The month in Motor Sport

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108

January
17: Al Unser Jnr escapes with a shaking after crashing his Penske heavily during testing at Phoenix.

18: Franck Lagorce, one of the European F3000 Championship favourites, signs for Apomatox.

20: Ayrton Senna laps quickly at Estoril during his first run for Williams. Eddie Irvine, whose position at Jordan has just been confirmed, is second quickest, half a second shy of the Brazilian.

20: Mark Blundell (below) has his first run for Tyrrell, at Silverstone.

20: The Mini Cooper destined for Timo Mäkinen’s use on the Monte-Carlo Rally is stolen from outside a house in Hinckley. A replacement is built up in the next 48 hours. The remains of the original are later found in Nuneaton.

21: JJ Lehto’s first test as an official Benetton driver ends abruptly when the Finn has a huge accident at Silverstone. Lehto (right) suffers vertebral damage which requires specialist surgery, but the prognosis is that he will be fit in time for the start of the F1 season.

21: The FIA publishes its latest F1 entry list: Ligier nominates Eric Bernard as one of its two drivers, Pacific lists Paul Belmondo as Bertrand Gachot’s team-mate and Jean-Marc Gounon is pencilled in alongside David Brabham at Simtek.

22: The father and son team of Wilson and Christian Fittipaldi take their Porsche 911 to victory in a 1,000-mile race at Interlagos.

24: Alfa Romeo announces that Giampiero Simoni will partner Gabriele Tarquini in its BTCC team.

24: It emerges that fuel samples taken from the Jolly Club Lancia Delta of Carlos Sainz on the Sanremo and Cataluña Rallies has been found to be illegal. The FIA delays announcing any punishment.

24: Rover’s efforts to rush-prepare Timo Mäkinen’s Mini turn out to be fruitless. The Finn retires on the second stage of the Monte, with a blocked fuel injector.

25: Fabrizio de Simone signs to contest the European F3000 series with Mythos.

25: Allan McNish tests the new Lola F3000 chassis at Donington.

25: Local councillors approve, in principle, the return of motor racing to Goodwood. As revealed exclusively in Motor Sport last April, the plan would be to run a handful of historic meetings each year.

27: François Delecour gives Ford (right) its first Monte-Carlo Rally victory for 41 years. Colin McRae, contesting the event for the first time, fights back to finish in the top 10 after an early off had dropped him almost to the tail of the field.

28: McLaren (bottom) launches its first Peugeot-powered F1 chassis, the MP4/9. There is still no news on Mika Hakkinen’s team-mate; Ron Dennis remains hopeful that he will be able to tempt Alain Prost out of retirement.

31: Reliable sources indicate that Audi will enter into partnership with Cosworth in 1995, to supply motive power to the Benetton F1 team.

31: Peugeot confirms that its works 405s will be driven by Patrick Watts and Eugene O’Brien in the BTCC.

31: Leading F3000 team Forti Corse tests the new Lola at Misano.

February
1: Mika Hakkinen’s first run in the McLaren MP4/9 is aborted because of atrocious weather at Silverstone. The Finn spins on his first lap out of the pits,

1: Lola and Reynard test their new IndyCars at the same venue for the first time. Nigel Mansell sets the quickest time at Laguna Seca, but Reynard counters that he was running softer tyres than Michael Andretti . . .

2: Ferrari launches its new F1 challenger, the John Barnard-penned 412 T1. Meanwhile, a war of words commences as Ferrari claims that fly-by-wire throttles of the type used by McLaren, Benetton and Williams contravene the regulations; Williams’ Patrick Head counters that the same goes for Ferrari’s new front suspension mountings

2: Volvo keeps everyone guessing when it launches its 850 BTCC racer in Stockholm. Both estate and saloon versions are displayed (see page 272). TWR, which will run the cars, confirms that Jan Lammers and Rickard Rydell will drive them.

3: News breaks that a race meeting is scheduled at a new airfield circuit, Jurby, on the Isle of Man. July 31 is pencilled in.

4: Minardi confirms that its new F1 line-up will see Michele Alboreto partnering Pier-Luigi Martini.

5: Roger Duckworth/Mark Broomfield (Ford Sierra XR4x4) win the Wyedean Stages Rally.

6: The Nissan 300ZX of Scott Pruett, Paul Gentilozzi, Butch Leitzinger and Steve Millen triumphs in the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona.

6: Thomas Rådström (Toyota Celica GT4) wins the poorly supported Swedish Rally, first round of the FIA 2-Litre World Cup. First 2wd runner home is Per Svan’s Opel Astra, in seventh place overall.

6: Kenny McKinstry/Robbie Philpott (Subaru Legacy) win the Galway Rally.

6: Local racer J Anand is crowned champion in India’s F3 mini-series, after visitors Steve Robertson and Jamie Spence collide in each of the final two races in Madras.

7: Middlebridge, a leading light in F3000 back in 1990, announces that it is to return to the category. Formula Project, however, postpones its intended entry to the series, preferring to concentrate on an intensive motor racing programme in the USA.

7: Florida businessman Charles Slater buys IMSA; Brands Hatch Leisure had expressed an interest in acquiring the American race organising body.

8: Alain Prost has a seat fitting at McLaren, prior to testing the new Peugeot-engined chassis at Estoril.

8: Jean Alesi tries the Ferrari 412 for the first time, at Fiorano.

8: The Simtek S941 has its first serious test run, at Silverstone. David Brabham laps a couple of seconds slower than Eddie Irvine’s Jordan.

9: Lola confirms its return to the European F3000 series, as Nordic Racing orders a brace of T94/50s.

9: In the wake of controversial incidents on the Monte-Carlo Rally, the FIA says that it will expunge from the World Championship any event which doesn’t meet international safety standards.

9: The Jolly Club gets a rap on the knuckles for running illegal fuel in its Lancia Delta Integrales during two rounds of the 1992 World Rally Championship. Carlos Sainz loses his second place from Sanremo.

10: Michael Schumacher emerges fastest from F1 testing at Barcelona, in the new Benetton. In Estoril, Heinz-Harald Frentzen is quickest for Sauber.

10: Following the collapse of a possible joint venture with Renault, Reynard announces that it won’t be involved in F3 for the first time since entering the category in 1985.

11: NASCAR veteran Neil Bonnett is killed in a testing accident at Daytona. Bonnett, 47, had been intending to make a comeback to the sport this season.

11: Popular rumour suggests that David Leslie, who had been expected to race in the Japanese touring car series, will instead race a Mazda Xedos in the BTCC.

14: NASCAR suffers its second fatality in four days when Rodney Orr succumbs to injuries sustained whilst practising for the Daytona 500.

14: The FIA issues an official European Formula 3000 entry list, containing 35 cars.

14: British F3 is taking shape. West Surrey Racing is tipped to be running a brace of Dallara-Renaults (alongside a pair of Dallara-Mugens); Christian Homer and Jeremie Dufour sign for Fortec; Scott Lakin will run with Intersport.

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