There was a brief period exactly 20 years ago when only two people could say they had been at all of Michael Schumacher's World Sportscar Championship races, all of his Japanese F3000 races, and all of his grands prix. One of them was Michael, and the other was me.
I lost that record when he went to do his second F1 race at Monza for Benetton. In those days my focus was mainly on the WSC, so I didn't go.
Covering that series allowed an insight into Schumacher's progress with Mercedes through 1990 and '91. It was a total coincidence that I then saw him do his one and only F3000 race in Japan in July 1991. I went to Sugo just to get a flavour of the series, and it turned out that at the last minute Michael's management did a deal for him to take part.
The previous year he had combined F3 and sportscars but in '91, he was only doing the latter, and the idea of Japan was for him to get a handle on a powerful single-seater.
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