February 1991

01.02.91 - F1
Damon Hill has signed as official test driver for the Canon Williams team, replacing Mark Blundell who will race for the Brabham F1 team this season. Hill is to compete in Formula 3000.

LOLA:- Lola Cars, the Huntingdon-based racing car manufacturers, have been presented with a Mid-Anglia Business Commendation.


Frenchman Bob Wollek driving a Porsche, clocked 1 min 50.870 secs to take pole position for the 24-hour race which starts on Saturday. Defending champion Davy Jones, in his Jaguar XJR12, took second place after lapping the circuit in 1:52.068. Conditions were very wet and blustery on the 3.56-mile circuit. The positions of the rest of the field will be decided after further qualfying rounds on Friday.

John Nielsen was taken to hospital after a crash during practice which badly damaged one of the Jaguar XJR12s. The accident happened in slippery conditions as Nielsen was driving through the chicanes. The Danish driver escaped with concussion and was released after treatment. Jaguar, now down to just one car, have re-organised their driver line-up. Derek Warwick switches to the second XJR12, joining Davy Jones, Scott Pruett and Raul Boesel. Irishman Kenny Acheson and Eddie Cheever miss out on a drive.

Australian drivers have swamped the organiser of the London to Sydney run with entries for the 1993 event. Among them are Ian Vaughan and Gerry Lister, third and 13th respectively in the 1968 marathon, who plan to compete in the Ford Falcon and Volvo they used in the original run.

Nissan were given an unexpected boost to their bid for a first 24-hour win when Jaguar and then one of the Joest Porsches suffered mechanical trouble. The European Nissan R90Cs had already been in the lead in the early stages of the race and, at just after halfway, were in first and fourth place. The Nissans, faster than the IMSA GT prototypes, have a fuel limitation and slower method of refuelling but drizzle for the first six hours of the race has already helped reduce their fuel needs. "We're in good shape right now," said driver Geoff Brabham around midnight.

Jaguar's hopes of a third win in four years were ended when the waterpump failed shortly before the halfway mark. The number two Bud Lite car, driven by Britain's Derek Warwick, Davy Jones, Scott Pruett and Raul Boesel had led for much of the early stages. Then at 2.06am it returned to the pits with steam pouring from the engine compartment. It returned to the action at 3.56am with Warwick at the wheel but with no hope of catching the leaders. The trouble returned and, three water pumps later, they were forced to retire. The no 6 Joest Porsche, leading after 12 hours, retired with piston trouble.

A Porsche 962C prototype looks well set for victory with three hours remaining of the incident-packed race. Bob Wollek, whose pole-winning Porsche suffered a cylinder problem, joined Hurley Haywood, Henri Pescarolo, John Winter and Frank Jelinski to help build a 12-lap lead over nearest rival Nissan. Mario Andretti with sons Michael and Jeff had been challenging hard in their Porsche before an hour-long pit stop ruined their chances. The crew found a bolt had sheered through the flywheel. They rejoined in fourth place, 40 laps behind the leading Porsche.

LATER THAT DAY..... A Porsche 962C prototype completed an excellent drive to give the German manufacturer its 18th win in 23 tries. Bob Wollek joined Hurley Haywood, Henri Pescarolo, Frank Jelinksi and John Winter to help build an 18-lap winning margin over nearest rivals Nissan. Mario Andretti with sons Michael and Jeff had been challenging hard in their Porsche before an hour-long pit stop ruined their chances. The victors, who came to the front in the early morning hours, had only a flat tyre and a minor overheating problem to contend with.

04.02.91 - WELSH RALLY
The Welsh International Rally, which takes place on May 4-5, will again base rally HQ at Swansea.

GM LOTUS:- The 1991 GM Lotus Euroseries has been expanded to 15 rounds, which will be staged in 11 different countries. The opening round will be at Hockenheim in Germany on April 14.

07.02.91 - F1:- NIGEL MANSELL
Nigel Mansell starts the 1991 F1 season with a stronger desire than ever before to win the World Championship that has eluded him for the last five years. "I have more zest than ever before. I have done my apprenticeship," he said, speaking at the headquarters of F1 team Canon Williams in Didcot. He returns to the English team he spent four years with after two years at Italian team Ferrari. "I think we have a heck of a good chance of success," said the 37-year-old Englishman. But he has made his old team Ferrari hot favourites to win the first two F1 Grand Prixs.

"They have been testing hard and are a formidable force," he said. "They must be clear favourites to win in Phoenix and Brazil. Canon Williams have been working hard to tight schedules producing our car and won't have much testing before the season starts (on March 10)," he added. Mansell went on to say that his team's challenge will strengthen as the season goes on.

13.02.91 - F1
Grand Prix ace Martin Donnelly leaves hospital for good in the next week - almost five months after his horrifying accident at the Spanish Grand Prix. And the brave Ulsterman has set himself a target of making his return to Formula 1 at the San Marino Grand Prix at the end of April. Donnelly had his final operation on Monday to remove pins from his legs at a London hospital where he has been since his 150mph crash in Jerez. He is to continue intensive treatment at Willi Dungl's clinic in Austria.

The FISA World Council meets today to decide on controversial changes to the Formula One regulations. They are expected to approve proposals to award 10 points for a win, instead of nine and rule that points from 14 of the 16 races will count, rather than 11. A controversial measure to ban using the 'spare' car for a re-start after the second lap will be decided too. FISA has come under severe criticism for postponing a decision to change cockpit dimensions until 1992 despite pressure from drivers for a change.

14.02.91 - F1

Formula One 1991 line-up:
 1 Ayrton Senna       Brz McLaren-Honda
 2 Gerhard Berger     Aus McLaren-Honda
 3 Satoru Nakajima    Jap Turrell-Honda
 4 Stefano Modena     It  Tyrrell-Honda
 5 Nigel Mansell      GB  Williams-Ren
 6 Riccardo Patrese   It  Williams-Ren
 7 Martin Brundle     GB  Brabham-Yamaha
 8 Mark Blundell      GB  Brabham-Yamaha
 9 Michele Alboreto   It  Footwk-Porsche
10 Alex Caffi         It  Footwk-Porsche
11 Mika Hakkinen      Fin Lotus-Judd
12 Martin Donnelly    GB  Lotus-Judd
14 Olivier Grouillard Fr  Fondmetal-Ford
15 Mauricio Gugelmin  Brz L House-Ilmor
16 Ivan Capelli       It  L House-Ilmor
17 Gabriele Tarquini  It  AGS-Ford
18 Stefan Johannson   Swe AGS-Ford
19 Nelson Piquet      Brz Beneton-Ford
20 Roberto Moreno     Brz Beneton-Ford
21 Emmanuele Pirro    It  Dallara-Ford
22 J J Lehto          Fin Dallara-Ford
23 Pierluigi Martini  It  Min-Ferrari
24 Gianni Morbidelli  It  Min-Ferrari
25 Thierry Boutsen    Bel Ligier-Lamb
26 Eric Comas         Fr  Ligier-Lamb
27 Alain Prost        Fr  Ferrari
28 Jean Alesi         Fr  Ferrari
29 Eric Bernard       Fr  Lola-Ford
30 Aguri Suzuki       Jap Lola-Ford
31 Pedro Matos Chaves Por Coloni-Ford
32 Bertrand Gachot    Bel Jordan-Ford
33 Andrea De Cesaris  It  Jordan-Ford
34 Nicola Larini      It  Modena-Lamb
35 Eric Van de Poele  Bel Modena-Lamb
Martin Donnelly has been named in the list of 34 drivers for the 1991 Formula One season - despite suffering horrific injuries in last year's Spanish GP. The Ulsterman is still recovering from the accident, but Lotus-Judd have entered him for the forthcoming season.

World champion Ayrton Senna heads the list of drivers, taking the number one spot, while last year's runner-up Alain Prost opts for number 27. Britain's Nigel Mansell, now with Williams-Renault takes number five. Andrea de Cesaris is to join Bertrand Gachot at Team 7Up Jordan, and Bernd Schneider will act as reserve driver. The enigmatic Italian said: "I think that the team has the potential to surprise many of the established teams in its first season."

"I have no doubt that the Jordan 191, with the Ford HB engine, is going to be competitive. Bertrand has shown just how quick the car is." Team owner Eddie Jordan said: "I feel Andrea can produce top results with the right equipment."

16.02.91 - SWEDISH RALLY
Mats Jonsson is the surprise joint leader in the early stages of the Swedish Rally. He was quickest over the opening special stage in Karlstad. But Kenneth Eriksson, in the Mitsubishi pulled back three seconds to share the lead after the second of 29 stages. British hope Gwyndaff Evans made a good start to hold eighth place from Didier Auriol despite problems with his in-car intercom system. Leading positions after 2 stages of 29:

                                mins secs
 1 M Jonsson   Swe Toyota GT4     19:27
 2 K Eriksson  Swe Mitsubishi     19:27
 3 M Alen      Fin Subaru RS      19:32
 4 B Johansson Swe Mazda 323      19:33
 5 T Salonen   Fin Mitsubishi     19:37
 6 I Carlsson  Swe Mazda 323      19:50
 7 P Eklund    Swe Lancia Int     19:54
 8 G Evans     GB  Ford Cosworth  20:04
 9 D Auriol    Fin Lancia Int     20:11
10 S Nilsson   Swe Mitsubishi     20:19

Flying Finn Timo Salonen had a storming drive through the field to lead at the end of the first day. Salonen moved past team-mate Kenneth Ericksson and early leader Mats Johnson to establish an overnight lead of 14 seconds over his nearest rival. Hannu Mikkola, in a Mazda, struggled with flu but came back to grab tenth place in the leaderboard after two impressive late stages. The Scandanavian experience in snow began to tell on the leaderboard at the end of the opening day.

Hannu Mikkola (Mazda) spun on SS2, losing 20 seconds to leaders. Lasse Lampi (Mitsubishi) dropped from seventh with turbo troubles on SS2. Gwyndaf Evans (Ford) rolled losing 20 minutes and a windscreen with just one stage to go before overnight finish.

Leading positions after 9 stages of 29:
                            hour mins secs
 1 T Salonen   Fin  Mitsubishi  1:57:12
 2 K Eriksson  Swe  Mitsubishi  1:57:26
 3 M Jonsson   Swe  Toyota GT4  1:57:36
 4 M Alen      Fin  Subaru RS   1:58:35
 5 B Johansson Swe  Mazda 323   1:59:50
 6 D Auriol    Fr   Lancia Int  2:00:20
 7 I Carlsson  Swe  Mazda 323   2:00:32
 8 L Lampi     Fin  Mitsubishi  2:01:13
 9 P Eklund    Swe  Lancia Int  2:01:49
10 H Mikkola   Swe  Mazda 323   2:02:15

17.02.91 - SWEDISH RALLY
First day leader Timo Salonen plunged out of the rally as Kenneth Eriksson took the lead after the second leg. Salonen escaped unhurt but his car finished in deep snow and he was left stranded on stage 11. Eriksson overhauled Mats Jonsson on the final stage of the day despite being penalised for an alleged jump start.

Didier Auriol put his car off the road but spectators helped him push it back on. However, he still lost a minute and finished the leg in ninth place.

Positions after 21 stages of 29: (end of second leg)
                           hour mins secs
 1 K Eriksson  Swe Mitsubishi  3:45:31
 2 M Jonsson   Swe Toyota GT4  3:45:35
 3 M Alen      Fin Subaru RS   3:45:53
 4 I Carlsson  Swe Mazda 323   3:49:47
 5 B Johansson Swe Mazda 323   3:50:35
 6 L Lampi     Fin Mitsubishi  3:50:42
 7 P Eklund    Swe Lancia Int  3:52:03
 8 H Mikkola   Fin Mazda 323   3:53:35
 9 D Auriol    Fr  Lancia Int  3:55:16
10 L Asterhag  Swe Toyota GT4  3:55:40

19.02.91 - SWEDISH RALLY
Home favourite Kenneth Eriksson won in front of his supporters despite a one-minute penalty over the weekend. Eriksson, the overnight leader in his Mitsubushi by just four seconds, built on his advantage to finish the 261-km rally in 4 hrs 56 mins 16 secs. Despite the penalty for anticipating Sunday's start, he finished 20 seconds ahead of compatriot Mats Jonsson in a Toyota. Marku Allen (Subaru) came third. Eriksson, who shared the 1986 world title, captured the lead halfway through and won 15 stages in all.

Positions after 29 stages of 29:
                           hour mins secs
 1 K Eriksson  Swe Mitsubishi  4:56:16
 2 M Jonsson   Swe Toyota GT4  4:56:36
 3 M Alen      Fin Subaru RS   4:57:20
 4 I Carlsson  Swe Mazda 323   5:01:55
 5 L Lampi     Fin Mitsubishi  5:02:57
 6 B Johansson Swe Mazda 323   5:05:36
 7 H Mikkola   Fin Mazda 323   5:06:10
 8 P Eklund    Swe Lancia Int  5:06:58
 9 D Auriol    Fr  Lancia Int  5:08:59
10 L Asterhag  Swe Toyota GT4  5:10:25

21.02.91 - RALLY NEWS
Colway Tyres Junior Rally Team are looking for a third driver to join Alister McRae, 20, and Dominic Buckley, 23, in the British Open Championship. "He or she has to be talented, already proving themselves - and Welsh. We have representation elsewhere and would like someone in the Welsh series," said company spokesman Fred Henderson.

F1:- Nigel Mansell says he is confident of beating the jinx that has twice stopped him becoming Formula One World Champion. "This year I have got the best chance I have ever had," Mansell said at a rainy Silverstone where he was testing the new Williams FW14 for the first time. A blown tyre destroyed his chances in the last race in 1986 and a year later he crashed during qualifying in Japan.

At Silverstone on Thursday the Williams initially refused to start but he later managed several laps and looked impressive as he settled in.


Result after 20 stages (amended):
                           hr mins secs
 1 C McRae        Subaru     2:31:17
 2 R Brookes      Ford       2:37:48
 3 M Sohlberg     M'bishi    2:49:30
 4 D Maslen       Ford (N)   2:49:51
 5 D Buckley      Mazda (N)  2:50:18
 6 J Morton       Lancia     2:51:33
 7 R Lancaster    Ford       2:52:03
 8 M Harrison     Ford (N)   2:53:19
 9 P Stephenson   Toyota     2:55:02
10 P Frankland    Peugeot    2:56:04
Scot Colin McRae gave the Subaru team their first success of the season with a convincing victory in the opening round of the Shell RAC Open series. McRae lost his lead when he suffered windscreen heater trouble on Saturday afternoon but regained it in style with a scorching drive over Sunday's opener, the 19-mile Dalby forest stage. He edged 20 seconds ahead of his great rival Russell Brookes and was then given a clear run when the Ford driver had problems with the bonnet of his car.

A 30-second time penalty cost David Maslen his hard-fought Group N honours, handing the showroom-standard class win to Mitsubishi driver Mika Sohlberg. Malsen's Ford suffered a punture on stage 16 but he recovered to finish the event in third place overall, nine seconds ahead of Sohlberg - before the penalty was imposed costing him a place. Martyn Harrison was another to suffer a puncture on the second Dalby Forest visit. He stopped inside the stage to change the wheel on his Ford and lost four minutes, dropping from fourth place to eventually finish eighth.

Richard Burns, winner of the 1990 Peugeot Challenge, retired with a seized gearbox having earlier held seventh place overall. Kevin Furber retired within sight of the finish after struggling with gearbox trouble over the closing stages of the two-day 20-stage event. Dominic Buckley battled into third place behind Russell Brookes before puncturing a tyre on his Mazda. He eventually finished fifth.

25.02.91 - F1
The Lotus Formula One team have unveiled their new car for the 1991 World Championship. Finland's Mika Hakkinen, signed by the team last December after winning the British F3 title, gave the Lotus 102B its 'shakedown' test at Silverstone. The new Lotus car is a revision of last year's chassis. It incorporates the old transmission with a Judd V-8 engine. Hakkinen will be the number two driver this year, with the top spot reserved for Briton Martin Donnelly, who is still recovering from crash injuries.

F3000:- Reynard have signed a three-year sponsorship contract with a Japanase finance house - the Promise company - to form the Promise & Reynard F3000 team. Former Japanese F3000 vice-champion Ross Cheever will contest the All-Japan championship on their behalf.

28.02.91 - RALLY NEWS
World champion Carlos Sainz skidded off the road during training for next weeks Portuguese rally injuring his navigator Luis Moya. "There was a lot of water on the road and I ended up in a pine forest," said Sainz, who leads the world championship. Moya was taken to hospital in Coimbra for stitches to his hand. The front of Sainz's Toyota was damaged in the accident near Arganil.

F1:- World champion Ayrton Senna tested his new needlepoint McLaren Formula One car for the first time at Estoril in Portugal on Wednesday. McLaren hope the MP4/6 will help the British-based team retain the constructors and drivers titles when the new season starts on March 10. "McLaren is famous for presenting its cars at the last moment," Senna said. "But this year it is being presented later than we would like because of a technical restructuring, which was done very late," Senna added.

Julian Bailey will drive for Lotus in the opening round of the Formula 1 World Championship in Phoenix on March 10, the team has announced. He stands in for Martin Donnelly who is recovering from an accident in last year's Spanish Grand Prix. "Julian will be in the car until Martin is fit to race," said team manager Peter Collins. Bailey, who drove for the Tyrrell Grand Prix team in 1988 is testing the Lotus at Silverstone Thursday.

Nigel Mansell continues testing the new Canon Williams FW14 at Paul Ricard in France today. On Wednesday Mansell did a 1 minute 03 sec best - only 0.3s away from his best last month.