The month in MOTOR SPORT

APRIL

Mercedes-Benz confirms that it will supply engines via Ilmor to Penske for the Indianapolis 500.

Successful Formula Ford racer Roger Eccleston dies after a lengthy illness. Eccleston was particularly well-known for his exploits with a Crossle 25F in the Midlands and the North-West.

Michael Schumacher takes a second straight F1 win in the Pacific GP at TI. Pole-winner Ayrton Senna retires in a first corner accident. Ferrari is accused of having run a traction control device during a practice session; the Italians prefer to call it an engine modulation system. The FIA subsequently bans such systems; Ferrari escapes retribution. Meanwhile, rumours are rife that the relationship between Williams and Renault is becoming strained.

Al Unser Jnr wins the Long Beach IndyCar race; Steve Robertson wins the supporting FIL event.

The Brands Hatch BTCC meeting is a two-patter: Gabriele Tarquini wins both.

Kenneth Hansen wins the opening round of the European Rallycross series in Austria.

Terry Labonte takes NASCAR honours at North Wilkesboro. Elsewhere in the USA, Ferrari's 333SP wins its maiden IMSA race, in lay Cochran's hands at Road Atlanta. In Europe, lean-Philippe Belloc wins Ledenon's French F3 round, while Stefano Modena (Alfa) and Emanuele Pirro (Audi) share ITCC victories at Vallelunga.

Derek Bell is signed to share a Gulf Porsche K8 in the Le Mans 24 Hours. He will partner Robin Donovan and Jurgen Liassig.

As the row about BTCC wings continues, Ford tests its Mondeo with an unsubtle boot spoiler at Snetterton (right).

Oliver Gavin's apparently crumbling F3000 aspirations are rescued by a late deal with Omegaland. Allan McNish, however, won't be running at the start of the season, as Middlebridge has been unable to get ready in time.

Brands Hatch stages Britain's first F3 double-header. Ian Magnussen and Vincent Radermecker take a win apiece. There is talk of an F3 'Money Race' at Donington in the summer.

Malcolm Wilson and Stephen Finlay head a Ford 1-2 on the Pirelli International rally. Bruno Arntsen's Astra wins the F2 class.

Dennis Biggerstaff completes a successful weekend, adding victory at Mondeii Park to his British Rallycross Championshi success at Nutts Corner the previous day.

Anthony Reid (Vauxhall) triumphs in the opening two rounds of the Japanese Tourin Car Championship at Autopolis. Alessandr Nannini (Alfa) and Kurt Thiim IMercede are the DIM winners at Hockenhei Alexander Wurz wins both supporting F rounds. In the Italian F3 series, Giancarl Fisichella scores a similar double at Varan Further east. Michael Krumm moves int the Japanese F3 series lead after winning a Tsukuba.

Rusty Wallace wins the Maninsvill NASCAR round. Ernie Irvan is second, and heads the points table.

Jordan signs up Andrea de Cesaris for the next two Grands Prix; JJ Lehto is pronounced fit to return to racing.

News breaks of plans for a new airfield circuit in the north of Scotland, close to Peterhead.

Ford says that Franco Cunico will replace the injured Francois Delecour on the Tour of Corsica.

Rallying is preparing for the eventual ban on four-wheel drive. It could be outlawed from the World Championship by 1998, and from the European Championship as early as 1996.

A meeting takes place at the Luton HQ of the Ven son Group, in a bid to resuscitate the British F2 Championship, the start of which has now been further delayed.

Formula One racing suffers its first fatality at a race meeting since the 1982 Canadian GP. During final qualifying for the San Marino GP at Imola, Roland Ratzenberger's Sirntek {below) flies off the circuit at the Villeneuve kink. The popular Austrian suffers massive head and neck injuries, and is pronounced dead a few minutes after his arrival at a Bologna hospital. It comes as a massive shock to a Formula One paddock that had heaved a sigh of relief when Rubens Banichello escaped with superficial injuries from a huge accident at the Variante Bassa the previous day.

MAY

The Formula One world, still numbed by the death of Roland Ratzenberger, is further traumatised by Ayrton Senna's fatal accident early in the San Marino Grand Prix. Leading the race shortly after the safety car (introduced after a startline accident which sprayed spectators with debris, itjuring several) had pulled off, Senna's Williams (shown above right) fails to negotiate Tamburello and slams into the concrete retaining wall. An autopsy later discloses that Brazil's thrice world champion died as a consequence of shrapnel from his disintegrating suspension piercing his crash helmet and inflicting head wounds. Michael Schumacher takes a joyless victory; Brazil declares three days of official mourning. To complete motor racing's black weekend, four mechanics are hurt (thankfully without serious consequences) when Michele Alboreto's Minardi sheds a wheel in the pit lane.

Dale Earnhardt wins the Talladega 500.

Laurent Aiello (Peugeot) wins the French touring car round at Magny-Cours. Frank Biela does likewise for Audi in Germany's new two-litre equivalent, at Avus.

The Venturi of Michel Ferte./Michei Neugarten wins the BPRO GT event at Dijon.

Despite FIA instructions to reduce the height of its rear wing, Alfa Romeo takes a fourth straight BTCC win at Snetterton. The I 55's front splitter continues to cause controversy, however. Gabriele Tarquini stretches his championship lead even further.

Franck Lagorce wins the opening round of the European F3000 series at Silverstone. David Coulthard and Gil de Ferran chase the Frenchman all the way. Jan Magnussen wins the twin F3 races which head the support programme.

Malcolm Wilson will deputise for Francois Delecour on the Acropolis Rally. The Cumbrian had also impressed Ford when he tried a BTCC Mondeo in the week leading up to the Snetterton round.

Pacific's truck catches fire on its way back from Imola; the cars are salvaged, and the team says it will be in Monaco.

Brazil comes to a standstill as Ayrton Senna's funeral takes place in Sao Paolo.

An emergency meeting at the FIA produces measures designed to slow speeds in the pit lane at future Fl races. Regulation changes will have to wait a few days longer.

Roland Ratzenberger's funeral takes place near Salzburg.

Ian Magnussen takes yet another F3 victory, at Brands Hatch. He leads the championship by over 60 points.

Didier Auriol wins the Tour of Corsica, his first WRC success in over a year.

There is a healthy turnout for the Le Mans test weekend, Lionel Robert's Courage is fastest; the Dauer 962, a thinly disguised Group C car, is fastest 'CT'. Wings continue to sprout in the BTCC.

BMW introduces its interpretation of the touring car rules, at Magione, but Emanuele Pirro (Audi) wins both races. In the DTM, where wings are part of everyday life, Klaus Ludwig IMercedes) and Nicola Larini (Alfa) take a victory apiece. Alessandro Nannini remains clear series leader, despite spinning.

Marco Apicella's Dome wins the third round of the lapanese F3000 series. at Mine, The Italian now leads the series, from Andrew Gilbert-Scott and Ross Cheever. Gilbert-Scott finishes second on this occasion.

Kenneth Hansen takes his Citroen ZX to another ERC win, in Portugal.

Tetsu lkuzawa, formerly a successful racer in his own right, announces his intention to set up an F1 team by 1995.

Williams says it will run only one car in Monaco; Simtek will do likewise.

Kelvin Burt has a brief run in a Jordan 194; the team stresses that Rubens Barrichello will be fit for Monaco, however.

The RACMSA decides to revive the Tourist Trophy; it will be presented to the winner of the FIA Touring Car Cup race at Donington in October. *World Championship rallying could face a radical new points-scoring system. It is possible that manufacturers will have to enter five cars per event, and that all will be eligible for points. Elsewhere, twice world champion Carlos Sainz is outspoken about the proposal to ban four-wheel drive; F2-spec rally cars would, he suggests, diminish the sport's appeal.

F3000 racer Paolo delle Piane escapes with concussion after a frightening testing accident at Pembrey. His Reynard loses all four corners, its gearbox and has its steering rack and column pulled away after hitting the end of the pit lane guardrail.

Formula One's hopes of a quiet weekend in Monte-Carlo are shattered when Karl Wendlinger crashes heavily at the chicane during the first free practice session. The unconscious Austrian is transferred to hospital in Nice, where he remains in a medically-controlled coma throughout the weekend. Sauber withdraws from the event as a result. Doctors begin to ease Karl out of the coma a few days later.

F1 drivers opt to reform the GPDA, and will consult the FIA on safety issues henceforth.

Bypassing the Concorde Agreement, Max Mosley announces that the FIA is implementing Fl rule changes with immediate effect. Rear diffusers and wings must be revised by the Spanish GP; Mosley predicts a reduction in downforce of around 15 per cent. Beyond that, improved lateral protection must be in place by the Canadian GP. Minimum weight limits are to be increased by 25 kg accordingly. In a bid to curb power outputs Ithe FIA has a long-term aim of around 600 bhp), standard pump fuel is to be mandatory. Step-bottom chassis, originally due to be introduced next year, will be in use by the German GP in July. Further reductions in downforce are then planned for 1995. Following Mosley's bombshell, team principals meet to formulate counter-proposals.

Paul Tracy spends the night in hospital after a big accident during practice at Indianapolis. He is running at the track again two days later . . .

Benetton's Flavio Briatore finally confirms that his team has bought Ligier. There is immediate speculation that Benetton test driver los Verstappen will replace Eric Bernard for the balance of the season.

Giancarlo Fisichella wins the Monaco Formula Three Grand Prix.

Al Unser Jnr grabs pole position for the Indy 500. Lyn St lames is an impressive sixth, one place ahead of Nigel Mansell.

Pete Doughty/lerry Freeman win the Manx National Rally.

Michael Schumacher has an untroubled run to victory in the Monaco GP. Martin Brundle is a jubilant second for McLaren: Jean Alesi finishes fifth on his return after injury. It is a relief to everyone that the race is completed without major incident.

Alfa is finally beaten in the BTCC. Gabriele Tarquini wins race one at Silverstone, but MOTOR SPORT columnist Paul Radisich gives Ford Its first success of the season in race two. In the BTCC, Tom Kristensen (Toyota) and Steve Soper (BMW) take a win each at Sugo.

Ernie Irvan dominates the Sears Point NASCAR race.

Toyota and Subaru make it quite clear that they are totally opposed to banning 4wd from World Championship rallying.

Al Unser Snr announces that he is to retire from race driving.