January 1992

F3000:- Former world champion Nelson Piquet has launched his own team to compete in the International F3000 Championship. Frenchman Olivier Beretta will be the driver for Piquet Racing, who have set up a base near Snetterton. The team have bought two new Ralt RT24s from March Cars and will be carrying out intensive tests before the opening round at Silverstone on May 10. Piquet, who currently has no drive for the new Grand Prix season, won the British F3 Championship in a Ralt 13 years ago.

SPORTSCARS:- FISA president Max Mosley has said that the World Sportscar Championship, which was threatened with extinction last year, is set to receive official backing within the next few days.

PARIS-CAPE TOWN RALLY:- Mitsibushi continued to dominate events after the enforced one-day break, with the Japanase manufacturer taking the first three places on the eighth stage. Kinjiro Shinozuka of Japan won the 695-km stage from the Chadian capital N'Djamena to Sarh in the south, ahead of German Ermin Weber and Hubert Auriol of France who retained the overall lead. The rally was stopped on Wednesday following clashes between Chadian troops and rebel forces.

Result of eighth stage: (695-km N'Djamena to Sarh)
CARS                      hrs mins secs
 1 K Shinozuka Jpn Mitsubishi   2:05:09
 2 E Weber     Ger Mitsubishi   2:06:28
 3 H Auriol    Fr  Mitsubishi   2:07:34
 4 P Lartigue  Fr  Citroen      2:13:48
 5 B Waldegard Swe Citroen      2:27:11

Overall positions after eighth stage:
CARS                      hrs mins secs
1 H Auriol    Fr  Mitsubishi  13:53:12
2 E Weber     Ger Mitsubishi  14:26:58
3 K Shinozuka Jpn Mitsubishi  14:28:37
4 B Waldegard Swe Citroen     15:50:46
5 A Vatanen   Fin Citroen     17:13:20

TARMAC RALLY:- John Price begins his defence of the Demon Tweeks/Motoring News National Tarmac title in the six-stage Mewla Rally on Saturday. Last season's runner-up Gwyndaf Evans and third-placed Eian Pritchard head the challengers for the event, which takes place on military roads between Brecon and Builth Wells.

PARIS-CAPE TOWN RALLY:- Ari Vatanen struck back for Citroen on the ninth stage from Chad to Bouar but the Mitsubishi team still fill the first three places on the leaderboard. Vatanen, four-times winner of the Paris-Dakar event, was fastest in a 260-km timed test ahead of teammate Bjorn Waldegaard. Kenjiro Shinozuka, winner of stage eight, came home third but remains in the same position overall. Hubert Auriol consolidated his lead ahead of Erwin Weber with a sixth place finish in the stage.

Result of ninth stage:(663-km Sarh, Chad to Bouar)
CARS                      hrs mins secs
1 A Vatanen   Fin Citroen      0:06:55
2 B Waldegard Swe Citroen      0:08:40
3 K Shinozuka Jpn Mitsubishi   0:10:26
4 E Weber     Ger Mitsubishi   0:11:38
5 H Auriol    Fr  Mitsubishi   0:13:16

Overall positions after ninth stage:
CARS                      hrs mins secs
1 H Auriol    Fr  Mit'bishi   14:06:28
2 E Weber     Ger Mit'bishi @ 00:32:08
3 K Shinozuka Jpn Mit'bishi @ 00:32:35
4 B Waldegard Swe Citroen   @ 01:52:53
5 A Vatanen   Fin Citroen   @ 03:12:47

Bjorn Waldegaard scored Citroen's second successive win in Saturday's 121km stage but Mitsubishi remain in command on the overall leaderboard. Waldegaard's teammate Ari Vatanen was second fastest on the stage which took the competitios through tropical forest to Yaounde. Mitsubishi's Hubert Auriol was five minutes behind Waldegaard in fourth place but it was good enough for him to retain a 32-minute advantage overall.

Result of 10th stage:(792-km Bouar, CAR to Yaounde, C'roon)
CARS                          mins secs
1 A Vatanen   Fin Citroen        27:53
2 B Waldegard Swe Citroen      @ 00:57
3 K Shinozuka Jpn Mitsubishi   @ 01:32
4 H Auriol    Fr  Mitsubishi   @ 01:38
5 P Lartigue  Fr  Citroen      @ 01:49

Overall positions after 10th stage:
CARS                      hrs mins secs
1 H Auriol    Fr  Mit'bishi   14:35:43
2 E Weber     Ger Mit'bishi @ 00:32:29
= K Shinozuka Jpn Mit'bishi @ 00:32:29
4 B Waldegard Swe Citroen   @ 01:52:17
5 A Vatanen   Fin Citroen   @ 03:11:09

Hubert Auriol survived his first mishap of the rally to retain the overall lead as defending champion Ari Vatanen took the honours on the 11th stage. Auriol hit trouble when his Mitsubishi turned over on a tight bend halfway through the timed second on the 364km drive from Yanounde to Oyem. He lost 16 minutes 23 seconds but is still 17 minutes ahead of teammates Erwin Weber and Kenjiro Shinozuka. Vatanen, driving a Citroen, took his third stage win in a row ahead of Weber and teammate Bjorn Waldegard.

Result of 11th stage:
(364km, Yaounde to Oyem, Gabon)
CARS                          mins secs
1 A Vatanen   Fin Citroen         6:54
2 E Weber     Ger Mitsubishi   @ 00:30
3 B Waldegard Swe Citroen      @ 00:52
4 K Shinozuka Jap Mitsubishi   @ 01:37
5 J Ickx      Bel Citroen      @ 01:50

Overall positions after 11th stage:
CARS                      hrs mins secs
1 H Auriol    Fr  Mit'bishi   14:59:00
2 E Weber     Ger Mit'bishi @ 00:16:36
3 K Shinozuka Jpn Mit'bishi @ 00:17:43
4 B Waldegard Swe Citroen   @ 01:36:46
5 A Vatanen   Fin Citroen   @ 02:54:46

Pierre Lartigue lead a clean sweep for Citroen, finishing the 13th stage just over a minute ahead of Ari Vatanen with Bjorn Waldegard taking third place. The 770kms from Oyem to Franceville took the competitors over the equator into the Southern Hemisphere. The stage gave competitors little hope of improving their overall positions as dust made overtaking almost impossible. Leader Hurbert Auriol lost another minute to second placed Mitsubishi teammate Erwin Weber on the stage. All competitors had their vehicles' rear lights and rear view mirrors checked by stewards due to the problems caused by dust on recent stages.

Result of 13th stage:(770km, Oyem to Franceville, Gabon)
CARS                         hrs mins secs
1 P Lartigue  Fr  Citroen      1:04:23
2 A Vatanen   Fin Citroen      @  1:07
3 B Waldegard Swe Citroen      @  2:35
4 E Weber     Ger Mitsubishi   @  5:49
5 H Auriol    Fr  Mitsubishi   @  6:58

Overall positions after 13th stage:
CARS                      hrs mins secs
1 H Auriol    Fr  Mit'bishi   16:10:21
2 E Weber     Ger Mit'bishi @ 00:15:27
3 K Shinozuka Jpn Mit'bishi @ 00:18:02
4 B Waldegard Swe Citroen   @ 01:32:23
5 A Vatanen   Fin Citroen   @ 02:48:55

RALLYING:- The De Lacy International Rally, due to take place in Yorkshire on February 21-23, has been cancelled due to sponsorship withdrawal. The Mobil 1 Top Gear British Rally Championship will now revert to a seven-round format.

Grand Prix driver Martin Donnelly is setting up his own racing team and aims to enter two cars in this year's British Vauxhall Lotus Championship. Donnelly, 27, from Northern Ireland, spent 1991 recovering from near-fatal injuries sustained in a 170mph crash in practice for the 1990 Spanish GP. Martin Donnelly Racing have already signed British Junior Formula Ford champion Dino Morelli as a driver. Paul Jackson, a Formula 3 man, will oversee the technical side of the team, to be based in Snetterton, Norfolk.

PARIS-CAPE TOWN RALLY:- The remaining competitors savoured a well-earned rest day on Wednesday at Pointe Noire in Congo. The mechanics seized the opportunity to recondition some of the vehicles before loading them on to the ferry for Lobito in Angola. The rally resumes on January 10 with a 441 km stage from Lobito to Namibe. Organisers say the rally could finish in Cape Town every other year from now on but not every year because of the difficulty of organising a route the length of the African continent.

F1:- The Minardi Formula One team have renewed Gianni Morbidelli's contract for the 1992 season. Last month they signed Christian Fittipaldi as his teammate.

F3000:- Middlebridge Racing, who will field two Lola T92/50s in the 1992 International F3000 Championship, have confirmed that Damon Hill will remain with the team for his third full F3000 season.

PARIS-CAPE TOWN RALLY:- Finland's Ari Vatanen pulled off his fifth stage win of the rally as he stormed clear in his Citroen to pip teammate Pierre Lartigue. Frenchman Hubert Auriol retained the overall lead though after the rally resumed following a two-day break. Auriol leads by over 10 minutes from Mitsubishi teammate Erwin Weber with less than a week to go to the finish.

Result of 14th stage:(441km Lobito to Namibe, Angola)
CARS                          mins secs
1 A Vatanen   Fin Citroen        28.02
2 P Lartigue  Fr  Citroen      @ 00.26
3 E Weber     Ger Mitsubishi   @ 02.26
4 H Auriol    Fr  Mitsubishi   @ 02.34
5 S Servia    Sp  Lada Samara  @ 04.03

Overall standings after 14th stage:
CARS                      hrs mins secs
1 H Auriol    Fr  Mitsubishi  18:18.00
2 E Weber     Ger Mitsubishi @   10.50
3 K Shinozuka Jpn Mitsubishi @   23.57
4 B Wal'gaard Swe Citroen    @ 1:29.30
5 A Vatanen   Fin Citroen    @ 2:40.29
6 P Lartigue  Fr  Citroen    @ 3:31.54

Flooding halted the 15th stage of the Paris-Cape Town Rally in Angola. Finland's Ari Vatanen, in a Citroen, was awarded his sixth stage win after completing just 102km of the 417km section from Namibe to Ruacana. Swede Bjorn Waldegard was second as Citroen took their six sucessive stage win but remain two hours behind leader Hubert Auriol in a Mitsubishi.

Result of 15th stage: (583km Namibe to Ruacana, Angola)
Stage stopped after 102km of timed section because of flooding
CARS                          mins secs
1 A Vatanen   Fin Citroen        18.59
2 B Waldegard Swe Sweden       @  1.40
3 B Saby      Fr  Mitsubishi   @  3.39
4 K Shinozuka Jpn Mitsubishi   @  3.44
5 E Weber     Ger Mitsubishi   @  3.54

Overall standings after 15th stage:
CARS                      hrs mins secs
1 H Auriol    Fr  Mitsubishi  18:23.33
2 E Weber     Ger Mitsubishi  18:33.56
3 K Shinozuka Jpn Mitsubishi  18:46.58
4 B Wal'gaard Swe Citroen     19:50.27
5 A Vatanen   Fin Citroen     20:59.46
6 P Lartigue  Fr  Citroen     21:55.17

Salvador Servia pulled off his first stage win as he powered his Lada Samara to victory on the 16th leg - but leader Hubert Auriol was pegged back. Servia overcame the sweltering heat of northern Namibia while the Frenchman could manage only seventh. Auriol had his lead cut to 6 mins 19 secs, with Germany's Erwin Weber breathing down his neck.

Result of 16th stage:(263km from Ruacana to Grootfontein)
CARS                      hrs mins secs
1 S Servia    Sp  Lada         1:46.24
2 J Ickx      Bel Citroen      @  7.10
3 A Vatanen   Fin Citroen      @  8.42
4 B Waldegard Swe Citroen      @ 11.57
5 K Shinozuka Jpn Mitsubishi   @ 12.01

Overall standings after 16th stage:
CARS                      hrs mins secs
1 H Auriol    Fr  Mitsubishi  20:26.07
2 E Weber     Ger Mitsubishi  @   6.19
3 K Shinozuka Jpn Mitsubishi  @  19.16
4 B Wal'gaard Swe Citroen    @ 1:22.41
5 A Vatanen   Fin Citroen    @ 2:28.45

The Mitsibushi team have as good as won the three-week event after two special stages in Namibia were cancelled. The 173 survivors from the 324 starters gently cruised across Namibia in a 557-km link along the Kalahari desert. Monday's and Tuesday's special stages were cancelled under pressure from Namibia's environmental movements. The only suspense left in Wednesday's last 103-km section in South Africa lies in the duel between leader Hubert Auriol and Mitsubishi teammate Erwin Weber, who lies over six minutes behind.

The Citroen team have threatened not to take part in future rallies after two of the last three stages were cancelled. "The race stopped at the Chad border," Citroen manager Guy Frequelin said. "Since then, the cars have taken tracks where overtaking was impossible. Under these conditions, I wonder whether Citroen are interested in this sort of event in the future," he added. Citroen, winners of the Paris-Dakar last year, trail the three leading Mitsubishis in the overall standings after the mishaps in Northern Africa.

Overall standings after 16th stage:
CARS                      hrs mins secs
1 H Auriol    Fr  Mitsubishi  20:26.07
2 E Weber     Ger Mitsubishi  @   6.19
3 K Shinozuka Jpn Mitsubishi  @  19.16
4 B Wal'gaard Swe Citroen    @ 1:22.41
5 A Vatanen   Fr  Citroen    @ 2:28.45

14.01.92 - F1
Three-times Formula One world champion Nelson Piquet has denied that he has retired from racing. Piquet had suggested on a TV interview in Brazil that he had decided to quit the sport and concentrate on business. But he later said: "Write it down. I will race in 1992." He went on to say that his quotes had been misinterpreted. His wife Katherine tried to clear up the confusion: "He's waiting for a good car. If he gets one, he'll race."

15.01.92 SPORTSCARS:- The World Sportscar Championship's future will be decided at the weekend. FISA president Max Mosley has asked members of the World Council, FISA's decision-making body, to decide whether the 29-year-old series should continue. The alternative would be a series of non-championship races built around the Le Mans 24 Hours, but Peugeot and Toyota are opposed to this format. The vote is thought to be unconditional and without the minimum 20 entrants originally demanded. So far, 13 cars have entered for the series.

F1:- Scuderia Italia (Dallara) have unveiled their new car, powered by a Ferrari engine, and the drivers who will be behind its wheel in the 1992 F1 championship. Finland's JJ Lehto, who drove with the team last year, is joined by Italian Pierre Luigi Martini.

PARIS-CAPE TOWN RALLY:- Frenchman Hubert Auriol has secured first place after the final racing section of the 7,766-mile rally. The event ends at Milnerton Beach on Thursday but Auriol, in a Mitsubishi Pajero, finished seventh on the 612-km stage to retain the overall lead. Auriol was 53 seconds ahead of German teammate Erwin Weber after the stage from Keetmanshop to Springbok, won by Ari Vatanen of Finland in a Citroen.

Result of 612-km stage from Keetmanshop to Springbok, South Africa.
CARS                          mins secs
1 A Vatanen   Fin Citroen        12:47
2 B Wal'gaard Swe Citroen      @  1:37
3 E Weber     Ger Mitsubishi   @  2:10
4 J Ickx      Bel Citroen      @  2:31
5 P Lartigue  Fr  Citroen      @  2:44

Overall standings after 19th stage:
CARS                      hrs mins secs
1 H Auriol    Fr  Mitsubishi  24:42.30
2 E Weber     Ger Mitsubishi  @   4.53
3 K Shinozuka Jpn Mitsubishi  @  18.52
4 B Wal'gaard Swe Citroen    @ 1:20.42
5 A Vatanen   Fin Citroen    @ 2:25.09
Frenchman Hubert Auriol has become the first man to win the rally as both a car driver and motorcycle rider. Auriol finished the 16,000 mile trek nearly five minute ahead of Mitsubishi team-mate Erwin Weber of Germany. He won the motorcycle section twice in the early 1980s on a BMW. "It's great to be here," Auriol said as he coasted to the finish on Milnerton beachfront, Cape Town, after the cancellation of a short timed section.

19.01.92 - F1
McLaren boss Ron Dennis has urged Alain Prost to stay in motor racing. "I am trying to help him not quit F1 because the sport needs drivers like him," said Dennis. "I deny having offered him money to take a sabbatical year before driving for McLaren in 1993," he is reported to have told an Italian newspaper. "He is still capable of winning a title or two," said Dennis although Prost, fired by Ferrari last October, may be without a drive this year unless he takes up an offer from the Ligier team.

F1:- Alain Prost tested the new Renault powered Ligier at Magny Cours this weekend, disguised by wearing the helmet of Eric Comas. He had previously said that he would not drive for them if he had not tested their car.

SPORTSCARS:- Motor sport governing body, FISA, has voted to continue the World Sportscar Championship, scrapped in December. FISA's World Motor Sports Council registered "a large majority" of votes in favour of a limited eight-race championship and a FIA Cup. Thirteen provisional entries include Mazda, Peugeot, Jaguar, Toyota, BRM, Citra and another seven for the FIA Cup. The draft calendar is: Monza (April 26) Donington (July 19), Suzuka (August)

21.01.92 - SPORTSCARS
Derek Warwick will drive for Peugeot in this year's world sportscars championship. The 38-year-old, second in last year's series with Jaguar, will drive the Peugeot 905 for the first time in practice later this week. He replaces Finn Keke Rosberg and will team up with Frenchman Yannick Dalmas. Philippe Alliot and Mauro Baldi will continue in the second Peugeot. Spokesman Jean-Claude Lefebvre said: "We are delighted to have such a good, sympathetic driver on the team."

F1:- New Italian F1 team Andrea Formula Moda will start two cars in the 1992 World Championship. The new outfit, which took over from the dissolved Coloni team, will use a brand new model featuring a British designed body and Judd engines. Manager Andrea Sassetti said Alex Caffi would be one of the drivers. The second driver has not yet been named. The World Championship begins in South Africa on March 1.

Jordan have launched their 1992 Formula One challenge by unveiling their new Yamaha-powered GP car at Silverstone. The team will be spearheaded by Italian Stefano Modena, who was recruited from Tyrrell by team boss Eddie Jordan. They have delayed naming their second driver until next week but Alessandro Zanardi, who drove for the team last year, is tipped to fill the seat. The new car was given its first three-lap shakedown run in near darkness at the circuit on Tuesday.

MONTE CARLO RALLY:- Former world champion Miki Biasion makes his Ford debut in the opening round of the World Championship, starting from Rheims on Thursday. The 34-year-old Italian star, twice world champion in 1989 and 1990 with Lancia, will be hoping to make it a hat-trick of wins in Monte Carlo. Biasion, who will team up with Tiziano Siviero in the Sierra Cosworth 4x4, took the honours in the Principality in 1987 and 1989. The first competitive stages start on Saturday and end next Wednesday.

23.01.92 - F1
Nigel Mansell has the skill and tenacity to become world champion this year, according to Williams chief Frank Williams. Williams are gearing up the launch of their 25 million campaign they hope will give Mansell the title he narrowly missed in 1986, 1987 and last year. Williams said: "He deserves the championship. He is more consistent, he makes very few mistakes. He is at last as good as Senna, if not better. He gave Senna a few bashings last year and has the ability to stare him down."

Nigel Mansell is set to fight the flab as part of his bid to become world champion this year. Mansell, who has set up home in Florida to help with pre-season training, has been told to cut-down on Kit-Kats, one of his favourite nibbles. Team boss Frank Williams said: "He was the heaviest driver or close to it last year and I would like him to lose three quarters of a stone. It would make the car a tenth of a second quicker and make Nigel fitter, leaner and hungrier to win."

24.01.92 - MINTEX RALLY
The Mintex Rally Series gets underway in Bournemouth on Saturday with the Mazda Car-Line Winter Rally. Entries are 50% up on last year, with defending champion Trevor Smith heading a field of 113 crews in a Ford Sierra Cosworth. Graham Middleton, the 1989 champion, challenges for honours in his Toyota Celica, and number three seed Steve Hill makes his debut in a Subara Legacy. Crews face 70 miles of special stages from a total route of 220 miles, a testing mix of forest tracks and tarmac.

MONTE CARLO RALLY:- World champion Juha Kankkunen began the first competitive section on Saturday with a 30-second penaty. The Lancia driver was penalised for late arrival at a time control during his run-in from the starting point in Sestriere, Italy. He was delayed going through customs near Menton on the Italy-France border, a Lancia spokesman said. The rally, opening round of the 1992 World Championship, ends on Wednesday.

Frenchman Didier Auriol mastered tricky wintry conditions on the first day of competition to take the overnight lead. The Lancia driver opened up a 17-second gap over compatriot Francois Delecour in a Ford after tackling the icy roads on the leg from Monaco to Aubenas. German Armin Schwarz took the early lead in his Toyota with some aggressive driving but lost 40 secs on the fifth stage after choosing the wrong tyres. World champion Juha Kankkunen, seething over a 30-second penalty for arriving late, was third - 37 secs off the pace.

Positions after 6 stages:
(end of first day)           hrs mins secs
 1 D Auriol    Fr  Lancia       1:36:30
 2 F Delecour  Fr  Ford         1:36:47
 3 J Kankkunen Fin Lancia       1:37:07
 4 A Schwarz   Ger Toyota       1:37:15
 5 C Sainz     Sp  Toyota       1:37:29
 6 T Salonen   Fin Mitsubishi   1:39:26
 7 M Biasion   It  Ford         1:39:59
 8 P Bugalski  Fr  Lancia       1:40:17
 9 F Chatriot  Fr  Nissan       1:40:44
10 T Makinen   Fin Nissan       1:40:53

MINTEX RALLY (MAZDA CAR-LINE):- Rookie driver Richard Burns grabbed maximum points on the opening round of the series, despite finishing second. Last year's champions Trevor Smith and Roger Jones, in a Ford Sierra Cosworth, finished 52 seconds ahead of Burns but are not registered for the series. Burns, a 20-year-old from Berkshire, stormed through the final five-mile speed test to oust Bill Barton's MG Metro from second place. Smith, from Oxfordshire, inherited the lead after halfway when David Appleby retired his Metro with a seized engine.

Final standings after 19 stages:
 1 T Smith      Ford Sierra     1.04:32
 2 R Burns      Subaru Legacy   1.05:50
 3 W Barton     Rover Metro 6R  1.05:40
 4 D Gillanders Ford Sierra     1.06:05
 5 D Mann       Toyota Celica   1.06:37
 6 S Hill       Mitsubishi Gal  1.06:43
 7 B Bell       Ford Sapphire   1.06:39
 8 I Donaldson  Ford Sierra     1.07:09
 9 J Milner     Peugeot 205     1.08:11
10 R Munro      Ford Cosworth   1.08:28

26.01.92 - F1
Alain Prost set a new lap record at Le Castellet in the Ligier Renault.

Carlos Sainz holds just a three second lead over Didier Auriol at the end of the fifth day with only eight special stages left. The Spaniard, in a Toyota, came under pressure from the Lancia driver as the Frenchman won four of the days' stages including the 33km Roquesteron test. Auriol's compatriot, Francois Delecour, suffered from turbocharger problems on stage 16 but made up lost time with an impressive second place on stage 17. He is fourth behind Finn Juha Kankkunen after Armin Schwartz crashed his Toyota.

Positions after 18 stages:
(end of day five)           hrs mins secs
 1 C Sainz     Sp  Toyota      5:09:17
 2 D Auriol    Fr  Lancia      5:09:20
 3 J Kankkunen Fin Lancia      5:10:57
 4 F Delecour  Fr  Ford        5:14:23
 5 T Salonen   Fin Mit'bishi   5:16:27
 6 P Bugalski  Fr  Lancia      5:17:06
 7 T Makinen   Fin Nissan      5:21:08
 8 M Biasion   It  Ford        5:22:20
 9 F Chatriot  Fr  Nissan      5:22:37
10 C Spiliotis Fr  Ford        5:43:11

F1:- Alain Prost has fuelled speculation that he will be joining Ligier by predicting he could win races in their new car. Prost tested the Renault-powered car for the second time in France and broke the Paul Ricard lap record with a time of 1 min 2.7 secs. "He said the performance of the car was a big surprise and he thought he could win races in it," said Ligier designer Frank Dernie. Prost has until February 5 to decide whether to join the team.

Positions after 19 stages:  hrs mins secs
 1 C Sainz     Sp  Toyota      5:25:26
 2 D Auriol    Fr  Lancia      5:25:30
 3 J Kankkunen Fin Lancia      5:27:15
 4 F Delecour  Fr  Ford        5:30:33
 5 T Salonen   Fin Mit'bishi   5:33:16
 6 P Bugalski  Fr  Lancia      5:33:37
 7 T Makinen   Fin Nissan      5:37:57
 8 F Chatriot  Fr  Nissan      5:39:27
 9 M Biasion   It  Ford        5:40:11
10 C Spiliotis Fr  Ford        6:01:10
Carlos Sainz made a good start to the final stage of the Monte Carlo Rally by winning the first of eight special timed sections. The Spaniard increased his lead to four seconds after completing the classic section of the Turini pass one second faster than Frenchman Didier Auriol. World champion Juha Kankkunen was third fastest to keep third place overall, one minute and 49 seconds behind Sainz.

F1:- Giovanna Amati could become the first woman to drive in Formula One since 1976 after being lined up by the Milton Keynes-based Brabham team. The 29-year-old is set to replace Akihiko Nakaya in the team if he loses his appeal against FISA's refusal to grant him a Grand Prix super licence. Amati has competed in Formula 3000 for the past three years and came seventh in the 1991 Le Mans 24-hour race. Lella Lombardi was the last female to drive in a GP - Britain's Davina Galica failed to qualify for races in 1979.

MONTE CARLO RALLY:- Frenchman Didier Auriol pulled off a repeat of his 1990 win in the famous event by overhauling Spaniard Carlos Sainz on the final night section. Sainz began the final seven stages with a slender three second lead but the Lancia's extra power enabled Auriol to set the fastest time on three of them. Auriol, who overturned a four second Sainz lead two years ago, finished the event two mins five seconds clear. Sainz had to settle for second with reigning world champion Juha Kankkunen almost three mins further back in third.

Dider Auriol enthused about the performance of his new Lancia Delta Integrale after winning the event for the second time in three years. The car has a new torque and improved suspension and Auriol's victory margin could have been wider but for a wrong tyre choice for Sunday's final stage. "To win with a brand new car is a real thrill. It is a great car, much smoother and easier to drive," he said. "Auriol was far too fast. It was impossible to keep up with him," said second-placed Carlos Sainz.

Top drivers have called for the classic Turini pass stage to be scrapped in future because of reckless spectators. World champion Juha Kankkunen has complained to organiser about fans getting drunk and throwing missiles onto the course. His view was shared by rival Carlos Sainz, who accused the fans of endangering drivers' lives. "I can't understand their behaviour. We fight for seconds, we take risks and that's something they should respect," added rally winner Didier Auriol.

Final result after 26 stages:hrs mins secs
 1 D Auriol    Fr  Lancia      6:54:20
 2 C Sainz     Sp  Toyota      6:56:25
 3 J Kankkunen Fin Lancia      6:57.17
 4 F Delecour  Fr  Ford        6:59.02
 5 P Bugalski  Fr  Lancia      7:04.32
 6 T Salonen   Fin Mit'bishi   7:05.21
 7 F Chatriot  Fr  Nissan      7:10.47
 8 M Biasion   It  Ford        7:11.18
 9 T Makinen   Fin Nissan      7:12.58
10 C Spiliotis Fr  Ford        7:42.21

30.01.92 - F1
Williams ace Nigel Mansell is ready to commit himself to three more years of Grand Prix driving in his burning quest to become world champion. The 38-year-old Briton, three times runner-up in the F1 championship, has had sponsorship offers to see him through to the end of the 1994 season. And he said: "While I've got the backing, the keeness and motivation I'll keep going." Mansell has been ordered to watch his weight this year but he said: "I've never been more focused and fitter."

Nigel Mansell believes he has never been in better shape to shunt Ayrton Senna off the top of the F1 podium and finally clinch the world championship. Mansell, 38, reckons he is "leaner and meaner" and ready to commit himself to racing into his 40s. A new winter home in Florida and a fitness regime has left him tanned, relaxed and 4lbs lighter than 12 months ago and given him "a new hunger". "If I didn't believe I could win the world championship I would get out now," Mansell said.

Former world champion Niki Lauda has agreed to join Ferrari as an adviser for the new Grand Prix season. He won 15 races for the Italian team and the world title in 1975 and 1977. Brabham driver Akihiko Nakaya has failed in an appeal against FISA's refusal to grant him a super licence for this season. Italian Giovanna Amati may replace him in the team.

Giovanna Amati has been granted a Superlicence and is set to become the first female Grand Prix driver in over a decade when she signs for the Brabham team next week.


The IMSA sportscar calendar gets under way at Daytona Beach this weekend with a strong attack expected from Japanese rivals Toyota and Nissan. Nissan are inherently stronger in that their cars - a combination of R90C and R91s - have been 24 hours in the past. Toyota are running their Eagle Mk 3, designed in the US by Dan Gurney, and British interest here lies with drivers Kenny Acheson and Andy Wallace. The car's four cylinder turbo engine makes it potentially the quickest, but it is not really considered the best package for a 24-hour race.

The principal competition to Nissan and Toyota will come from the evergreen Porsche 962s but there is also Jaguar. This year Jaguar have decided to split their options by entering just two cars - an XJR 16 V6 turbo and an XJR 12 'old faithful' with the V12 engine. Jaguar have won the race twice with the V12, which is an established and proven 24-hour car. The V6 is unproven over the distance and in reality is to be seen as a hare for the rest of the field to chase. It is not really a serious threat to win over 24 hours.

The quality of entry for this year's race is probably not as high as in the past and it is likely that the Transam cars will do very well. Cars such as the Oldsmobile Cutlass or Ford Mustang are really highly-modified versions of road-going models that just keep on going and going. It is unlikely that one of them will win but they are trouble-free and it is always GTP cars which hit problems at the notorious Daytona circuit. But the combination makes for a unique atmosphere not unlike a car boot sale on an English Sunday morning!

F1:- Tyrrell have signed Olivier Grouillard to drive for them in this season's Formula One championship. A decision on the second driver will be made shortly.

Provisional grid:
 1 J Fangio II      Toyota     1:35.860 (ave. speed of 133.695 mph)
 2 S Goodyear       Jaguar     1:36.266
 3 M Hasemi         Nissan     1:36.468
 4 H Stuck          Porsche    1:36.890
 5 G Brabham        Nissan     1:37.600
 6 D Daly           Nissan     1:37.600
 7 Winter           Porsche    1:37.669
 8 M Martini        Nissan     1:37.697
 9 Matsishita       Nissan     1:38.950
10 PJ Jones         Toyota     1:39.028