What's The Greatest Upset In Motor Racing History?

Illustration for article titled Whats The Greatest Upset In Motor Racing History?

Sometimes drivers break down on the last lap and sometimes a driver comes from behind to score the most unbelievable win you've ever seen. What was the greatest surprise victory in all of motorsports' history?


The master of the against-all-odds victory was the great Tazio Nuvolari, often called the greatest racing driver who ever lived, at least by incredibly enthusiastic Italians. His greatest upset story might be his victory over his arch-rival Achilles Varzi in the 1000-mile road race across Italy, the 1930 Mille Miglia. The excellent motor racing history resource 8W explains:

Legend claims that in the Mille Miglia Nuvolari switched off his lights and thus managed to close up on Varzi in the early morning and pass him just before the finish, a good story until one realizes that the cars started off at intervals and that Nuvolari had a ten minute edge on Varzi even without passing.


So, what was the (actual) greatest racing upset of all time?

(QOTD is your chance to address the day's most pressing automotive questions and to experience the opinions of the insightful insiders, practicing pundits, and gleeful gearheads that make up the Jalopnik commentariat. If you've got a suggestion for a good Question of the Day, send an email to tips at jalopnik dot com.)

Photo Credit: Museo Tazio Nuvolari

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September 8th 2004 Imola, Italy.

Privateer team Vitaphone Racing Team scores what could be the most dramatic home track upset victory in motorsports history with their Saleen S7R in the FIA GT Series. Drivers Michael Bartels and Uwe Alzen took the all American Saleen S7R Supercar to the overall victory at Ferrari’s home track Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in front of Fiat Chairman, Luca di Montemzemolo and the Italian Press against two Maserati MC12’s (thinly guised Ferrari Enzos), three Ferrari 550’s, three Ferrari 575’s and two Lamborghini Murciélago in the GT Class.

"We were no match for the Saleen today." Luca di Montemzemolo.

I'm a bit biased as I designed the beast. Phil Frank