It is that time of year again, April 1st, or better known as April Fools’ Day which provides the one day a year when practical jokes and hoaxes are not only permitted but actively encouraged and the motorsport world often takes full advantage.
While similar ‘festivities’ are enjoyed on December 28th, the Holy Innocents’ Day, which remains popular in Spain and Latin America, the first day of April is a dreaded calendar fixture when the news might not be the whole truth.
In recent years a wide range of ‘too good to be true’ announcements from teams, championship organisers plus riders and drivers have been produced, but this year’s efforts have been toned down by some amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic with many opting against creating further confusion for comedic purposes in uncertain times. But for others it has been seized upon as an opportunity to provide light relief in these challenging moments, so here are the best (and worst) April Fools’ Day jokes so far.
WRC driver and co-driver swap
As part of a “bold and innovative way to add excitement” the WRC promoters have come up with a novel ‘Swap Seat Special Stage’ for future events.
In essence, for one stage only the traditional driver and co-driver would swap places, with the pair allowed to pick which stage they make the change. If they opted to do it on the Power Stage any bonus points would be doubled.
WRC has even got numerous team crews to give their views on the changes with some ‘backing’ the idea while others gave it an uncertain reception. WRC promoters say “the new innovation will come into effect when the season resumes”, so time will tell just how serious an idea it is…
Kawasaki developing four-wheeler for space exploration
One of the first to get in on the act was Kawasaki with an early morning press release unveiling the TSU-6 project – a powered four-wheeler to be used on the moon and in space by 2030.
“Kawasaki have decided to collaborate with key players in space travel, both commercial and government run agencies to develop a four-wheeler lunar module,” a statement read.
“Exact details of the partnerships and the how the vehicle will be powered are being kept under wraps until a later date, however Kawasaki have released early concept sketches.
“The initial design is a giant leap from conventional powered two or four-wheeler vehicles with the dual wheel system being necessary to traverse the rugged lunar terrain.”
But with the launch date set for April 1st 2030, Kawasaki are preparing for a long wait until going into space, if it happens at all!
Fabio Quartararo becomes new test driver at Mercedes
Petronas Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo is also getting in on the act as he announces himself as new Formula 1 test driver at fellow Petronas-backed team Mercedes for the next three seasons…
MCRCB launches enquiry on James Whitham – from 1988 British Production Championship
No strangers to an April Fools’ Day announcement, the Bennetts British Superbike organisers announced a new investigation into the results of the 1988 Oliver’s Mount round of the British Production Championship.
The MCRCB have launched a court of enquiry into the results of the 1988 British Production Championship. It follows new information coming to light concerning the actions of James Whitham during a championship round at Olivers Mount circuit. Witnesses are asked to contact MCRCB pic.twitter.com/uvlc3sH7p2— Bennetts British Superbike Championship (@OfficialBSB) April 1, 2020
James Whitham is in the dock for his actions in a crash during the race, having given his side of the story two days ago while retelling memories from his racing days…
Never mess with a Glaswegian— James Whitham (@Jimwhit69) March 30, 2020
Kia ‘joins’ CART in 2003
Crash.net have also been the innocent victim of April Fools’ Day pranks, with a famous story catching us out back in 2003 when Kia were said to be joining CART as an engine manufacturer.
It turned out to be a complete fake created by the CART press office – who clearly had plenty of time on their hands back then – with the news released by a certain April Phewell.
Radio Control F1 in 2008
Not to be outdone, back in 2008 Crash.net ran its own spoof story which broke the news F1 would be switching to radio control Scalextric-style racing. Given some of the mind-blowing stories from over the years, this one might have closer to reality than we thought.