17: With no opportunity to pursue his F1 career, Olivier Grouillard announces plans to set up his own IndyCar team. The Frenchman plans to start the season in round three, at Long Beach, driving a ’92 Lola run by Sal Incandela.
18: Nigel Mansell laps Phoenix International Raceway at sub-record speeds. The previous day, 1992 Indy 500 winner Al Unser Jnr had escaped with a slightly dislocated shoulder after a high-speed accident at the venue. His Galles Lola fared rather worse.
18: A ruling by Leicestershire County Council on ”noise pollution” threatens one of Donington Park’s two Grands Prix. Initial speculation that the motorcycle GP will be axed is dismissed by the circuit, and the matter is eventually settled. That and the European F1 GP, on April 11, will both go ahead.
18: The competition version of the Jaguar XJ220, the XJ220C, runs for the first time at Silverstone. David Leslie completes 40 trouble-free laps. Works versions of the car will race at Le Mans in June, though Jaguar will not be taking along any of its trusty XJR-12s, thus rendering outright victory highly improbable.
18: Ecurie Ecosse announces plans to build a sports car to comply with the 1994 IMSA regulations.
19: F1 testing concludes at Estoril, Damon Hill setting the fastest time for Williams.
19: Mika Hakkinen and Michael Andretti have made progress with the new McLaren-Ford, but thus far there has been no sign of Ayrton Senna testing it. The Brazilian has, however, had a seat fitting. . .
19: Andy Rouse unveils the new Ford Mondeo touring car contender.
20: Ferruccio Lamborghini, founder of the car company, dies aged 76.
20: Polish rally champion Marian Bublewicz succumbs to injuries sustained when his Sierra Cosworth hits a tree on the Silesian Winter Rally.
20: Ron Gammons secures his second Monte-Carlo Challenge in three years. Gammons’ MGA, co-driven by Paul Easter, overhauls the similar car of John and Sharon Halfpenny, which wrong-slots on the final section. Sir David Steel, former head of the Liberal Party, won the post-1962 division in his Anglia. Although not eligible for an award in the main event, Steel’s efforts would have put him fifth overall.
20: In a ‘balloon debate’ at Beaulieu, Tazio Nuvolari is voted as the greatest driver in the history of the sport. Nuvolari’s case was eloquently put forward by Alain de Cadenet.
21: Jeff Andretti returns to the cockpit for the first time since his horrendous accident in last year’s Indy 500. Driving a Spice Chevrolet in the Miami IMSA round, Andretti finds himself struggling. A broken clutch puts him out after 14 laps. Dan Gurney’s Toyota-Eagles continue to dominate the series, Juan-Manuel Fangio II heading team-mate PJ Jones across the line in another 1-2.
22: Ambitious young Briton Mark Albon confirms that he will contest the European F3000 series in a year-old Reynard, suitably updated.
22: Bobby Verdon-Roe fills another gap in the BTCC field, the former Ecurie Ecosse Vauxhall driver signing as James Kaye’s partner in the Park Lane Toyota team.
22: Lyn St James signs to drive a Simon Racing Lola in the CART/PPG World Series. She is the first woman ever to commit to a full IndyCar programme.
22: Thruxton announces that it will celebrate its 25th anniversary with a special Silver Jubilee meeting on June 26/27. The Jochen Rindt Memorial Trophy, last awarded to F3000 race winner Emanuele Pirro in 1985, is to be revived, and will be presented, appropriately, to the winner of an event for historic F2 cars.
22: Toyota Team Europe is summoned to appear before the FISA World Council on March 18, to explain the illegal servicing incident which led to Didier Auriol’s exclusion from the Swedish Rally.
22: There are worries over the entry for the Vauxhall Rally of Wales. With a week to go before the closing date, only 25 cars have subscribed.
24: Lotus launches its 107B during a reception at London’s Claridges Hotel.
24: Despite his awkward return to racing in the IMSA event at Miami, Jeff Andretti hops into a single-seater for the first time since his 1992 Indianapolis shunt . . . and laps Texas World Speedway at 234.5 mph, an unofficial track record. Andretti is at the wheel of the King Lola he intends to race in this year’s Indy 500.
24: Briton Richard Dean accepts the offer of a works-supported Reynard F3 drive in Japan.
25: At a press conference in Paris, FISA confirms that the French GP will definitely take place at Magny-Cours on July 4. The occasion also serves as a platform for FISA president Max Mosley, his predecessor Jean-Marie Balestre and vice-president Bernie Ecclestone to discuss impending F1 regulation changes with the world’s media. Concluding his speech on the need to cutback on technology in F1 and increase driver responsibility, Mosley asserts: “It’s not Nintendo, it’s the Formula One World Championship.” Ecclestone also discusses the thorny issue of TV coverage in the World Rally Championship. The governing body’s filming policy may have to be changed, due to lack of response from terrestrial TV companies.
25: Goodwood House announces that it is to re-open its hillclimb course, 57 years after it was last used (see page 318 for full story).
26: Mazda shows off its new Xedos 6 racing saloon, which Patrick Watts will drive in this year’s BTCC. The Xedos, finished in a distinctive two-tone mauve and yellow colour scheme, replaces the 323F, a project which the factory has passed on to Asquith Autosport, who will run the car for BTCC debutant Ian Cantwell.
26: Peugeot signs Thierry Boutsen for its Le Mans programme. Although the Belgian is looking for a drive in CART, the Sarthe endurance classic is his only confirmed drive of the year at this point.
26: Formula Renault graduate Christian Horner signs for P1 Lotus, to contest class B of the British F3 series.
27: Bette Hill presents Scott Lakin with the Graham Hill Trophy, awarded to the most promising young British driver competing with limited resources. Lakin is expected to race in F3 this year.
28: Unfazed by his huge accident in the Daytona 500, Rusty Wallace bounces back to win NASCAR’s Goodwrench 500 at Rockingham.
1: Benetton officially unveils its 1993 line-up and the B193A chassis in Treviso. Joining race drivers Riccardo Patrese and Michael Schumacher will be a test team comprising Allan McNish, Andrea Montermini and Paul Belmondo. The team also confirms that is aligning with Elf rather than Mobil in 1993.
1: TOCA issues a list of confirmed BTCC registrations, numbering 28. Notable by its absence is the Prodrive team, which is expected to run Mercedes-Benz 190s from mid-season.
1: European Vauxhall Lotus champion Gareth Rees signs for a season of British F3 with Fortec Motorsport. Spaniard Pedro Martinez de la Rosa is expected to join the fray too, with West Surrey Racing.
1: It is announced that the Marmon name will return to Indianapolis this year. The first Indy 500, in 1911, was won by Ray Harroun’s Marmon Wasp, a sobriquet which will be applied to Eric Bachelart’s Marmon backed Coyne Lola.
2: Vortex Motorsport recruits Italian pair Paolo delle Piane and Massimiliano Papis for its European F3000 programme.
4: The BMS Lola-Ferrari team announces backing from Chesterfield cigarettes.
6: Francois Delecour wins the Portuguese Rally for Ford. It is the manufacturer’s first WRC success for five years, and Delecour’s first-ever outright rally victory.
6: Barry Webb (Mallock) is the first winner of the 1993 British motor racing season, triumphing in the Sports 1600 race at Silverstone.
7: China stages its first ever race meeting, at Zhuhai. Plans are afoot for the venue to stage a Grand Prix at some stage in the future.
8: In a short statement, McLaren casually announces that Ayrton Senna and Michael Andretti will drive MP4/8s in the South African GP. Whether or not Senna will complete the season is unclear; if he does, popular rumour hints that McLaren might run three cars at certain events. For the moment, it is conceivable that Mika Hakkinen has left a racing seat at Lotus for a testing role with the Woking team. Senna is partly swayed by the pace of the MP4/8 during Silverstone testing. The previous Friday, the Brazilian had posted the fastest lap of the winter…
8: Testing the new Footwork FA14 at Silverstone, Derek Warwick is pitched into a spectacular somersault following a suspected suspension breakage. Although momentarily dazed, the Englishman is otherwise unharmed.
8: His European F3000 aspirations thwarted, former British F3 regular Oswaldo Negri signs to contest the Indy Lights series with Brian Stewart Racing.
8: Following the withdrawal of Lombard, the RAC Rally picks up a new sponsor in the form of Network Q, a second-hand car retail business owned by Vauxhall.
8: The Paris-Dakar Rally is extended. Plans are announced to run the 1994 event from Paris to Dakar. . and back again.
9: March turns up at Kyalami, but having failed to finance a supply of Ilmor engines the Bicester team is swiftly on its way home again. All the same, March expresses hope that it will make it to the Brazilian GP.
10: At a lunch in London, the BRDC’s board of directors announces that a feasibility study has been conducted into the settingup of a high-speed oval at Silverstone, using parts of the existing infrastructure. If the circuit is built, it won’t necessarily be to attract IndyCars, but would serve to add diversity to the BTCC and other national series.
11: Ron Dennis confirms that McLaren would run three cars “at some Grands Prix” if the number of F1 entries dropped below 25 . . .
11: Alfa Romeo announces that Roberto Moreno, Philippe Gache and, when he’s available, Jean Alesi will drive 155s in France’s Supertourisme series.
13: To the irritation of other hopefuls, Williams lands team backing from computer giant Sega.
13: At his pole position press conference in Kyalami, Alain Prost says he will retire from the sport if FISA decides to suspend him in the wake of remarks he is alleged to have made to a French magazine. Prost’s case was due to be heard at FISA’s World Council meeting on March 18, after MOTOR SPORT had gone to press.
13: F1 teams vote to change the F1 qualifying regulations, introduced at Kyalami, in time for the next race. Free practice will be stretched back from 60 minutes to 90, and qualifying from 45 to 60, but drivers will be permitted a limited number of laps. The move is designed to allow teams more time to effect necessary changes, given that spare cars are now outlawed.
14: Alain Prost scores his first GP win since Jerez 1990. After shadowing Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher for a while, the Frenchman sails through to take the 45th win of his GP career. Team-mate Damon Hill fares less well. Having thrust into second place at the start, Hill spins out, rejoining in the thick of a midfield battle from which he is eventually removed by a punt from Alessandro Zanardi. British joy is rekindled, however, by Mark Blundell, who finishes an excellent third for Ligier, to join Prost and Senna on the podium.
14: John Price wins the West Cork Rally, second round of the Demon Tweeks/ Motoring News Tarmac Rally Series.
15: British F3 champion Gil de Ferran graduates to European F3000 with Paul Stewart Racing, the team which guided the Brazilian to the F3 crown. PSR also finalises its F3 line-up. Kelvin Burt will be partnered by reigning class B champion Paul Evans, whose career was profiled in February’s MOTOR SPORT,
15: Indy 500 organiser USAC announces engine regulations which differ to those recently disclosed by CART. USAC’s ideas will allow engine suppliers to limit the availability of their motors until such a time as they are adjudged to be “race-proven” in accordance with new criteria. CART has previously insisted that any new engine supplier must be prepared to service a minimum number of teams from day one, to the chagrin of Honda and others.
15: Mercedes-Benz confirms that it is building a two-litre touring car, based on the W202 model. It will not, however, identify the team most likely to run a car in the BTCC.
15: It is confirmed that the Moosehead Grand Prix, a street race in Nova Scotia, Canada on July 11, will be a non-championship event for British F2 runners.
15: Toyota Team Europe recruits Francois Chatriot for the Tour of Corsica.
15: Ari Vatanen is tipped to be fit to resume WRC driving duties on the Acropolis Rally, at the end of May.
16: All fuel samples taken by FISA during the Portuguese Rally are declared legal.
17: Spaniard Pedro Martinez de la Rosa, British Formula Renault champion, is confirmed as a member of West Surrey Racing’s crack F3 team.