25 March: Today in Racing

Editor25.03.2020

Alain Prost opened his 1984 Formula 1 campaign with a dominant win for McLaren-TAG over Keke Rosberg’s Williams-Honda and Elio de Angelis in a Lotus-Renault in the Brazilian Grand Prix on this day. That race will also be remembered for Ayrton Senna making his F1 debut for Toleman on the day that F1’s 220 litre fuel limit and refuelling ban also came into effect. 

Six years later Prost won again for Ferrari after Senna lost the lead following a collision with Satoru Nakajima. The home hero recovered to third behind McLaren-Honda teammate Gerhard Berger.

There was a surprise in the 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix when Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso had to fend off the surprising Sergio Pérez’ Sauber-Ferrari to take the win. They were joined on the podium McLaren-Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton. And then in the 2018 Australian Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari pitted under a virtual safety car to emerge ahead of erstwhile leader Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes and Ferrari teammate Kimi Räikkönen to take an unlikely tactical victory for the team in red.

Rolling the clock back to 1928, Tazio Nuvolari took his Bugatti T35C to Italian Grand Prix victory at Pozzo, while AJ Foyt and Helio Castroneves won IndyCar races on this day in 1979 and 2012 respectively. Alex Yoong took the 2008 Mexican A1 Grand Prix Sprint race win for Malaysia, while Oliver Jarvis won the Feature race for Team GB .  

In sportscar racing, there were two Sebring 12-hour races on this day — Phil Hill and Olivier Gendebien took the 1961 race in a Ferrari 250 TRI and Bruce McLaren and Mario Andretti powered their Ford Mk IV to the 1967 win. Henri Pescarolo, Gérard Larrousse and François Cevert’s Matra took the 1973 world endurance Vallelunga 6 hour win, while Patrick Long and Mike Rockenfeller's Crawford Porsche won the '06 Miami Grand-Am  

In tin-top action, Bob Tullius’ Ford Mustang took the open class but future world F1 champion Jochen Rindt’s Alfa Romeo GTAM took 2 litre honours en route to the overall win in the first-ever US Trans Am race at Sebring in 1966, while Mark Martin won the 1995 International Race of Champions. In World Rally action, Colin McRae and Nicky Grist won the 1998 Rally Portugal for Subaru.

25 March NASCAR winners include Buck Baker in the 1956 Lakewood and David Pearson in the ’67 Greenville Grand Nationals, while Cale Yarborough, Bobby Allison, Elliott Sadler and Tony Stewart all won Cup races between 1979 and 2012. The Aussie Touring Cars were busy on this day over the years as Lawrie Nelson and Bob Morris won in ’79, Dick Johnson in '90, Mark Skaife in 2000, Craig Lowndes in ’06, Garth Tander in ’07, Fabian Coulthard in ’17 and David Reynolds in 2018.

Elsewhere, Lord Howe and his Delage set the all time 204km/h Brooklands under 1500cc speed record in 1931 and 25 March is also NASCAR and Indanapolis 500 leading lady Danica Patrick’s birthday. (Photo: Motorsport Images)

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