On This Day: Happy birthday Tora and other bits from memory lane

Not a very memorable day in the annals of Formula 1 history, nevertheless a happy birthday to Toranosuke Takagi, born on this day in 1974.

The Japanese driver competed in 32 Grands Prix, making his debut at the 1998 Australian Grand Prix for Tyrrell. His final race in the top flight was the following year at the Japanese Grand Prix driving for Arrows.


Takagi also dabbled in Indycar with a highlight being fifth-place finish at the 2003 Indy 500 which earned him the Rookie of the Year at that year’s legendary event.

In 1961, Dan Gurney won the Formula Libre race on the airfield at Ballarat, Australia, driving a BRM P48 F1 car. Graham Hill’s second place made it a BRM 1-2 finish.

Last year on 12 February we reported:

Renault launched their 2019 challenger while introducing their surprise capture Daniel Ricciardo to the world alongside Nico Hulkenberg. Podiums were on the cards, the team trumpeted their best ever winter and Cyril Abiteboul was adamant their German driver only needed a winning car to show his true worth.

Fast forward a year and Nico was out the door, Daniel’s smile vanished long ago and Cyril and his mob continue to talk the talk and underdeliver. But a year ago it was all smiles from the works team that was thumped by their only customer, McLaren.

Speaking of the Woking outfit, it is worth mentioning that on this day last year CEO Zak Brown confirmed Andreas Seidl would join the team officially on May Day. The rest, as they say, is impressive history as the former Porsche motorsport boss worked miracles in his first year in charge.

At the same time the motorsport world was applauding the remarkable recovery from a death-defying accident suffered by Robert Wickens at an Indycar race at Pocono in August of 2018. His posts on social media as he progressed through the grind of hardcore recovery was riveting stuff that had the whole motorsport world rooting for him.