- November 28 down the years
The chilly dawn of US motor racingWhat happened on this day in Formula One history?
History was made when the first race was staged in the USA. The Chicago Times-Herald Exhibition Run took place on a 55-mile course between Chicago and Evanston and back and was the brainchild of Chicago Times-Herald owner Herman H Kohlstaat. Only six of the 89 entrants made it to the start line and on the day of the race there was a heavy snowfall and a plough was needed to clear the start. Even then the cars had to endure a hail of snowballs from onlookers as they got underway. Two electric vehicles soon ran out of power, and a home-built car driven by Frank and Charles Duryea eventually beat three imported Benzs, of which only one finished, more than 90 minutes behind the winners. Each car carried an umpire and one of the umpires, assigned to Oscar Mueller's Benz, ended up driving after Mueller, overcome by fatigue and excitement, passed out during the race. The Duryea's winning time was ten hours and 23 minutes, an average speed of 5.25mph.
The start of Lewis Hamilton's F1 career came on the test track in Barcelona but lasted two laps before his McLaren broke down. Testing alongside David Coulthard and Anthony Davidson, Hamilton was given some words of warning by Coulthard who said he needed a season of testing before being thrown into the fray. "I value David's opinion," Hamilton countered. "He is extremely experienced and I have always looked up to him. In some ways he could be right, but I've done all I need to do to get to F1. I have got plenty of time to do the testing pre-season and so we will have to wait and see. I am young, fresh and extremely determined to do well in this sport. I want to win." As it was, he came within one race of winning the title in his first season.
John Surtees, the 1964 world champion, signed a 12-month contract to race for Honda. He had won his title with Ferrari, but walked out on the team midway through 1966 after a dispute, switching to Cooper and winning the Mexican Grand Prix in the last race of the year. The relationship, in which Surtees played a major part in assisting the team develop its F1 challenge, lasted two years and provided on win, in the 1967 Italian Grand Prix.