Ayrton Senna won the British Grand Prix in appalling conditions on this day 25 years ago.
Home hero Nigel Mansell charged to a brilliant second place for Williams. But Senna’s team mate Alain Prost found the conditions too wet and withdrew from the proceedings.
Unusually for the 1988 season the McLaren pair had been kept from the front row by the two Ferraris. Gerhard Berger led the opening laps while Senna found his way past Michele Alboreto.
Behind them Prost had dropped back and an entertaining battle developed between Mauricio Gugelmin and Alessandro Nannini, the pair soon joined by the flying Mansell.
Senna caught and passed Berger when the Ferrari driver was briefly held up lapping Prost (though as the video above shows commentator James Hunt didn’t immediately register the significance of the action replay). The championship leader later pulled into the pits and retired while his team mate claimed his fourth victory of the year.
But the star of the race was Mansell, who picked off a string of rivals in his underpowered Williams-Judd. It was no repeat of his inspired triumph at the track 12 months earlier, brought it brought some cheer to the rain-lashed crowd.
Nannini claimed third for Benetton ahead of Gugelmin’s March. Nelson Piquet was fifth for Lotus ahead of Derek Warwick, his Arrows the sixth different constructor in the top six points-paying positions.
In a continuing effort to help fans keep track of the on track action, SuperMotocross is in the process of developing and implementing leader lights for the unified series.
Currently Supercross (SMX) utilizes stanchions in the infield that are triggered manually by a race official. At least two stanchions are used in each race as a way to draw the eye to the leader, which is especially useful in the tight confines of the stadium series when lapping often begins before the halfway mark in the 22-bike field. This system has been in place for the past two decades.
Later this year, a fully automated system will move to the bike itself to replace the old system. At that point, fans will be able to identify the leader regardless of where he is on track.
The leader lights were tested in the second Anaheim round this year. An example can be seen at the 1:45 mark in the video above on the No. 69 bike.
“What we don’t want to do is move too fast, where it’s confusing to people,” said Mike Muye, senior director of operations for Supercross and SMX in a press release. “We’ve really just focused on the leader at this point with the thought that maybe down the road we’ll introduce others.”
Scheduled to debut with the first SuperMotocross World Championship race at zMax Dragway, located just outside the Charlotte Motor Speedway, a 3D carbon fiber-printed LED light will be affixed to each motorcycle. Ten timing loops positioned around the track will trigger the lights of the leader, which will turn green.
SMX’s partner LiveTime Scoring helped develop and implement the system that has been tested in some form or fashion since 2019.
When the leader lights are successfully deployed, SuperMotocross will explore expanding the system to identify the second- and third-place riders. Depending on need and fan acceptance, more positions could be added.
SuperMotocross is exploring future enhancements, including allowing for live fan interaction with the lights and ways to use the lighting system during the race’s opening ceremony.
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