 Mosport win and
Al Holbert’s VDS 001-Chevrolet won Can Am at Mid-Ohio in 1982.

Trans Am winners were Peter Gregg and Hurley Haywood’s Porsche 914 at Bridgehampton in ’71 and Juan Manuel Fangio II’s Eagle MkIII-Toyota at Watkins Glen ’93, while Jan Magnussen and Johnny O’Connell’s Corvette took ALMS honours at Mosport ’99 and JJ Lehto and Marco Werner’s Audi R8 at Mid-Ohio 2004.

Last but not least, there were two World Championship Rallies on this day over the years – Jean-Pierre Nicolas’ Peugeot 504 won in Morocco in 1976 and Sebastien Loeb’s Citroen Xsara Turkey 2004, while 27 June is also Nico Rosberg’s birthday.