From the Archive – Villeneuve, Hawthorn, Rodriguez and more


The big stories from the past week on the Motor Sport Archive.

Gilles Villeneuve and Pedro Rodriguez, two greats with natural speed, flair, skill and fearlessness, would have shared a birthday this week. Villeneuve would have been 66, Rodriguez 77.

This week also marked milestones of two more drivers deprived of full racing careers: 1958 world champion Mike Hawthorn died 57 years ago, and F3000 race-winner and “thoroughly good bloke” Gonzalo Rodriguez would have turned 44.

In Formula 1, Jacques Laffite and Jackie Stewart won at Buenos Aires in 1979 and 1972 respectively, and Carlos Reutemann won a spin-filled Brazilian Grand Prix in 1977.

Jenson Button (36) and Karun Chandhok (32) both celebrated birthdays, so too did brief F1 racer with Super Aguri Yuji Ide (44). Aurora British F1 championship winner Tony Trimmer turns 73 on January 23, while Jo Gartner would have been 62 a day later.  Bob Gerard was born this week in 1914, a driver  Bill Boddy described in 1999 as “one of the great privateers“.

IndyCar nearly man Jerry Grant was born in 1935, USAC race-winner Jud Larson in 1923.

Winner of the first 24 Hours of Le Mans Andre Lagache was born in 1885. Don Whittington, winner in 1979 in a Porsche 935 alongside his brother Bill and Klaus Ludwig, turns 70.

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