- December 29 down the years
Clark fails at the last to hand Hill world titleWhat happened on December 29 in Formula One history?
The final round of the season was held at the East London Circuit in South Africa - three months after the previous round in the USA. The race was to be a title showdown between Graham Hill and Jim Clark - Hill went into the race with a nine point advantage but the scoring system meant that Clark could take the championship with a win. The pair lined up on the front row of the grid, with Clark on pole - he took an immediate lead which be built up to more than half a minute. The race and the championship seemed to be falling into his hands until disaster struck on Lap 62 when an oil leak forced him to retire, giving Hill his first world championship. He went on to take the win which also secured the only constructors' title BRM would ever achieve.
Charles Goodyear, the man who invented vulcanised rubber, albeit by accident, was born on this day in New Haven, Connecticut. The process made millions of dollars but not for the hapless Goodyear who was victim to widespread patent abuse and a lack of business acumen. When he died in 1860 he was deeply in debt. The Goodyear company, which was named in his honour, was not formed until 1898.
Allan McNish was born in Dumfries, Scotland. Despite his early career pointing firmly towards F1, he found his natural home in sports cars. He won the American Le Mans Series championship twice as well as two victories in the Le Mans 24 Hour. He eventually found his place on the F1 grid in 2002 with the new Toyota team - for whom he had spent the previous year developing and testing their car. After a disappointing season, in which he is best remembered for surviving a massive crash at 130R corner at Suzuka in practice for the Japanese Grand Prix. He was replaced the following season and returned to sports cars.
British racer Mike Beuttler died in the USA from complications resulting from AIDS. This talented F3 racer moved into F1 in 1971 driving a non-works March financed by a group of stockbroker friends. He entered 29 races and his best result was seventh in the 1973 Spanish Grand Prix .
American racer Jay Chamberlain was born in Los Angeles. He competed in the 1962 British Grand Prix finishing 15th but was better known as the man who operated the first Lotus franchise in the USA after a chance meeting with Colin Chapman. The relationship ended in acrimony after Chamberlain was ousted from his own company after a dispute with Chapman.
David Hampshire , born on this day in Derbyshire, was a company director, a position which enabled him to fund his passion for racing. He competed in two championship grand prix in 1950, but his best effort came in the 1950 Nottingham Trophy Grand Prix - a non-championship race - which he won in a Maserati.