|Just For Fun
05 January 2001
Grand-Am - Allan McNish's hopes of competing at Daytona in February are dealt
a severe blow when he suffers a freak injury. Camera flashes at his first Toyota F1 press conference of the year cause him to suffer a detached retina.
Le Mans - Cadillac announce their race programme for La Sarthe in June at Autosport International. Butch Leitzinger and Andy Wallace are confirmed as being in the driver squad. "Damn! I wanted to go for a win this year!" says Leitzinger.
ALMS - Don Panoz announces that the 2002 calendar is likely to include "at least two" rounds in the Indian subcontinent.
FIA-GT - Jean Denis Deletraz announces that his Ferrari 550 has completed 10,000 trouble-free miles in winter testing.
Grand-Am - The Risi Ferrari leads the Rolex for 23 hours, with Alan McNish in the driving seat for 16 hours despite only having 25% vision, but crashes out in the hands of David Brabham when his crocodile-hunter's hat slips over his eyes and momentarily distracts him. The Corvette takes the lead, but is itself removed from the race when it collides with Justin Bell's MX-5 only laps from the end. Bell takes the overall victory. "I honestly didn't see him," grinned Bell.
FIA-GT - Stephane Ratel issues a late rule change which states that the six-car-minimum regulation will be dropped for cars of mainland-European origin that have the initial F or P. Entries for the Pfister Stürm, the Parcos , and the Faleen F7 teams, all apparently based in Switzerland, are immediately submitted.
FIA-SCC - John Mangoletsi announces that the August round at Donington will be a double-header with the Monsters Of Rock Festival, in an attempt to increase spectator numbers.
Le Mans - Rover's LMP675 programme suffers a set-back when mechanics go on strike over overtime payments.
ALMS - Sceptics are surprised when 30 prototypes take the start at Texas Motor Speedway. Don Panoz states "If you build it, they will come!" but fears are expressed for his health when he claims to have been watching Juan Manuel Fangio and Alberto Ascari race at Road Atlanta the previous week. Audi win by 12 laps.
FIA-GT - Lorenzo Pearce declares that his Pfister Stürm is shaping up nicely for the coming season
A(E)LMS - A rain affected Sebring 12 hours is won by the Panoz of David Brabham. Audi protest when they discover holes "consistent with hunting rifle shots" in the fuel tank. Brabham leaves the circuit without talking to the press. The Pilbeam LMP675 fails scrutineering, despite having undertaken the ACO crash test, when it is discovered that the entry form has been filled in with blue ink instead of black as instructed.
FIA-GT - Despite dominating practice, and taking pole position, the FIRST Racing 550 fails to leave the grid when the clutch fails. "I just don't understand it!" declares Deletraz.
ELMS - Torrential rain mars the Donington round of the series, and the race is curtailed when a freak tidal wave washes the Johansson Audi onto the main runway of the East Midlands International Airport. "Jeez! And I thought I was unlucky with the 2KQ!" exclaims Stefan.
FIA-SCC - Ferrari 333SPs fill the first eight positions at the Monza 1000K. The Harrier team DNS after the taxi taking the drivers to the circuit on race morning breaks down. Lester Ray fixes it, but too late for his drivers to make it to the track.
Le Mans - In a shock move, the Bentley EXP Speed 8 is refused an entry to the race. The slot is instead given to the WR, which hadn't even submitted an entry this year. The ACO are unable to provide an explanation. "Even we don't understand the selection process" they insist. Wing Commander Weaver accepts an offer to drive for Rob Dyson, but is demoted to Captain.
A(E)LMS - Eurosport are deluged with protests when their promised "Lights to Flag" live coverage of the Jarama race is cancelled at the last moment. Highlights of the Four Hills Ski Jumping Tournament are shown instead. Eurosport spokesman Martin Haven explains why: "Errrmm.......!?".
FIA-GT - Rumours grow that the Pfister, Parcos, and Faleen teams are apparently operating out of a small office above a bakery in a little village near Zurich. "No Comment" says Lorenzo Pearce, when challenged with the allegations.
Grand-Am - Elliott Forbes-Robinson takes his fourth consecutive win in the Dyson R&S, which now has over 80,000 miles on the clock after Rob Dyson admits that he also does his weekly grocery shopping in the car.
Le Mans - Controversy surrounds the 24 Hours after it emerges that Audi is using a genetically-modified transmission that repairs itself as it goes along. Despite this, the WR at last takes victory. The 140 degree heat causes mass fainting in the grandstands. The Rover team fails to take the start after the mechanics go on strike due to a dispute over who's job it is to collect a part from the back of the garage.
FIA-GT - There is consternation in the Hungaroring pitlane when someone claims to have seen a spectator in the grandstands. Calm is restored when it turns out to be a marshal having a crafty cigarette.
FIA-SCC - John Nielsen begins to regret buying the Dome chassis after it becomes clear that the Japanese are not used to dealing with 6'3" drivers. "My knees are killing me," he moans.
ELMS - Stefan Johansson at last wins a round in his Audi. Unfortunately, Eurosport forgets to send its cameras to the track, and the event goes unrecorded. "Bloody hell!" exclaims Stefan.
FIA-GT - Lorenzo Pearce is officially warned by the FIA following complaints from rival team owners that he is scaring them – and his mechanics are scaring their mechanics. Pearce promises never to use a solar-powered calculator in a 24 race ever again.
FIA-SCC - The Donington round is held in front of 60,000 leather clad spectators. The race is disrupted by several caution periods caused by containers of an unspecified liquid being thrown onto the track. Several drivers also complain that the noise from the Iron Maiden stage is too loud.
ALMS - Audi dominates the three rounds that take place in the month, although they have to hold off a determined chase by the Panoz through the blizzards at Mount Tremblant.
Grand-Am - EFR's R&S clocks up 100,000 miles as he takes his 8th consecutive victory at Watkins Glen. Rob Dyson considers giving the car a service.
FIA-GT - The Pfister Stürm, Parcos, and Faleen teams are thrown out of the championship when the baker confirms that he hasn't seen anybody use the office upstairs "all year". The 550 fails to complete the warm-up lap at Jarama after a brake-disc catches fire. Deletraz is speechless.
Grand-Am - Confusion reigns when it is discovered that the September 2nd round is still "tbn". A clerical error is blamed. EFR is awarded the win.
ALMS - Panoz win the PLM, although nobody can quite remember seeing the
winning drivers, Fangio and Ascari, outside of the car. Don Panoz is seen smiling contentedly. He goes on to announce that the 2002 series will involve approx. 25 races. The series ends on a high at Charlotte in front of over 30 spectators.
FIA-GT - A legal ruling following Lorenzo Pearce's appeal to the FIA sees the FIRST Racing 550 awarded the title. Jean Denis Deletraz is struck dumb, while Stephane Ratel declares that it is a great day for the championship.
ALMS - Toyota unexpectedly enter their GT-One at the Sepang race, and win with Allan McNish at the wheel. This is despite serious injuries incurred in an F1 testing crash the previous week. As a result, Allan is only able to race for 214 laps.
Le Mans - Audi deny rumours that they are working on a cloaking device for the 2002 race. Porsche announce that their next prototype has been shelved "until 2007".
ALMS -The Pilbeam LMP675 wins the Adelaide 1000Ks, but is disqualified when its decals are found to be 5 millimetres too tall. Audi is subsequently awarded the win.
FIA-GT - Jean Denis Deletraz announces that winter testing is "going well".
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