01.03.93 - F1Benetton have predicted they will give champions Williams a run for their money in this year's Formula One title race. Technical Director Tom Walkinsaw said at the launch of their new car in Treviso, Italy: "We have a realistic chance of competing with Williams for the title. "We have a very good chance of winning a few Grands Prix and it will be very close," he added. The team's 1993 plans include two different car designs and a major revision of the Ford V8 engine.
02.03.93F1:- Ayrton Senna is testing the new McLaren at Silverstone this week, strengthening talk of his competing in the FIA Formula One Championship. The team said that his decision to test the car followed "successful and constructive discussions." Ceefax's F1 expert John Watson said Senna was planning to drive the car on Wednesday and Thursday but had made no commitment yet to race. "He says he has agreed terms for a contract but is not sure he will get a feel for the car this week with the weather cold," said Watson.
Scuderia Italia have unveiled their new Lola-BMS model which will make its debut in the South African Grand Prix on March 14. The brand new car will be driven by Michele Alboreto and Luca Badoer in the 1993 Formula One Championship. It was designed by Lola Cars of Britain and is powered by Ferrari. Alboreto, 36, who drove with the Footwork team last year will start his 170th Grand Prix in Kyalami, while 21-year-old Badoer will make his Formula One debut.
PORTUGUESE RALLY:- Miki Biasion seeks his fourth win in the "Port Wine Rally" as part of a three-pronged challenge by the Ford team. He won the event three times in a row for Lancia from 1988-90 and his Escort Cosworth showed an excellent turn of speed at Monte Carlo. Francois Delecour is also among the favourites and they are joined in the team by Fernando Peres. Britain's Colin McRae tackles the mixed surface event for the first time after performing impressively in the Subaru in Sweden.
Colin McRae aims to confirm his position as one of the world's leading drivers, following his excellent third place in Sweden. The Scotsman said: "We don't expect any weather problems so the recent testing we have carried out in Portugal makes me confident." McRae, 24, is in his first full season with Subaru but has been tipped to become Britain's first ever World Rally Champion. He will begin the rally in a supporting role to teammate Markku Alen, replacing injured Ari Vatanen.
Wednesday:Estoril-Arganil-Povoa de Varzim. 12 stages, 192.86km.
Thursday: Povoa de Varzim-Lousada-Povoa de Varzim.8 stages, 99.35km.
Friday: Povoa de Varzim-Regua-Viseu. 9 stages, 109.60km.
Saturday: Viseu-Pampilhosa de Serra-Estoril. 9 stages, 174.32km.
03.03.93F1:- Three-time world champion Ayrton Senna spun twice and ended up in a gravel trap as he tested the new McLaren MP4/8 at Silverstone. The Brazilian is testing out the car before he decides whether to drive for the team in this year's Formula One season. He completed twelve laps of the Northamptonshire circuit and the team seemed satisfied with the performance of both car and driver. "He was encouraged and said it had a lot of potential," said a McLaren spokesman.
Benetton will give their new B193 car its debut at next week's South African GP - but plan to replace it after only three races. Engineering director Tom Walkinshaw said the quick change was part of a plan to deliver their strongest championship challenge to date. Their second car, the B193B, is a totally new design and will be used for the first time by the team at Imola in April. The team have signed an agreement with Elf, whose fuel took Williams to the world title in 1992.
PORTUGUESE RALLY Positions after Stage 8: mins secs 1 F Delecour Fr Ford 1:15.07 2 M Biasion It Ford 1:15.29 3 C Sainz Sp Lancia 1:15.40 4 A Aghini It Lancia 1:15.41 5 A Fiorio It Lancia 1:16.20 6 K Eriksson Swe Mit'bishi 1:16.36 7 M Alen Fin Subaru 1:17.18 8 A Schwarz Ger Mit'bishi 1:17.24 9 J Bica Por Lancia 1:19.20 10 C McRae GB Subaru 1:19.33 04.03.93NEWS:- Donington Park has been given the go-ahead to stage both this season's Formula One and motorcycle Grands Prix. Leicestershire County Council's environment committee has overturned a planning committee decision not to sanction the races. Both will now go ahead as planned, with the F1 GP of Europe on April 11 and the motorcycle GP on Aug 1. Circuit director Tony Iddon said: "We are very pleased that the doubt and confusion surrounding the Grands Prix has been removed."
SPORTSCARS:- Jaguar have withdrawn their XJR-12 sports cars from this year's Le Mans race because of a dispute over regulations. The race organisers refused to change the regulations despite Jaguar's protests that their cars would be at a power disadvantage against Peugeot, Porsche and Toyota. The regulations control power through air restrictors on engines. The team will still compete at Le Mans on June 19-20, entering two of their new XJ220C coupes in the new GT category.
PORTUGUESE RALLY Positions after Stage 20: mins secs 1 F Delecour Fr Ford 3:00.51 2 M Biasion It Ford 3:01.36 3 C Sainz Sp Lancia 3:02.03 4 A Aghini It Lancia 3:02.04 5 A Fiorio It Lancia 3:04.23 6 K Eriksson Swe Mit'bishi 3:04.46 7 M Alen Fin Subaru 3:04.52 8 C McRae GB Subaru 3:06.33 9 J Bica Por Lancia 3:13.37 10 J Macedo Por Renault 3:18.04Germany's Armin Schwarz pulled out of the rally on the second day after his Mitsubishi was wrecked in an accident. Schwarz, who was in seventh place after the first day, was unhurt when the car slid off the road leading up to the 13th special timed stage of the rally. Frenchman Francois Delecour leads Ford teammate Miki Biasion by 45 seconds at the half-way stage. Scot Colin McRae is in eighth place after a successful second day.
05.03.93F1:- Ayrton Senna was delighted with the new McLaren as he posted what is though to be the fastest time of winter testing at Silverstone. He clocked 1 min 20.27 secs and then said: "The car is pretty fast! In my experience, Silverstone is one of the hardest circuits at which to set the car up properly." But the Brazilian is still keeping the team waiting over whether he will drive for them this season. "For sure if I had come here and the car did not work I would not race this year," he said.
mins:secs 1 A Senna Brz McLaren 1:20.27 2 M Andretti US McLaren 1:21.13 3 M Hakkinen Fin McLaren 1:22.05 4 A de Cesaris It Tyrrell 1:25.60 5 U Katayama Jpn Tyrrell 1:28.22 6 D Brabham Aus Footwork 1:39.31 PORTUGUESE RALLY Positions after stage 29: mins secs 1 F Delecour Fr Ford 4:15.02 2 M Biasion It Ford 4:15.38 3 A Aghini It Lancia 4:16.55 4 M Alen Fin Subaru 4:18.49 5 A Fiorio It Lancia 4:19.21 6 K Eriksson Swe Mit'bishi 4:19.29 7 C McRae GB Subaru 4:20.28 8 J Bica Por Lancia 4:33.45 9 A Fassina It Mazda 4:46.51 10 A Coutinho Por Ford 4:50.53 End of second dayWorld champion Carlos Sainz saw his hopes of victory disappear when he rolled his Repsol Lancia on the third day of the "Port Wine" rally. The Spaniard, who has yet to score a point since leaving Toyota, was lying third when the crash occurred on stage 22. He escaped unhurt. Ford's Francois Delecour and Miki Biasion kept their places at the head of the field after the second day's action. Scot Colin McRae remains in seventh place, over five minutes behind.
06.03.93 - PORTUGUESE RALLYFrancois Delecour held off Ford team-mate Miki Biasion on the final day to secure his first-ever win in a World Championship event. He had built a commanding lead in the early part of the rally and finished with 55 secs in hand over three-times winner Biasion. Andrea Aghini took third place for Lancia, who lost world champion Carlos Sainz in a crash on Friday. Britain's Colin McRae lost time when he rolled his Subaru but battled on for seventh place.
FINAL RESULT after 38 stages:mins secs 1 F Delecour Fr Ford 6:20.37 2 M Biasion It Ford 6:21.32 3 A Aghini It Lancia 6:23.17 4 M Alen Fin Subaru 6:24.23 5 K Eriksson Swe Mit'bishi 6:25.28 6 A Fiorio It Lancia 6:26.18 7 C McRae GB Subaru 6:37.25 8 J Bica Por Lancia 6:51.42 9 A Fassina It Mazda 7:11.46 10 B Thiry Bel Opel 7:12.18 08.03.93F1:- Ayrton Senna has been named as one of the McLaren team's two drivers for the season-opening South African Grand Prix this weekend. The three-times world champion will team up with American newcomer Michael Andretti, McLaren said. A team statement read: "Following the successful Silverstone test sessions we will be taking three new MP4/8 cars to Kyalami. Senna and Andretti will be joined by third driver Mika Hakkinen at a McLaren news conference on Thursday.
PARIS-DAKAR RALLY:- The Paris-Dakar rally is to change its format and become a return trip when it is held again next winter. New race director Jean-Claude Fenouil said the 12,000km race will start and finish in Paris, running from December 30 to January 17. It will cross into Africa via Spain and the Straits of Gibraltar before reaching Dakar. The return takes a more traditional Sahara Desert route, passing through Mauritania and Algeria before heading back into France.
10.03.93 - F1Ayrton Senna has been named as one of the McLaren team's two drivers for the season-opening South African Grand Prix this weekend. The three-times world champion will team up with American newcomer Michael Andretti, McLaren said. A team statement read: "Following the successful Silverstone test sessions we will be taking three new MP4/8 cars to Kyalami. Senna and Andretti will be joined by third driver Mika Hakkinen at a McLaren news conference on Thursday.
JOHN WATSON ON THE SOUTH AFRICAN GRAND PRIX
1993 starts without Nigel Mansell following his exit to the United States but, in many ways, Formula One will be the better for it. He was so effective with the Williams Renault last year and it would surely have been the same this season if he had stayed in F1. Williams' opponents will also be breathing a sigh of relief, even though the team remain favourite for driver and constructor titles. I am optimistic that competition will be much stronger at the front as well as throughout the field.
Formula One racing looks certain to be much more competitive this year, thanks to changes in the rules. Among the most significant of these are those affecting tyres. These are to be much smaller this season and only seven sets are to be used per car per event. No doubt some number one drivers will be keen for the lion's share of the 14 sets available to a team but it is clear they must be shared equally as the regulations state. As in 1992, there will be no qualifying tyres allowed.
Round one in South Africa will be the first time the teams have run on the new tyres in a hot climate. Drivers must also cope with a much-changed Kyalami circuit and, to add to their problems, there has been a substantial reduction to the amount of track time available. For 1993 there are just 45 minutes for free practice and again for qualifying on both days, with spare cars now only permitted when a race car has not been run on that day. These radical changes throw the races wide open this season.
The South African GP will favour those drivers who understand that to win a race you first must finish. The new car regulations will also affect the result, here and throughout the season. A driver will need to use his head and not just his feet. No-one will have run on the new-size wet weather tyres in race conditions and, at this time of the year, rain at Kyalami during the afternoons is not unknown. I anticipate an intriguing and exciting start to the season.
1993 will be the last season of the high tech Formula One car, for which I, for one, am grateful. McLaren and Williams have led the way here while everyone else has fed off them like pilot fish. I believe drivers should retain manual control of all car functions. Performance gains did not provide better racing, just the opposite as only the top four teams have sufficient funds and human resources to exploit such things.
JOHN WATSON COMMENTS ON THE FORMULA ONE TEAMS
CANON WILLIAMS:- Start 1993 with two new drivers - well one really with Damon Hill highly rated by the team as their test driver for two years. Interestingly, their previous world champions Alan Jones, Keke Rosberg and Nigel Mansell all came into the team as underdogs. Damon has speed and knowledge of the car but he lacks F1 experience. Alain Prost has the dream ticket for '93 but his nasty shunt last month may have left a psychological scar. He is not at ease with the technology and dislikes the wet.
MARLBORO McLAREN:- A watershed year for this team, the most successful team in GP racing for a decade. For the first time in 10 years they are not starting the season ahead in every department. The demise of Honda forced McLaren to become a paying customer, with a Ford HB engine, although I cannot imagine Ron Dennis having a customer-spec engine for long. McLaren must learn a new art, that of making their car work with an engine less powerful than some of their competitors namely Renault.
McLaren's driver line-up for South Africa now confirms Ayrton Senna as team leader for this Grand Prix. Senna is simply the best even if he sometimes fails to make allowances for the varying abilities of others. Senna racing leaves Mika Hakkinen sidelined which is a shame since he is one of F1's brightest young prospects. But watch this space. Michael Andretti will definitely drive. He is fast, courageous and a superb competitor - in Indy cars. He will learn fast in F1 but I doubt his plans to reside in the US.
BENETTON:- Heir to the throne, having risen in two years from being a team barely taken seriously to Championship contenders in 1993. Winter testing has seen Benetton moving closer than ever to Williams and, with Michael Schumacher heading the line-up, I can see him being tipped by some for the title. Schumacher has a remarkable talent for someone so young. He is self-confident with speed and ability to match. Pure magic to watch. We could be looking at Germany's first post-war world champion.
Michael Schumacher heads the Benetton driver line-up, with many tipping him for an early season win. He needs to watch over-confidence on the first lap of a race which has been a problem in the past but is hopefully now behind him. Riccardo Patrese has the dubious pleasure of being his teammate and I am not sure he has the commitment to rise to Schumacher's level. He has enormous GP mileage and will do a professional job. He coped with Mansell being quicker but he will find it harder with Schumacher.
TYRRELL:- Survives yet again. Their biggest change will be the use of hybrid Yamaha Judd V10 engines. The performance and reliability of the cars must be questionable at this stage of the season after little winter testing. However this little British team traditionally build extremely reliable - and therefore point-scoring - cars and they soldier on regardless of problems. Drivers are Andrea de Cesaris, who seems to have found a happy home at Tyrrell, and Ukyo Katayama.
Tyrrell's number one driver Andrea de Cesaris is in his 13th Formula One season but has yet to win a GP. He is still very fast and could claim a victory - but it would probably come in extremis. He still suffers from the reputation he earned early in his career. Ukyo Katayama is the new number two at Tyrrell and could well prove the better of the Japanese F1 drivers. He helped the engine situation, being Japanese, as well as bringing sponsorship to the team. His speed is greater than his experience.
FERRARI:- Still the most charismatic name in Formula One but still trying to live up to their image. On paper, 1993 should see Ferrari back on top but they have a lot to do. They have been boosted by the return of engineering wizard John Barnard and driver Gerhard Berger. Berger comes back fresh from a long spell at the McLaren University of Formula One where he has developed his potential as a racing driver. Berger, combined with Jean Alesi, makes up possibly the strongest line-up in Formula One this season.
Jean Alesi, the man with the biggest heart of any current racing driver, will once again be behind the wheel of a Ferrari. Alesi's throttle foot is like a switch, either off or on, and he deserves better for his efforts than he received last season. His strength is this unbreakable heart for racing but he can be wickedly aggressive at times. Teammate Gerhard Berger has natural speed and aggression but may still try to drive through problems.
LOTUS:- Another charismatic name in F1. Some great performances in 1992 on which they will be hoping to capitalise this season. An uncomplicated car, now committed to using Lotus active suspension. Lotus, another Ford HB user, could easily maintain the fifth position they finished in the manufacturers' championship last year. The two young jockeys, Johnny Herbert and Alessandro Zanardi, are certain to provide entertainment and pleasure for many spectators.
Johnny Herbert is number one driver for Lotus but will be pushed by the under-rated Alessandro Zanardi. Herbert, a natural successor to Nigel Mansell as British world champion, was somewhat overshadowed by Mika Hakkinen last year. He now has everything going for him. He is naturally fast - and many a mum's favourite for his cute looks! Zanardi, highly rated by Jordan in '91 and test driver for Benetton in '92, also has natural speed as well as an analytical mind. His weakness is his lack of race experience.
LIGIER:- A change of ownership for this team, effectively the French national F1 challenge for years. Most significantly is the lack of a Frenchman in the race line-up which this season consists of Martin Brundle and Mark Blundell. Eric Bernard will be their test driver. Here are two no-nonsense British racing drivers, capable of lifting Ligier to a level not yet attained by the Renault-engined team. It may take half a season for Ligier to realise this potential but, believe me, it is there.
Martin Brundle and Mark Blundell form a strong all-British line-up for the Ligier Renault team in 1993. Brundle learned a lot as Michael Schumacher's teammate at Benetton. He understands racing and finishing well but is handicapped a little by his inability to speak French...yet. Blundell is a former Williams and McLaren test driver and knows well what a good F1 car should be like. One of his strengths is that he does not realise just how fast he is but, like Brundle, he needs to learn to speak French.
JORDAN:- Two new drivers and a different engine manufacturer for the team, in their third F1 season. Brazilian Rubens Barrichello has impressed in winter testing showing maturity beyond his 20 years. He has a methodical approach. He is partnered by Ivan Capelli, the Italian with a good racing brain and natural speed. Eddie Jordan's team should help Capelli regain his confidence and form while the new Hart V10 engine will provide the performance and consistency lacking last season.
SAUBER:- An important new team, so successful in the past in world sportscar racing with Mercedes Benz. In many ways the unofficial F1 team of Mercedes and success could lead to greater involvement from this famous Stuttgart manufacturer. They have cleverly secured sole use of the latest version of the Ilmor V10 engine but start with '92 units Performance in winter testing was impressive but reliability less so. The team may suffer from having two rather inexperienced test drivers in their race line-up.
Sauber make their Formula One debut with JJ Lehto and Karl Wendlinger in their race line-up. Lehto, like Finnish compatriot Mika Hakkinen, has natural speed, flair and ability in abundance. He is an exciting driver to watch but, having never driven a good F1 car, may tend to drive through problems rather than recognise them. Wendlinger is considered by his former Mercedes team to be even quicker than Michael Schumacher. He is not quite so self-assured and not so quick out of the blocks.
FOOTWORK:- A new car and engine package beckon for the team - but not for round one in South Africa. Reliability is probably their biggest asset at this stage and, with Honda now officially out of F1, their Honda-based V10 Mugen engine may receive factory support. Aguri Suzuki is joined by former Footwork driver Derek Warwick, who makes a welcome return to F1 after two years of sportscar racing. Warwick brings boundless enthusiasm to the team but he may find his return tougher than he imagines.
MARCH:- An uncertain start for those working for the team as they await news of their new owners. They did an impressive job in 1992 despite being hugely under-financed and will remain powered by a mark one version of the Ilmor V10 engine. Veteran sportscar driver Jan Lammers teams up here with debutant Jean-Marc Gounon, highly rated in F3000, by the French... Had a few too many collisions in F3000. Lammers is fast and hard-working but has a tendency to fiddle with the car too much.
LARROUSSE:- Future seems more secure now than it has in the past. An intriguing package, with their Robin Herd-designed chassis and sole use of the latest development Lamborghini V12 engine. French drivers Erik Comas and Philippe Alliot can boast speed but lack consistency. I feel this team has yet to fulfil their potential. Comas is highly regarded by many team managers but would do better in a British-managed team. Alliot is as quick as anyone, for a lap. I wonder how many chassis he will bin.
LOLA:- A new chassis partner for the Scuderia Italia team with Lola more famous for Indy successes than F1. It will be interesting to watch the progress of this team with their Ferrari engine, against that of the Ferrari team itself. Two new drivers grace the enormous Huntingdon-built cars, with veteran Italian Michele Alboreto teaming up with youthful Luca Badoer. Badoer, F3000 champion in 1992, has been thrown in the deep end with a teammate who may not always be his best mate...
MINARDI:- Flirted with Lamborghini and Ferrari before deciding to use a Ford HB engine - a wise choice. They can now work on consistency and reliability before turning their attention to speed. Christian Fittipaldi stays on for another year and is joined by Fabrizio Barbazza who briefly flirted with F1 a while ago. Fittipaldi has a strong family background in the sport but has yet to find himself as a racing driver. Barbazza will always try hard, sometimes too hard.
INDYCAR:- Silverstone are exploring plans to build an American-style Indycar circuit at the track. Work could start next year.
RAC RALLY:- The RAC Rally is to be sponsored by used car retailer Network Q for the next three years. The 1993 Rally takes place on 21-24 November.
11.03.93 - F1Alain Prost is feeling the pressure of stepping into Nigel Mansell's shoes as he prepares to make his Williams debut in South Africa. "I'm feeling good now, a lot better than I did six months ago when I joined the Williams team, but I do not like all the pressure and expectation," he said. But Prost, who sat out the 1992 GP season, added: "I've never known a team with such good relationships. "It is fantastic, the ambience in the team, and great for working."
12.03.93F1: THE SOUTH AFRICAN GRAND PRIX:- Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna are set for a battle royal at Kyalami after leading the way in Friday's qualifying times. The old rivals took the first two spots with the Frenchman gaining an advantage of 0.348 seconds. Britain's Damon Hill came home a creditable fourth, just behind Benetton's Michael Schumacher. Jean Alesi was fifth in the leading Ferrari and American Michael Andretti sixth in his first serious outing with the second McLaren.
Alain Prost was a relieved man after returning from his year's sabbatical to claim provisional pole for Sunday's race at Kyalami. "I am quite happy with what we have achieved today. It is a new track for me and I had to learn it. "I tried to concentrate very hard this morning and didn't change very much on the car this afternoon just to be sure I didn't make any mistake in the set-up," he said. "I think the time today is good but everyone should improve tomorrow," the Frenchman added.
Damon Hill showed his potential by setting the fourth fastest time in the first practice session despite problems with his Williams-Renault. The Briton was unable to get a decent run on his first set of tyres as a red warning light kept coming on in the cockpit. "On the next set I only got one clear lap, which was my first timed lap, and on this I got my quick time," he said. "Also I had a few good laps behind Senna this morning which taught me some good lines."
Former world champion Ayrton Senna was delighted with the performance of his McLaren as he set the second fastest time in Friday's practice. "It was a good day without too many problems with the car and the systems," the Brazilian said. "In the second part of the session it became a little slippery as too many tried too hard," he added. New teammate Michael Andretti was sixth fastest but said: "The car's balance isn't quite right yet. I had no problem with the circuit but have to get the driving better."
FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP Friday's provisional qualifying times: mins secs 1 A Prost Fr Williams 1:16.804 2 A Senna Brz McLaren 1:17.152 3 M Schumacher Ger Benetton 1:17.507 4 D Hill GB Williams 1:17.732 5 J Alesi It Ferrari 1:18.775 6 M Andretti US McLaren 1:18.903 7 JJ Lehto Fin Sauber 1:19.120 8 M Brundle GB Ligier 1:19.138 9 R Patrese It Benetton 1:19.341 10 P Alliot Fr Larrousse 1:19.350 11 M Blundell GB Ligier 1:19.688 12 C Fittipaldi Brz Minaridi 1:19.825 13 J Herbert GB Lotus 1:20.809 14 G Berger Aut Ferrari 1:20.066 15 R B'chello Brz Jordan 1:20.118 16 A Zanardi It Lotus 1:20.150 17 K Wendlinger Aut Sauber 1:20.365 18 U Katayama Jpn Tyrrell 1:20.401 19 A De Cesaris It Tyrrell 1:20.721 20 D Warwick GB Footwork 1:20.821 21 I Capelli It Jordan 1:20.841 22 F Barbazza It Minardi 1:20.994 23 E Comas Fr Larrousse 1:31.000 24 A Suzuki Jpn Footwork 1:21.342 25 M Alboreto It Lola 1:22.843 26 L Badoer It Lola 1:24.777 27 JM Gounon Fr March did not run 28 J Lammers Ned March did not runRALLY:- The second round of the new BTRDA Rally series starts on Saturday at Carlisle and takes in 50 special stages in the Lake District. Jonny Milner will debut his Audi Coupe 92 in the Open class while Nick Hutchinson leads the Formula 2 contingent in his Nova.
13.03.93 - F1:- THE SOUTH AFRICAN GRAND PRIXAlain Prost snatched pole spot from arch-rival Ayrton Senna in the closing stages of final practice for Sunday's FIA Formula One opener. Prost, in a Williams-Renault, recorded 1 min 15.696 secs to edge out the McLaren ace who had clocked 1:15.784 around the Kyalami circuit. "It should be a very exciting race" said F1 expert John Watson. "Prost has the superior equipment but Senna is the quicker driver. They are in a class of their own... The race will be about strategy, pit-stops and overtaking."
Alain Prost took pole position for Sunday's race at Kyalami and said he was now happy with his Williams. "I was not very confident when I started this afternoon's qualifying because I have changed the car since yesterday," admitted Prost. "Conditions were worse than Friday with the track very slippery and a lot of cars spinning and putting dust on the surface... I am happy with myself, the car and the team." Second fastest Ayrton Senna said his McLaren was "unbelievably quick around the fast corners".
Britain's newest Formula One driver Damon Hill qualified fourth on the grid in Kyalami and declared: "I am not pleased with the time."
The Williams driver explained: "Every time I got out there on a new set of tyres I seemed to have something happen in front of me. Tomorrow is going to be pretty frantic for the first couple of laps and I shall just have to watch out and stay out of trouble." McLaren new boy Michael Andretti was disappointed with ninth place. "The car felt different today."
Final qualifying times: mins secs 1 A Prost Fr Williams 1:15.696 2 A Senna Brz McLaren 1:15.784 3 M Schumacher Ger Benetton 1:17.261 4 D Hill GB Williams 1:17.592 5 J Alesi It Ferrari 1:18.234 6 JJ Lehto Fin Sauber 1:18.664 7 R Patrese It Benetton 1:18.676 8 M Blundell GB Ligier 1:18.687 9 M Andretti US McLaren 1:18.786 10 K Wendlinger Ger Sauber 1:18.950 11 P Alliot Fr Larrousse 1:19.034 12 M Brundle GB Ligier 1:19.138 13 C Fittipaldi Brz Minardi 1:19.285 14 R Barrichello Brz Jordan 1:19.305 15 G Berger Aut Ferrari 1:19.386 16 A Zanardi It Lotus 1:19.396 17 J Herbert GB Lotus 1:19.498 18 I Capelli It Jordan 1:19.759 19 E Comas Fr Larrousse 1:20.081 20 A Suzuki Jpn Footwork 1:20.237 21 U Katayama Jpn Tyrrell 1:20.401 22 D Warwick GB Footwork 1:20.402 23 A De Cesaris It Tyrrell 1:20.660 24 F Barbazza It Minardi 1:20.994 25 M Alboreto It Lola 1:21.893 26 L Badoer It Lola 1:24.737 27 JM Gounon Fr March did not run 28 J Lammers Ned March did not runAlain Prost could be suspended for several races, according to FOCA president Bernie Ecclestone. Ecclestone said he would be surprised if Prost was not banned when he appeared before the FISA world council on Thursday after making critical remarks about FISA. "If he is, it might be nice to see Nigel Mansell back for the Donington race and a couple more," commented Ecclestone. Mansell is currently in Australia preparing for his Indycar debut.
LAKELAND RALLY:- Aberdeen's Raymond Munro in a Metro 6R4 won the Malcolm Wilson Lakeland Rally in Carlisle by the narrowest of margins from local favourite Dougie Watson-Clark. Watson-Clark overcame gearbox trouble in his Ford Escort Cosworth to beat the Scot by a massive 1 minute 3 seconds to finish 15 seconds behind overall.
WEST CORK RALLY:- John Price and Frank O'Mahony, both in Metro 6R4s, shared the lead after 10 of 19 stages in the West Cork Rally, round two of the Demon Tweeks/Motoring News National Tarmac Championship.
14.03.93F1:- THE SOUTH AFRICAN GRAND PRIX
Three times world champion Alain Prost made a superb return to Formula One with a convincing win in his Williams-Renault at Kyalami. Prost enjoyed a several lap dice with Ayrton Senna in the McLaren before powering past and pulling away to win by almost 80 seconds. Britain's Mark Blundell, back from a year's testing for McLaren, took third in his Ligier in a race which saw just five cars finish. Teammate Martin Brundle slid off on the last lap as a thunderstorm left all the drivers struggling.
Ayrton Senna snatched the early lead in the 72-lap race while Alain Prost was slowed by a spin by his Williams teammate Damon Hill. But Prost was always in touch, soon overhauling second-placed Michael Schumacher in a Benetton and immediately challenging Senna. The McLaren driver tried everything to keep him at bay but finally lost out to the superior car. The attention then switched to the battle for second place, eventually won by Senna when Schumacher was edged off the track around lap 40.
An incident-packed F1 opener saw the field reduced from 26 cars to just seven with one lap remaining. Among the early retirements was Ivan Capelli who survived a high speed crunch when his Jordan seemed to understeer and go out of control The car was severely damaged. Benetton driver Riccardo Patrese spun into the gravel trap while third, while Johnny Herbert saw his Lotus grind to a halt while seventh. The final lap saw Derek Warwick spin off and Gerhard Berger stop with a blown engine in the Ferrari.
Damon Hill suffered a nightmare start to his Formula One career with Williams-Renault but would only blame himself. Hill, back in the pack after a spin at the start, was taken out after just a few laps by out-of-control Alessandro Zanardi in a Lotus. "I put myself in a situation of being in the field, mixing it. Zanardi lost his braking and put me out," said the disappointed Hill. "I did a 360 degree at the start and that was my inexperience I'm afraid. I'm mad at myself."
Result after 72 laps 1 A Prost Fr Williams 1 hr 38 mins 45.082 secs 2 A Senna Brz McLaren 1:19.824 3 M Blundell GB Ligier 1 lap 4 C Fittipaldi Brz Minardi 1 lap 5 JJ Lehto Fin Sauber 2 laps 6 G Berger Aut Ferrari 3 lapsOnly five finishers out of 26 cars - sixth place awarded according to race rules.
RETIREMENTS G Berger Ferrari blown engine (awarded 6th place and a point) D Warwick Footwork spun out M Brundle Ligier car broke down M Alboreto Lola blown engine E Comas Larrousse blown engine R Patrese Benetton spun out M Schumacher Benetton spun out after contact with Senna J Herbert Lotus blown engine K Wendlinger Sauber car broke down R Barrichello Jordan broken gearbox J Alesi Ferrari suspension P Alliot Larrousse car broke down Barbazza Minardi collision with Suzuki A Suzuki Footwork collision L Badoer Lola gearbox trouble D Hill Williams collision with Zanardi A Zanardi Lotus collision M Andretti McLaren wheel off after contact with Warwick I Capelli Jordan spun out U Katayama Tyrrell car broke down A de Cesaris Tyrrell transmission broke on start-lineLAKELAND RALLY:- Aberdeen's Raymond Munro in a Metro 6R4 won the Malcolm Wilson Lakeland Rally in Carlisle despite a late charge from Dougie Watson-Clark. Long-time leader Watson-Clark slipped to fourth after gearbox trouble in his Escort Cosworth but beat the Scot by 1 min 03 secs on the final stage, finishing just 15 seconds back overall in second spot.
WEST CORK RALLY:- John Price in a Metro 6R4 won the West Cork Rally after 19 stages. Joint overnight leader Frank O'Mahoney recovered from mechanical problems on his Metro to finish.
16.03.93TOURING CARS:- Auto Trader magazine are the new backers of this year's RAC British Touring Car Championship. Eight factory-backed teams are among the top-class entries for the 13-round series this season. BMW, Ford, Mazda, Nissan, Peugeot, Renault, Toyota and Vauxhall will be joined by Mercedes Benz later in the summer. The first round of series, to be televised by the BBC, is on March 28 at Silverstone.
Six manufacturers will use the Auto Trader BTCC to debut new racing versions of their cars. Among them are Ford, with the new Mondeo, and Mazda, with their Xedos. Ford driver Andy Rouse said the car had great potential: "I'm not sure we'll be ready for round one, but after the British Grand Prix you should look out for the Mondeo." Patrick Watts of Mazda said the Xedos is going to be a winner.
F1:- Alain Prost appear before motor racing's governing body, FISA, Paris on Thursday accused of bringing the sport into disrepute. The Williams ace, who won Sunday's South African Grand Prix, could face a ban of up to four races. The charge follows critical remarks about FISA allegedly made by Prost in a French magazine article. But he told reporters at Kyalami: "I don't see why I should be sanctioned. Others have said much harsher things."
18.03.93F1:- Alain Prost has been cleared by FISA of charges of bringing motor racing into disrepute. FISA president Max Mosley said the former world champion, now heading the Williams team, had been exonerated. The charge followed remarks about FISA allegedly made by Prost in a French magazine article. Prost had been widely expected to be disciplined with a suspension for one or more grands prix or a heavy fine.
RALLY:- Toyota have been fined œ208,000 by FISA for illegally helping Didier Auriol in last month's Swedish Rally. The Frenchman was disqualified after officials said he had been given oil outside the zone used for technical help.
19.03.93INDYCAR:- Nigel Mansell smashed the track record in the first qualifying session for Sunday's Indycar grand prix in Surfers Paradise, Australia. The world Formula One champion set a scorching 102.095 mph around the streets of Queensland. He said: "I'm just delighted but you must remember it's only provisional pole and I've got two young tigers either side of me." Paul Tracy, Robby Gordon and Brazilian legend Emerson Fittipaldi were close behind Mansell.
Friday's qualifying times: mph 1 N Mansell GB Ford Cos 102.095 2 E Fit'paldi Brz Lola Chev 101.472 3 P Tracy Can Lola Chev 101.321 4 R Gordon US Ford Cos 101.192 5 M Andretti US Ford Cos 100.099 6 S Goodyear Can Lola Chev 99.866F1:- Formula One's free practice and qualifying sessions will revert to their original lengths of 90 minutes and one hour, but there will be restrictions on the number of laps per session.
VAUXHALL RALLY OF WALES:- The first round of the Mobil 1/Top Gear British Championship, the Vauxhall Rally of Wales, gets underway on Saturday. Malcolm Wilson heads the entries in his new Ford Escort Cosworth and hopes to repeat Francois Delecour's recent success at the Rally of Portugal in an identical car. Wilson and co-driver will be chasing the first prize of œ1,250 over 12 testing stages starting in Chester at 2.00pm. Sunday's first stage starts at 0203 and the Rally ends at 10.00.
Top seed Malcolm Wilson faces a stiff challenge in the Rally of Wales fom Subaru drivers Richard Burns and Alister McRae. Second seed Burns and McRae, third seed, are confident of success as Subaru has won the series for the last two years. McRae will also be hoping to complete a family treble as father Jimmy won the series a record five times during the eighties and brother Colin won in 1991 and 1992. His Subaru Legacy is identical to the machine used by brother Colin.
The first round in a short series of five will see the introduction into the Championship of a new 'Formula 2' category. It is limited to front wheel drive with a capacity of under 2,000 cc and has attracted the attentions of the major manufacturers. Ex-British champion David Llewellin spearheads Vauxhall's assault in an Astra GSi. But he faces strong opposition from Peugeot works driver Paul Frankland in a 205 GTi and privateer Kevin Furber in a similar car.
Top Ten 1 M Wilson/B Thomas Ford 2 R Burns/R Reid Subaru 3 A McRae/D Senior Subaru 4 D Llewellin/I Grindrod Vauxhall 5 R Head/C Roy Ford 6 G Evans/H Davies Ford 7 S Finlay/D Wilson Ford 8 J Milner/D Orrick Audi 9 R Barry/A Walker Ford 10 D Buckley/D Redpath Mitsubishi SCHEDULE Start Chester Racecourse 1400 SS1 Clocaenog East 1504 SS2 Clocaenog Mid 1523 SS3 Clocaenog West 1552 SS4 Penmachno South 1709 SS5 Penmachno North 1735 SS6 Gartheiniog 1956 SS7 Dyfi Main 2035 SS8 Pantperthog 2115 Sunday March 21 SS9 Llanafan 0203 SS10 Ystwyth 0252 SS11 Hafren 0446 SS12 Dyfnant 0642 Finish Chester 1000 20.03.93INDYCAR:- Nigel Mansell is on pole position for his first Indycar grand prix at Surfers Paradise on Sunday. The Formula One world champion's track record lap time of 102.095mph set on Friday was good enough to keep him in front. Mansell had acceleration problems during final qualifying and the engine was changed on his Lola. He said: "I'm pleased with winning the pole but credit has to go to my team for preparing the car the way they did."
Saturday's final qualifying times: mph 1 N Mansell GB Lola Ford 102.095 2 E Fit'paldi Brz Penske Chev 101.758 3 P Tracy Can Penske Chev 101.461 4 R Gordon US Lola Ford 101.192 5 A Luyendyk Hol Lola Ford 100.988 6 M Andretti US Lola Ford 100.884 7 S Goodyear Can Lola Chevy 100.492 8 R Boesel Brz Lola Ford 100.131 9 J Vasser US Lola Chevy 99.976 10 S Brayton US Lola Ford 99.643 VAUXHALL RALLY OF WALES Positions after 8 stages: mins secs 1 R Burns Subaru 75.36 2 M Wilson Ford Escort 75.43 3 A McRae Subaru 76.30 4 S Finlay Ford Sierra 78.38 5 G Evans Ford Escort 78.54 6 D Buckley Mitsubishi 81.20 7 R Head Ford Escort 81.52 8 D Llewellyn Vaux Astra 82.14 9 M Higgins Vaux Astra 83.14 10 J Milner Audi Coupe 83.54F3:- Kelvin Burt launches his bid for the British F3 title in Sunday's opening round at Silverstone. Oliver Gavin makes his F3 debut in an Edenbridge Racing Ralt after finishing as runner-up in last year's GM Lotus Euroseries.
21.03.93INDYCAR:- Nigel Mansell picked up where he left off in Formula One as he made a triumphant start to his Indycar career at Surfers Paradise. He finished five seconds clear of Emerson Fittipaldi after 65 laps despite suffering severe cramp in his right foot during the race. Young American Robby Gordon was third and Mansell's Newman-Haas teammate Mario Andretti fourth. Mansell is only the second Indycar "rookie" in history to win his debut race, following Graham Hill's 1966 Indianapolis 500 triumph.
Overjoyed Nigel Mansell overcame a series of problems to win the Australian Indycar GP in front of 81,000 fans in sensational style. "We have not had a trouble-free run but it's been a long time since I enjoyed myself more," he commented. He was black flagged at the start, grazed a barrier wall, pitted needlessly for a puncture and was short of fuel in the closing laps. "I just kept it in fourth gear through all the second gear turns and literally just limped home," the 1992 Formula One champion said.
Nigel Mansell acknowledged that he still has a lot to learn about Indy racing despite his victory at the Surfers Paradise street circuit. The Valvoline 200 at the one-mile oval raceway in Phoenix is the next event in the calendar and Mansell will have to adjust. "It's a different science on an oval and that's going to be the biggest challenge in two weeks' time," the Briton commented. "If I'm reasonably competitive I'll be happy and if I'm not I've got to work harder," he added.
Result from Surfers Paradise (65 laps): hrs:mins.secs 1 N Mansell GB Lola Ford 1:52.28 (average speed 97.284 mph) 2 E Fit'paldi Brz Penske Chev @5.1 sec 3 R Gordon US Lola Ford @5.6 sec 4 M Andretti US Lola Ford @14.6sec 5 A Luyendyk Hol Lola Ford @47.2sec 6 B Rahal US R/H Chev 1 lap 7 E Cheever US Penske Chev 1 lap 8 R Boesel Brz Lola Ford 1 lap 9 T Fabi It Lola Chev 1 lap 10 S Goodyear Can Lola Ford 2 lapsVAUXHALL RALLY OF WALES:- Reading's Richard Burns grabbed a surprise win as Subarus filled the first two places in the Vauxhall Rally of Wales. The 22-year-old completed the 12-stage event with almost four minutes in hand over teammate Alister McRae. Favourite Malcolm Wilson had led at half-way but dropped back to fifth after the windscreen wipers on his Escort broke in heavy rain and fog. Ulster privateer Stephen Finlay was an excellent third in a Sierra.
Result after 12 stages: mins secs 1 R Burns Subaru 145.23 2 A McRae Subaru 149.00 3 S Finlay Ford Sierra 151.35 4 G Evans Ford Escort 154.03 5 M Wilson Ford Escort 155.32 6 D Llewellin Vaux Astra 157.53 7 M Higgins Vaux Astra 163.05 8 S Bennett Peugeot 205 164.55 9 K Curran Ford Sierra 168.11 10 B Crealey Honda Civic 172.57F3:- Kelvin Burt won the opening British Formula 3 round at Silverston in his Reynard 933. He clocked 26 minutes 56.15 seconds ahead of Paul Evans, 10 seconds behind with Andre Ribeiro in third a further six seconds adrift.
22.03.93 - INDYCARNigel Mansell is leading an Indy Car challenge to Formula One as the world's most popular motor sport. Mansell won his debut Indy race in Australia and his defection from F1 has sparked unprecedented interest in the mainly US-based series. "It was obviously the best way we could think to catch the attention of the world," said Bill Stokkan, the chairman of Indycar's governing body, CART. Mansell's win was seen on TV in 90 countries around the world.
24.03.93F1:- Ayrton Senna has agreed to drive for the Marlboro McLaren team in Sunday's Brazilian GP, round two of the FIA Formula One Championship. Senna, who finished second in the first round, will again join Michael Andretti in the team using the latest MP4/8. The Brazilian driver has yet to decide about the rest of the season. The Bicester-based March team have pulled out of the Formula One world championship, cutting the number of entries in the championship to 26.
JOHN WATSON ON THE BRAZILIAN GRAND PRIX
The people of San Paulo will turn out in force on Sunday eager to see three Brazilians in the race. Christian Fittipaldi and Rubens Barrichello are joined on the grid by Ayrton Senna, winner of his home GP just once, in 1991. Senna is now confirmed for Sunday's race after lengthy discussions with the McLaren team. The decision was announced on Wednesday. As was the case in South Africa, Brazil will be a finishers' race. Even the weather pattern from round one could be mirrored in Interlagos.
The 1993 season got off to a highly competitive start, with three teams contesting the lead in South Africa. Now we can expect a real Championship this year, with the Sauber team also looking promising. There were some impressive driving performances, the best from Alain Prost, Michael Schumacher, Ayrton Senna and our own Mark Blundell. But disappointing were those from Riccardo Patrese and, I regret to say, Damon Hill.
Damon Hill will be relieved his maiden GP is over. Hopefully he can now get on with his job, free of such intense media attention. His task is simply to bring home his Williams Renault in the points. It really is very much a matter of confidence building now, something which will only be completed when he collects his first points. Benetton must be questioning the wisdom of dropping Martin Brundle for Riccardo Patrese who has not looked comfortable in this much more manually controlled car.
Benetton are the official Ford-engined entry for Formula One, with three customer teams in support. In Kyalami, one of them did not so much back them up as show them up! McLaren, having demonstrated their competitiveness, will be seeking parity with Benetton on engine specification although the latter have a claim on new developments. McLaren's Ford engine utilises the McLaren TAG engine management system as well as featuring a very effective traction-control system - a big advantage out of slow corners.
The outcome of Sunday's GP could well be a near repeat of round one. Alain Prost planned and raced with great commitment at Kyalami, showing the spirit he lacked at times when racing for Ferrari. The Interlagos circuit is much more demanding than Kyalami and the strengths of the Williams will be even more of an advantage here. This weekend sees a return to 90 minutes untimed practice and 60 minutes timed qualifying but with a restricted number of laps. The new tyre rule remains unchanged.
TIM HARVEY ON THE BRITISH TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP
It was very exciting to win the RAC British Touring Car Championship last season with BMW but it will be tough to hang on to the title. At Renault, we are starting with everything new - new tyres, engine, chassis, team. Therein lies inspiration but also frustration. We want to be competitive from the start but we are not yet on the pace at all. At this level of competition if anything falls below 100 per cent you cannot win. Everyone has to give 100 per cent commitment.
The new Renault 19 has shown good reliability in recent testing - but that is really all we have got going for us at the moment. We only really started work in November but have done quite a lot of testing at Jerez and Nagaro. Competitiveness will come with more development and track time. Ours is one of the only totally new cars in this year's Championship. The only others are Ford and Mazda. Hopefully we can still get a top 10 finish in the first round and be on the pace by round four.
BMW and Vauxhall are going to make the best start in the Auto Trader British Touring Car Championship. Steve Soper (BMW) and John Cleland (Vauxhall) must be favourites for round one at Silverstone on Sunday. I do not expect the racing to be very close at first but the field will soon close up as it has done in previous seasons. BMW have a well-proven package, a vast amount of resources from BMW Germany and a highly experienced team and drivers. The car differs only in that it now has four doors.
Vauxhall have a good record in the RAC British Touring Car series but they need to make some changes to the car if it is to be quick enough. Planned technical improvements have not yet been introduced and I am not sure it can win at this stage. Nissan failed to live up to their potential last year and I suspect they could do well this season. The cars handle extremely well and only need a bit more engine power, which I think they may have found with the engines being built in Japan by Nissan themselves.
Toyota enjoy the most fantastic facilities with Team TOMs set up originally to do Formula One racing. The quality of build in the car reflects this. It looks really good and, with two good drivers plus the same engine as last year, Toyota could soon pose a serious threat. Mazda and Peugeot could also do well this season. Mazda have a beautiful new car with a V6 engine which could produce more power than traditional four-cylinder engines. Peugeot began to go well at the end of last season.
Joachim Winkelhock is among the new names in this year's Auto Trader British Touring Car Championship. Winkelhock, who drives for the BMW team, is quick, aggressive and a spectacular racer who will provide lots of good entertainment. New Zealander Paul Radisich is a very quick young driver keen to assert himself and keen to learn. I am certain he will make a big impression on the Championship, driving the new Ford Mondeo.
Ex-F5000 veteran driver Ian Ashley makes his debut in the British Touring Car series in a Vauxhall. Ashley is a single seater car expert but should be worth watching in his Cavalier. Reigning Group N champion Ian Kahn also drives a Cavalier while Win Percy makes a welcome return to the Championship in a Nissan Primera GT. Percy has spent a few years racing in Australia and should bring speed and experience to his new team.
25.03.93 - HISTORIC RALLYTV star Tiff Needell is one of the competitors in this weekend's RAC Historic Rally in North Yorkshire, the premier event for classic cars. Needell, presenter of Top Gear on BBC2, contests the race from behind the wheel of an original Mini Cooper S. The three-day rally is open to all cars built before 1966 and takes place over some of the area's most renowned rally stages. Needell faces strong opposition from Stig Blomqvist and Bjorn Waldegaard, both in Porsches.
26.03.93F1:- THE BRAZILIAN GRAND PRIX
Frenchman Alain Prost drove superbly on the slippery and difficult Interlagos circuit to claim the provisional pole position. Prost, fresh from victory in the opening race of the season in South Africa, was over a second ahead of Williams teammate Damon Hill. Brazilian Ayrton Senna ended up nearly eight-tenths of a second behind Hill in third place. The session was halted after 48 minutes when Briton Johnny Herbert spun off the track, leaving a trail of oil on the circuit.
Damon Hill was happy with his first outing at Interlagos in the Canon Williams after setting the second fastest time in Friday qualifying. "I did a better job than in Kyalami and got more out of the car," said the Briton. "I like this circuit." Talented German Michael Schumacher was also pleased with his fourth place in the Camel Benetton Ford. "The gap between Prost and us is big again, compared to Kyalami. The circuit is very different, twisty, not so flat and quite bumpy. But we will have a new car for Donington."
Friday's first official qualifying: mins secs 1 A Prost Fr Williams 1:16.809 2 D Hill GB Williams 1:17.856 3 A Senna Brz Mclaren 1:18.639 4 M Schumacher Ger Benetton 1:19.061 5 K W'linger Aut Sauber 1:19.230 6 J Alesi It Ferrari 1:19.260 7 G Berger Aut Ferrari 1:19.561 8 J Herbert GB Lotus 1:20.830 9 P Alliot Fr Larrousse 1:20.057 10 E Comas Fr Larrousse 1:20.061 11 M Andretti US McLaren 1:20.093 12 M Blundell GB Ligier 1:20.281 13 R Patrese It Benetton 1:20.388 14 M Brundle GB Ligier 1:20.390 15 JJ Lehto Fin Sauber 1:20.571 16 A Zanardi Brz Lotus 1:20.891 17 R B'chello Brz Jordan 1:20.999 18 A De Cesaris It Tyrrell 1:21.224 19 D Warwick GB Footwork 1:21.532 20 C Fittipaldi Brz Minardi 1:21.547 21 M Alboreto It Lola 1:21.752 22 U Katayama Jap Tyrrell 1:21.923 23 F Barbazza It Minardi 1:22.122 24 A Suzuki Jpn Footwork 1:22.297 25 L Badoer It Lola 1:22.938 Provisional non-qualifier 26 I Capelli It Jordan 2:23.674 HISTORIC RALLYForty-seven classic cars started the three-day event from Hull which finishes on Sunday afternoon.
Leaderboard after 4 of 17 stages in North Yorkshire: mins secs 1 A Andersson Porsche 911 34:00 2 L Nilsson Porsche 911 34:59 3 J Larsson Porsche 911 35:06 4 B Waldegard Porsche 911 35:22 5 M Karlan Porsche 911 36:01 6 G Crabtree Porsche 911 36:06 7 S Blomqvist Porsche 911 36:16 8 M Griffiths Porsche 911 S 37:05 9 B Warmenius Ford Lotus C 37:25 10 J Handley Ford Lotus C 37:28
27.03.93F1:- THE BRAZILIAN GRAND PRIX
Frenchman Alain Prost dominated the final practice session to claim the 22nd pole position of his career. Prost, who also started from pole in his Williams-Renault in the opening round, improved his Friday lap time by a second as he swept around the track in 1 min 15.8 secs. He was a second clear of teammate Damon Hill while great rival Ayrton Senna will start from the second row in his McLaren-Ford. He was almost two seconds off the pace.
Damon Hill was delighted with his place on the front row of Sunday's grid in only his second race for the Williams-Renault team. "I am very pleased with the job I have done over the last two days... Now I am left to complete the job properly in the race," said Hill. Teammate Alain Prost starts from pole and said: "It's good to be in this team. I'm happier here than anywhere I've been since 1984-86. "It's rare to find a team which is so competitive technically and also has such a good ambience."
Final qualifying times: mins secs 1 A Prost Fr Williams 1:15.866 2 D Hill GB Williams 1:16.859 3 A Senna Brz Mclaren 1:17.697 4 M Schumacher Ger Benetton 1:17.821 5 M Andretti US McLaren 1:18.635 6 R Patrese It Benetton 1:19.049 7 JJ Lehto Fin Sauber 1:19.207 8 K Wendlinger Aut Sauber 1:19.230 9 J Alesi It Ferrari 1:19.260 10 M Blundell GB Ligier 1:19.296 11 P Alliot Fr Larrousse 1:19.340 12 J Herbert GB Lotus 1:19.435 13 G Berger Aut Ferrari 1:19.561 14 R Barrichello Brz Jordan 1:19.593 15 A Zanardi Brz Lotus 1:19.804 16 M Brundle GB Ligier 1:19.835 17 E Comas Fr Larrousse 1:19.868 18 D Warwick GB Footwork 1:20.064 19 A Suzuki Jpn Footwork 1:20.232 20 C Fittipaldi Brz Minardi 1:20.716 21 L Badoer It Lola 1:20.908 22 U Katayama Jap Tyrrell 1:20.991 23 A De Cesaris It Tyrrell 1:21.224 24 F Barbazza It Minardi 1:21.228 25 M Alboreto It Lola 1:21.488 non-qualifier 26 I Capelli It Jordan 2:21.789 TOURING CARS Leaderboard after final practice for opening round at Silverstone: mins secs 1 S Soper BMW 318 1:02.46 2 J Winkelhock BMW 318 1:02.61 3 K Odor Nissan 1:02.74 4 J Cleland Vauxhall 1:02.79 5 W Hoy Toyota 1:02.84 6 P Watts Mazda 1:02.94 7 J Bailey Toyota 1:02.98 8 E O'Brien Peugeot 1:03.07 9 J Allam Vauxhall 1:03.08 10 I Flux Peugeot 1:03.09Ford have delayed the debut of their Mondeo, with the car not yet race ready
HISTORIC RALLY Leaderboard after 13 of 17 stages in North Yorkshire: hr mns scs 1 A Andersson Porsche 911 1:28:21 2 L Nilsson Porsche 911 1:30:09 3 J Larsson Porsche 911 1:30:48 4 M Karlan Porsche 911 1:31:49 5 B Waldegard Porsche 911 1:32:39 6 M Griffiths Porsche 911 S 1:33:58 7 B Warmenius Ford Lotus C 1:34:37 8 T Needell Mini Cooper 1:35:53 9 J Handley Ford Lotus C 1:36:03 10 J Everard Austin Healey 1:36:50Roger Clark (TR4) stopped with cracked sump; Nick Mason (Cortina) retired with oil problems; Stig Blomqvist (Porsche) lost time with broken throttle cable.
F.VAUXHALL LOTUS:- Dane Jan Magnussen, 18-year-old winner of the 1992 Formula Ford Festival, is on pole for the first round of the Formula Vauxhall Lotus Championship at Silverstone. Second on the grid is Dino Morelli with Freddy Van Beuren third.
28.03.93F1:- THE BRAZILIAN GRAND PRIX
Brazilian Ayrton Senna was swamped by his delirious home supporters after sweeping to victory at Sao Paulo in his new McLaren Ford. But he needed all his experience to overhaul cool-headed Williams new boy Damon Hill who found himself leading in only his fourth GP. Hill finished runner-up, while his teammate Alain Prost watched from the sidelines having crashed out in heavy rain while leading the race. Johnny Herbert in a Lotus finished fourth, after losing out in a brave battle with Michael Schumacher.
Alain Prost made a plucky decision to continue on slicks despite heavy rain, only to crash out trying to avoid an out-of-control car. Prost was leading by more than 30 seconds when heavy rain started to fall on part of the circuit. Second-placed Damon Hill and third driver Ayrton Senna both came in for wet tyres but Prost battled on. Two laps later the Frenchman slid off the track, damaging the nose cone on his Williams in a collision with Christian Fittipaldi's Minardi.
Damon Hill made a superb re-start when the safety car was finally called in on lap 37 of the 71. The Williams driver pulled steadily away from three times world champion Ayrton Senna in a McLaren. But after both drivers had stopped for slicks Hill, despite a superior car, was overhauled by the determined Brazilian who then made the most of the backmarkers. "I lost out in traffic and decided second place was not a bad position for my fourth GP," said the Briton.
Result after 71 laps: 1 A Senna Brz McLaren 1:51:15.485 2 D Hill GB Williams 16.26s back 3 M Schumacher Ger Benetton 45.43s 4 J Herbert GB Lotus 46.55s 5 M Blundell GB Ligier 52.12s 6 A Zanardi It Lotus 1 lap 7 P Alliot Fr Larrousse 1 lap 8 J Alesi Fr Ferrari 1 lap 9 D Warwick GB Footwork 2 laps 10 E Comas Fr Larrousse 2 laps 11 M Alboreto It Lola 3 laps 12 L Badoer It Lola 3 laps DRIVERS' STANDINGS (after round 2, the Brazilian Grand Prix) 1 A Senna Brz 16 points 2 A Prost Fr 10 3 M Blundell GB 6 = D Hill GB 6 5 M Schumacher Ger 4 6 C Fittipaldi Brz 3 = J Herbert GB 3 8 JJ Lehto Fin 2 9 G Berger Aut 1 = A Zanardi It 1 CONSTRUCTORS' STANDINGS 1 Williams 16 = McLaren 16 3 Ligier 6Michael Andretti (McLaren) and Gerhard Berger (Ferrari) involved in major collision just after the start. Both drivers appeared to be unhurt although Andretti was later helicoptered to hospital for checks. Martin Brundle (Ligier) out lap 1. Riccardo Patrese (Benetton) out on lap 3 with split oil cooler. Rubens Barrichello (Jordan) stopped lap 17. Alain Prost (Williams) spun off in the wet while leading, as he tried to avoid an out-of-control car.
Christian Fittipaldi (Minardi) crashed out in heavy rain and was in collision with Alain Prost. Ukyo Katayama (Tyrrell) and Aguri Suzuki (Footwork) spun out on the slippery track near the start-finish. Safety car needed while cars cleared out of the way. Andrea de Cesaris (Tyrrell) slowed and stopped in second half of race. JJ Lehto (Sauber) out on lap 52. Karl Wendlinger (Sauber) stopped on lap 61.
TOURING CARS ROUND ONE RESULT from Silverstone: mins secs 1 S Soper BMW 318 26:37.10 2 J Winkelhock BMW 318 26:37.34 3 J Cleland Vauxhall 26:42.42 4 W Hoy Toyota 26:52.79 5 J Allam Vauxhall 26:52.92 6 P Watts Mazda 26:57.59 7 W Percy Nissan 26:58.33 8 M Neal BMW 318 27:02.24 9 I Flux Peugeot 27:08.06 10 A Menu Renault 27:18.61 HISTORIC RALLY Result after 17 stages: hr mns scs 1 A Andersson Porsche 911 2:05:00 2 L Nilsson Porsche 911 2:07:38 3 M Karlan Porsche 911 2:08:37 4 B Waldegard Porsche 911 2:08:43 5 J Larsson Porsche 911 2:09:45 6 M Griffiths Porsche 911 S 2:12.58 7 S Blomqvist Porsche 911 2:13:24 8 J Handley Ford Lotus C 2:14:20 9 J Everard Austin Healey 2:16:42 10 R Powley Porsche 911 2:16:54GRANITE CITY RALLY:- Scot Murray Grierson in a Metro 6R4 won the Granite City Rally in Aberdeen, ahead of David Gillanders in a Ford Sierra. Chesterfield's Chris Mellors was third at the end of the 70 miles of competition over 10 forest stages.
F.VAUXHALL LOTUS:- Dane Jan Magnussen, 18-year-old winner of the 1992 Formula Ford Festival, was on pole for the first round at Silverstone. Second on the grid was Dino Morelli with Freddy Van Beuren third.