The month in Motor Sport

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Mar 16: The Lola T92/50 F3000 car proves quick in testing. DAMS confirms a two-car order on the strength of Jean-Marc Gounon’s lap times at Le Mans, the first time the chassis has run in the dry.

Mar 18: Mark Kent, one of America’s leading saloon car racers, loses his life in a testing accident at Sebring.

Mar 18: Guy Edwards, motor racing’s most successful sponsor finder, joins Team Lotus as marketing director.

Mar 18: Nissan unveils its new 3.5-litre V12, destined for its sports car programmes in Japan and America. There are apparently no plans as yet to use it in F1.

Mar 18: Vauxhall announces that this year’s Formula Vauxhall Lotus champion will win an F3 engine deal for 1993.

Mar 18: Cancellation of the York National Rally offers further evidence that this particular branch of the sport is in something of a slump at present. The organisers cite a shortage of entries.

Mar 19: Italian Giuseppe Bugatti signs to contest the European F3000 Championship with Vortex Motorsport, as team-mate to Phil Andrews. The two will drive Reynard-Mugens.

Mar 20: The fledgling Andrea Moda team’s troubled Fl baptism continues. Two new S92 I tubs arrive in Mexico, but there is insufficient time to build them up before the meeting gets under way. For the second race running, pre-qualifying is axed.

Mar 20: Ayrton Senna crashes heavily during the first timed qualifying session for the Mexican GP. The world champion is trapped in his McLaren for several minutes, but subsequent diagnosis reveals that he has escaped with severe bruising. Only 27th fastest as a result, he returns to the cockpit the following day and qualifies a gutsy sixth.

Mar 20: The BMW E36 coupe gets its first public airing in BTCC trim at Silverstone.

Mar 21: Motor racing’s rumour-mill goes prematurely into overdrive. Pundits contemplate Alain Prosts options . . . for 1993. Will he replace Mansell at Williams? Or might he rejoin McLaren, with Senna leaving Ron Dennis in favour of Renault power?

Mar 21: Oulton Park hosts its first race meeting of the year. The Cheshire circuit now features a tight right-left chicane at Knickerbrook, designed to slow cars down in the wake of the fatal accidents which befell Andrew Colson and Paul Warwick last summer.

Mar 21: Alessandro Nannini returns to motor racing in the opening round of the Italian Touring Car Championship at Monza. The former F1 star qualifies his Alfa Romeo 155 GTA on the front row, but is inadvertently forced off the road when team-mate Nicola Larini spins in front of him! Nannini recovers to finish sixth, recording fastest lap. In the second heat, the following day, his chances are ruined by a jump start.

Mar 22: Williams’s domination of F1 continues in Mexico, Nigel Mansell leading team-mate Riccardo Patrese home in a second consecutive 1-2 for the Didcot team. Michael Schumacher is third, the first podium finish of his short F1 career.

Mar 22: Marcel Albers (Raft RT36) wins the opening round of the British F3 Championship at Donington Park. Kelvin Burt gives Fortec a successful start in the formula by finishing second. On the same day, Italy’s F3 series kicks off at Misano. Max Angelelli wins in his Dallara-Opel.

Mar 22: It’s a good day for the McRae family. Colin takes his Subaru to outright victory on the Vauxhall Sport Rally. Brother Alister finishes fourth overall in his Sierra Cosworth, and takes Group N honours.

Mar 22: Penske scores a 1-2 in the first lndycar race of the year at Surfer’s Paradise, Emerson Fittipaldi leading home team-mate Rick Mears.

Mar 22: Andy Wallace and Juan-Manuel Fangio II win the Sebring 12 Hours, third round of the IMSA GTP series, for Toyota. In the final race of his career, 38 year-old Derek Daly shares the second-placed Nissan with Arie Luyendyk and the Brabham brothers, Geoff and Gary.

Mar 24: Lola’s presence in the European F3000 Championship increases as Apomatox confirms an order for two cars.

Mar 25: Laurent Aiello sets the pace in the latest round of European F3000 testing at Nogaro, hotly pursued by David Coulthard.

Mar 25: Brands Hatch hosts an official test session for British F2 Championship contenders. Mark Albon laps fastest in his East Essex Racing Reynard.

Mar 26: The future of sportscar racing is further debated behind closed doors at a Heathrow hotel. Several recommendations are made. These include the gradual phasing in of a new grand touring class alongside existing Group C machinery. A final decision on whether or not there will be a World Championship this year is deferred for four days. Whatever happens, the Le Mans 24 Hours is declared to be safe, and Max Mosley opens the way for Jaguar to enter if it so wishes.

Mar 26: Further European F3000 deals fall into place. Coloni F1 refugee Pedro Chaves signs for GJ Motorsport, while British F3 graduate Steve Robertson’s place at Superpower Engineering is confirmed.

Mar 27: An intriguing rumour links Nelson Piquet with the possible purchase of Brabham. The team denies it.

Mar 27: Nissan presents its BTCC line-up. Kieth (sic) Odor and Andy Middlehurst are nominated to pilot a brace of Primera 2.0e GTs.

Mar 27: Three photographers following the Safari Rally are beaten up and robbed between Nairobi and Mombasa.

Mar 28: Martin Donnelly makes a successful return to competition, taking Vauxhall’s guest car to second place in the Vauxhall Nova Rallycross Challenge encounter at Nutts Corner.

Mar 28: Mazda shakes down its TWR-built MXR-01 Group C challenger at Silverstone. David Brabham christens the Jaguar XJRI 4 lookalike, which is powered by the MV1 engine developed in conjunction with John Judd.

Mar 28: Nelson Piquet impresses observers by lapping Indianapolis at over 223 mph at the wheel of his Menard Racing Lola-Buick.

Mar 29: Anthony Reid maintains his unbeaten record in the Japanese F3 Championship, taking his Ralt to victory at Tsukuba.

Mar 29: Bill Elliott secures his fourth straight NASCAR victory in the Transouth 500 at Darlington.

Mar 29: Jerry Larsson/Robert Jakobsson (Porsche 911) win the Charringtons RAC Historic Rally. Roger Clark (Lotus Cortina) is best of the home entrants, in third place.

Mar 29: Mia Bardolet gives the Ford Escort RS Cosworth its second rally success in two starts, on the Rally Race Mijas in southern Spain.

Mar 29: Patrick Snijers wins the Circuit des Ardennes. Of greater interest to the rallying fraternity is Bruno Thiry’s fifth place. The Belgian confirms that he’ll enter his Vauxhall Calibra on the Tour of Corsica (May 2-7), thus giving the car its world championship debut.

Mar 30: More sportscar discussions, more procrastination. Word leaks out that the SWC will go ahead. FISA refuses to admit anything.

Mar 30: Andrea Moda Formula faxes its Brazilian GP line-up to FISA. Messrs Caffi and Bertaggia are replaced by Roberto Moreno and Perry McCarthy. whose presence increases the number of Britons in F1 to four.

Apr 1: Carlos Sainz gives Toyota its first World Rally Championship success of the year on the Safari Rally, beating Juha Kankkunen’s Lancia Delta into second place. The result leaves the two drivers tied in the lead of the drivers’ championship.

Apr 1: After a couple of days’ lethargy. FISA at last confirms the news that the Sportscar World Championship will go ahead as planned, commencing on April 26 at Monza.

Apr 2: Perry McCarthy’s F1 ambitions are put on hold. Having arrived in Brazil and been subjected to standard FISA procedures a weight check and cockpit exit test he is dismayed to learn that his superlicence has been revoked, following a bureaucratic procedural error by the governing body.

Apr 2: FISA and FOCA get together to discuss changes to F1 ‘s Concorde Agreement. The subject of qualifying tyres – and whether or not they should be reintroduced – rears its head again.

Apr 2: Sportscar racing stumbles into a fresh crisis. Concern over Le Mans’ fuel regulations which will prove punitive to potential entrants such as Jaguar and Porsche leads the ACO to threaten that it will withdraw the event from the SWC calendar.

Apr 3: The presence of Andrea Moda Formula in Brazil necessitates pre-qualifying for the first time this year. Roberto Moreno manages only one timed lap in the Andrea Moda S291 but hints that the car has potential.

Apr 3: The BRM P351 Group C car runs for the first time at British Aerospace’s private test facility near Preston. Newly signed test driver Eugene O’Brien joins Harri Toivonen and Wayne Taylor at the wheel.

Apr 3: The German Touring Car Championship race scheduled for Donington Park on June 6/7 is cancelled.

Apr 4: Highly-rated Italian Andrea Montermini signs for crack Italian F3000 team II Barone Rampante.

Apr 4: AJ Foyt breaks a shoulder when he crashes during qualifying for the Valvoline 200, second round of this year’s lndycar series.

Apr 4: Colin McRae (Subaru Legacy) scores a crushing victory on the Pirelli International Rally, the second round of the Mobil I /Top Gear British Rally Championship. Brother Alister, third overall, wins Group N.

Apr 5: For the first time this year, Nigel Mansell is headed during a Grand Prix. Riccardo Patrese holds the upper hand in the Brazilian GP until the scheduled tyre stops, after which Mansell emerges in front to take his third consecutive GP victory. It is the 24th of his career, and brings his score level with Fangio’s. Patrese finishes second to give Williams yet another 1-2.

Apr 5: The British Touring Car Championship kicks off at Silverstone. John Cleland wins for Vauxhall, despite pressure from the Toyotas of Andy Rouse and Will Hoy. Rouse finishes second, while reigning champion Hoy drops to fourth, behind Jeff Allam’s Cavalier, after a half-spin. The Nissan Primera shows promise, Kieth O’dor qualifying fifth and finishing sixth. Tim Sugden takes the pretty new BMW Coupe to fifth place.

Apr 5: Gil de Ferran wins the second round of the British F3 series, at Silverstone.

Apr 5: Bobby Rahal wins the Valvoline 200 at Phoenix to take a one-point series lead in the lndycar series. Eddie Cheever scores his best result in this discipline to date, finishing second.

Apr 5: Russell Spence maintains his 100 per cent record in the Toyota Atlantic series, winning at Phoenix.

Apr 5: Franck Lagorce (Dallara-Opel) wins the opening round of the French F3 Championship at Ledenon.

Apr 5: The German national racing season kicks off. . . in Belgium. Kurt Thiim (Mercedes 190E) wins both heats of the GTCC opener, with Steve Soper picking up one fourth place and one retirement. The F3 heats are snapped up by Ralt-Opel team-mates Marco Werner and Michael Krumrn.

Apr 5: Mexican Adrian Fernandez wins the opening round of the Indy Lights series at Phoenix.

Apr 5: Bill Elliott’s run of NASCAR success comes to an end at Bristol. Alan Kulwicki wins.

Apr 5: Bernard Beguin wins the Rallye Grasse-Alpin, pipping the similar Ford Sierra Cosworth 4×4 of works driver Francois Delecour.

Apr 5: Martin Schanche wins the opening round of the European Rallycross Championship at Lydden Hill.

Apr 6: Determination unbowed, Perry McCarthy announces that he is doing everything he can to obtain an F1 super-licence in time for the Spanish GP on May 3.

Apr 7: Martin Brundle shakes down the new Benetton B192 at Silverstone.

Apr 8: British F2 teams descend upon Oulton Park. Frenchman Yvan Muller is quickest in testing, but only 0.1s covers the first four.

Apr 8: A meeting between the ACO and FISA in Paris fails to agree on the thorny topic of fuel allocation for the Le Mans 24 Hours. Concerned about a potentially thin entry, given that Jaguar and the Porsche teams will be dissuaded by crippling fuel consumption regulations, the ACO proposes a class for ‘European National Championship’ cars, such as those which appear in the primarily Teutonic Interserie, Peugeot’s 905 Spyder Cup and Britain’s new ProSport 3000 initiative.

Apr 8: Nelson Piquet tries his own team’s Ralt RT24 F3000 chassis at Spain’s new Albacete circuit . . . and damages it. The former world champion runs over a kerb and obliterates the bottom of the tub. Olivier Beretta, the car’s nominated driver, is thus unable to test.

Apr 11: Contrary to an announcement made in March, which insisted that the Welsh Rally would go ahead, the organisers of the international event confirm that a dearth of entries has enforced the event’s cancellation.

Apr 11: Following in the wheeltracks of previous Granite City Rally winners Jimmy McRae and Colin McRae, Alister of that ilk completes the family hat-trick.

Apr 12: Reynard maintains its winning habit in the Japanese F3000 series. Fuji pole-sitter Ross Cheever is knocked off at the first corner, but Paulo Carcasci comes through to save the day for the Bicester manufacturer. Lola’s new T92/50 makes its race debut, and fills the remaining top six positions.

Apr 12: The new Galmer lndycar chassis takes its first win at Long Beach. Danny Sullivan collects the spoils . . . but only after tipping team-mate Al Unser Jnr up an escape road whilst they were running 1-2. Russell Spence leads the supporting Toyota Atlantic race, but retires with clutch trouble. Mark Dismore – fully recovered from injuries he received at Indianapolis last year – takes the win.

Apr 12: Despite having to wear a special body support to protect muscles and ligaments he damaged in the previous weekend’s NASCAR race at Bristol, Davey Allison wins the First Union 400 at North Wilkesboro.

Apr 12: Scott Lakin wins the opening round of the British Formula Vauxhall Lotus series at Donington Park.

Apr 12: Didier Auriel wins the Costa Smerelda Rally.

Apr 12: Roberto Colciago wins the second round of the Italian F3 series at Enna.

Apr 13: Rumours abound that a consortium of Belgian businessman is setting up a new F1 team.

Apr 13: Four days before the series starts at Oulton Park, Brands Hatch Leisure announces that the British F2 Championship is to be sponsored by Halfords.

Apr 13: Eric Bernard signs to drive for Peugeot at Le Mans.

Apr 15: The recently revived Racing for Britain announces that it will be supporting Kelvin Burt and Warren Hughes in the British F3 Championship.

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