The Month in Motor Sport
Aug 20/26: Carlos Sainz and Luis Moya forfeit the Rally of 1000 Lakes after damaging their Toyota over a crest. Juha Kankkunen and Juha Piironen triumph for Lancia.
Aug 22: IMSA Championship leader Geoff Brabham suffers two fractured vertebrae, three broken ribs and abrasions after his Nissan has a puncture at 185mph at Road America, Elkhart Lake.
Aug 22: Veteran hot rodder Al Teague equals the wheel-driven land speed record during Bonneville’s annual Speed Week. His single-engined, two-wheel drive streamliner leaves its 30 year-old tyres in shreds, and his 409.986mph average, though marginally faster than the record, cannot be ratified as a new mark as it does not exceed the old by the mandatory one per cent. He plans a fresh attempt in November.
Aug 23: Bertrand Gachot’s supporters protest against his imprisonment during Belgian GP meeting.
Aug 23: Michael Schumacher makes stunning F1 debut in Belgian GP, qualifying his Jordan seventh but retiring with a damaged clutch just after the start.
Aug 24: Ayrton Senna speaks critically about Frank Williams when he learns that Nigel Mansell and Riccardo Patrese have resigned for Williams. It is believed he and Frank had agreed to discuss their mutual actions before making public announcements.
Aug 24: Emanuele Naspetti takes his Forti Reynard to his fourth successive European F3000 Championship victory at Spa, in the race supporting the Belgian GP.
Aug 25: Al Unser Jnr perks up his CART PPG challenge with a smooth victory over Emerson Fittipaldi and Michael Andretti round the streets of Denver.
Aug 25: Armin Hahne scoops the JaguarSport Intercontinental Challenge, for XJR-15 sportscars, by winning the third and final race at Spa Francorchamps. He splits the $1m prize fund with car owners Wolfgang and Ewe Eickwinkel.
Aug 26: Hideki Noda becomes the first Japanese driver since Tetsu Ikusawa to win a British F3 race, with success at Silverstone.
Aug 26: Andy Rouse and Will Hoy share the spoils at Brands Hatch during the highly successful two-race British Touring Car Championship meeting at Brands Hatch.
Aug 29/30: European F3000 Championship co-leader Alessandro Zanardi joins the Footwork team at Paul Ricard, helping Michele Alboreto and Stefan Johansson with testing both Porsche and Cosworth-powered chassis. Back in England, pre-Italian GP testing duties are handled by Perry McCarthy.
Aug 30: American drag racing star Gary Ormsby succumbs to cancer, aged 50.
Sep 1: Michael Andretti, fresh from announcing that he has temporarily put his F1 aspirations on ice, takes his Newman-Haas Lola to victory in the 13th round of the CART series around the streets of Vancouver.
Sep 1: Jimmy McRae dominates the Cumbria Rally. Second place gives Trevor Smith the Mintex National Championship lead.
Sep 1: Fredrik Ekblom wins the thrice-started eighth round of the British F3000 Championship at Donington Park, the 20 year-old giving Lola its first victory in the series after three years of Reynard domination.
Sep 1: David Coulthard’s charge for the British F3 title is maintained at Brands Hatch, the young Scot winning the 13th round of the series in front of a spectating King Hussein of Jordan a guest of the Paul Stewart Racing team for whom Coulthard drives.
Sep 2: Julian Bailey, out of a regular drive since losing his Lotus F1 seat to Johnny Herbert, is snapped up by Nissan to partner Kieth Odor in its British Touring Car Championship team.
Sep 2: Markku Alén drops a bombshell on the rallying world when he announces that he is to leave Subaru in favour of a plum drive with Toyota.
Sep 3: Gerhard Berger is granted exemption from National Service in his native Austria, on the grounds that a loose screw in a plate in his neck (broken in a road accident in 1984) renders him unfit. His F1 career is thus able to continue unimpeded.
Sep 3/6: On the eve of the Italian GP Formula 1 is embarrassed by another unseemly row. Benetton poaches Michael Schumacher from under Jordan’s nose, the latter having believed that it had him tied to a three-year contract. Roberto Moreno is unceremoniously axed by Benetton to make way for the rising German star. After protracted legal meetings, Schumacher makes his Benetton debut at Monza and his place at Jordan is taken temporarily at least by the ousted Moreno. Schumacher goes on to finish fifth, while Moreno spins out early in the race after qualifying ninth.
Sep 6: Rallying’s game of musical chairs continues as Miki Biasion announces that he has signed a three-year contract with Ford, leaving Lancia to find a replacement for the Italian star.
Sep 6: Bobby Rahal signs for Patrick Racing, the CART ace leaving a plum drive at Galles/Kraco up for grabs. That is quickly filled by Danny Sullivan . . . who is to leave Patrick to take up the offer.
Sep 8: Fredrik Ekblom makes it two in a row in the ninth round of the British F3000 series at Brands Hatch, winning a Samurai sword for his efforts. In order to overhaul the late Paul Warwick, who won the first five rounds of the championship, either Ekblom, Richard Dean or Julian Westwood must win both the remaining races. Otherwise, Warwick will become champion posthumously.
Sep 8: The British Formula Renault Championship continues to be soured by arguments between the leading protagonists. In the Cadwell Park round, series leader Jason Plato stops his car on the track when it develops an electrical fault, causing the race to be red-flagged. Plato is excluded from the restart, and Bobby Verdon-Roe goes on to win the race and assume the championship lead.
Sep 10: Reynard announces that it has shelved its plans to enter its own car in Formula One in 1992, having failed to sign an engine deal with a major manufacturer. Project designer Rory Byrne is tipped to return to his former employer Benetton.
Sep10/13: Colin McRae and Derek Ringer dominate the Manx Rally in their Subaru, the first victory on the event for the crew and a Japanese marque.
Sep 13: Leyton House chief Akira Akagi is arrested on fraud allegations in japan. The future of the F1 team, already a victim of recent staff cutbacks, is thrown into further jeopardy.
Sep 13: Bertrand Gachot, transferred from Brixton Prison to Northeye Prison in Bexhill, has a second application for bail pending appeal refused. His appeal against conviction will be heard in October.
Sep 15: In order to boost flagging Group C entries, FISA announces the FIA Cup, a seven-race European series to take place Within the framework of the 1992 Sportscar World Championship. The news is by and large well-received, although a paragraph suggesting that turbocharged cars may be allowed to compete at Le Mans in 1992 is not so popular . . .
Sep 15: On home ground at Magny-Cours, Peugeot trounces Jaguar both in qualifying and the race. Jaguar retains its points lead in the constructors’ championship after finishing third and fifth, and Teo Fabi has a 20-point lead over Derek Warwick in the drivers’ contest. Full report next month.
Sep 15: Paulo Carcasci wins the ninth round of the Japanese F3 series at Sugo, thereby clinching the title for the TOM’S-Toyota team. Briton Anthony Reid qualified on pole position, only to be thwarted at the start by a dead engine.
Sep 15: Michael Andretti eases into a narrow CART points lead with victory at Mid-Ohio, where local favourite and chief title rival Bobby Rahal comes home third.
Sep 15: The British F3 Championship hots up at Donington Park, as Rubens Barrichello wins to narrow David Coulthard’s advantage to just four points. Coulthard finishes fourth after a couple of early delays.
Sep 15: Julian Bailey makes an impressive BTCC debut for Nissan at Donington, where John Cleland takes his Vauxhall Cavalier to a narrow victory over the BMW M3s of Tim Harvey and Will Hoy. Hoy remains 20 points clear of Cleland in the title race, with two rounds to go.
Sep 16: Tommi Mäkinen, son of ’60s rallying legend Timo, is snapped up by Nissan for its 1992 World Rally Championship programme. Mäkinen has impressed with Mazda throughout 1991.
Sep 16: Eddie Jordan announces that his F1 team will use Yamaha’s V12 engine in 1992. The deal is for four seasons.