April 1991

01.04.91 - TOURING CAR
Will 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.

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        + 19.33

F3:- 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

 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

1 Toyota   50 pts
2 Lancia   46
3 Subaru   15
4 Ford     14
5 Nissan    6
6 Mazda     6

CIRCUIT 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:
 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 - F1
Benetton'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
 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      1:29.230
Pace-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 - F1
Footwork 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.

1991 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...


 1 Team Sauber      Mercedes-Benz C11
   Mercedes         Schlesser/Mass

 2 Team Sauber      Mercedes-Benz C11
   Mercedes         Schumacher/Wendlinger

 3 Silk Cut Jaguar  Jaguar XJR14

 4 Silk Cut Jaguar  Jaguar XJR14

 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

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

16 Repsol Brun      Porsche 962C
   Motorsport       Pareja/Brun

17 Repsol Brun      Porsche 962C
   Motorsport       Larrauri/Sigala

18 Mazdaspeed       Mazda 787B

-- Mazdaspeed       Mazda 787
British-based Team Davey have pulled out of the Championship, leaving just 16 cars to contest the 1991 series.

13.04.91 - SPORTSCARS

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     1:56.672
Derek 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.

                             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    75:58

PLAINS 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

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 finish
Derek 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.

Italian 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.

(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 - F3
Swedish 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.

FORMULA 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.

 1 Rydell      20
 2 Coulthaurd  12
 3 Barrichello 10

(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

SPORTSCARS:- 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 900,000 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.

TOURING 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.

LONDON/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.


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 GP
Defending 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."

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
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 1:31.239
Italian 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 GP
Defending 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."

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
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

F3000:- 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 GP
Brazilian 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.

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

 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

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                   1

F3000:- 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.

German 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


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     3:16.53
Didier 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.


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       5:19.13
World 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.