On this day: the world’s first motor racing contest

#65 Albert Lemaître in Peugeot 3hp at 1894 Paris-Rouen race (2nd place) but judged the official winner. Adolphe Clément is the front seat passenger.

The world’s first motorsport contest took place on the 22nd of July, 1894 from Paris to Rouen, France.

First, a selection event was held in which sixty-nine cars participated. The main 127 kilometre race had twenty-five contestants.

Marquis Jules Félix Philippe Albert de Dion de Wandonne (9 March 1856 – 19 August 1946) was a pioneer of the automobile industry in France.

Count Jules-Albert de Dion circa 1903

Count Jules-Albert de Dion was the first to complete the race, but as cars were also judged on other elements – such as safety – he was not declared the winner. He completed the race in 6 hours and 48 minutes, which averaged 19 kilometres an hour.

On this day: the first Monte Carlo Rally

The first Monte Carlo Rally took place on the 21st of January, 1911. Twenty-three cars participated.

French driver Henri Rougier won the race amidst some controversy, as judging was not only based on driving skills, but also on the elegance and comfort of the car.

In this picture, Henri Rougier and his mechanic prepare for the race:

Henri_Rougier_and_the_25Hp_Turcat-Mery_before_the_inaugural_Monte_Carlo_rally. 1911.

On this day: Bob Burman’s fatal crash in 1916

Bob Burman's car after accident - Indianapolis

On the 8th of April, 1916, American racing car driver Bob Burman rolled his car in a road race in Corona, California. Three spectators were also killed, and five others seriously injured.

 Photo of race car driver Bob Burman 25th May 1911

Burman photographed in 1911

Burman was thirty-one at the time of his death.