In recent months, former Ferrari, Jordan and Jaguar Formula One driver Eddie Irvine for either legal or shark-related purposes. Not your typical slice of news.
But 15 years ago this month he was in the news for a more conventional reason, when some of the leading contenders faltered around him and Irvine picked up his first career Grand Prix victory in Melbourne.
On a day when both of the erstwhile dominant McLaren-Mercedes, driven by Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard, succumbed to mechanical gremlins and Irvine’s Ferrari teammate Michael Schumacher needed a steering wheel replaced, Irvine capitalized to score a surprise win.
The race featured six different teams in the then-six points paying positions. Heinz-Harald Frentzen (Jordan-Mugen Honda) and Ralf Schumacher (Williams-Supertec) completed the podium. Giancarlo Fisichella (Benetton-Playlife), Rubens Barrichello (Stewart-Ford) and F1 debutante Pedro de la Rosa (Arrows) rounded out the top six finishers.
Things have changed since. Although the unpredictable nature that the 2014 Australian Grand Prix presents this week could potentially see six different teams score points, down to 10th place.
Here’s the TV and NBC Sports Live Extra streaming times for this weekend’s race.
BMW has confirmed its driver line-ups for the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship campaigns.
In an announcement made at its end-of-year Sports Trophy event on Friday night, BMW firmed up its roster across its factory WEC team and its customer RLL Racing IMSA squad.
Two of the 2018 BMW M8 GTEs will enter the WEC next year, joining a hotly-contested GTE-Pro class that already features Ferrari, Porsche, Aston Martin and Ford.
BMW factory drivers Antonio Felix da Costa, Nick Catsburg, Augusto Farfus and Martin Tomczyk will share the two cars across the 13-month ‘super season’.
The quartet will be joined by Tom Blomqvist, Alexander Sims and Philipp Eng for the 24 Hours of Le Mans
In IMSA, the RLL Racing team will once again field Sims and John Edwards, who will be joined by the incoming Connor De Phillippi and Jesse Krohn.
BMW also confirmed on Friday night that Tom Blomqvist would see out the Formula E season with its Andretti-affiliated team, having been benched for Kamui Kobayashi in Hong Kong.