On This Day: 12 April

There may be no live premier motorsport on this day in 2020 but on Sunday 12 April’s gone by there has been.

1992 500cc Australian Grand Prix

The Australian Grand Prix at Eastern Creek was the second round of the 1992 season.

Mick Doohan went into the race leading the championship after taking victory at the season opener in Japan ahead of the two Suzuki’s of Doug Chandler and Kevin Schwantz.

Reigning 500cc champion Wayne Rainey (pictured below) had failed to finish in Japan while Honda’s Wayne Gardner was forced to miss his home race at Eastern Creek after breaking his leg in the opening round of the season. Countryman Daryl Beattie was drafted in to replace Gardner for the race in Australia.

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It was a dry race for the second round of the championship compared to the wet conditions that opened the 1992 season. John Kocinski on the Yamaha did not start the race due to a crash in practice.

Doohan had managed to qualify on pole position but it was Rainey who took the lead in the opening laps from Doohan and then Schwantz with Beattie in fourth.

Beattie managed to get past Schwantz and was able to initially keep the leading two of Rainey and Doohan in sight, allowing Beattie to open up a gap between himself and Schwantz. Beattie would eventually lose sight of Rainey and Doohan leaving him in a somewhat lonely third place.

Doohan (pictured below) eventually passed Rainey to take the lead of the race and was able to manage traffic better allowing him to open up a gap.

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Further back there was a battle between the two Suzuki riders. Chandler managed to pass teammate Schwantz for fourth, but Schwantz would manage to repass Chandler later on.

When the chequered flag fell it was Doohan who took the win ahead of Rainey and Beattie with Schwantz in fourth and Chandler fifth.

In the championship it left Doohan now 17 points ahead of second placed Chandler with Schwantz one point behind his teammate while Rainey was up to fourth three points ahead of Beattie.

In the 250cc class Luca Cadalora won ahead of Carlos Cardus and Helmut Bradl while in the 125cc class Ralf Waldmann won ahead of Alessandro Gramigni and Bruno Casanova.

1987 Formula 1 Brazilian Grand Prix

The Brazilian Grand Prix of 1987 was held at the Jacarepagua Circuit in Rio de Janeiro and was the opening round of the season.

It saw the two Williams-Honda’s of Nigel Mansell and Nelson Piquet lockout the front row of the grid with the reigning champion, Alain Prost starting in fifth.

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Mansell (pictured above) got a good initial start but lost out in the second phase falling down to fifth behind Piquet, Ayrton Senna and the two Benettons of Teo Fabi and Thierry Boutsen.

Prost also had a difficult start falling down to sixth ahead of the two Ferraris of Gerhard Berger and Michele Alboreto.

The front two of Piquet and Senna managed to pull away from the Benettons directly behind, although Piquet was also able to open up a gap between himself and Senna (pictured below).

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After a poor start, Mansell began to work his way further up the field, overtaking Boutsen for fourth and then passing the other Benetton of Fabi for third.

At the same time that Mansell passed Fabi, Prost passed Boutsen to move up to fifth.

After only six laps, Piquet entered the pits for new tyres, handing the lead to Senna with Mansell now promoted up to second. It also meant that Fabi was briefly promoted back up to third before losing the position once more when he was passed by Prost (pictured below).

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Prost would go on and pass Mansell to go up into second. Soon after Mansell pitted and was followed shortly after by Senna.

Mansell rejoined and passed the other McLaren of Stefan Johansson for fourth.

Prost would be the last of the front runners to pit, his first stop being on lap 16, some ten laps later than initial race leader Piquet.

Prost’s stop handed the lead briefly to Boutsen before the Belgian was passed by Piquet. Soon afterwards both Piquet and Boutsen pitted, once again handing the lead to Mansell with Prost second and Senna in third.

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Prost got passed Mansell once more, retaking the lead before the Briton made another pit stop.

Mansell would however be forced into another stop as he suffered a right rear tyre failure, similar to the one that he suffered and ultimately cost him the 1986 title at the Australian Grand Prix.

There was trouble for Senna too as he was forced to stop around lap 50 with engine issues while the Ferrari of Alboreto also hit trouble, although he managed to continue.

As the chequered flag fell it was Prost who claimed victory on a two stop strategy ahead of Piquet who ended up making four stops while the final podium place was taken by Johansson in the second McLaren.

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Berger (pictured above) began his Ferrari career with a fourth place finish ahead of Boutsen and Mansell, who managed to recover from his tyre failure to claim the final points position.

Piquet recorded the fastest lap of the race, a 1:33.861 while McLaren took an early lead in the constructors championship, 6 points ahead of Williams followed by Ferrari on 3 points and Benetton on 2 points.

2015 IndyCar Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana

The Grand Prix of Louisiana was the second race of the 2015 IndyCar season. Juan Pablo Montoya went into the race leading the championship from teammate, and reigning champion, Will Power by 7 points.

It was wet during the race weekend with qualifying ultimately having to be cancelled and therefore the grid decided on entrant points. It meant that Montoya (pictured below) ‘qualified’ on pole position ahead of Power in second.

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The race got underway on a wet but slowly drying track with Montoya managing to pull away and build a gap.

It wasn’t the best start for Tony Kanaan who started third but ran onto the grass, dropping him down three positions.

It would be Kanaan and Ryan Hunter-Reay who would be the first to change to dry tyres on lap 11 followed by Josef Newgarden and Simona de Silvestro the following lap. The leading two drivers of Montoya and Power wouldn’t pit for dry tyres until lap 15.

Despite the change to dry tyres, conditions would remain difficult with Kanaan (pictured below) spinning on lap 15 on the slicks.

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Up to this point there hadn’t been any cautions however once the first one was shown on Lap 15, when Gabby Chaves spun and stalled on the circuit, the remainder of the race would be dominated by them.

Kanaan entered the pits again on lap 19 after issues with refuelling on his first stop.

Green flag racing resumed on lap 21. However before a full racing lap could be completed, James Jakes spun while Jake Hawksworth crashed out on the same part of the circuit, all of which swiftly led to another caution period beginning on lap 21.

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Before the caution was redeployed, Francesco Dracone (pictured above) and Helio Castroneves collided early in the lap leading to Dracone spinning and sustaining right rear tyre damage while Castroneves sustained wing damage from the contact. It led to Dracone pitting where more drama unfolded as one of his crew member’s was injured as the Italian left the pit box.

Green flag racing resumed on lap 28 but Stefano Coletti aquaplaned on the start/finish straight, losing control he crashed backwards into an armco barrier leading to the race being placed back under caution immediately.

During this caution period, some cars entered the pits on lap 30 for new slick tyres, including Kanaan and Castroneves.

The race went back to green on lap 32, but this was once again short lived as Sage Karam spun on the same lap bringing out another caution. Under this latest caution, the majority of cars entered the pits for new slick tyres although some such as James Hinchcliffe (pictured below) stayed out, who now inherited the lead.

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On lap 35 the race prepared once again to go to green but Carlos Huertas spun out meaning the decision was swiftly reversed and the race stayed under caution.

The race got back to green flag racing on lap 40 with the race going to time with 17 minutes remaining. This period stayed under green for a while allowing Montoya to pass Power for sixth while de Silvestro passed Kanaan for fourth.

Jakes and Castroneves provided the most entertainment as the two engaged in a battle for second. However this and any other racing was halted as the caution was shown once again on lap 41 when Karam stopped out on track.

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The green flag was shown on lap 44 with approximately 8 minutes of the race remaining allowing Jakes (pictured above) and Castroneves to resume their battle for second.

This was once again halted later on the 44th lap when Simon Pagenaud was squeezed and lost control of his car on the grass, colliding into Hunter-Reay who in turn crashed into Sebastien Bourdais, leading to the end of all three drivers race.

The race stayed under caution as the final minutes and seconds ticked away until the chequered flag was shown with Hinchcliffe taking victory ahead of Castroneves (pictured below) and Jakes.

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Simona de Silvestro finished fourth ahead of Montoya, Kanaan and Power with Graham Rahal, Newgarden and Luca Filippi completing the top ten.

In the early stages of the championship it meant that Montoya still led, this time 10 points ahead of Castroneves with Power dropping down to third, 14 points behind Montoya. Hinchcliffe’s win saw him jump up to fourth in the standings, three points ahead of Kanaan in fifth.

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