The month in Motor Sport
17: Alfa Romeo announces that its British Touring Car Champion Gabriele Tarquini is to make his BTCC return at Oulton Park.
19: Honda BTCC racer lames Kaye gives the ‘thumbs up’ to the re-opened Croft circuit, which is shortly to host its first race meeting for 14 years.
19: Michael Schumacher tops the post-Spanish GP testing times at Barcelona.
19: Four-times Le Mans winner Henri Pescarolo tests a Courage-Chevrolet on the Bugatti circuit, and reports that he will team up with Eric Bernard and Franck Lagorce in the 24 Hours.
20: European F3000 Champion Jean-Christophe Boullion tests a Formula One Sauber at Barcelona. The Frenchman – Williams F1 test driver – is confirmed as a member of the Swiss concern’s Grand Prix line-up with immediate effect, replacing Karl Wendlinger.
20: Rally drivers appear to be going Super-touring mad! Not only is Richard Burns completing development work on Prodrive’s Alfa Romeo at Snetterton, but Francois Chatriot is lining up for a Toyota Carina test at Oulton Park.
21: There is sensation at Indianapolis as neither Penske driver Al Unser Jnr or Emerson Fittipaldi qualifies for the 500! The shellshocked team tries both Reynard and Lola chassis, but still fails to make the cut.
21: Mercedes’ Junior Team initiative pays off: Scottish youngster Dario Franchitti wins the second round of the brand new International Touring Car series at Mugello when team-mate Bernd Schneider waves him through. The German, stricken with tyre problems, wins the opening race earlier in the day and leads the championship.
21: Elsewhere in Italy, Roberto Colciago gives Opel’s Vectra its first Italian Superturismo success. Emanuele Pirro’s Audi takes its customary win in the other race at Monza. Yvan Muller is on form at Dijon, taking two sparkling French Supertourisme wins in his BMW.
21: Laurent Redon scores his first French F3 win after a slipstreaming dice with Alexandre Janoray at Dijon. In Japan, Pedro de la Rosa extends his F3 points lead with victory at Suzuka.
21: Veteran Toshio Suzuki wins the latest round of the Japanese F3000 Championship at Suzuka.
21: Jason Watt wins the round of the Formula Opel Euroseries at Mugello. The Dane blitzes the field, despite switching to Dutch outfit AR Motorsport the night before qualifying.
21: The great Hannu Mikkola bows out of his rallying career with victory on the London-Mexico Rally. Co-driven by Gunnar Palm, Mikkola (below) pulls his Ford Escort RS1600 into Acapulco 12 minutes ahead of the Datsun 240Z of Ross Dunkerton/Harry Mansson.
21: Jeff Simpson wins the inaugural National Hot Rod British Long Track title at Mallory Park’s one-mile oval.
22: Ulster talent Dino Morelli confirms that he will be out of action for at least a month, following his F3000 shunt at Barcelona.
22: Jamie Davies and the TOM’S F3 team go their separate ways.
22: FIA Vice-President Cesar Torres takes the unprecedented step (for rallying) of advocating an exclusive formula for the World Championship. The Portuguese explains that the FIA wishes to restrict four-wheel drive kit cars to the WRC.
23: By mutual consent Nigel Mansell and Marlboro McLaren-Mercedes split up, and there is intense speculation as to the future of the 1992 world champion. For the foreseeable future his place is to be taken by Mark Blundell.
23: Manufacturers vote overwhelmingly to retain the current GpA two-wheel drive formula for the 1996 British Rally Championship, thus ruling out any UK appearances by the so-called ‘kit cars’.
25: Philip Morris President Walter Thomas casts doubt over Marlboro’s continued sponsorship of motorsport with a highly critical speech at a media dinner in Monaco.
27: Japanese GP driver Taki Inoue is fortunate to escape without serious injury from a bizarre accident at Monaco. His stricken Footwork is being towed away when it is struck amidships by the Safety Car — a Renault Clio Maxi car driven very quickly by Jean Ragnotti. Inoue is knocked unconscious by the impact, but recovers sufficiently to start the race the following day.
28: Astute Benetton pit strategy helps Michael Schumacher win his second Monaco Grand Prix in succession.
28: Gianantonio Pacchioni scores his second Monaco F3 win. His Dallara-Fiat prevents a memorable Schumacher Monaco double, for Michael’s younger brother Ralf finishes second in a Dallara-Opel .
28: Jacques Villeneuve scores a fortuitous Indianapolis 500 victory in his Team Green Reynard-Ford. The young Canadian is trailing fellow countryman Scott Goodyear late in the race when the latter’s Reynard-Honda sails blithely past the pace car. Because of this he is black-flagged with seven laps to go. Goodyear Ignores this to finish first on the road but, at the end of the race, is waved past the winner’s circle. The race is marred by the severe head injuries sustained by Stan Fox when his Reynard-Ford hits the wall on the opening lap.
28: Bobby Labonte scores an inaugural Winston Cup victory when his Chevrolet heads the field in Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte.
28: Mark Skaife’s Holden Commodore wins the Shell Australian Touring Car Championship race at Eastern Creek; Alex Caffi (Opel Vectra) and Eric van de Poele (Nissan Primera) score a win apiece in the Spanish Touring Car Championship at Barcelona; Audi’s Frank Biela increases his lead of the ADAC Supertourenwagen Cup when his four-wheel drive A4 wins at the Osterreichring.
28: Piero Liatti’s Subaru Impreza 555 scores a dominant success in the Targa Florio; Pierre Lartigue wins the Atlas Rally in a Citroen ZX Rally Raid; James Leckey is victorious in the Cavan National Rally in a Subaru Legacy RS.
29: Rickard Rydell, above, (Volvo) and Alain Menu (Renault) share the BTCC wins at Oulton Park. Reigning champion Gabriele Tarquini returns to the series but finds the going tough, his Alfa Romeo finishing 11th in the first race and spinning out of the second.
29: Jeremie Dufour gives the new Ligier-Junior F3 team its first success when his Dallara-Mugen wins round six of the British series at Silverstone. Championship leader Ralph Firman Jnr finishes second.
29: French manufacturer Mygale scores its first UK victory when Duncan Vercoe takes the Formula Renault Sport honours at Oulton Park.
30: Simtek’s boss Nick Wirth announces that a chronic shortage of funds could cause his team to fold in the near-future.
1: Mario Andretti tests a Courage C34 at Paul Ricard and confirms his entry for the Le Mans 24 Hours. He will be partnered at La Sarthe by Bob Wollek and Eric Helary.
1: Bernard Occelli, the career-long co-driver of Didier Auriol, is released by Team Toyota Europe, purportedly because of a pre-Tour of Corsica fracas with a local.
1: In what was the weakest Acropolis Rally for years, Aris Vovos/Kostas Stefanis score a surprise victory in a Lancia Delta HF integrale. Seat scores maximum points in the Two-Litre World Championship when Erwin Weber/Manfred Hiemer finish third in an Ibiza GTi.
2: Simtek announces that it is to skip the Canadian Grand Prix after failing to come up with the necessary finance in time.
4: Alfa Romeo scores its first Class 1 touring car victories of the season courtesy of Christian Danner and Nicola Larini at the Helsinki ITC double-header. The all-conquering Mercedes C-Class is restricted to second and third in race two, while JJ Lehto takes the final podium position in the first with his Opel Calibra 4×4.
4: Even though, days earlier, it had failed to qualify for the Indianapolis 500, Penske Racing bounces back to lead for most of the seventh round of the IndyCar World Series at Milwaukee. However, a fairytale comeback is thwarted with 21 laps to go, when former Penske driver Paul Tracy’s Newman-Haas Lola slices in front of Al Unser Jnr and holds him off all the way to the flag.
4: Swede Tomas Abrahamsson and Mike Kidd emerge as victors of a highly-unusual Scottish Rally in a RED-built Ford Escort Cosworth. They are headed until the final morning by Malcolm Wilson, only for the British Champion to crash his Michelin Ford Escort Cosworth when he finds a gate closed across his path on a stage. Jarmo Kytolehto is second and the Formula Two victor in his Vauxhall Astra GSi, while fourth-placed Alain Oreille takes a surprise British Championship lead for Renault.
4: Kyle Petty wins his eighth NASCAR race after heading home Terry Labonte at Dover Downs.
5: Vincenzo Sospiri takes the lead in the European Championship and completes Super Nova’s hat-trick of F3000 victories with a convincing performance at Pau. The Italian’s Reynard heads home Allan McNish’s similar PSR machine by nearly three seconds at the flag.
5: Giancarlo Minardi warns that his team may quit Formula One in favour of a touring car programme if its Grand Prix fortunes fail to improve before the end of the season.
5: Ari Vatanen/Fabrizia Pons are confirmed as an official Ford Motorsport entry on the opening round of the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship the Rally of Indonesia on July 7-9 in an Escort Cosworth.
7: FIA President Max Mosley drives a BTCC Alfa Romeo at Brands Hatch. The former F2 racer completes a dozen laps in Derek Warwick’s car.
7: 1t is confirmed that the 1996 IndyCar World Series will feature a race in Brazil
8: Speculation that Indy 500 winner Jacques Villeneuve will drive in F1 for Ferrari in 1996 intensifies when his agent is espied in the F1 paddock at Montreal. Ferrari’s Jean Todt is cagey on the subject, but admits that the 24-year old may be given a test towards the end of the year.
10: A revised Osterreichring is widely tipped to return to the Formula One calendar in 1996, as is Las Vegas.
11: On his 31st birthday, Ferrari’s Jean Alesi finally ends his F1 famine when he wins the Canadian Grand Prix.
11: Tyrrell lodges a formal complaint after Mika Salo loses seventh place in Canada when a crowd invasion forces him to slow down within sight of the finish.
11: The Reynard-Ford of Robby Gordon wins round eight of the PPG IndyCar World Series in Detroit. Jacques Villeneuve’s ninth maintains his lead of the series just.
11: Heavy rain brings chaos to the BTCC races at Brands Hatch. The field tackles five starts because of three red flags, but John Cleland stays calm to score first and second places and move his Vauxhall Cavalier into the lead of the championship. Alain Menu’s Renault Laguna wins the first race and finishes third in the second, a performance which puts the Swiss driver just two points behind Cleland in the title race.
11: It’s a very busy weekend for Super-touring: Yvan Muller (BMW 318iS) increases his lead in the French Supertourisme with a win at Le Vigeant; Grant McCleery (Opel Astra) and Deon Joubert share the spoils at East London, while runaway SATCAR leader Mike Briggs has a controversial weekend, crashing his Opel out of the first race and punting a Nissan off on his way to second in the second race; Toyota Exivs dominate proceedings at Tokachi, with Tom Kristensen and Michael Krumm taking a win apiece; Audi A4s fill the first four places at Hockenheim, a win for Frank Biela stretching his lead of the ADAC Supertourenwagen Cup.
11: Terry Labonte’s Chevrolet Monte Carlo wins the NASCAR Winston Cup race at Pocono.
11: At Spa, Tommy Rustad’s Tatuus dominates the Formula Renault Eurocup race, and Donny Crevels and Jason Watt share the wins in the Formula Opel Euroseries.
11: Carlos Sainz’s participation in the Rally of New Zealand is in doubt after the Spaniard undergoes surgery to repair a shoulder damaged in a fall from a mountain bike.
11: Patrick Bernadini wins the Alsace-Voges Rally in a Ford Escort Cosworth, but the headlines are stolen by Fabien Doenlen, whose debutant Peugeot 306 Maxi finishes third and leads the Renault Clio Maxis for a time.
11: At Croft, John Haffey’s Ford Escort Cosworth wins the fifth round of the British Rallycross Championship.
12: It is revealed that Louise Aitken-Walker will contest her first rally since retiring at the end of 1992. The Scottish lady will drive a Porsche 911 in the Jim Clark Memorial Historic Rally on July 1.
13: Simtek Research and Simtek Grand Prix go into receivership.
14: The dispute between CART and the Indy Racing League sees the Indianapolis 500 left off the 1996 IndyCar World Series calendar. However, most team owners state that they will race at The Brickyard in May.
16: The Dutch Government gives the green light for a massive redevelopment of Zandvoort. It is hoped that Formula One will return to the track before the end of the century.
16: The ACO announces that it intends to pitch for the 1997 French Grand Prix to be brought to its Le Mans Bugatti circuit.
17: Swifts dominate the opening round of the Formula Ford Eurocup at Dijon, Belgian ace Bas Leinders stroking home seven seconds ahead of the field.
17: Local man John Roberts scores a shock victory on the Kerridge Rally in Wales. Co-driven by John Lewis, his Ford Sierra Cosworth 4×4 inherits a Mintex National Championship win when Murray Grierson’s leading Subaru Legacy RS blows its engine on the penultimate stage. Series leader Chris Mellors finishes seventh in his Ford Escort Cosworth.
18: McLaren F1 GTRs fill four of the first five places in the Le Mans 24 Hours. The winning car is driven by Masanori Sekiya, JJ Lehto and Yannick Dalmas. Derek Bell returns to La Sarthe and finishes third in a McLaren shared with his son, Justin, and Andy Wallace. Separating the McLarens in second place is the Courage Porsche C34 of Bob Wollek, Eric Helary and Mario Andretti.
18: Audi A4s continue to dominate the Italian Superturismo series, Emanuele Pirro the title leader and Rinaldo Capello sharing the spoils at Magione. However, after the race it is suggested that the four-wheel drive machines are wider than the Super Touring regulations allow. Elsewhere in Italy, Gianantonio Pacchioni’s Dallara-Fiat wins both F3 races at Varano.
18: Pedro de la Rosa adds to his Japanese F3 Championship lead with his fourth win from five races his Dallara-Toyota this time prevailing at Aida.
18: At Michigan, Chevrolet’s Bobby Labonte scores his second Winston Cup win of the season, the Miller Genuine Draft 400. Sixth place moves Sterling Marlin into the lead of the championship.
18: The BMW 318iS of Roberto Ravaglia/Marc Duez/Alexander Burgstaller leads the Nurburgring 24 Hours the only race that still uses the classic Nordschleife from start to finish.
18: The Donegal International Rally is won by the Subaru Impreza 555 of Bertie Fisher/Rory Kennedy.
18: Kenneth Hansen’s Citroen ZX scores its second win in the 1995 European Rallycross Championship when it beats the Ford Escort RS2000 of Martin Schanche at Brands Hatch.
19: It is confirmed that Mark Blundell’s position at McLaren will be reviewed after the British Grand Prix. Sauber driver Heinz-Harald Frentzen is being linked with the Woking concern.
19: Prodrive’s boss Dave Richards reveals that Carlos Sainz will be staying with Subaru for 1996. The Spaniard is recovering well his recent shoulder injury and should compete in New Zealand.
19: BTCC Vauxhall racer John Cleland will contest the Porsche Supercup race to be held at the British Grand Prix meeting.
19: South-East Asia’s motor racing foundation is to be strengthened in 1996 with the addition of a new junior single-seater formula – Formula Proton.