December 1994

F1:- David Coulthard's future in Formula One will be decided by a panel of lawyers on Friday, FOCA president Bernie Ecclestone has said. Coulthard, 23, is reported to have signed a contract with McLaren, although a team spokeswoman earlier said he was only being considered. The Williams team claim he remains under contract to them. "The Contracts Recognition board is meeting in Geneva to decide which contract is valid," confirmed Ecclestone.

For Immediate Release : 1 December 1994

From Mark Gallagher, Commercial Dept, Pacific Grand Prix


Pacific Grand Prix yesterday concluded an agreement with Cosworth Engineering to use the new Ford Cosworth ED engine in next year's FIA Formula One World Championship. The 3.0 litre V8 ED unit will power the Pacific PR02, the team's 1995 contender, and the first on-track tests for the Pacific-Ford are scheduled to take place in February.

Cosworth's experience and unparalleled success in building race and championship-winning Formula One engines will assist Pacific in making a major step forward in the team's second year of competing in the World Championship and Team Managing Director Keith Wiggins is delighted with the agreement:

"We could not wish for a better partner than Cosworth and the decision to use their new ED engine was a logical step for Pacific. We have been discussing terms with Cosworth for some time, but our new car was always designed with their engine in mind and I am very pleased that this part of our 1995 package is now in place. We are looking forward to working with Cosworth in the coming year and I have no doubt that this partnership will bring Pacific much success."

Frank Coppuck, Chief Designer of the Pacific PR02, is certain that the Ford Cosworth ED will prove a most effective engine in the coming season:

"The new engine is everything a designer could wish for. It's light, compact, short and very stiff - from my point of view it is architecturaly perfect. Now that the agreement is in place the first dummy unit will arrive at our factory today, and we are all keen to get on with the programme for 1995."

Bernard Ferguson, Cosworth Engineering's International Sales & Marketing Executive - Racing, is pleased that Pacific has joined the company's list of successful Formula One partners:

"Recognising Pacific's achievements in the lower formulae, and the fact that after its debut season in Formula One the team is determined to make considerable progress in 1995, we are very happy to be supplying it with Ford Cosworth ED engines for the forthcoming season. Both parties have good reason to approach next season with great confidence, and in the meantime we look forward to working closely with the team in the coming months."

Pacific is the only Formula One team to have won championships at every level of the sport. Since 1984 the team has won the British, Benelux and European Formula Ford 1600 Championships, the British, European and World Cup Formula Ford 2000 Championships, the British F3 Championship and the FIA International Formula 3000 Championships. Current F1 stars David Coulthard, JJ Lehto, Christian Fittipaldi, Eddie Irvine andBertrand Gachot have driven for Pacific, with Lehto, Fittipaldi and Gachot winning major titles in the lower formulae.

TOURING CARS:- The Williams Renault touring car team have denied rumours that ex-world champion Alain Prost will drive for them in 1995. However Prost has said he would like to make a racing comeback. "I don't want to drive in Formula One any more but I still want to drive. It's complex and ambiguous, but I'm still looking for myself. I'm busy but I need a challenge." A Williams spokesman said: "I have heard the stories, but I don't think there is much substance in them."

TOURING CARS:- Derek Warwick will lead Alfa Romeo's drive for next year's British Touring Car Championship. The former Formula One driver links up with Italian Giampiero Simoni who helped Alfa dominate this year's title race. Warwick returned to Formula One in 1993, a year after becoming World Sportscar Champion. Warwick, who also had offers to drive in the American IndyCars, said: "I'm going to be working with the best team, the best mechanics and driving the best cars."

RALLY OF THAILAND:- Reading's Richard Burns aims to end his season on a high note when he joins Subaru teammate Possum Bourne in the final Asia-Pacific rally. "I did this rally last year and the stages were a lot rougher than I expected," said the up-and-coming British driver, second to Bourne in the Hong Kong-Beijing round. Their success in the previous event clinched the title for Subaru while Bourne retained the drivers' crown. "I am very relaxed," said Bourne at the start of the three-day event. "But I won't be hanging around."

RALLYCROSS:- Norway's Martin Schanche bids for a second successive victory in the end-of-season clash at Brands Hatch. Among the British opposition will be Will Gollop, Barry Squibb and Richard Hutton while European and Swedish rallycross champion Kenneth Hansen is also in the line-up. Hansen makes his debut at the Kent circuit along with 1993 European champion Jean-Luc Pailler. The two-day event sees a welcome return of the Group B supercars, featuring the Metro 6R4s and Ford RS200s in a Division 3 category.

RALLY OF THAILAND:- Reading's Richard Burns continued to battle it out with Kenneth Eriksson on the second day but lost vital seconds after a shunt. The 23-year-old Subaru driver started the day 23 secs behind the Swedish leader with no change after the first five stages. Six of the day's scheduled stages were cancelled by the organisers on safety grounds before the 1993 British champion suffered a setback. The car pitched into trees after hitting poles but Burns recovered to stay second, 42 secs adrift.

Sunday's result:
 1 K Hansen    Citroen ZX
 2 B Squibb    Ford RS Cos
 3 W Gollop    Peugeot 306
 4 M Jernberg  Escort RS Cos
 5 J Cross     Fiesta 4x4
 6 J Kuypers   Escort RS Cos
 7 T Bardy     Nissan Sunny
 8 R Hutton    Escort RS
 9 H Kirchhoff Escort RS Cos
10 M Shield    Sierra Cos

European champion Kenneth Hansen made a dream debut at Brands Hatch as he clinched the Autoglass British Rallycross Grand Prix title. Citroen ZX driver Hansen led all the way, with Barry Squibb having to settle for second place. Local favourite Will Gollop from Whitstable failed to capitalise on his pole position and finished third after a disappointing start.

PROST:- Alain Prost has hinted he is ready to return to racing having retired in 1993. The four-time world champion quit after winning the crown in 1993 and said he would not be racing anymore in Formula One. But speaking at the Autosport Awards dinner on Sunday the Frenchman said: "I left the door open, so now I am just waiting for the offers."

RALLY OF THAILAND:- Reading's Richard Burns produced a stirring effort on the final day but had to settle for second place behind Swede Kenneth Eriksson The 23-year-old Subaru driver began with 42 seconds to make up and ran out of time after two of the seven planned stages were cancelled. But Burns reduced Eriksson's lead by ten secs in the morning and was only 24 secs in arrears when they reached the finish at Phrae. "Kenneth and I were very closely matched," said Burns, who ended the championship third overall.

07.12.94 - F1
Karl Wendlinger, who lay in a coma for 19 days after crashing in Monaco, is set to make a full-time return to Formula One next year. The Austrian, testing for the Swiss Sauber team in Spain, has lapped within two tenths of a second of team-mate Heinz-Harold Frentzen. Team boss Peter Sauber will decide on Friday whether Wendlinger will partner Frentzen in 1995. But he admitted: "If Karl proves to us that he is ready, then it is our intention that he will be driving for us in the coming year."

Lola have confirmed they will not be entering Formula One next year even though their 1995 car will be tested by Allan McNish this week. The Huntingdon-based company now plan to make their entry in 1996 after developing the car.

David Coulthard, Mark Blundell and Martin Brundle will be in action at Rye House, Hoddesdon on Sunday in a karting challenge to raise money for the mechanics' charity. Teams of 10 drivers will be racing, representing all F1 teams.

08.12.94 - F1
Damon Hill put an end to months of speculation as he announced that he has agreed to race for Williams in the 1995 Formula One season. Hill, who came close to winning the drivers' championship this year, had complained he was not being paid enough to stay with Frank Williams and his British-based team. But, after lengthy negotiations, Hill has put his name to a deal that keeps him at Williams-Renault. In a statement, Hill said a package had been concluded "to the mutual satisfaction of both parties".

Damon Hill was persuaded to stay at Williams after being offered improved terms for the 1995 season. A Williams spokesman confirmed: "The original deal was done when Damon Hill was our test driver and in two years he has risen to world championship contender. "His situation has changed dramatically and Frank Williams has rewarded Damon by giving him the financial recognition he deserves." Williams are yet to decide whether Nigel Mansell or David Coulthard will be their other team driver.

The Lotus F1 team are looking for sponsors to help them continue after being forced to lay off all staff until the end of the year. "We have a number of very promising opportunities which we're pursuing" said owner David Hunt. "Team Lotus has the genuine potential to return to its winning ways."

09.12.94 - F1
Former world champion Alain Prost is to receive an honorary OBE at a ceremony next week. News of the four-times Formula One champion's award was confirmed by the British Embassy in Paris. A statement said he was being honoured for his "outstanding role in the development of shared technology and in enhancing Franco-British collaboration." Grand Prix racing will, meanwhile, return to the Nurburgring in 1995 when the German track stages the European Grand Prix on October 8.

The FIA is to conduct a final inspection on January 22 to decide whether Argentina can host the opening Formula One GP next season. The race is scheduled for Buenos Aires on March 12 but the circuit has yet to win FIA approval. The FIA is also waiting to receive confirmation of required improvements at Imola for the San Marino Grand Prix and Monza for the Italian Grand Prix. The deadline for Imola is January 31 and March 31 for Monza.

F1:- Michael Schumacher will test drive for Ligier, Benetton's sister team and rivals, at Estoril on Wednesday. The Formula One world champion will use the test to evaluate the Renault V10 engine that will power his Benetton in 1995.

RALLYING:- France's Francois Delecour and Belgium's Bruno Thiry will drive for the RAS Ford team in the 1995 FIA World Rally Championship.

F1:- David Coulthard has been told he must drive for Williams in 1995, providing they want him. The Scot had signed a provisional contract with McLaren but Williams insisted he ws tied to them by a testing agreement. The FIA's Contract Recognition Board were asked to adjudicate and they have decided Williams have first claim on his services. Williams have already signed Damon Hill for 1995 and must now decide whether to take up their option on the highly-rated Coulthard.

Damon Hill was more than a second faster than arch-rival Michael Schumacher during testing at Estoril in Portugal. The Briton, pipped for the World Championship title by the German last month, clocked a lap of 1 min 19.57 secs in his Williams. Schumacher was driving the Ligier team's car to test the Renault engine that will power his Benetton next season. Hill flew out of Estoril after the session and will be replaced by David Coulthard.

RALLYING:- Brothers Mark and Simon Dutton and mechanic Nick Morgan will represent Britain in the Granada-Dakar Rally. Their Rochester Racing team will begin the 7,500-mile event in Spain on New Year's Day. Competitors from 38 countries are taking part.

15.12.94 - F1
Super Scot David Coulthard found himself outpaced by Brazilian star Rubens Barrichello during winter testing in Estoril, Portugal. The two drivers battled throughout Thursday for the day's top time and were separated by just 2/10ths of a second at the end of the session. Barrichello, in his Jordan Peugeot, clocked 1 min 20.00 secs but could not match the 1:19.97 lap set by Damon Hill in a Williams before he flew back to England on Wednesday. Williams have won the right to sign Coulthard who had talked to McLaren.

16.12.94 - F1
David Coulthard boosted his chances of landing a new deal with Williams for 1995 with an excellent lap time during testing on Friday. The Scot clocked 1 min 19.60 secs at Estoril, just three-hundredths outside teammate Damon Hill's best time, set on Wednesday. Williams have first call on Coulthard's services for the new season, but he is also wanted by rivals McLaren. If Coulthard is confirmed in the number two seat, it would mean no place for Nigel Mansell.

19.12.94 - F1
The French Ligier Formula One team have confirmed they will be powered by Mugen-Honda engines in 1995. They will receive an exclusive supply of the three-litre V10 engines for two years. The news is a blow for the cash-starved Lotus team who had a contract with the Japanese firm but j 5 were unable to make payments. Former Lotus and Ligier driver, Britain's Johnny Herbert, is now expected to be announced as Michael Schumacher's teammate at Benetton for next year.

F1:- Damon Hill was in high spirits when his Williams car, powered by a new 3-litre Renault engine for the first time, tested without problem. Hill's best time of one minute 05.97 seconds at the Le Castellet circuit was nearly 0.2 secs quicker than Gerhard Berger's Ferrari. "I am very happy but it is much too early to make any predictions. The main thing is that the new engine was completely reliable," said Hill. All Formula One cars will be powered by 3-litre engines, instead of 3.5 litres, in 1995.

TOURING CARS:- David Brabham is quitting the Simtek F1 team to race in the 1995 British Touring Car Championship. Australian Brabham, son of former F1 world champion Sir Jack Brabham, partners Venezuelan Johnny Cecotto in the BMW squad. "BMW approached me with this great opportunity at a time when I was becoming somewhat uncertain about my 1995 options," said Brabham. Brabham was the lead driver for Simtek in 1994 - a year in which he saw teammate Roland Ratzenberger killed at the San Marino Grand Prix.

F2:- Chassis manufacturers Reynard are to spearhead the revival of the Formula Two championship. The British company will supply the chassis to the championship, which will provide a low cost alternative to the European Formula 3000. Williams technical director Patrick Head gave his blessing to the revitalised series. "It has the potential to provide a stepping stone to Formula One," Head commented.

RALLYING:- The 555 Subaru World Rally team will enter three cars on each of the eight round of next year's World Rally Championship. Carlos Sainz and Colin McRae will be joined on the Prodrive run team by several specialised drivers. Piero Liatti, Mats Jonsson, Possum Bourne and Richard Burns will all be in a third Subaru Impreza.

24.12.94 - F1
Nigel Mansell could join world champion Michael Schumacher at Benetton next season. Williams chiefs met at their Didcot headquarters on Friday but would not confirm that David Coulthard is to replace Mansell in 1995. A source close to Benetton said it was possible Mansell could join and added: "It is not something that would surprise me." Mansell's agent Sue Membery said she knew nothing of the latest round of speculation.

Almost 400 competitors are set to compete in this tough 10,000km event - formerly the Paris Dakar Rally - which starts New Year's Day. Among them is the Rochester Racing team of Mark and Simon Dutton, the only English entry in their specially-equipped Landrover 110. Citroen and Mitsubishi are once again tipped for honours in the car category although they face serious competition from Ssangyong, recent runners-up on the Pharoahs Rally. The finish is over a 320km special stage to Dakar on January 15.

Yamaha and Honda are out to break the recent dominance of the Italian Cagiva and Austrian KTM teams in the motor cycle category. They all face a major challenge from a number of privateers who could snatch the honours after a gruelling 14 days of special stages. Mercedes dominate the truck class, with 29 of the 34 entries. Competitors will be tested over 6,138km of stages including a 504km all-sand stage on January 9 from Zouerat to Chinguetti which must be completed without mechanics on hand.

January 1: Granada - Motril

200km special stage around the hills of Granada.

January 2: Nador - Er Rachidia

255km stage descending from the Middle Atlas mountains towards the Algerian border over winding stone tracks and hard-packed earth. Rain could make conditions difficult.

January 3: Er Rachidia - Ouarzazate

Competitors face the first small dunes of the rally during the 405km stage which also includes valleys, rocks, sand and winding tracks. A beautiful route but could cause navigational problems.

January 4: Ouarzazate - Goulimine

Similar to previous stage with sand rocks and winding tracks taking the rally through previously closed zones to the gateway to the desert.

January 5: Goulimine - Es Smara

Also through forbidden zones, opened just for the Dakar, through the historic trail of 'El Massira'. Tyres will be severely tested over 420km of hard, stony tracks.

January 6: Es Smara - Awserd

Fast but sandy 577km section crossing the Tropic of Cancer over plateaus finally reaching the Mauritanian border.

January 7: Awserd - Zouerat

Over 625km, the longest stage of the rally. Competitors go off the track and cross dunes.

January 8: Rest day at Zouerat

A chance to work on vehicles.

January 9: Zouerat - Chinguetti

All sand 504km stage, one of the most beautiful in the event.

January 10: Chinguetti - Tidjikja

Navigation is a problem. There is a track but many may not use it.

Jan 11: Tidjikja - Ayoun El Atrous

504km, where anything can happen...

January 12: Ayoun El Atrous - Bakel

A 375km stage into the savannah, over narrow tracks some of them barely visible, through tiny villages en route to Senegal.

January 13: Bakel - Labe

A marathon 626km stage best suited to two wheels due to very narrow paths in the bush - known as the Green Hell. Some river crossings.

January 14: Labe - Tambacounda

Similar to previous day, to Senagal

January 15: Tambacounda - Dakar

Savannah criss-crossed by trails for final 320km special stage.