Jun 13: The Mitsubishi Classic Marathon goes down to the wire. Only in the final run over the Stelvio Pass is the result decided in Ron Gammons’ favour. The MGB driver pips Rick Bourne’s Morgan by just two seconds.
Jun 16: Julian Westwood is drafted into Van Diemen’s British F3 team, replacing Jason Plato. Van Diemen cites financial reasons; Plato tries in vain to prevent the car from running in the next round at Donington. His injunction fails.
Jun 18: Two rounds of the German Touring Car Championship take place at the old Nurburgring… on a Thursday, as part of the build-up to the 24 Hours. Klaus Ludwig wins both for Mercedes.
Jun 19: Former Lotus Cars director Fred Bushell is jailed for three years, for his part in an attempt to defraud the government of £9.5M between May 1978 and December 1982. John Z de Lorean and the late Colin Chapman are implicated as co-conspirators.
Jun 20: Richard Burns (Subaru Legacy) wins the Severn Valley Stages Rally.
Jun 21: Against general expectations, half of the meagre Le Mans 24 Hours entry is still running at the finish. Peugeot wins on home soil, thanks to Derek Warwick, Yannick Dalmas and Mark Blundell.
Jun 21: Andrea Montermini finally scores his maiden F3000 win in Barcelona. Team-mate Rubens Barrichello is second, and takes the championship lead.
Jun 21: Tim Harvey gives BMW its first BTCC win of the year at Donington. Will Hoy takes the other heat for Toyota. Gil de Ferran wins the ninth round of the British F3 series on the same programme, from Oswaldo Negri and Van Diemen newcomer Westwood.
Jun 21: Le Mans isn’t the weekend’s only centre of 24-hour race activity. Johnny Cecotto/Christian Danner/Marc Duez/Jean-Michel Martin win at a sodden Nürburgring for BMW. The annual round-the-clock Citroën 2CV enduro at Mondello Park falls to Royce Grey/Tim Grey/Graham Taylor/Paul Taylor.
Jun 21: Michael Andretti takes his first CART win of the year at Portland. Father Mario, racing for the first time since breaking a couple of toes at Indy, comes home sixth.
Jun 21: Davey Allison rules the NASCAR roost at Michigan.
Jun 21: Franck Fréon closes on Indy Lights series leader Robbie Buhl with victory at Portland.
Jun 21: Nicola Larini (Alfa Romeo 155) dominates the Italian touring car heats at Imola.
Jun 21: Bertie Fisher (Subaru Legacy) wins the Donegal Rally.
Jun 21: Formula Ford racer Gary Loebell is killed in a freak accident at Oulton Park.
Jun 22: The BRDC’s board of directors issues a special bulletin in a bid to drum up support prior to the extraordinary general meeting at which the controversial Silverstone Motor Group deal is to be discussed. The membership is still split over the possible ramifications… (for further comment, see Delirium Tremens, pages 734/735).
Jun 23: Two days after the end of Le Mans, the ACO threatens to withdraw the event from the Sportscar World Championship.
Jun 23: Audi withdraws from the GTCC after a row over crankshaft eligibility.
Jun 24: The latest meeting of FISA’s World Motor Sport Council concludes. New F1 regulations announced include the banning of carbon or composite wheels, a reduction of three inches in maximum tyre width, the introduction of a ‘safety car’, mandatory tyre stops, a minimum standard of competence from competing teams and reduced free practice allowance. A provisional F1 calendar is also announced: Japan gets two races, the Asian GP at Autopolis scheduled for April 4 1993; Mexico is dropped to make way for the new event. Sportscar World Championship changes include the adoption of classes for GT cars, Group C3 and F3000 cars with sports car bodywork, in the style of Japan’s Grand Champion category. The Council also approves a two-tier international touring car structure, class one approximating to Germany’s 2.5-litre regs, class two to the successful two-litre formula deployed in Britain. On the rallying side, cautious approval is given to the proposed ‘Formula 2’ two-wheel drive concept, which will operate as a class within the 1993 World Rally Championship.
Jun 25: Ayrton Senna rumoured to be having dinner with Frank Williams…
Jun 26: Pre-British GP tyre testing concludes at Silverstone, Nigel Mansell having set fastest time by more than two seconds. Jean Alesi escapes with whiplash after crashing his Ferrari heavily at Becketts, the impact splitting his helmet.
Jun 27: Russell Spence gets back on the winning trail in the Formula Atlantic race at Watkins Glen, the Englishman now second in the points table. The following day brings another IMSA victory for Juan-Manuel Fangio II’s Toyota.
Jun 28: Michael Andretti scores a second consecutive CART win, at Milwaukee. Adrian Fernandez wins the supporting Indy Lights event.
Jun 28: Yvan Muller wins the British F2 round at Brands Hatch, and with it takes the series lead.
Jun 28: Europe’s four principal F3 series are all in action. Oswaldo Negri wins the British Championship round at Donington, Stéphane Grégoire the French at Rouen, DC Santos the German at Norisring and Vincenzo Sospiri the Italian at Monza.
Jun 28: BMW collects the GTCC spoils at the Norisring, courtesy Joachim Winkelhock and Steve Soper.
Jun 28: Eian Pritchard (Ford Sierra Cosworth) wins the K&N Filters Rally.
Jun 29: Carlos Sainz wins the New Zealand Rally. The Spaniard denies rumours linking him with Ford for 1993.
Jun 30: At a tense meeting, BRDC members vote to try and dissolve the proposed Silverstone Motor Group deal.
Jul 1: Ted Smart, a leading light in the BRSCC, succumbs to injuries received in a car accident on the perimeter road at Donington Park.
Jul 3: Vittorio Zoboli does £46,000’s worth of damage to his F3000 Reynard at Monza when he somersaults at Lesmo. Although only shaken, he is advised to miss the next race, at Enna.
Jul 4: Christian Fittipaldi cracks his fifth lumbar vertebra when he crashes during qualifying for the French GP. The Brazilian is expected to be out of action for six weeks; Alessandro Zanardi is eventually selected from a list of several possible replacements. Franck Lagorce wins the F3 support race.
Jul 4: Richard Petty leads the Firecracker 400 in his final NASCAR appearance at Daytona. After his early burst, Petty fades and Ernie Irvan takes the spoils.
Jul 5: Despite fears that militant French lorry drivers’ efforts to blockade key roads would prevent its taking place, the French GP goes ahead. Nigel Mansell takes his 27th GP win on a wet/dry track. During the weekend, rumours that Alain Prost is set to join Williams gain strength; Riccardo Patrese is seen talking to Benetton’s Flavio Briatore… In the GM Euroseries curtain-raiser, Martijn Koene wins but is only awarded half points. Several teams fail to arrive because of the truckies’ protest.
Jul 5: Italian F3 honours go to Marcello Ventre at Mugello; Rickard Rydell wins the Japanese F3 counter at T1. Series leader Anthony Reid is second.
Jul 5: Bobby Rahal stretches his CART points lead with victory in New Hampshire. First place in the Indy Lights support race puts Adrian Fernandez ahead in that series.
Jul 5: The RAC announces radical new plans for the British Rally Championship, which will comprise five events, all of which will be confirmed at a later date. A category for homologated two-wheel drive cars will run alongside the existing Group A formula. This new ‘Formula 2’ initiative is expected to become the major class from 1993 or 1994.
Jul 5: Phil White wins his second World Hot Rod Championship at Ipswich. Up the road in Norfolk, the BMW M3 of Mike Jordan, Steve Griffin and Graham Coomes proves fittest in Snetterton’s Willhire 24 Hours.
Jul 6: Castrol is announced as a major backer of Team Lotus.
Jul 6: Silverstone issues a statement asking spectators to refrain from invading the track at the end of the forthcoming British GP…
Jul 6: F1 refugee Alex Caffi’s plans to undertake an SWC test with Mazda are rained off. The Italian hopes to race with the team at Donington later in the month.
Jul 8: The ACO draws up fresh regulations for the 1993 Le Mans 24 Hours. Their open format is designed to attract an entry of around 80 cars.
Jul 13: Rally star Colin McRae signs to race a Prodrive BMW in the BTCC round at Knockhill.
Jul 10: The nascent Sauber F1 team confirms that it will employ Karl Wendlinger in 1993, but that it will not be taking up its option on Michael Schumacher… yet.
Jul 10: Leading F3000 team Pacific Racing confirms that a wind-tunnel model of its proposed F1 car already exists.
Jul 11: Rain washes out second qualifying at Silverstone, guaranteeing Damon Hill – 26th fastest on Friday – his first GP start. Warren Hughes wins the F3 race, after a mighty drive from ninth on the grid. Kelvin Burt makes it a British 1-2.
Jul 11: In a bid to change the shape of British motor racing, TOCA announces that it is to organise professionally packaged race programmes from 1993. The BTCC will head high quality support races wherever it goes, with support from Vauxhall, Ford and Renault, all of whose manufacturer-backed series will feature strongly.
Jul 12: Nigel Mansell takes his 28th GP victory, predictably dominating his home race from pole position as Williams notches up another 1-2. (That gives him one win per 6.21 GP starts, overhauling Tony Brooks’ statistical achievement.) Martin Brundle completes a good day for the UK by taking his second consecutive third place. The crowd then spoils it all by invading the track to welcome Mansell… while the rest are still travelling at racing speed. Mansell hits one spectator, but nobody is hurt. FISA promises an investigation. Gareth Rees wins the GM Euroseries curtain-raiser; Jeff Allam takes a long overdue BTCC win in the final race of the weekend.
Jul 12: Luca Badoer wins the fourth round of the European F3000 Championship, at Enna. The circuit administration is shambolic; series leader Rubens Barrichello is lucky to escape injury when he spins off and hits a truck that is parked in front of the guardrail. After the race, three points cover five drivers in the closely-contested series. (Full championship update next month.)
Jul 12: Johnny Cecotto takes German touring car honours at Brno; Pedro Lamy does likewise in F3.
Jul 13: FISA confirms cancellation of the scheduled Mexico City SWC event.
Jul 15: It is announced that a film is to be made in celebration of the lives of Mike Hawthorn and Peter Collins. The all-British production will be called, not surprisingly, Mon Ami Mate. The director will be Tony Maylam, who was responsible for the BBC’s acclaimed Donald Campbell documentary Across the Lake.
Continental Notes, September 1968
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