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25 January in Race History: A quiet significant day

25 January is one of those quiet days that come up every couple of weeks in race history.

There was one World Championship Grand Prix on this day when Niki Lauda opened his fateful 1976 season with Brazilian victory aboard his Ferrari 312T. He beat Patrick Depailler’s Tyrrell with Tom Pryce third in a Shadow. James Hunt started on pole for McLaren.

Also at Interlagos in Brazil, Chico Landi drove a Ferrari 125C to victory in the 1951 Grand Prix, while Archie Scott-Brown took his Lister 57/1 Jaguar to 1958 Lady Wigram Trophy honours in New Zealand. Staying in NZ, Bruce McLaren’s Cooper T70 Climax and Piers Courage in a Brabham BT24 Cosworth took the respective 1964 and ’69 Teretonga Internationals. And Ireland’s Adam Carroll and Swiss Neel Jani won Taupo’s 2008 A1 GP races.

Moving on to Florida USA, Eddie Cheever won the 1997 Orlando Indy 200 and in Daytona, Joao Barbosa, Sebastien Bourdais and Christian Fittipaldi’s Coyote-Chevrolet; and Ryan Briscoe, Scott Dixon, Kamui Kobayashi and Renger van der Zande’s Wayne Taylor Corvette (below) won the 2014 and 2020 24 Hours.

There were also four Monte Carlo rallies that ended on this day. Walter Rohrl won in 1980 driving a Fiat 131 Abarth (below), Didier Auriol took 1990 honours in a Lancia Delta HF Integrale, Sebastien Loeb 2004 in a Citroen Xsara and Sebastien Ogier won the 2015 rally in a Volkswagen Polo R.

On the day that Buddy Baker, Doc Bundy, Johnny Cecotto, Mark Martin and Luca Badoer share birthdays, F1 rookie Lewis Hamilton had a lucky escape following a heavy 280 km/h testing shunt in Barcelona. Spain. “I’m completely fine and was conscious throughout,” Lewis owned up. Jenson Button also endured a frustrating when his new Honda broke after just one lap.