Motorsports birthdays & First Grand Prix

The 1906 Grand Prix de l’Automobile Club de France, commonly known as the1906 French Grand Prix, was a motor race which is regarded as the first ever Grand Prix. It was held on 26 and 27 June 1906, on closed public roads outside the city of Le Mans. The Grand Prix was organised by the Automobile Club de France (ACF) at the prompting of the Frenchautomobile industry as an alternative to the Gordon Bennett races, which limited each competing country’s number of entries regardless of the size of its industry. France had the largest automobile industry in Europe at the time, and in an attempt to better reflect this the Grand Prix had no limit to the number of entries by any particular country. The ACF chose a 103.18-kilometre (64.11 mi) circuit, composed primarily of dust roads sealed with tar, which would be lapped six times on both days by each competitor, a combined race distance of 1,238.16 kilometres (769.36 mi). Lasting for more than 12 hours overall, the race was won by Ferenc Szisz driving for the Renault team. FIAT driver Felice Nazzaro finished second, and Albert Clément was third in a Clément-Bayard.Paul Baras of Brasier set the fastest lap of the race on his first lap. He held on to the lead until the third lap, when Szisz took over first position, defending it to the finish. Hot conditions melted the road tar, which the cars kicked up into the faces of the drivers, blinding them and making the racing treacherous. Punctures were common; tyre manufacturer Michelin introduced a detachablerim with a tyre already affixed, which could be quickly swapped onto a car after a puncture, saving a significant amount of time over manually replacing the tyre. This helped Nazzaro pass Clément on the second day, as the FIAT—unlike the Clément-Bayard—made use of the rims.Renault’s victory contributed to an increase in sales for the French manufacturer in the years following the race. Despite being the second to carry the title, the race has become known as the first Grand Prix. The success of the 1906 French Grand Prix prompted the ACF to run the Grand Prix again thefollowing year, and the German automobile industry to organise the Kaiserpreis, the forerunner to the German Grand Prix, in 1907.


The first French Grand Prix originated from the Gordon Bennett races, established by American millionaire James Gordon Bennett, Jr. in 1900. Intended to encourage automobile industries through sport, by 1903 the Gordon Bennett races had become some of the most prestigious in Europe; their formula of closed-road racing among similar cars replaced the previous model of unregulated vehicles racing between distant towns, over open roads. Entries into the Gordon Bennett races were by country, and the winning country earned the right to organise the next race. Entries were limited to three per country, which meant that although the nascent motor industry in Europe was dominated by French manufacturers, they were denied the opportunity to fully demonstrate their superiority. Instead, the rule put them on a numerical level footing with countries such as Switzerland, with only one manufacturer, and allowed Mercedes, which had factories in Germany and Austria, to field six entries: three from each country. The French governing body, the Automobile Club de France (ACF), held trials between its manufacturers before each race; in 1904 twenty-nine entries competed for the three positions on offer.when Léon Théry won the 1904 race for the French manufacturer Richard-Brasier, the French automobile industry proposed to the ACF that they modify the format of the 1905 Gordon Bennett race and run it simultaneously with an event which did not limit entries by nation. The ACF accepted the proposal, but decided that instead of removing limits to entries by nation, the limits would remain but would be determined by the size of each country’s industry. Under the ACF’s proposal, France was allowed fifteen entries, Germany and Britain six, and the remaining countries—Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Austria and the United States—three cars each.The French proposal was met with strong opposition from governing bodies representing the other Gordon Bennett nations, and at the instigation of Germany a meeting of the bodies was organised to settle the dispute. Although the delegates rejected the French model for the 1905 race, to avoid deadlock they agreed to use the new system of limits for the 1906 race. But when Théry and Richard-Brasier won again in 1905, and the responsibility for organising the 1906 race fell once more to the ACF, the French ended the Gordon Bennett races and organised their own event as a replacement, the Grand Prix de l’Automobile Club de France

The top three finishers were escorted to the grandstand to collect their trophies. In an interview after the race, Szisz reflected on the “anxiety” he had felt as he drove the final laps: “I feared something small which would take away victory at the moment when it had seemed to be won.” The prestige Renault gained from Szisz’s victory led to an increase in sales for the company, from around 1,600 cars in 1906 to more than 3,000 a year later, and increasing to more than 4,600 in 1908.[35] But the race had not proven the superiority of the French motorcar; an Italian car had finished second and only seven of the twenty-three French cars that had started the race finished it.Reflections on the race by the organisers and the media generally concluded that the Grand Prix had been a poor replacement for the Gordon Bennett races. In part, this had been because the race was too long, and the system of starting the race—with each car leaving at 90-second intervals—had meant that there had been very little interaction between the competitors, simply cars driving their own races to time. The ACF decided that too much pressure had been put on drivers and riding mechanics by forbidding others to work on the cars during the race. It was also felt that the outcome of the race had been too dependent on the use of Michelin’s detachable rims. Clément had driven the only Clément-Bayard to not have the rims, and it was thought that this contributed to Nazzaro passing him on the second day as he stopped to change tyres. Despite this, the ACF decided to run the Grand Prix again the following year. The publicity generated by the race prompted the German governing body to organise a similar event that favoured their own industry. The forerunner to the German Grand Prix, the Kaiserpreis (Kaiser’s Prize) was raced in 1907.The conference held in 1904 to consider the French proposal for a change in formula to the Gordon Bennett races led to the formation of the Association Internationale des Automobile Clubs Reconnus (AIACR; the predecessor of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile), the body responsible for regulating international motorsport.[6][41] Although a smaller race held in 1901 had awarded the “Grand Prix de Pau”, the 1906 race outside Le Mans was the first genuinely international race to carry the label “Grand Prix”. Until the First World War it was the only annual race to be called a Grand Prix (often, the Grand Prix), and is commonly known as “the first Grand Prix”


  • French race car driver Patrick Tambay  was born 25 June 1949
  • English Formula One driver Johnny Herbert was born 25 June 1964
  • Swedish World Rally driver, and European Rallycross Champion (1999 Per Eklund,  was born 26th June 1946
  •  Tommi Mäkinen, Finnish race car driver was born 26th June 1964

tribute to George Orwell

Considered perhaps the 20th century’s best chronicler of English culture, the English novelist and journalist George Orwell, (Eric Arthur Blair).was Born on 25 June 1903, in Motihari, Bihar, in India, His work is marked by clarity, intelligence and wit, awareness of social injustice, opposition to totalitarianism, and belief in democratic socialism. Although Orwell wrote literary criticism, poetry, fiction and polemical journalism. He is best known for the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) and the allegorical novella Animal Farm (1945), which together have sold more copies than any two books by any other 20th-century author. His book Homage to Catalonia (1938), an account of his experiences in the Spanish Civil War, is widely acclaimed, as are his numerous essays on politics, literature, language and culture. In 2008, The Times ranked him second on a list of “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945″. Orwell’s work continues to influence popular and political culture, and the term Orwellian — descriptive of totalitarian or authoritarian social practices — has entered the vernacular with several of his neologisms, such as doublethink, thoughtcrime, Big Brother and thought police.

Nineteen Eighty-Four

1984GONineteen Eighty-Four was published in 1949. It is a dystopian and satirical novel set in Oceania, where society is tyrannized by The Party and its totalitarian ideology.The Oceanian province of Airstrip One is a world of perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance, and public mind control, dictated by a political system euphemistically named English Socialism (Ingsoc) under the control of a privileged Inner Party elite that persecutes all individualism and independent thinking as thoughtcrimes. Their tyranny is headed by Big Brother, the quasi-divine Party leader who enjoys an intense cult of personality, but who may not even exist. Big Brother and the Party justify their rule in the name of a supposed greater good.The protagonist of the novel, Winston Smith, is a member of the Outer Party who works for the Ministry of Truth (Minitrue), which is responsible for propaganda and historical revisionism. His job is to re-write past newspaper articles so that the historical record always supports the current party line. Smith is a diligent and skillful worker, but he secretly hates the Party and dreams of rebellion against Big Brother.As literary political fiction and as dystopian science-fiction, Nineteen Eighty-Four is a classic novel in content, plot, and style. Many of its terms and concepts, such as Big Brother, doublethink, thoughtcrime, Newspeak, and memory hole, have entered everyday use since its publication in 1949. Moreover, Nineteen Eighty-Four popularised the adjective Orwellian, which describes official deception, secret surveillance, and manipulation of the past by a totalitarian or authoritarian state. In 2005 the novel was chosen by TIME magazine as one of the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to 2005. It was awarded a place on both lists of Modern Library 100 Best Novels, reaching number 13 on the editor’s list, and 6 on the reader’s list. In 2003, the novel was listed at number 8 on the BBC’s survey The Big Read.

Animal Farm:

AnimalFarm_GOAnimal Farm is an allegorical novella which was published in England on 17 August 1945. According to Orwell the book reflects events leading up to the Russian Revolution of 1917, and then on into the Stalin era in the Soviet Union. Orwell, a democratic socialist, was a critic of Joseph Stalin and hostile to Moscow-directed Stalinism, especially after his experiences with the NKVD and the Spanish Civil War. The Soviet Union he believed, had become a brutal dictatorship, built upon a cult of personality and enforced by a reign of terror. In a letter to Yvonne Davet, Orwell described Animal Farm as his novel “contre Stalin” and in his essay of 1946, Why I Write, he wrote that Animal Farm was the first book in which he had tried, with full consciousness of what he was doing, “to fuse political purpose and artistic purpose into one whole”.The original title was Animal Farm: A Fairy Story, but the subtitle was dropped by U.S. publishers for its 1946 publication and subsequently all but one of the translations during Orwell’s lifetime omitted the addition. Other variations in the title include: A Satire and A Contemporary Satire. Orwell suggested the title Union des républiques socialistes animales for the French translation, which recalled the French name of the Soviet Union, Union des républiques socialistes soviétiques, and which abbreviates to URSA, the Latin for “bear”, a symbol of Russia.

It was written at a time (November 1943-February 1944) when the wartime alliance with the Soviet Union was at its height and Stalin was held in highest esteem in Britain both among the people and intelligentsia, a fact that Orwell hated. It was initially rejected by a number of British and American publishers, including one of Orwell’s own, Victor Gollancz. Its publication was thus delayed, though it became a great commercial success when it did finally appear—in part because the Cold War so quickly followed WW2. Time magazine chose the book as one of the 100 best English-language novels (1923 to 2005); it also places at number 31 on the Modern Library List of Best 20th-Century Novels. It won a Retrospective Hugo Award in 1996 and is also included in the Great Books of the Western World. The novel addresses not only the corruption of the revolution by its leaders but also how wickedness, indifference, ignorance, greed and myopia corrupt the revolution. It portrays corrupt leadership as the flaw in revolution, rather than the act of revolution itself. It also shows how potential ignorance and indifference to problems within a revolution could allow horrors to happen if a smooth transition to a people’s government is not achieved. Orwell sadly passed away on 21 January 1950