• December 2 down the years

'That's my shoe over there - and my foot is still in it'

What happened on December 2 in Formula One history
Steve McQueen surveys the wreckage of David Piper's Porsche after the crash during filming of Le Mans © Unknown

David Piper, born on this day in Edgware, Middlesex, was a privateer who competed in three grand prix in 1959 and 1960 but only qualified for two of them. With Ferrari he enjoyed success in sports car racing - he was the team's most successful privateer - but in 1970 while filming the Steve McQueen film Le Mans he crashed his Porsche 917 and lost a leg. He later recalled: "I suddenly found myself sitting in only half a car, surrounded by smoke and dust, and I thought, `Good Lord, that's my shoe over there - and my foot is still in it'." Undaunted, he returned to the track within months and in 2005 celebrated 60 years of competitive racing.

John Cobb, who set three land-speed records, was born in Esher, Surrey on this day. In the 1930s Cobb's was a household name, adding many lap records at Brooklands to his achievements. His first two land-speed records came in Utah in 1938 - the second of 369.741mph lasted for nine years - and he himself broke it when he recorded 394.196mph in 1947. He was killed while attempting the break the water-speed record on Loch Ness in 1952.

Ken Tyrrell announced that he had sold his eponymous team to British American Racing. The outfit, which entered the championship for the first time in 1968, won three world championships with Jackie Stewart in the 1960s and 1970s, but had not won a race since 1984. "This is the most difficult decision I've ever had to take," Tyrrell said. "I believe it is the right one. The cost to compete in F1 has escalated dramatically and the Tyrrell racing organisation is not satisfied with being relegated to the back of the grid. Our competitive spirit is too high."

Ken Tyrrell with Bernie Ecclestone during his team's years at the forefront of the sport © Sutton Images

Chris Bristow was born in Lambeth, London. He competed in four grand prix between 1959 and 1960 when he was decapitated when his car rolled during the Belgian Grand Prix at the same corner where Stirling Moss had been seriously injured the previous day. Known as the 'wild man of British club racing' Bristow had the dubious honour of spinning out, or crashing, in almost every race he competed in.

Bruce Halford died in Devon, aged 70. He competed in nine races between 1956 and 1960 but only managed to finish one - the German Grand Prix in 1957.