01.04.91 - TOURING CARWill Hoy powered to a dream debut win in the opening round of the Esso Championship at Silverstone. He was never headed after making a lightning start from the front row of the grid in the Securicor-BMW and averaged over 90mph. He covered the 25 laps in 27 mins 24.54 secs and took the flag almost ten secs clear of Jeff Allam, with John Cleland a further 13.67 secs back in third. Steve Soper, who started from pole, and fromer GP star Jonathan Palmer both dropped out of contention early on.
ESSO BRITISH TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP Result from Silverstone mins secs 1 W Hoy BMW M3 27:25.54 2 J Allam Vaux Cavalier + 9.87 3 J Cleland Vaux Cavalier + 13.67 4 A Middlehurst Ford Sierra + 18.34 5 A Rouse Toyota Carina + 18.43 6 R Bellm BMW M3 + 19.33F3:- Rubens Barrichello won the second round of the British F3 Championship at Thruxton in a time of 23 mins 54.64 secs ahead of Jordi Gene.
SALOON CARS:- Matthew Neal had over two seconds to spare over Paul Lee as he won the Esso Superlube Saloon Car championship race at Silverstone in a Nissan Skyline.
F.FORD:- Marc Goosens extended his lead in the Motorcraft Open Formula Ford standings with victory at Thruxton - his third of the season. Australian Russell Ingall took second place.
SAFARI RALLY:- Finn Juha Kankkunen celebrated his 32nd birthday a day early by completing his second victory in the event. He finished 26 minutes clear of Michael Ericsson to give Lancia their third win in four years. Kankkunen, who won the event in 1985 and was runner-up last year, had taken the lead on Sunday when world champion Carlos Sainz dropped out. A total of 27 cars reached the finish in Nairobi compared to just ten 12 months ago when the event was hit by heavy rain.
Final positions at Nairobi finish: Accumulated penalties hrs mins secs 1 J Kankkunen Fin Lancia Integ 2:07:10 2 M Ericsson Swe Toyota Celica 2:33:34 3 J Recalde Arg Lancia Interg 2:46:13 4 B Waldeg'd Swe Toyota Celica 3:56:08 5 S Blomqvist Swe Nissan Sunny 5:17:24 6 I Duncan Ken Subaru Legacy 5:47:32 7 M Kirkland Ken Nissan Sunny 6:09:35 8 K Shinozuka Jap Mitsubishi G 7:42:35 9 G Jack Ken Daihatsu Char 9:37:34 10 S Anthony Ken Dai'su Char 10:13:20 DRIVERS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS after round 4 1 C Sainz Sp Toyota 40 pts 2 J Kankkunen Fin Lancia 38 3 M Biasion It Lancia 27 4 K Eriksson Swe Mitsubishi 20 = M Alen Fin Subaru 20 6 D Auriol Fr Lancia 17 7 M Ericsson Swe Toyota 15 = M Jonsson Swe Toyota 15 9 F Delecour Fr Ford 12 = J Recalde Arg Lancia 12 MANUFACTURERS 1 Toyota 50 pts 2 Lancia 46 3 Subaru 15 4 Ford 14 5 Nissan 6 6 Mazda 6CIRCUIT OF IRELAND:- Colin McRae followed in his father's footsteps by cruising to victory to open a 22-point lead in the Shell RAC Open championship standings. His father Jimmy won seven times in the past and McRae junior was in control throughout the final day following the withdrawal of Austin McHale. He finished in 3 hours 29 mins 33 secs in the Subaru, with Bertie Fisher almost five minutes behind in second. Kenny McKinstry won the Group N class by finishing fifth, with his closest rival Dave Maslen in seventh place.
Final result after 29 stages: hrs:mins.secs 1 C McRae Subaru 3:29.33 2 B Fisher Ford 3:34.14 3 J Cullen Ford 3:35.18 4 B Connolly BMW 3:43.00 5 K McKinstry Ford 3:43.20 6 R Smyth Ford 3:45.46 7 D Maslen Ford 3:47.08 8 P Frankland Peugeot 3:47.46 9 M Sohlberg Mitsubishi 3:49.46 10 B Fowden Ford 3:52.18 Shell RAC Open championship standings: 1 C McRae 40 pts 2 D Maslen 18 3 M Sohlberg 16 4 R Brookes 15 02.04.91 - F1Benetton's new Grand Prix challenger will not test at Imola later this week, the team has announced. Instead the team's old car - the B190 - will go to Italy for the test sesion which starts on Thursday. In a joint statement, designer John Barnard and Flavio Briatori, said the new Camel Benetton would run for the first time in England. The reason they gave was to be close to Cosworth - for "immediate factory back-up if required."
05.04.91 - Formula 1 testing times from San Marino Italy min:secs 1 R Patrese Williams 1:24.517 2 A Senna McLaren 1:25.372 3 A Prost Ferrari 1:26.067 4 M Blundell Williams 1:26.681 5 G Berger McLaren 1:27.199 6 E Pirro Dallara 1:27.281 7 S Modena Tyrrell 1:27.503 8 P Martini Minardi 1:27.642 9 N Piquet Benetton 1:28.757 10 N Larini Modena 1:28.886 11 E Comas Ligier 1:28.918 12 J Alesi Ferrari 1:29.230Pace-setter Riccardo Patrese and Ferrari newboy Jean Alesi were both victims of the slippery conditions during testing at San Marino on Friday. Having set the quickest times since the very start of testing on Wednesday Patrese went off and his Canon Williams had to be towed back to the pits. Alesi joined the list of drivers who had accidents which included Stefano Modena in the Braun Tyrrell. Mark Blundell had problems with his semi-automatic Williams as did Frenchman Alain Prost in the Ferrari.
10.04.91 - F1Footwork Porsche have unveiled their new FA12 Grand Prix car, together with new sponsors Blaupunkt and Shell. It is the first of their team's cars designed specifically to take the new Porsche V12 engine, which takes power from the centre of the crankshaft. The car also features a variation of the raised nose that Tyrrell brought to F1 last year. It makes a first outing at Silverstone on Thursday. "We have been relatively conventional with the design because the car had to work from the word go," said designer Alan Jenkins.
11.04.91 - JOHN WATSON ON THE JAPANESE ROUND OF THE SPORTSCAR CHAMPIONSHIP1991 will be a brave new world for the FIA Sportscar World Championship. The series is now based on 3.5-litre normally-aspirated engines. The changes in sportscar racing are similar to those that took place in Formula One GP racing back in 1989. That does not mean we have seen the end of turbo-powered sportscars this year. The bulk of the field at Suzuka will still be turbo-charged, principally Porsches, but the attention will be on the new and very exciting 3.5-litre cars.
The three factory teams of Jaguar, Peugeot and Mercedes-Benz will be the main focus of interest at Suzuka, round one of the world sportscar series. Mercedes fail to have the courage of their convictions and, instead of running two brand new cars, they have decided to run one normally-aspirated and one turbo car. It would be ironic if the turbo Mercedes won on Sunday but, even if it does, the future of the Championship will lie firmly with the manufacturers who have made the commitment to change. Later on more teams will join them.
I cannot really see anyone getting close to the new Jaguars in Sunday's world sportscar race at Suzuka, Japan. The driver line-up of Derek Warwick, Martin Brundle and Teo Fabi is an impressive one - and the XJR14 is a fantastic looking and performing car. The team are using a Ford V8 HB engine as raced by Benetton and Jordan in Formula One and undoubtedly it is this engine which has enabled Jaguar to create this exciting package. Jaguar's main rivals are Peugeot and Mercedes but teams like Mazda and Brun Motorsport should not be discounted.
Peugeot made a big impact when their 905 appeared in the last two races of the 1990 world sportscar season. The team use a V10 engine and have a classy driver line-up which includes Keke Rosberg and Mauro Baldi. Peugeot's entry into sportscar racing is a serious commitment. They have tested extensively during the winter but gearbox problems have proved to be their achilles heel. But with Jean Todt at the helm - the man behind Peugeot's rally success - it is only a question of time.
Mercedes have dominated world sportscar racing for the past two seasons with their V8 turbo cars. They have gone down a rather strange route for 1991 with what they describe as a 180-degree V12 engine but, to anyone else, it means a flat 12. The design is based on a theoretical aerodynamic principle but the car's mechanical complexity has prevented it reaching its potential on the track. Consequently Mercedes are running one of last year's cars. Karl Wendlinger and Michael Schumacher have drawn the short straw and drive the 1991 car.
The start of the race should be very exciting as the turbo-charged cars must line up behind the normally-aspirated ones regardless of qualifying times. This should ensure a great deal of overtaking during the early laps. Tyres are always crucial at Suzuka - and Japanese-made tyres work well here. Peugeot run on Michelin, Mercedes and Jaguar have Goodyears but others have Japanese Dunlops or Yokohamas. But no factor should be strong enough to prevent the Jaguars disappearing out of view...
1991 FIA SPORTSCAR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 1 Team Sauber Mercedes-Benz C11 Mercedes Schlesser/Mass 2 Team Sauber Mercedes-Benz C11 Mercedes Schumacher/Wendlinger 3 Silk Cut Jaguar Jaguar XJR14 Warwick 4 Silk Cut Jaguar Jaguar XJR14 Fabi/Brundle 5 Peugeot Talbot Peugeot 905 Sport Rosberg/Dalmas 6 Peugeot Talbot Peugeot 905 Sport Baldi/Alliot 7 Louis Descartes ALD-Cosworth de Henning/Migault 8 Euro Racing Spice-Cosworth SE90C Zwolsman/Euser 11 Porsche Kremer Porsche 962C Racing Reuter/Toivonen 12 Courage Porsche 962C Competition Andskar/Fouche 13 Courage Porsche 962C Competition Barilla/Elgh 14 Team Salamin Porsche 962C Primagaz Salamin/Cohen-Olivar 15 Veneto Equipe Lancia-Ferrari LC2 Brand/Filippini 16 Repsol Brun Porsche 962C Motorsport Pareja/Brun 17 Repsol Brun Porsche 962C Motorsport Larrauri/Sigala 18 Mazdaspeed Mazda 787B Sala/Kennedy -- Mazdaspeed Mazda 787 Terada/YorinoBritish-based Team Davey have pulled out of the Championship, leaving just 16 cars to contest the 1991 series.
13.04.91 - SPORTSCARS 1991 FIA SPORTSCAR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP Final qualifying times from Suzuka: mins secs 1 Silk Cut Jaguar Warwick 1:48.084 2 Peugeot Talbot Rosberg 1:50.568 3 Sauber Mercedes Schlesser 1:50.764 4 Sauber Mercedes Schumacher 1:51.864 5 Peugeot Talbot Baldi 1:53.419 6 Porsche Kremer Reuter 1:53.930 7 Euro Racing Ford Zwolsman 1:54.038 8 Repsol Brun Por' Pareja 1:55.706 9 Mazdaspeed Sala 1:55.849 10 Mazdaspeed Terada 1:56.672Derek Warwick marked his return to the Silk Cut Jaguar team by taking pole for Sunday's opening round at Suzuka. Warwick did not take part in Saturday's final qualifying session but wet weather meant Friday's time of 1:48.84 in the new XJR-14 still stands. Jaguar chief Tom Walkinshaw said: "I'm delighted we are on pole. We have proved our car is quick and we are looking forward to the race." Martin Brundle set the fastest time in Saturday's wet conditions, six seconds ahead of the 3.5-litre Mercedes.
TRUCK RACING:- Nottingham haulier Richard Walker is favourite for Sunday's Mobil Truck Superprix at Brands Hatch after setting an unofficial lap record last week. His main rivals include Steve Parrish and ex-GP driver Slim Borgudd.
F.VAUXHALL LOTUS:- Chesterfield's Jason Elliott was fastest in unofficial practice for Saturday's third round of the Formula Vauxhall Lotus Championship.
MINTEX RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP:- Japanese journalist Hideaki Miyoshi heads for Aberdeen hoping to extend his lead in the Mintex National Rally Championship in round three on Saturday. Miyoshi in his Mitsubishi is top seed for the Clausthaler Granite City rally. He can expect tough opposition from the Ford Cosworths of Trevor Smith, Group N leader Steve Hill and Steve Davies plus Toyota drivers Jim Bothwell, Andy Sharam, Glyn Jones and David Mann. Crews set out from the Alford Transport museum at 9am and tackle 12 stages over 70 miles, mostly on forest tracks, before returning to Aberdeen at 4pm.
GRANITE RALLY: FINAL RESULT AFTER 12 STAGES: mins secs 1 Smith/Jones Ford Cos'th 71:07 2 Miyoshi/Moss Mitsubishi 71:26 3 Hill/Goff Ford Cos'th 73:20 4 Gil'ers/D'port Ford Cos'th 74:12 5 Mann/Wray Toyota Celica 74:46 6 Buckley/Red'th Mazda 323 4x4 74:52 7 Easson/Cook Ford Cos'th 75:21 8 Munro/Ewing Ford Cos'th 75:45 9 Gauld/Boyles Mazda 323 4x4 75.46 10 Mawson/Herron Toyota GT4 75:58PLAINS NATIONAL RALLY:- Louise Aitken-Walker, the women's world champion, competes in Saturday's Knutsford and DMC's Plains National Rally in a Sierra Cosworth.
TOUR OF CORNWALL:- John Price held an 11 second lead at the overnight halt in the two-day Tour of Cornwall event. Second seed Steve Sofronoll had to retire after damaging his Metro's engine.
COSTA SMERALDA RALLY:- Finn Juha Kankkunen followed up his recent Safari rally win in Kenya by taking the Costa Smeralda event in Sardinia in a Lancia Delta.
14.4.91 - SPORTSCARS 1991 FIA SPORTSCAR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP Result from Suzuka: mins secs 1 Peugeot Talbot Baldi 2:25:01.688 2 Sauber Mercedes Schlesser 2:26:50.007 3 Porsche Kremer Reuter 2:26:08.201 4 Euro Racing Ford Zwolsman 2:26:08.545 5 Courage Porsche Fouche 2:25:32.976 6 Mazdaspeed Sala 2:26:42.000 7 Repsol Brun Por' Pareja 2:25:39.488 8 Courage Porsche Barilla 2:17:35.891 9 Salamin Porsche Salamin 2:25:55.075 Warwick not classified, Brundle did not finishDerek Warwick and Martin Brundle suffered car trouble as Mauro Baldi, in his Peugeot, triumphed in the opening round at Suzuka, Japan. Warwick, in the new Jaguar XJR-14, had carved out a 29-second lead and looked set for victory before a broken starter motor wrecked his hopes. Warwick carried on, setting a new lap record of 1 min 49.148 secs on the way, but was ultimately unclassified. Brundle, who had moved up to second after starting sixth, retired on lap four when his Jaguar cut out.
TOURING CAR:- Will Hoy notched his second won of the season in the Esso British Touring Car championship as the Securicor VLM team scored a 1-2 at Snetterton. Jeff Allam started on pole but he was out-accelerated by Hoy, who was never headed in the BMW. Team-mate Ray Bellm was runner-up almost four secs behind Hoy, with Andy Rouse's Toyota Carina in third place. Former GP driver Jonathan Palmer was involved in two separate collisions on the opening lap and had to retire from the race.
FORMULA RENAULT:- Jason Plato, driving a Van Diemen FR91, edged Bobby Verdon-Roe by 1.08 seconds to win at Silverstone. Tim Stafford finished third.
GM LOTUS:- Portuguese teenager Pedro Lamy led from start to finish to win the opening round of the GM Lotus Euroseries at Hockenheim. Britain's Gareth Rees finished sixth.
TRUCK RACING:- Britain's Richard Walker celebrated his 38th birthday by driving to victory in the Mobil Superprix at Brands Hatch in a Volvo. Team-mate Gerhard Korber was second.
TOUR OF CORNWALL RALLY:- Truro's Roger Hearn stormed to a shock victory in the Tour of Cornwall in his V8-engined Darrian. Overnight leader John Price retired after a puncture. Eian Pritchard leads series.
17.04.91 - TESTING AT IMOLAItalian Riccardo Patrese dominated the first morning of testing at Imola for the San Marino Grand Prix. The Williams driver was almost half a second faster than world champion Ayrton Senna, who completed 28 laps in his McLaren-Honda. Benetton introduced their new car with Brazilian Nelson Piquet clocking the seventh fastest time. The new Footwork-Porsche was also on view but Alex Caffi was well down the list of lap times.
FORMULA ONE TEST TIMES at Imola (Wednesday morning session) mins secs 1 R Patrese It Williams 1:26.0 2 A Senna Brz McLaren 1:26.4 3 G Berger Aut McLaren 1:26.7 4 N Mansell GB Williams 1:26.7 5 J Alesi Fr Ferrari 1:27.7 6 A Prost Fr Ferrari 1:27.7 7 N Piquet Brz Benetton 1:28.6 8 S Modena It Tyrrell 1:28.6 9 JJ Lehto Fin Dallara 1:28.8 10 E Comas Fr Ligier 1:29.3 11 T Boutsen Bel Ligier 1:29.4 12 A De Cesaris It Jordan GP 1:29.7 13 G Morbidelli It Minardi 1:29.8 14 M Gugelmin Brz Leyton H 1:30.4 15 N Larini It Leyton H 1:31.5 16 B Gachot Bel Jordan GP 1:31.5 17 A Caffi It Footwork 1:31.9 18 S Nakajima Jap Tyrrell 1:32.4 19.4.91 - F3Swedish ace Rickard Rydell, in the TOMs Toyota, looks on course for a second win in the British F3 Championship, at Donington Park on Sunday. Rydell averaged 99.91mph around the circuit during midweek testing slashing 7/10ths of a second off the lap record. Brazilian Rubens Barrichello, winner of round two, was also on the pace with an average of 99.12mph but Scot David Coulthard poses a threat after lapping at 99.28mph in a Paul Stewart Ralt RT35. Twenty-one drivers from nine countries are set to compete in the 50-mile race.
F1:- Martin Brundle gave the new Brabham-Yamaha a final shakedown test at Silverstone on Friday prior to the car's Formula One debut at next weekend's San Marino Grand Prix. Ferrari new boy Jean Alesi set the fastest time of the week, 1 min 22.895 secs, during Formula One testing at Imola. Andrea de Cesaris claimed an impressive fifth fastest time for Jordan, testing at Imola for the first time.
21.4.91FORMULA RENAULT:- Jason Plato and Bobby Verdon Roe scored a spectacular 1-2 in the first Formula Renault International at Donington Park.
GERMAN TOURING CARS:- Klaus Ludwig won the fifth and sixth rounds in his AMG Mercedes at Nurburgring at leads the series with 63 points from ex-GP driver Johnny Cecotto with 57 points.
ESSO SALOON CARS:- Matthew Neal completed a hat-trick of victories in the third round of the Esso Saloon Car Series finishing almost a lap ahead of the rest of the field.
F3:- Dave Coulthard scored a brilliant maiden victory in the third round of the British Formula Three Championship at Donington Park on Sunday. Pole holder Rickard Rydell, of Sweden, finished second, a distant 13 seconds behind Coulthard to maintain his lead in the championship. Arch-rival Rubens Barrichello, of Brazil, spun out of the race on the 15th lap after taking second place.
Championship: 1 Rydell 20 2 Coulthaurd 12 3 Barrichello 10 DONINGTON PARK (Rd 3) Results: (20 laps/50 miles) mins:secs 1 D Coulthard Ralt RT35 31:25.91 2 R Rydell TOMS 031F 31:39.63 3 E-M Neto Ralt RT35 31:56.89 4 J Gene Ralt RT35 31:57.63 5 S Robertson Ralt RT35 31:59.58 6 M Albers Ralt RT35 32:00.34 7 G De Ferran Reynard 913 32:01.53 8 M Van Hool Bowman BC1 32:04.50 9 P Herva Reynard 893 32:24.53 10 R Mears Ralt RT34 32:53.35 11 S Brody Ralt ZW34 33:00.84 22.4.91SPORTSCARS:- France's Paul Ricard circuit has had to cancel its scheduled round of the World Sportscar Championship, due to be held on May 26. Francois Chevalier, director of the Marseilles track, said it could not afford the œ900,000 necessary to stage the race. The circuit has been unable to attract either sponsors or crowds with only 16 cars registered for the world series. Ricard is already reeling from losing this year's French Grand Prix to the new Magny-Cours circuit at Nevers.
F1:- Michele Alboreto is recovering from a 170 mph accident while testing the new Footwork Porsche at Imola on Saturday. The accident happened on the infamous Tamburello bend where Gerhard Berger's Ferrari burst into flames two years ago. "Michele said he felt something go at the back," said a team spokesman. "He was annoyed because the new car was going so well", he added. The car was wrecked and Alboreto had 10 stitches in his right thigh but is expected to be fit for this weekend's Grand Prix.
24.4.91TOURING CARS:- Will Hoy, the winner of the first two rounds, clipped 2.5 secs off the lap record in testing for Sunday's British Touring Car championship race at Donington. He sped round the circuit at an average 87.55mph in his BMW.
F3:- Rickard Rydell clocked the day's fastest time in testing at Brands Hatch for Sunday's fourth round of the British F3 Championship. Rydell in a TOMs 031f lapped the Kent circuit in 1 min 21.92 secs, with Ralt driver Rubens Barrichello second in 1:22.52. David Coulthard, winner of round three was fourth in 1:23.09.
F1:- Larrousse are set to announce a new sponsorship deal with a major French company on Thursday which safeguards their immediate Formula One future. The team have been in trouble since the loss of Japanese backers Espo and an engine deal with Lamborghini.
25.4.91LONDON/SYDNEY MARATHON:- Entries for the 1993 London-Sydney Marathon have reached the 120 mark - 40 more than event regulations permit. The selection committee will decide who can compete next month.
GM LOTUS:- Eastbourne's Piers Hunnisett headed the time sheets in unofficial practice for round four of the Formula Vauxhall Lotus Championship at Brands Hatch.
F3000:- Phil Andrews set the fastest time in a general test session for round two of the British Formula 3000 Championship at the Silverstone Grand Prix course.
F1:- JOHN WATSON ON THE SAN MARINO GRAND PRIX
The first European round of the 1991 Formula One World Championship looks certain to be a showcase for GP racing. The teams have had the benefit of two separate test sessions at Imola since Brazil and practice makes perfect... In addition, there is a lot of new equipment, with four teams introducing their 1991 cars. Benetton launch their B191, Footwork Porsche will be running a FA12, Fomet-Ford have the Fomet 1 ready to go and Brabham the BT60Ys.
Four teams run new cars at Imola but I expect Benetton with the B191 to be on the pace before any of the others. Benetton are using the Ford HB engine, already a proven race-winner, and their first John Barnard-prepared car - anything with which he is involved has to be considered a serious challenger.
Footwork Porsche had one of their FA12s written-off during testing last week at Imola. It is a testament to the car's strength that Michele Alboreto suffered nothing worse than a cut on his leg. Alboreto will have an FA12 at Imola but Alex Caffi will have to use the FA11. Brabham's 1991 challenger, the BT60Y, has barely been tested apart from a brief shakedown at Monza on Tuesday. The car has unusual looks, particularly in the bodywork treatment around the radiators, but it follows the trend set by Tyrrell with a raised nose inviting air to pass under the whole car. But, in reality, this race will be more of a test session than a serious bid. The new Fondmetal car is faced with pre-qualifying and I would be surprised if it can oust the two Jordan-Fords or either of the Dallara-Judds.
Undoubtedly the San Marino GP winner will be one of the McLaren-Hondas, one of the Williams-Renaults or a Ferrari. The pace in this Super Division is going to be furious and McLaren will have to work hard, not just rely on their superb reliability, if they are to score a 1991 hat-trick of victories. Ferrari have reacted hastily to their recent poor form by introducing a further version of the V12 engine along with aerodynamic and mechanical changes. Riccardo Patrese in a Williams won last year's race and this combination is the best outside bet for victory on Sunday.
The Second Division should be contested by four teams - Benetton-Ford, Tyrrell-Honda, Jordan-Ford and Dallara-Judd. The latter two must first survive pre-qualifying but Jordan-Ford in particular had a very satisfying time testing at Imola last week. As for the rest of the pack, they have a lot to do.
Tyres are always crucial here and there will be pit stops during the 61-lap 191-mile race. There was snow at Imola last weekend and, if this happened, the race would be postponed - no-one has yet produced a snow tyre for a Formula One car!
Jordan have boosted their Formula One prospects by clinching a sponsorship deal with Fujifilm. A company spokesman said they were delighted to have the chance to support a team with a "true challenging spirit".
26.4.91 - F1:-SAN MARINO GPDefending world champion Ayrton Senna in his McLaren-Honda shattered the lap record in Friday's practice session. The Brazilian ace, chasing a hat-trick of victories this season, lapped in 1 min 21.21.877 secs while last year's Imola winner Riccardo Patrese was second in his Williams in 1:21.95. Senna, who could clinch a record 55th pole position on Saturday, set the previous lap record of 1:23.22 in 1990.
"The track surface will be even quicker tomorrow when more rubber has been laid on the racing line," insisted Senna. Britain's Nigel Mansell said he was "more than happy" after clocking the fourth fastest time in Friday practice. "To say I didn't get a clear run on either of my qualifying laps would be an understatement," said the Williams driver. "But the boys have worked hard and done a fantastic job."
Martin Brundle and Mark Blundell gave the new Brabham BT60Ys their first serious outing, finishing 18th and 23rd respectively on the provisional grid. "I'm happy with the car's performance - it has a lot of potential" said Brundle. Michele Alboreto drove in Friday's practice for the San Marino Grand Prix despite the leg injury he suffered in a crash while testing last weekend. But the Italian faces a struggle to qualify for Sunday's race in his new Footwork-Porsche FA12 after clocking the slowest time of the session. "I'm not feeling 100 per cent," he later admitted. "If we have a chance to qualify the new car, I think it should be given to Alex (Caffi). I cracked two ribs in the crash and they are painful."
FIA WORLD FORMULA ONE CHAMPIONSHIP: Friday practice times: mins secs 1 A Senna Brz McLaren 1:21.877 2 R Patrese It Williams 1:21.957 3 A Prost Fr Ferrari 1:22.195 4 N Mansell GB Williams 1:22.366 5 G Berger Aut McLaren 1:22.567 6 S Modena It Tyrrell 1:23.511 7 J Alesi Fr Ferrari 1:23.945 8 G Morbidel' It Minardi 1:24.762 9 P Martini It Minardi 1:24.807 10 S Nakajima Jap Tyrrell 1:25.345 11 A de Ces'is It Jordan 1:25.491 12 B Gachot Bel Jordan 1:25.531 13 R Moreno Brz Benetton 1:25.655 14 N Piquet Brz Benetton 1:25.809 15 M Gugelmin Brz Leyton Hse 1:25.841 16 JJ Lehto Fin Dallara-Fd 1:25.974 17 E Bernard Fr Lola-Ford 1:25.983 18 M Brundle GB Brabham 1:26.055 19 E Comas Fr Ligier 1:26.207 20 A Suzuki Jap Lola-Ford 1:26.356 21 E vd Poele Bel Lamborghini 1:26.550 22 I Capelli It Leyton Hse 1:26.602 23 M Blundell GB Brabham 1:26.778 24 T Boutsen Bel Ligier 1:26.998 25 M Hakkinen Fin Lotus-Judd 1:27.324 26 J Bailey GB Lotus-Judd 1:27.976 NON-QUALIFIERS (provisional) 27 G Tarquini It AGS-Ford 1:28.175 28 F Barbazza It AGS-Ford 1:29.665 29 A Caffi It Footwork 1:30.280 30 M Alboreto It Footwork 1:30.762 Pre-qualifying times for Sunday'sSan Marino Grand Prix at Imola: 1 A De Cesaris It Jordan-Ford 1:25.535 2 JJ Lehto Fin Dallara-J'd 1:25.923 3 B Gachot Bel Jordan-Ford 1:25.980 4 E vd Poele Bel Lamborghini 1:26.117 Non-qualifiers 5 E Pirro It Dallara-J'd 1:26.305 6 O Grouillard Fr Fomet Ford 1:26.789 7 N Larini It Lamborghini 1:26.886 8 P Chaves Por Coloni Ford 1:31.239Italian Emanuele Pirro was edged out of his home GP by team-mate JJ Lehto. Lehto, who suffered problems with his Dallara-Judd during pre-qualifying, put in a flying lap in the closing stages. Larrousse have won sponsorship from soft drinks firm Orangina Plus.
AGS have been sold to an Italian consortium who run the F3000 team Krypton Engineering. Fabrizio Barbazza replaces driver Stefan Johansson. Osamu Goto, a former F1 project leader for Honda in Japan, joins the British McLaren team as an executive engineer.
27.4.91 - F1:- SAN MARINO GPDefending world champion Ayrton Senna in his McLaren-Honda extended his record number of pole positions to 55 after rain washed out final practice. Senna, chasing a hat-trick of wins this season, clocked an unofficial lap record of 1 min 21.877 secs on Friday. He is joined on the front row of the grid by Riccardo Patrese in a Williams. Senna's team-mate Gerhard Berger, fifth in the opening session, was quickest on the wet track on Saturday, clocking 1:40.322. Ferrari driver Jean Alesi also went well, lapping in 1:41.49, with Nigel Mansell third in 1:41.878.
Many of the drivers concentrated on finding a good set-up for the wet while others opted out of the rain-hit final session at Imola on Saturday afternoon. "I hope the race will be dry, in the wet here it's a lottery," admitted Nigel Mansell, after setting the third best time of the final session. "In the dry on full tanks we'll be competitive" Bertrand Gachot lines up alongside his 7UP Jordan team-mate Andrea de Cesaris on the sixth row of the grid for Sunday's race. "The car feels good once again," said the Frenchman. "I'm not too worried whether it is wet or dry."
FIA WORLD FORMULA ONE CHAMPIONSHIP: Final practice times: mins secs 1 A Senna Brz McLaren 1:21.877 2 R Patrese It Williams 1:21.957 3 A Prost Fr Ferrari 1:22.195 4 N Mansell GB Williams 1:22.366 5 G Berger Aut McLaren 1:22.567 6 S Modena It Tyrrell 1:23.511 7 J Alesi Fr Ferrari 1:23.945 8 G Morbidelli It Minardi 1:24.762 9 P Martini It Minardi 1:24.807 10 S Nakajima Jap Tyrrell 1:25.345 11 A de Cesaris It Jordan 1:25.491 12 B Gachot Bel Jordan 1:25.531 13 R Moreno Brz Benetton 1:25.655 14 N Piquet Brz Benetton 1:25.809 15 M Gugelmin Brz Leyton Hse 1:25.841 16 JJ Lehto Fin Dallara-Fd 1:25.974 17 E Bernard Fr Lola-Ford 1:25.983 18 M Brundle GB Brabham 1:26.055 19 E Comas Fr Ligier 1:26.207 20 A Suzuki Jap Lola-Ford 1:26.356 21 E vd Poele Bel Lamborg'ni 1:26.550 22 I Capelli It Leyton Hse 1:26.602 23 M Blundell GB Brabham 1:26.778 24 T Boutsen Bel Ligier 1:26.998 25 M Hakkinen Fin Lotus-Judd 1:27.324 26 J Bailey GB Lotus-Judd 1:27.976 NON-QUALIFIERS 27 G Tarquini It AGS-Ford 1:28.175 28 F Barbazza It AGS-Ford 1:29.665 29 A Caffi It Footwork 1:30.280 30 M Alboreto It Footwork 1:30.762F3000:- Paul Warwick is on pole for Sunday's second round of the British F3000 Championship at Donington Park. Warwick in a Reynard clocked 1 min 22.21 secs with Swede Fredrik Ekblom second in his Lola after lapping in 1:22.29.
TOURING CARS:- The Prodrive team BMWs of Steve Soper and Jonathan Palmer dominated practice for the third round of the Esso British Touring Car Championship at Donington. Soper clocked 1:42.74 to clinch pole spot with Palmer second in 1:43.87. Will Hoy was third but his time was discounted due to a noisy exhaust and he starts from seventh spot on the grid.
28.4.91 - F1:- SAN MARINO GPBrazilian Ayrton Senna held off a late charge from his McLaren-Honda team-mate Gerhard Berger at Imola to clinch a hat-trick of victories this season. Senna roared into the lead on lap 10 when last year's race winner Riccardo Patrese was forced into the pits with a misfire on his Williams. He traded fastest laps with Berger and, despite the gap closing in the final stages, won comfortably by 1.67 seconds. Third was Finn JJ Lehto in the Dallara-Judd, ahead of Minardi driver Pierluigi Martini followed by the two Lotus-Judds.
Italy's Riccardo Patrese made a superb start as he chased a second successive victory in front of his home crowd. The Williams-Renault driver nipped into the lead ahead of Brazilian Ayrton Senna and kept the McLaren star at bay during the first 10 very wet laps. But his brave effort went unrewarded when he was forced into the pits with a misfire. He rejoined in 19th place and set a new lap record - later broken by Senna - before eventually retiring. Team-mate Nigel Mansell went out on lap two when he was hit by another car while struggling with gearbox trouble.
Many of the Italian spectators left the circuit after just a few laps of the race having seen both Ferraris go out. Alain Prost failed to make the start of the 61-lap race, spinning out on the rain-soaked track on the warm-up lap. Fellow-Frenchman Jean Alesi fared only slightly better, crashing out on lap 3 as he tried to nip inside the Benetton of Roberto Moreno to take third place. Brazilian Nelson Piquet, joint third in the FIA Formula One World Championship after two rounds, also made an early exit from the race in his Benetton.
Britain's Julian Bailey earned his first Formula One point, finishing sixth behind team-mate Mika Hakkinen after a superb drive in the Lotus-Judd. Many more experienced GP drivers fell by the wayside including Benetton driver Roberto Moreno who retired with engine trouble just four laps from the finish while lying fourth. Stefano Modena (Tyrrell) and Andrea de Cesaris (Jordan) both retired at two-third distance while lying third and sixth respectively. Lamborghini's Eric van de Poele stopped on the last lap.
Ayrton Senna clinched his 29th GP win, his third at Imola, and declared: "It was an unbelievable victory, achieved in very difficult conditions."
"Rain made the track very dangerous... the car was set up for dry conditions," added the Brazilian world champion who also suffered oil pressure problems. Team-mate Gerhard Berger spun off on the warm-up lap but managed to continue unlike Alain Prost whose race ended there. "I was very lucky," he admitted. Berger finished second despite serious problems with his brakes. "The car was very difficult to control," he said.
FIA WORLD F1 CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND THREE Result at Imola after 61 laps: 1 A Senna Brz McLaren 1 hr 35 mins 14.75 secs 2 G Berger Aut McLaren 1.675s back 3 JJ Lehto Fin Dallara 1 lap 4 P Martini It Minardi 2 laps 5 M Hakkinen Fin Lotus 3 laps 6 J Bailey GB Lotus 3 laps 7 T Boutsen Bel Ligier 3 laps 8 M Blundell GB Brabham 3 laps 9 E v d Poele Bel Lamborghini 4 laps 10 E Comas Fr Ligier 4 laps 11 M Brundle GB Brabham 4 laps 12 M Gugelmin Brz Leyton Hse 6 laps 13 R Moreno Brz Benetton 7 laps FIA WORLD F-ONE DRIVERS STANDINGS 1 A Senna Brz McLaren 30 points 2 G Berger Aut McLaren 10 3 A Prost Fr Ferrari 9 4 R Patrese It Williams 6 = N Piquet Brz Benetton 6 6 JJ Lehto Fin Dallara 4 7 S Modena It Tyrrell 3 = P Martini It Minardi 3 9 S Nakajima Jpn Tyrrell 2 = M Hakkinen Fin Lotus 2 11 A Suzuki Jap Lola-Ford 1 == J Alesi Fr Ferrari 1 == J Bailey GB Lotus 1 FIA WORLD F-ONE CONSTRUCTORS TABLE 1 McLaren 40 points 2 Ferrari 10 3 Benetton 6 = Williams 6 5 Tyrrell 5 6 Dallara 4 7 Minardi 3 = Lotus 3 9 Lola 1F3000:- Paul Warwick led from start to finish to claim his second successive win in the British F3000 Championship, at Donington Park. Phil Andrews slashed a second off the lap record on his way to second place, ahead of Julian Westwood.
28.4.91 - CORSICA RALLYGerman Armin Schwarz threw caution to the wind on the twisting mountain roads to take a 12-second lead after the four stages of the first day. The Toyota driver broke the course record on the 17km second timed stage by six seconds and won the fourth stage to pull clear of Frenchman Francois Delecour in his Ford Sierra Cosworth. World champion Carlos Sainz was third in a Toyota, 15 seconds behind, while Didier Auriol, seeking his fourth successive win, was fourth in a Lancia Integrale, 38 seconds in arrears.
Leaderboard after 4 of 27 stages: mins secs 1 A Schwarz Toyota Celica 45:58 2 F Delecour Ford Sierra Cos 46:10 3 C Sainz Toyota Celica 46:13 4 D Auriol Lancia Int 46.36 5 G Cunico Ford Sierra Cos 46:43 6 M Duez Toyota Celica 46:48 7 B Saby Lancia Int 46:54 8 F Chatriot Subaru Legacy 46:55 9 M Wilson Ford Sierra Cos 46.56 10 B Beguin Ford Sierra 4x4 47.21 29.4.91 - CORSICA RALLY Leaderboard after 13 of 27 stages: (end of second day) hrs:mins.secs 1 D Auriol Lancia Int 3:08.42 2 F Delecour Ford Sierra Cos 3:08.42 3 C Sainz Toyota Celica 3:09.01 4 C G'franco Ford Sierra Cos 3:11.37 5 M Duez Toyota Celica 3:12.53 6 M Wilson Ford Sierra Cos 3:13.52 7 B Beguin Ford Sierra 4x4 3:15.31 8 F Chatriot Subaru Legacy 3:15.40 9 J Ragnotti Renault Clio 3:16.52 10 P Bugalski Renault Clio 3:16.53Didier Auriol and Francois Delecour were tied for first place after the second leg, with world champion Carlos Sainz just 20 seconds behind. Overnight leader Armin Schwarz crashed out under pressure to fend off the relentless charge of Delecour and Auriol, hitting a wall on the 10th. But there was nothing to separate the two Frenchmen at the end of the 13th stage, both accumulating penalties of 3 hours 8 minutes 42 seconds. Britain's Malcolm Wilson overcame a broken selector rail to finish sixth.
30.4.91 - CORSICA RALLY Leaderboard after 20 of 27 stages: (end of third leg) hrs:mins.secs 1 C Sainz Toyota Celica 5:03.09 2 D Auriol Lancia Int 5:03.20 3 C G'franco Ford Sierra Cos 5:08.23 4 M Duez Toyota Celica 5:08.45 5 M Wilson Ford Sierra Cos 5:12.08 6 F Chatriot Subaru Legacy 5:15.16 7 P Bugalski Renault Clio 16S 5:16.45 8 P B'ardini B.M.W. M3 5:17.14 9 F Delecour Ford Sierra Cos 5:18.41 10 Y Loubet Lancia Int 5:19.13World champion Carlos Sainz held a slender lead after the penultimate day which saw pacesetter Francois Delecour drop out of the race for the lead. Delecour had to stop his Sierra for 15 minutes in the 17th stage and dropped to ninth place, but still set the fastest times on the final three stages. Sainz now leads from Frenchman Didier Auriol by just 11 seconds. Britain's Malcolm Wilson has a secure fifth place, despite losing two minutes on stage 15, where he had just his handbrake to slow down his Sierra.