Tuesday, 14 June 2016 09:00

Canada 1992: The “fundraiser” of March

Written by

Translated by Giannis Binas

 

1992 was a tough year for March in what it has to do with the team’s financial status.

Date of 1st publication: 06/02/15


Leyton House had abandoned the team by the end of 1991 when its owner was found to be involved in an illegal loaning scandal by the bank of Fuji.
Even though the team had the Australian Karl Wendlinger in its ranks and Mercedes’ money that was accompanying him, as well as Paul Belmondo (son of the actor Jean Paul Belmondo), who brought his own sponsors with him, the team was having a hard time, especially in destinations outside Europe. 

March Belmondo

Thus, at the 7th round of the championship that was being held in Montreal, Canada, March went for a walk around the local market and started to sell available body space in “bargain” prices, as advertising space to various shops of the city.

The visual effect was unprecedented, as the two team’s single-seaters appeared with a variety of little stickers on them. 

March 1992

And, perhaps the majority laughed on the spectacle, but March’s people were the ones to laugh last and laugh the longest.

Karl Wendlinger would start the race 12th and would bring an amazing, at least, result.
At the start he found himself between the two Ferraris and even followed Jean Alesi for a great part of the race.
The retirements in front of him enabled him to celebrate the 4th place at the finish line and the laughter moved from those who taunted, to the garage and March’s staff.

In fact, that was the only occasion the team managed to get points throughout the season, helped it however to attract new sponsors for the rest of the year. 

March Full

Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough for the team to find the necessary funds for its participation in the next championship, in which March signed up with the drivers’ duo of Jan Lammers and Jean Marc Gounon.

Meanhile, the selling effort to Beta (Italian tool manufacturing firm that eventually ended up as a sponsor to Minardi and even secured a test driver’s seat for Gounon) came to nothing.

 

 

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