The month in Motor Sport


21: Allan McNish’s Paul Stewart Racing-run F3000 Reynard sets the fastest time in the one-day test at Monza.

22: Lola wins the contract to supply the chassis for the F3000 replacement formula in 1996. Which company will provide the engine remains a closely-guarded secret.

23: Japanese driver Hideki Noda is seen with the Pacific team at Silverstone, and is expected to drive for it at the British GP.

23: Under pressure from GM Europe, Vauxhall Dealer Sport announces that it will pull the plug on its rally programme at the conclusion of the current British Rally Championship. The money saved is to be poured into its new Vectra BTCC challenger.

23: Marc Gene’s West Surrey Racing Dallara-Mugen sets the pace in the official Oulton Park FoTA test.

23: The 24 Hours of Ypres is marred when a boy is killed and three other children are injured by an out-of-control car. Standing in a forbidden zone on the opening stage, they are hit by a Peugeot 205 Rallye.

24: McLaren test driver Jan Magnussen breaks his right leg in a ‘bike accident. Earlier he had qualified his Mercedes C-Class on the front row for the GTCC race at the Norisring. Anne Newland, the young Dane’s personal sponsor, also breaks her right leg in the incident.

24: Indycar’s first venture onto Brazilian soil is confirmed for March 17, 1996, at Rio.

24: TOCA reveals that two BTCC races will support next year’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Thus the series, to which Auto Trader has committed for another two years as the main sponsor, will be comprised of 26 races in 1996.

24: Andy Burton wins the Dukeries Rally, a round of the BTRDA Gold Star series, in his Alfa-Ferrari.

25:A1 Unser Junior wins the Portland Indycar race only for his Penske-Mercedes to be excluded because of an aerodynamic infringement. Jimmy Vasser thus inherits an inaugural CART victory. The results will remain provisional for 30 days, however, as Penske appeals against the ruling.

25: Two wins at Donington Park strengthen John Cleland’s grip on the BTCC. The Vauxhall Cavalier driver starts both races from pole position and is never headed. Remarkably, Richard Kaye takes a first and second place in the privateer category, even though the Ford Mondeo driver is suffering from a broken right leg sustained in a recent bicycle tumble.

25: Alfa Romeo and Mercedes share the GTCC spoils at the Norisring: Christian Danner wins the wet first race for the Italian manufacturer and, when the track dries, Bernd Schneider wins the second to increase his series lead. Meanwhile, BMW’s Yvan Muller cements his hold on the French Supertourisme series with two wins at Val de Vienne; second and first places for Luis Villamil at Barcelona give the Alfa Romeo driver the lead of the Spanish Touring Car Championship.

25: Ralf Schumacher, the younger brother of Michael, claims his first German F3 success with a dominant Norisring drive at the wheel of a Dallara-Opel. Andrea Boldrini’s Dallara-Fiat continues to dominate Italian F3 scene with two wins at Monza. At Val de Vienne Jesse Bouhet scores a longawaited French F3 victory. ZS: Renaud Verreydt scores a surprise win in the 24 Hours of Ypres at the wheel of a Toyota Celica Turbo 4WD. Julia Kankkunen crashes his similar car, and event specialist Patrick Snijers pulls out on the final stage in mysterious circumstances. Ford Escort Cosworth driver Patrick Bernadini scores his second French Rally Championship victory Whin a fortnight by winning the Ronde Cevenole.

25: Kenneth Hansen completes a hat-trick of European Rallycross Championship wins when his Citroen ZX prevails at Mondello Park.

25: Jaki Scheckter, nephew of Jody, wins a Barber Dodge Pro Series race at Watkins Glen, scene of his uncle’s final GP.

25: Speaking hours before the Donington Park BTCC races, representatives of Chrysler admit the company’s keen interest in the Super Touring category.

25: Stephen Price increases his lead in the EARS Motorsport/Motoring News Tarmac Series by winning the Ravens Rock Rally in his MG Metro 6R4.

26: Following the demise of Simtek, Jos Verstappen’s immediate Grand Prix future is linked with Footwork.

28: Monza’s future as a Grand Prix venue is again called into question when the FIA World Council is told by representatives of the track that the removal of hundreds of trees on safety grounds would be rendered superfluous if cone chicanes were installed a la Canadian Grand Prix. Simultaneously, F1 drivers receive a fax pleading with them not to contest the 1996 Australian Grand Prix, to be held at the controversial new track in Melbourne’s Albert Park.

30: After a long-running dispute over rights to the Mugen-Honda F1 engine amongst other things, Ligier places a court injunction against Minardi to stop the Italian privateer competing on the first day of French Grand Prix qualifying (above). The order is lifted temporarily on Friday evening, but the Faenza outfit’s cars and equipment are subsequently impounded after the race.

30: Governmental intervention ensures that the Italian Grand Prix will go ahead at Monza in September.

30: Tyrrell wins its Canadian GP appeal; the FIA declares the race to have finished one lap before the track invasion. This allows Mika Salo to keep the seventh place he ceded to Luca Badoer on the final tour.

30: The Volvos of Tim Harvey and Rickard Rydell emerge quickest from two days of BTCC testing at Knockhill. Despite the FIA’s decision to halve his BMW 318’s weight penalty, David Brabham remains near the bottom of the timesheets.

30: Renault admits that it is readying a kit car based on the Clio replacement for 1996.

30: The RACMSA confirms that the regulations for the 1996 British Rally Championship will remain unchanged, so that only Gp A or N Formula Two cars will be eligible to score points. However, the rumour mill suggests that while four-wheel drive cars may still be allowed to contest individual events, they may be put into a separate classification.


2: Michael Schumacher streaks to a fourth Grand Prix victory of the season at Magny-Cours, having moved his Benetton ahead of Damon Hill’s Williams during the first round of pit stops. Hill is unable to close the gap and finishes a disenchanted runner-up ahead of team-mate David Coulthard, leaving Schumacher with an 11-point lead in the Drivers’ Championship. After the race, he launches a stinging tirade against Hill’s driving, accusing the Briton of deliberately brake-testing him on lap 13. Martin Brundle, Jean Alesi and Rubens Barrichello are the remaining points-scorers

2: Michel Ferte and Olivier Thevenin win the Anderstorp BPR GT race in their Team Pilot Aldix Ferrari F40, beating a horde of usually dominant McLaren F1 GTRs in the process.

2: Ian McKellar stuns the Hot Rod community at Ipswich, where the 17-year-old Essex driver’s victory makes him the youngest-ever World Champion.

3: Mika Hakkinen is rumoured to be in line for a Mercedes drive at the Diepholz GTCC race. Despite approaches from Donington Park representatives, Nigel Mansell looks set to remain on the sidelines, however.

3: The FIA finalises its selection procedure for the Touring Car World Cup. As in 1994, each country hosting a major Super Touring series will be able to send five passport-holding drivers, with smaller championships allowed two representatives.

3: New service rules intended for next year’s World Rally Championship, including cutting the distance between services and abolishing of re-fuelling points, meet with universal disapproval from the teams.

3: The newly-formed Indy Racing League announces its rules for 500-mile races including the Indianapolis in 1996. In contrast to usual Indycar procedure, the top 25 IRL car-owner points-leaders will be guaranteed a place in the 33-strong grid, with the remaining berths filled by “at-large” entrants.

4: Nobuhiro Tajima’s twin-engined 800 bhp Suzuki wins the ‘Race to the Clouds’ at Pikes Peak, Cola rado.

5: In a shock announcement, Alfa Corse reveals that Gabriele Tarquini will contest the second half of the BTCC in a Prodrive 155TS, replacing Giampiero Simoni. The latter is bound for a piecemeal Class 1 programme. The marque’s Italian Superturismo campaign – from whence Tarquini comes – is to be wound up. In the meantime, the Vauxhall Cavaliers of John Cleland and James Thompson dominate pre-Grand Prix meeting tests at Silverstone.

6: Speculation links Williams to a F1 programme with BMW.

7: Michael Schumacher sets the testing pace in the run-up to the British Grand Prix, before wading in with another personal attack on Damon Hill.

7: Renault announces a provisional nine-race calendar for its new Spider Eurocup, which will replace the Clio Eurocup in 1996. Five Grand Prix supports are on the cards for the two-seater, Clio Williams-engined sports cars.

7: A Formula Two/Super Touring-style series, Euro 2000, gets the go-ahead for rallycross. Initially, it will be introduced in Holland and Belgium, but looks set to go international shortly afterwards.

8: A lacklustre Rally of Argentina contested mainly by local drivers is won by Jorge Recalde’s Top Run-tuned Lancia Delta HF Integrate. In the face of massive disinterest from manufacturers in the Two-Litre World Championship, Skoda romps home with a 1-2 finish.

9: Jacques Villeneuve extends his PPG IndyCar World Series advantage at Road America, the Team Green driver winning with ease as his rivals fall by the wayside. Paul Tracy’s Newman-Haas Lola is second, with Jimmy Vasser third.

9: Mercedes steamrollers the International Touring Car meeting at Donington, its C-Classes filling the first four places in both races. Bernd Schneider completes a brace of victories, ahead of youthful team-mate Dario Franchitti on each occasion.

9: Ralph Firman dominates the non-championship F3 support race in his Paul Stewart Racing Dallara. Gualter Salles and Warren Hughes fill the remaining podium positions.

9: Colin McRae scorches to victory at his first attempt on the Rally of Indonesia. The Mitsubishis of Kenneth Eriksson and Tommi Makinen suffer crippling front differential failures. McRae’s Subaru team-mate “Possum” Bourne is fourth, giving the Prodrive-tuned cars the edge in the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship.

10: Arrows reveals that Massimiliano Papis will make his F1 debut at the British Grand Prix, in place of the under-funded Gianni Morbidelli. Meanwhile, sports car veteran Giovanni Lavaggi is hopeful of a berth at Pacific, where team leader (and shareholder) Bertrand Gachot is prepared to stand down.

10: The dispute between Minardi and Ligier is resolved, releasing the Italian team’s cars and equipment from a court order in time for the British Grand Prix.

10: The FIA World Council approves draft rules for four-wheel drive kit cars. Both 4wd and turbocharging is permitted but crucially, neither of these need appear on a standard road car. At the same time, the governing body is also considering a proposal to make World Rally Championship registration compulsory for manufacturers contesting the burgeoning Asia-Pacific series.

11: In a top secret test at Magny-Cours, four-times World Champion Alain Prost samples a Class 1 Mercedes C-Class. Reportedly, he laps faster than its regular driver, Bernd Schneider, and is linked with the ITC race at the same circuit in October. 14

12: Rallying in the National Parks of England and Wales is saved at the last minute by a Government amendment to the Environment Bill.

13: Damon Hill reveals that he has been in discussion with Ferrari concerning a drive in 1996. Michael Schumacher, however, gives the strongest indication yet that he will stay with Benetton for another season.

13: Ford’s partnership with Cosworth is expected to produce a V10 Formula One engine for 1996.

15: A Russian-backed Formula One team reveals itself: called Partner F1, it is to be based at Val de Vienne, France. The car has been designed by an Englishman, and a V8 engine is mooted.

15: Pacific Team Lotus reveals that Giovanni Lavaggi will replace Bertrand Gachot at the German Grand Prix.

15: In spite of the Ferrari rumours, it appears that Indy 500 winner Jacques Villeneuve will stay with Team Green for 1996. He finishes third at Toronto the next day to stay in the lead of the PPG IndyCar World Series.

15: Gonzalo Rodriguez appears to score Mitsubishi’s first British F3 win: the Uruguayan’s Dallara storms through the field at Silverstone to cross the line first, but is excluded because of a damaged airbox. The win, therefore, goes to Brazil’s Gualter Salles.

16: Benetton’s Johnny Herbert scores his first Grand Prix win: he does so in front of his home crowd at Silverstone.

16: During an interview with the BBC, Nigel Mansell reveals that he has not given up hope of returning to Formula One.

16: BTCC leader John Cleland contests the Porsche Supercup race at Silverstone and finishes eighth after a couple of spins.

16: Later in the day the Scot’s Vauxhall Cavalier scores its fourth BTCC win in succession. Both Alan Menu (Renault) and Rickard Rydell (Volvo) fail to score points because of misted windscreens, and Cleland now holds a 52-point series lead.

16: Yorkshireman Guy Smith wins the Formula Renault Eurocup race at Silverstone in a Manor Motorsport-run Van Diemen

16: Michael Andretti scores his first Indycar win of the season when his Newman/Haas Lola-Ford fends off Bobby Rahal’s Lola-Mercedes at Toronto. Its his first win since the corresponding race last year.

16: Two wins for Ford’s Glenn Seton at Wanneroo sets up the Australian Touring Car Championship for a thrilling finale Seton, John Bowe and Peter Brock all possible titlists going into the finale.

16: Dale Jarrett wins the NASCAR race at Pocono, but second place gives Jeff Gordon the lead of the Winston Cup.

16: Enrico Bertone makes almost certain of the European Rally Championship when his Lancia Delta HF Integrale wins the Bohemia Rally.

16: Pete Doughty’s Ford Sierra Cosworth 4×4 wins the seventh round of the EARS Motorsport/Motoring News Tarmac Series, the Yellow Brick Road Rally. Fifth place, however, is enough to maintain Stephen Price’s championship lead.

17: Juan Manuel Fangio, the five-times World Champion, dies after a long illness.

17: The RACMSA declines to give financial support to the Jim Clark Memorial Rally’s attempts to obtain closed public roads for stages.

17: It is confirmed that Richard Burns will replace Carlos Sainz in the Prodrive Subaru team for the Rally of New Zealand. The Spaniard is still troubled by the shoulder he damaged in a mountain bike accident.