As the Formula One Singapore Grand Prix and the American round of the World Endurance Championship are preparing themselves for this weekend, let's stop for a minute and commemorate the person who kicked both in gear and would be 141 years old today.

F1 and WEC come off from the very same shoot. The 1906 French Grand Prix at Le Mans that started both was nothing but a straight-cut endurance race originally (or rather a rally by contemporary definition). As more and more countries joined in, the races got shorter and shorter and the original organisers of the French Grand Prix felt the emphasis moved from the cars to the drivers too much (rings a bell?) and went back to square one, creating the 24 Hours of Le Mans, spawning the World Sportscar Championship alongside the Formula One World Championship in later decades.

Here's the story of the man and the race that started it all while you prepare yourself to set an eye either on Singapore or Texas.

Happy Birthday, Ferenc!