Tf fff``A.November 1996 Motorsport Information

November 1996

CATALUNYA RALLY:- Scotland's Colin McRae aims to set the record straight with victory in the three-day event, starting on Monday. He was forced to follow team orders and allow Spaniard Carlos Sainz to win last year, when both drove for Subaru. Sainz is now with Ford and McRae said: "It would be nice to put it all to rest - the doubt whether he could have won without team orders." World champion Tommi Makinen has Juha Repo as navigator, after Seppo Harjanne was hurt in their San Remo crash.

TOURING CARS:- Jo Winkelhock will attempt to end BMW's association with British touring car racing in the best possible fashion. The German outfit has decided to sever its links with the Auto Trader Championship and Winkelhock is aiming to exit on a high note by winning this weekend's RAC Tourist Trophy race. The 80-lap event has a 25,000 winner-takes-all prize on offer. Sunday's race has attracted 15 entrants including touring car aces John Cleland, Tim Harvey and Will Hoy.

02.11.96 - TOURING CARS
Alain Menu will start from pole in Sunday's race at Donington Park after clocking 1 min 11.108 secs in his Renault Laguna. The Swiss driver, runner-up in the RAC Touring Car Championship for the third successive year, was over half a second quicker than Marco Werner. James Kaye was the best British driver with a lap of 1:11.687 in his Honda Accord to take third place on the grid. Will Hoy (1:11.954), John Cleland (1:12.059) and Joachim Winkelhock (1:12.082) complete the top six.

F1:- China are aiming to break into the world of Formula One and hope to host a Grand Prix next year. Yu Bing Lin, vice-mayor of Zhuhai City said: "We are talking with FIA and realted agencies to try to win rights to host a race next year. We have the pre-requisites for hosting Formula One and have a circuit of international standard." The circuit bends around Zhuhai's Nanshan or Southern Mountain and is 2.68 miles long.

TOURING CARS (Tourist Trophy, Donington):- Alain Menu claimed the 25,000 first prize after winning Sunday's race. The 33-year-old took control of the 80-lap endurance race in his Renault Laguna from the outset and held on in front by a slender three-second margin. Menu's closest challenger throughout the afternoon was young British Volvo pilot Kelvin Burt, who beat off Audi's John Bintcliffe to take second place. "The car ran like clockwork, the team did a great job and to have the TT on my CV is a great honour," said Menu.

1 A Menu     Swi Renault Lag 1:43.29.70
2 K Burt     GB  Volvo 850    @    3.11
3 J B'cliffe GB  Audi A4      @   11.25
4 J Win'hock Ger BMW 320i     @   22.75
5 T Harvey   GB  Peugeot 406  @   26.04
6 J Kaye     GB  Honda Accord @   31.30
7 W Hughes   GB  Ford Mondeo  @  1 lap
8 E O'Brien  GB  Honda Accord @  2 laps
9 J Br'stedt Swe Vauxhall Vec @  4 laps

Italian Piero Liatti grabbed the outright lead in Spain's Catalunya Rally with a sizzling time on the last stage of the opening day. Liatti edged ahead of Belgian Bruno Thiry in a Ford and Subaru teammate Colin McRae in slippery conditions. Thiry dropped three seconds behind after making the wrong tyre choice on the last two stages. Fellow Belgian Freddie Loix, in a Toyota, took third place from McRae on the closing section.

Carlos Sainz's hopes of victory in front of his home fans ended when the Spaniard rolled his Escort and retired on stage two of the event. Sainz and co-driver Luis Moya careered into a ditch on an extremely slippery bend and although the pair righted the car, they could not restart the engine. Teammate Bruno Thiry fared better in the conditions he likened to black ice. "I saw Luis standing before the corner slowing us down. It was very slippery and just like black ice," said Thiry.

Positions after 6 of 18 stages:
(end of day one)              mins secs
 1 P Liatti    It  Subaru      1:15.36
 2 B Thiry     Bel Ford Escort 1:15.39
 3 F Loix      Bel Toyota      1:15.41
 4 C McRae     Sco Subaru      1:15.42
 5 T Makinen   Fin Mitsubishi  1:16.11
 6 O Gomez     Sp  Renault     1:16.25
 7 K Eriksson  Swe Subaru      1:16.26
 8 R Burns     Eng Mitsubishi  1:16.51
 9 P Bernadini Fin Ford Escort 1:16.56
10 R Madeira   Por Toyota      1:17.14

F1:- British-based car makers Lola are returning to Formula One next season for the first time since 1993. The news ends months of speculation about whether the team, which has won five IndyCar titles, would return to top-level motor racing outside the US. Lola's Anne Hale said announcements on the team structure and driver line-up would be made "as and when necessary." The decision was confirmed after credit card company Mastercard agreed to back the new team with a four-year deal.

Former world champion Michael Schumacher has extended his contract with Ferrari to the end of the 1999 season, the team has announced. Schumacher joined Ferrari in 1995 and helped the team take second place in the Formula One constructors' world championship this season. His contract was due to expire at the end of the 1997 season. Ferrari confirmed that Eddie Irvine would carry on as the team's second driver with an option covering 1998.

CATALUNYA RALLY:- Colin McRae stepped up the pressure on Subaru teammate Piero Liatti of Italy in the Catalunya Rally. The Scottish driver moved from fourth to second place in the afternoon to cut Liatti's lead to three seconds in the final round of the World Championship. Rising Toyota driver Freddie Loix edged into third place ahead of fellow Belgian and early leader Bruno Thiry. Tommi Makinen, who has already clinched this year's world title, is well placed in fifth going into the final day.

Positions after 13 of 18 stages:
                              mins secs
 1 P Liatti    It  Subaru      3:08.50
 2 C McRae     Sco Subaru      3:08.53
 3 F Loix      Bel Toyota      3:09.22
 4 B Thiry     Bel Ford Escort 3:09.36
 5 T Makinen   Fin Mitsubishi  3:10.03
 6 P Bern'dini Fin Ford Escort 3:11.03
 7 K Eriksson  Swe Subaru      3:11.09
 8 O Gomez     Sp  Renault     3:11.54
 9 R Madeira   Por Toyota      3:12.30
10 A Medeghini Fin Subaru      3:13.24

Colin McRae triumphed over Italian teammate Piero Liatti in the Catalunya Rally to give Subaru victory in the manufacturers' championship. Former world champion McRae started the last leg of the event only three seconds behind Liatti and increased the pressure on the penultimate stage. He said: "It was a bit of a close fight. There was never any breathing space but it was a good day for me. After the year we've had it's good to win the last two rallies."

Result after 18 stages:       mins secs
 1 C McRae     GB  Subaru      4:14.20
 2 P Liatti    It  Subaru      4:14.27
 3 B Thiry     Bel Ford Escort 4:15.38
 4 F Loix      Bel Toyota      4:15.55
 5 T Makinen   Fin Mitsubishi  4:16.12
 6 P Bern'dini Fin Ford Escort 4:17.30
 7 K Eriksson  Swe Subaru      4:18.01
 8 O Gomez     Sp  Renault     4:18.22
 9 R Madeira   Por Toyota      4:19.19
10 A Medeghini Fin Subaru      4:20.58

1 T Makinen   Fin Mitsubishi 123 pts
2 C McRae     GB  Subaru      92
3 C Sainz     Sp  Ford        89
4 K Eriksson  Swe Subaru      78
5 P Liatti    It  Subaru      56

1 Subaru      401 pts
2 Mitsubishi  322
3 Ford        299

09.11.96 - ITC

Final qualifying times at Suzuka:
                              mins secs
 1 C Danner     Ger Alfa Romeo 2:02.737
 2 B Schneider  Ger Mercedes   2:02.924
 3 S Modena     It  Alfa Romeo 2:03.099
 4 N Larini     It  Alfa Romeo 2:03.100
 5 G Fisichella It  Alfa Romeo 2:03.349
 6 A Nannini    It  Alfa Romeo 2:03.476
 7 B Maylander  Ger Mercedes   2:04.756
 8 G Tarquini   It  Alfa Romeo 2:04.999
 9 D Franchitti GB  Mercedes
10 J Magnussen  Den Mercedes

10.11.96 - ITC (Suzuka)
Opel clinched the manufacturers title when Uwe Alzen finished ninth in the first race at Suzuka. It completed a double for the team after Manuel Reuter clinched the drivers title two weeks ago. Britain's Dario Franchitti won the first race but his overtaking move on Christian Danner almost produced a pit-lane punch-up between team officials. Germany's Bernd Schneider sealed the runners-up spot with a third place and a win in Japan.

First race:                  mins:secs
1 D Franchitti GB  Mercedes  38:23.290
2 C Danner     Ger A Romeo   38:25.628
3 B Schneider  Ger Mercedes  38:26.052
4 G Fisichella It  A Romeo   38:26.221
5 S Modena     It  A Romeo   38:26.711

Second race:
1 B Schneider  Ger Mercedes  37:43.447
2 G Fisichella It  A Romeo   38:02.497
3 J Magnussen  Den Mercedes  38:03.044
4 S Modena     It  A Romeo   38:11.604
5 A Nannini    It  A Romeo   38:11.674
DNF D Franchitti GB Mercedes

Championship standings:         Pts
 1 M Reuter     Ger Opel        218
 2 B Schneider  Ger Mercedes    205
 3 A Nannini    It  A Romeo     180
 4 D Franchitti GB  Mercedes    171
 5 JJ Lehto     Fin Opel        148
 6 G Fisichella It  A Romeo     139
 7 K Ludwig     Ger Opel        130
 8 U Alzen      Ger Opel        119
 9 HJ Stuck     Ger Opel        112
10 J Magnussen  Den Mercedes     97

Manufacturers standings:
1 Opel              349 pts
2 Alfa Romeo        340
3 Mercedes          305

11.11.96 - F1
Martin Brundle fears his Formula One career could be over if his Jordan team sign Jean Alesi for next season. Frenchman Alesi had a disappointing first season with Benneton and has been linked with a move to Jordan - which could spell the end for Brundle. He said:"There is nowhere else I want to go and nothing I want to do but drive for Jordan next year. Suzuka could have been my final Grand Prix. But I don't think it will be, so don't write me off just yet."

RALLYING:- Former world rally champion Colin McRae has received his MBE for services to motor sport from the Queen. "It's such an honour to receive this award and a great way to end the year," said the Scot.

F1:- Ferrari have broken off talks with Sauber about supplying engine technology to the Swiss-based team after details were leaked to the press.

F1:- Damon Hill has escaped unhurt after crashing while testing tyres for his new Arrows team in Suzuka. The world champion lost control of his car at low speed on cold tyres as he exited the hairpin and spun round before hitting the trackside wall. The impact tore two corners off the car and wrecked the gearbox, forcing Arrows to abandon testing a day early. Hill was driving a Ligier for the test as he is too tall for the Arrows car which has still to be adapted for him.

RALLYING:- The Michelin Pilot Team Ford Escort Cosworth is set to make its farewell appearance in this year's Network Q RAC Rally with Ari Vatanen at the helm. Vatanen is no stranger to the Pilot Escort having driven it to victory on the Pirelli Rally in Cumbria in 1995. First seen in 1993, the striking blue and yellow Michelin Pilot car soon became the centre of attention on the British rally scene. Other Pilot drivers have included Francois Delecour and Robbie Head.

17.11.96 - F3: MACAU GP
Britain's Ralph Firman won the Macau Grand Prix after the race was cut short when he triggered a pile-up on the final lap of the two-leg course. Firman, in a Honda-Mugen-powered Dallara, was ranked second after the first leg and emerged the combined winner in 1 hr 3 min 14.791 secs. Italian Max Angelelli, in an Opel Team BSR Dallara, was second and compatriot Jarno Trulli was third. Firman was chasing leader Trulli on the final lap when he hit a crash barrier.

                            hr mins secs
 1 R Firman    GB  Dallara    1:03.14
 2 M Angelelli It  Dallara    1:03.19
 3 J Trulli    It  Dallara    1:03.20
 4 S Ayari     Fr  Dallara    1:03.22
 5 T Coronel   Hol TOM'S      1:03.24
 6 N Heidfeld  Ger Dallara    1:03.34
 7 P dela Rosa Sp  Dallara    1:04.00
 8 A Couto     Por Dallara    1:04.02
 9 D Manning   GB  Dallara    1:04.05
10 G Smith     GB  TOM'S      1:04.20

RALLYING:- Formula One veteran Martin Brundle crashed out during a preview run for the Network Q/RAC Rally. Brundle, preparing for his rally debut this weekend, was on a recce drive of one of the Welsh stages when he slid off an icy track and down a bank. The Ford Escort car - not the one Brundle will use in the three-day event which starts on Saturday - was damaged. He and co-driver Roger Freeman had to continue in a different car. Brundle said: "It's no big deal."

TOURING CARS:- Gabriele Tarquini will return to the Auto Trader RAC British Championship next season after signing to drive for Team Honda Sport. The Italian won the title in 1994 when he scored eight wins for Alfa Romeo. He said: "The Accord is already a winner and I know Prodrive is working very hard to make it the best."

"I'm delighted to be returning to Britain - I can watch as many Italian footballers in action here as at home," the 34-year-old added.

Sadly this year's RAC doesn't count towards either of the major World Championships, so the top three factory teams are not contesting the event. It means no Mitsubishis for me or new world champion teammate Tommi Makinen, no Ford for Carlos Sainz and no Subaru for Colin McRae. In recent years, Colin has made the RAC his own, winning in 1994 and '95 - it won't be the same without him.

Despite the absence of so many top stars, it's still going to be an exciting rally - for starters, the Toyota team is back after a year's ban. Juha Kankkunen leads Toyota's attack, he's won the RAC three times and his speed and experience makes him a hot favourite for further glory this year. Opposition comes from teammate Armin Schwarz and the Fords of Ari Vatanen and Jarmo Kytolehto. If Juha survives the rigours of the forests, I can't see him losing.

The major teams are concentrating on next year's expanded series, so the RAC spotlight falls on the 2-litre World Cup contenders. The championship goes down to the wire with SEAT, Renault and surprise packets Skoda still in the fray. Stir in most of the British series regulars - Gwyndaf Evans, Mark Higgins, Alister McRae and Robbie Head - and we're in for an epic battle. It's great to see ex-world champ Stig Blomqvist still rallying for Skoda.

BBC Top Gear's Tiff Needell is another familiar face in the Skoda camp and he's not the only man with Formula One experience trying his hand at rallying. Jordan GP star Martin Brundle is making his debut in a Ford Escort Cosworth. Martin's really in at the deep end and we cannot expect fireworks from him. He has one of the best cars but he'll do well to finish in the top ten. It would be like putting us into an F1 car and expecting us to be competitive. They are very different disciplines.

This year's RAC has a very different look. It's a three-day event this time, starting from Chester on Saturday. For the first time in my memory, the action begins in the fearsome Kielder Forest with some of the toughest special stages of the whole rally. Hopefully most of the front-runners will survive for the traditional Sunday spectator stages in the Midlands. The last day has a very early start and takes survivors into the Welsh Forests for some of the world's best stages.

Formula One star Martin Brundle is under no illusions about the test which lies ahead of him in his debut drive in the RAC Rally. The 38-year-old from Norfolk said: "If I was taking up mountain climbing, it's like starting with Everest, but I'm looking forward to it enormously. It is something I've always wanted to do - ever since my father competed in the 70s." He partners Roger Freeman and added: "My aim is to enjoy it and to finish."

Finnish ace Ari Vatanem will be at the wheel as the Michelin Pilot Escort Cosworth makes its farewell appearance. The striking blue and yellow Ford was driven into third place by Malcolm Wilson in 1993 and he has prepared the 300bhp car for its final appearance. Vatanen has a new co-driver in sports writer Michael Calvin. "He will be my third different partner in three events this year, but I won the first two, so I'm sure we are going do well on the RAC," said Vatanen.

Newly crowned British champion Gwyndaf Evans bids for his third successive 2-litre category win in the event. The 37-year-old dirves a special 'kit car' version of the 1997 Escort, featuring a new 250bhp engine and six-speed sequential gearbox. "With so many drivers from the 2-litre world championship taking part, we face much tougher opposition than before. Getting up at one am for the final leg on Monday is going to be tough after two days of hectic rallying," he said.

Robbie Head will be part of a four-car Maxi Megane challenge aiming to gyve Renault the 2-litre world title. Manufacturers count their best six scores from the eight rounds, leaving a complex picture which will finally resolve itself Monday. Seat and Skoda are also in the hunt and it promises to be a nail-biting climax with 65 points available. Gregoire de Mevius, Serge Jordan and Alan Oreille drive the three other Renaults in the event.

The 1996 Rally covers 1130.26 miles, including 257.71 miles on 27 timed special stages. The RAC is the biggest annual sporting event of any kind in Great Britain, with 2.5m spectators and more than 11,000 volunteer officials. Juha Kankkunen is the most successful driver taking part, having won in 1987, 1991 and 1993. France's Philippe Gobert will be the oldest driver at the start. Gobert, 56, has contested the rally 23 times.

Kingsland's John Perrott is this year's youngest competitor at the age of 19. He will be driving a Peugeot 106. The Fleet Street Award, for the most successful journalist in the event, has ten candidates including BBC Top Gear presenter Tiff Needell. Andrew Pinker has travelled from Western Australia for his RAC debut. He is a multiple winner in his homeland. Stig Blomqvist is the most experienced driver taking part. He won in 1971 and 1983 and has been second four times.

 1 Kankkunen/Grist     Fin/GB Toyota
 2 Lytolehto/Kapanen   Fin    Escort
 3 Duncan/Williamson   Ken    Toyota
 4 Vatanen/Calvin      Fin/GB Escort
 5 Schwarz/Giraudet    Ger/Fr Toyota
 6 Sibera/Gross        Cz     Skoda
 7 Triner/Stahc        Cz     Skoda
 8 Navarra/Casazza     It     Subaru
 9 Evans/Davies        GB     Escort
10 A McRae/Senior      GB     VW Golf
11 Puras/Del Barrio    Sp     Seat
12 Medeghini/C'ferri   It     Subaru
14 Brundle/Freeman     GB     Escort
15 Rovapera/Repo       Fin    Seat
16 de Mevius/Fortin    Bel    Renault
17 Weber/Hiemer        Ger    Seat
23 Aitken-W/Mole       GB     Honda
24 Head/Thomas         GB     Renault
25 Higgins/Mills       GB     Nissan
27 Blomqvist/Melander  Swe    Skoda
28 Oreille/Brissart    Fr     Renault
30 Higgins/Park        GB     Honda
34 Hill/Boyles         GB     Mitsubishi
35 Lyall/Bennie        GB     Escort
54 Needell/            GB     Skoda
55 Simmonite/Simmonite GB     Escort

LEG ONE (Chester to Leeds) 
Starts at Chester Racecourse 7am

Stage 1: Kershope - 10.32am
Two miles south east of Newcastleton.
Length: 23.07 miles

Stage 2: Riccarton - 11.58am
Eight miles south east of Hawick on B6357.
Length: 9.01 miles

Stage 3: Hyndlee - 12.23pm
Near Hawick on B6357.
Length: 6.65 miles

Stage 4: Redesdale - 1.00pm
South of A68 at Byrness.
Length: 9.99 miles

Stage 5: Falstone - 1.29pm
10 miles from Bellingham.
Length: 11.64 miles

Stage 6: Pundershaw - 2.28pm
Three miles west of Bellingham.
Length: 35.77 miles

Stage 7: County Durham - 5.27pm
Hamsterley, three miles west of A68.
Length: 15.97 miles

Stage 8: Croft Super Special7.12pm
Stage 9: Croft Super Special7.21pm
six miles south of Darlington.
Length: 1.54 miles

Finish of leg 22.18 - Leeds city centre.

LEG TWO (Leeds to Chester)
Starts at Royal Armoury Museum 7.30am.

Stage 10: Leeds - 8.03am
Temple Newsam Park, near Leeds.
Length: 2.66 miles

Stage 11: Chatsworth - 9.27am
Eight miles west of Chesterfield between Baslow and Bakewell.
Length: 2.83 miles

Stage 12: Clumber - 11.04am
Three miles south of Worksop on B6034.
Length: 5.11 miles

Stage 13: Donington Park - 12.31pm
Three miles west of M1 nr Castle Donington.
Length: 3.86 miles

Stage 14: Donington Park - 12.44pm
Three miles west of M1 nr Castle Donington.
Length: 3.86 miles

Stage 15: Trentham - 2.37pm
A34 two miles from M6 junction 15
Length: 2.51 miles

Stage 16: Tatton - 3.25pm
Three miles west of M1 nr Castle Donington.
Length: 3.86 miles

Stage 17: Chester - 4.28pm
Three miles west of M1 nr Castle Donington.
Length: 3.86 miles

Finish of leg Chester Racecourse 5.33pm

LEG THREE (Chester to Chester)
Starts at the Racecourse, 2am

Stage 18: Dyfnant - 4am
Two miles west of Llanfyllin
Length: 13.46 miles

Stage 19: Sweet Lamb Hafren - 5.59am
Six miles west of Llanidloes
Length: 24.37 miles

Stage 20: Myherin - 7.03am
Three miles west of Devil's Bridge
Length: 12.83 miles

Stage 21: Pantperthog - 9.01am
Two miles west of Machynlleth
Length: 9.55 miles

Stage 22: Dyfi - 9.31am
Four miles north of Machynlleth
Length: 14.61 miles

Stage 23: Gartheiniog - 10.06am
Seven miles north of Machynlleth
Length: 9.14 miles

Stage 24: Penmachno South - 12.13pm
Three miles south of A5 at Conwy Falls
Length: 8.32 miles

Stage 25: Penmachno North - 12.34pm
Two miles south of A5 at Conwy Falls
Length: 6.26 miles

Stage 26: Clocaenog West - 1.53pm
Ten miles west of Ruthin
Length: 3.75 miles

Stage 27: Clocaenog East - 2.05pm
Ten miles west of Ruthin
Length: 12.05 miles

Chester Racecourse 4.30pm

22.11.96 - RALLYING
Alister McRae will return to the British Rally Championship next season at the wheel of a Volkswagen Golf GTi - in a bid to recapture his 1995 crown. The super Scots' signing for Volkswagen was announced at the Network Q RAC Rally headquarters in Chester. Lanark-based McRae will contest all rounds of next years' Mobil 1/Top Gear Championship, as well as the RAC Rally. "Signing with Volkswagen is ideal for me. I want to win the British Championship again," said McRae.


Positions after 9 of 27 stages:  
                            hrs mins secs
 1 A Schwarz    Ger   Toyota   2:19:51
 2 M Kamioka    Jpn   Subaru   2:24:23
 3 S Blomqvist  Swe   Skoda    2:30:27
 4 K Holowczyc  Pol   Ford     2:32:26
 5 G Evans      GB    Ford     2:33:33
 6 P Sibera     Cze   Skoda    2:33:49
 7 G De Mevius  Bel   Renault  2:36:25
 8 J Easson     GB    Ford     2:39:40
 9 J Jonasson   Swe   VW       2:40:29
10 M Higgins    GB    Nissan   2:41:11

2-LITRE TWO-WHEEL DRIVE    hrs mins secs
1 S Blomqvist Swe Skoda       2:30:27
2 G Evans     GB  Ford        2:33:33
3 P Sibera    Chz Skoda       2:33:49
4 G De Mevius Bel Renault     2:36:25
5 J Jonasson  Swe VW          2:40:29

1 J Easson    GB  Ford        2:39:40
2 J Jonasson  Sw  VW          2:40:29
3 G Cox       GB  Vauxhall    2:42:11
4 N Worswick  GB  Ford        2:46:39
5 I Joel      GB  Ford        2:47:24

Rally favourite Juha Kankkunen made a disastrous start to his crack at the title as he made an early exit. Hazardous weather conditions forced him to slide off on special stage 3 and he rolled his Toyota in the process. A broken alternator belt led to a blown head gasket and that finally put him out of the rally. Toyota's Armin Schwartz is currently leading, although the German is also starting to find the freezing conditions difficult to handle.

182 crews left Chester on Saturday morning to start this year's rally. Ford's Ari Vatanen slid off the road, damaging the steering and losing 17 minutes. Grand Prix star Martin Brundle took nearly nine minutes longer to complete the first stage than rally leader Armin Schwarz, but was happy to have completed his first test.

Juha Kankkunen's return to rallying was short-lived, with his Toyota sliding off and rolling in SS3, forcing his retirement. Co-driver Nicky Grist was able to warn following Toyota driver, Ian Duncan of the slippery corner. Ford driver Kytolehto also fell fowl of the same icy corner, losing about 15 minutes.

Ari Vatanen also joined the early list of retirements from stage 3. Two miles in he hit a rock and damaged the front right wheel. He carried on with help from spectators but ran into trouble on the next road section, getting stuck in a ditch.

Alister McRae's comment from SS5 was "The car's really good on gravel... pity there's no gravel!" Mobil 1 Champion Gwyndaf Evans said on SS5, "Even in sixth gear I'm spinning the wheels!" Kenyan Ian Duncan has never experienced snow and ice before and is finding it hard to "get a good rhythm going". Martin Brundle has not had things easy. He slid off in SS3 and had to be helped back on by Louise Aitken-Walker.

Positions after 7 stages:   hrs mins secs
 1 McRae/Crawford  Porsche 911  1:21.25
 2 Karlan/Gust'ssn Porsche 911  1:24.31
 3 Trajbold/T'bold Porsche 911  1:26.56
 4 Powley/Goff     Porsche 911  1:30.55
 5 Johnson/Grace   Volvo PV544  1:32.56
 6 Sellberg/H'sson Volvo PV544  1:33.14
 7 Bean/Frazer     Ford Lotus   1:34.46
 8 Kermode/McBride Morris Mini  1:35.41
 9 Bor'lini/Pozz'i Porsche 911  1:36.51
10 Bell/Watson     Porsche 911  1:38.34

24.11.96 - RAC RALLY

Positions after 17 of 27 stages:
(end of second leg)         hrs mins secs
 1 A Schwarz    Ger   Toyota   2:53:52
 2 M Kamioka    Jpn   Subaru   2:59:03
 3 S Blomqvist  Swe   Skoda    3:06:35
 4 P Sibera     Cz    Skoda    3:11:20
 5 K Holowczyc  Pol   Ford     3:11:28
 6 G De Mevius  Bel   Renault  3:13:29
 7 J Easson     GB    Ford     3:14:09
 8 M Higgins    GB    Nissan   3:17:22
 9 H Rovanpera  Fin   Seat     3:19:27
10 E Weber      Ger   Seat     3:22:28

2-LITRE TWO-WHEEL DRIVE    hrs mins secs
1 S Blomqvist Swe Skoda       3:06:35
2 P Sibera    Cz  Skoda       3:09:13
3 G De Mevius Bel Renault     3:11:28
4 M Higgins   GB  Nissan      3:15:22
5 H Rovanpera Fin Seat        3:17:26

1 J Easson    GB  Ford        3:14:09
2 N Worswick  GB  Ford        3:23:06
3 D Buckley   GB  Subaru      3:23:38
4 I Joel      GB  Ford        3:25:17
5 J Porter    GB  Mitsubishi  3:25:23
Toyota Castrol's German driver Armin Schwarz continued to dominate as the field was decimated by wintry weather. Slick Schwarz extended his lead to over five minutes on the mainly tarmac spectator stages. "We had to complete the day on just one set of tyres, on stages whose condition changed from ice to soft snow and then wet tarmac. It has been very difficult because of this," enthused Schwarz.

The demanding conditions at this year's event have accounted for many of the top drivers, including Ford's Gwyndaf Evans and Renault driver Robbie Head. Both slid off at the same point in special stage 11 at Chatsworth, hitting a tree stump and rolling heavily. Gavin Cox, after reaching 9th overall in his Vauxhall, failed to finish stage 16 when his driveshaft failed. Mark Higgins found the conditions more to his taste. He said: "This is more like proper rallying."

The Skodas of Stig Blomqvist and Pavel Sibera made light of the treacherous roads on the second leg. Sibera said: "Our tyres are working now - the rain is much better than ice." With the demise of Robbie Head, Renault are struggling to match the Skodas, needing to beat them in order to take the 2-litre World Championship. Seat are also in the hunt for the championship and they are climbing steadily up the leaderboard, though Armin Schwarz looks to be in control.

The first stage on Monday, SS18 Dyfnant has been cancelled due to the snowy conditions. The cars will still leave Chester at the original time of 2am. They will still reach SS19, Sweet Lamb Hafren at 05.59 after servicing. The rest of the route, although affected by snow and ice, remains open. The cars are expected to finish back in Chester at 4.30pm on Monday.

LEEDS HISTORIC RALLY:- Jimmy McRae, driving navigator Beatty Crawford's 1965 Porsche 911, overcame tricky conditions to seal his second successive victory. The 560 mile route was covered by snow and ice but McRae emerged from the 13 special stages ahead of second-placed Norwegian Monty Karlan. The flying Scot dominated Saturday's leg to build up a lead he never looked like relinquishing. Jan Trajbold from the Czech Republic was third and Roger Powley was fourth.


Positions after 27 of 27 stages:
                            hrs mins secs
 1 A Schwarz      Ger Toyota   4:46:50
 2 M Kamioka      Jp  Subaru   4:54:42
 3 S Blomqvist    Sw  Skoda    5:02:02
 4 M Higgins      GB  Nissan   5:09:11
 5 G De Mevius    Bel Renault  5:11:20
 6 J Easson       GB  Ford     5:13:59
 7 D Buckley      GB  Subaru   5:16:54
 8 H Rovanpera    Fin Seat     5:20:40
 9 E Weber        Ger Seat     5:22:24
10 R Baumschlager Aus VW       5:23:25
11 N Worswick     GB  Ford     5:23:26
12 J Porter       GB  Mitsub'  5:26:38
13 R Duckworth    GB  Subaru   5:27:26
14 B Lyall        GB  Subaru   5:27:49
15 I Joel         GB  Ford     5:29:24
16 T Gardemeister Fin Nissan   5:31:54
17 D Higgins      GB  Honda    5:33:11
18 J Reynolds     GB  Honda    5:38:39
19 J Panton       GB  Toyota   5:39:46
20 T Cathers      GB  Subaru   5:40:26
21 V Wetton       GB  Mitsub'  5:42:01
22 B Stewart      GB  Ford     5:43:38
23 S Egglestone   GB  Peugeot  5:43:53
24 B Munster      Bel Skoda    5:46:28
25 D Humphreys    GB  Ford     5:46:59
26 F Dor          Cz  Subaru   5:47:58
27 B Green        GB  Ford     5:49:06
28 T Bengry       GB  Mitsub'  5:53:47
29 G Jones        GB  Nissan   5:55:01
30 J Sharpe       GB  Peugeot  5:58:49
31 B Kollevold    Nor Peugeot  6:01:17
32 J Dale         GB  Peugeot  6:04:35
33 G Smith        GB  Ford     6:04:51
34 J Leckie       GB  Ford     6:05:25
35 D Stewart      GB  Mazda    6:06:08
36 S Hymas        GB  Peugeot  6:10:26
37 P Snell        GB  Ford     6:11:08
38 B Gill         GB  Ford     6:11:13
39 T Jardine      GB  Ford     6:11:50
40 D Whitehurst   GB  Vauxhall 6:16:13
41 A Anwar        Ken Mitsub'  6:16:48
42 M Stoschek     Ger Mitsub'  6:17:15
43 A Wheatley     GB  Peugeot  6:17:22
44 A Hall         GB  Mitsub'  6:19:15
45 S Chapman      GB  Vauxhall 6:19:43
46 A Blenkhorn    GB  VW       6:20:48
47 B Armstrong    GB  Seat     6:23:25
48 I Knight       GB  Peugeot  6:25:04
49 K Williams     GB  Vauxhall 6:25:52
50 A Larkin       GB  Peugeot  6:29:20
51 J Smith        GB  Opel     6:31:15
52 M Fisher       GB  Nissan   6:34:10
53 J Lay          GB  Ford     6:36:26
54 T Needell      GB  Skoda    6:36:28
55 L Allfrey      GB  Peugeot  6:37:45
56 D Jennings     GB  Skoda    6:40:30
57 G Presswell    GB  Vauxhall 6:53:26
58 R Gravestock   GB  Vauxhall 6:57:32
59 M Bowcott      GB  Vauxhall 6:58:09
60 M Burdon       GB  Peugeot  6:58:37
61 W Clarke       GB  Peugeot  7:00:20
62 E Graham       GB  Peugeot  7:00:49
63 P Littler      GB  Vauxhall 7:04:23
64 F Font         AND Seat     7:05:35
65 T Ferris       GB  Peugeot  7:05:46
66 C Exton        GB  Honda    7:11:01
67 C Tilly        GB  Peugeot  7:12:23
68 L Armstrong    GB  Vauxhall 7:12:43
69 P Thomas       GB  Vauxhall 7:20:13
70 K Kanao        Jpn Subaru   7:20:42
71 C Knifton      GB  Peugeot  7:20:51
72 N Pollitt      GB  Peugeot  7:23:08
73 D Johnson      GB  Proton   7:24:26
74 N Andrew       GB  Ford     7:24:53
75 S Nicholls     GB  Peugeot  7:29:54
76 M Fowle        GB  Peugeot  7:31:03
77 D Boden        GB  Mazda    7:35:36
78 S Nutter       GB  Peugeot  7:38:54
79 M Cawthra      GB  Skoda    7:41:15
80 M Jaques       GB  Vauxhall 7:52:46
81 A Corner       GB  Peugeot  8:21:56

2-LITRE TWO-WHEEL DRIVE    hrs mins secs
1 S Blomqvist Swe Skoda       5:02:02
2 M Higgins   GB  Nissan      5:09:11
3 G De Mevius Bel Renault     5:11:20
4 H Rovanpera Fin Seat        5:20:40
5 E Weber     Ger Seat        5:22:24

1 J Easson    GB  Ford        5:13:59
2 D Buckley   GB  Subaru      5:16:54
3 N Worswick  GB  Ford        5:23:26
4 J Porter    GB  Mitsubishi  5:26:38
5 R Duckworth GB  Subaru      5:27:26

Armin Schwarz overcame a late technical problem to win the Rally by nearly eight minutes from Masao Kamioka. The German Toyota driver had led from the very first stage with no hitches before hitting trouble on stage 25. His power steering failed and he was penalised 40 seconds after arriving late for the final stage. But the European champion had such a huge lead over his Japanese rival that he was never in danger of surrendering the title.

Armin Schwarz was a happy man after ending his spell with Toyota by winning the RAC Rally. "It's great to end the season this way, and I'm pleased that my relationship with Toyota has been concluded with a win," he said afterwards. "I could afford to back off a little, but didn't want to get too far from my normal rhythm. That's when you increase the chance of going off." The German will drive for the Ford team in 1997.

Mark Higgins flew through the Welsh stages in the Nissan, fighting up to fourth overall and top Brit home. Fellow Nissan driver Gardemeister won his class by 36 minutes, on his first ever RAC Rally. Between them, they also helped the Nissan Motorsports Europe team to collect the team award ahead of Seat, Ford, VW, Skoda and Honda. The Ladies Award was finally won by Andrea Hall in the Mitsubishi, who had to tackle the last two stages with gearbox problems.

Martin Brundle's bid to finish the rally went up in flames on stage 19. He was forced to retire when his Ford Escort Cosworth caught fire at Myherin in mid-Wales, but Brundle and co-driver Roger Freeman escaped serious injury. A Ford spokesman said: "The car hit something hard and stopped within inches, turning on its side. "The turbo was still running and flames started coming from the engine, prompting Martin and Roger to clamber out of the car as quickly as possible."

Martin Brundle said he had been taught a lesson after his rally ended on stage 19 when his caught fire. "I have certainly learned rallying the hard way but would love to come back and do it again," he said. "We were running beautifully through the stage and were catching the car in front when we reached a corner. I did not know the stage well and drove into a deep culvert and hit a vertical face. We got out pretty quick and the car is now looking pretty sad."

Garage mechanic Jeremy Easson produced a remarkable drive to give Ford victory in the Group N showroom category. The Oakham driver finished sixth overall, two places behind leading Briton Mark Higgins. British ladies champions Stephanie and Rachel Simmonite fell foul of the Welsh forests when they crashed on stage 19. "It wasn't a bad crash but we stopped with the car on its side, wedged against two trees and we couldn't get out," said Stephanie.

Gwyndaf Evans was released from hospital in Chesterfield on Monday following his second leg crash. The 37-year-old Welshman was detained overnight suffering from severe whiplash after his Ford Escort hit a tree stump and turned over. "I had a fairly uncomfortable night but I'm a different man today," said the British champion. "I can't move my head to the right because my neck is stiff but I should be fine in a couple of days."

50-year-old veteran Stig Blomqvist brought the Skoda Felicia Kit Car home in a remarkable third overall and secured first in the 2-litre class. The demise of Pavel Sibera on the third day handed victory in the 2-litre World Championship to Seat, who after a season-long battle, took the title by just nine points. Top Gear presenter Tiff Needell finished 54th in his Skoda after dropping back to 123rd on Saturday.

Renault's Gregoire de Mevius finished an excellent third in F2, securing second place in the World Championship from Skoda, by just one point. The four car team from Renault had been whittled down to one remaining car, and at one point it looked as though clutch failure might end that one's chances. The time lost fixing the clutch allowed Nissan driver Mark Higgans to gain fourth place overall, second in F2. The two Seats of Rovanpera and Weber held onto their top ten places.

Robbie Head signed a new contract to drive for Renault Dealer Rallying in the 1997 British Rally Championship. After the disappointment of his crash in Chatsworth on Sunday, Head is now "absolutely delighted". "Next year will be my best chance of winning the British Championship. The Maxi Megane and team are showing all the right signs." he added.

  1 SS 4 Juha Kankkunen/Nicky Grist
    Off/Engine problem
  2 SS 4 Jarmo Kytolehto/Arto Kapanen
    Off/Head gasket
  6 SS21 Pavel Sibera/Petr Gross
    Con rod
  3 SS 7 Ian Duncan/David Williamson
    Did not complete stage
  4 RS 1 Ari Vatanen/Mike Calvin
    Engine failure
  7 SS 9 Emil Triner/Pavel Stahc
    Did not complete stage
  9 SS12 Gwyndaf Evans/Howard Davies
    Rolled in stage
 10 RS 7 Alister McRae/David Senior
 11 SS 1 Jesus Puras/Carlos Del Barrio
    Did not complete stage
 14 SS19 Martin Brundle/Roger Freeman
    Crash/Fire in car
 19 SS 4 Karamjit Singh/Allen Oh
    Did not complete stage
 20 RS11 K Holowczyc/M Wislawski
 23 SS5  Louise Aitken-Walker/C Mole
    Did not complete stage
 24 SS11 Robbie Head/Bryan Thomas
    Rolled in stage
 28 SS20 Alain Oreille/Bruno Brissart
    Electrical problems
 29 RS9  Jorgen Jonasson/Nicholas Beech
    Did not restart
 31 SS 6 Serge Jordan/Jack Boyere
    Did not complete stage
 36 RS 4 Neale Dougan/Chris Wood
    Did not reach SS5
 39 SS 2 Jock Armstrong/Dave Williams
    Did not complete stage
 43 SS 4 Geoff Smith/Ryland James
    Did not complete stage
 44 RS16 David Mann/Mike Kidd
    Electrical failure
 52 SS 6 Stephen Petch/Peter Croft
    Did not complete stage
 56 SS19 S Simmonite/R Simmonite
    Off in stage
 59 SS 2 Glyn Jones/Huw Lewis
    Did not complete stage
 60 SS16 Gavin Cox/Stephen Griffiths
 64 SS16 James Paterson/Steve Harris
    Did not complete stage
 65 SS20 Paul Dyas/Paul Morris
 66 SS20 Stephen Green/Alan Thomas
 67 SS 6 Geoffrey Bennett/Darren Loveys
    Did not complete stage
 68 SS16 Malloch Nicoll/Robert Lumgair
    Did not complete stage
 73 RS 3 Steve Hunt/Michael McGrogan
    Did not reach SS4
 74 SS19 Clive Sisson/Kevin Savage
101 RS 7 Innes Marlow/Alyson Marlow
    Did not complete stage
103 SS20 Paul Griffiths/Shaun O'Gorman
    Off in stage
106 SS 4 Richard Worts/Cath Phillipson
    Did not complete stage
111 SS 3 Paul Northall/Peter Joy
    Off in stage
123 SS 1 Mark Wadman/Andrew Garrett
    Did not complete stage
125 RS13 Graham Coffey/Malcolm Roberts
    Did not reach
128 SS15 Steven Clark/Phil Sandham
    Water logged
130 RS20 Simon Rippon/David Battensby
    Gear linkage
131 SS 1 James Vickers/Andrew Pemberton
    Did not complete stage
132 SS 6 Edward Roberts/Dave Tomley
    Did not complete stage
133 SS 3 Andy Senior/Dave Ellis
    Off in stage
134 RS13 Danny Fois/Mike Wiseman
    Did not complete stage
140 RS 4 Michael Plant/Robert Plant
    Did not reach SS5
147 SS 4 Mick Hands/Mike Dawson
    Did not complete stage
149 SS 1 John Perrott/Ross McNeill
150 SS 1 Rupert Hopcraft/R Pomfret
152 SS11 Steve Bowers/Mike Jones
154 SS 4 Steve Barnsley/Chris Neale
    Did not complete stage
156 SS12 Emlyn Wynne/Phil Spilsted
    Off in stage
163 RS 4 Pablo Raybould/P Vandenberghe
    Did not reach SS5
164 SS 2 Philippe Gobert/Carl Surensen
    Article 19.11.1
166 SS 6 Maurice Bennetts/Adam Brodel
    Did not complete stage
168 SS 1 Martin Shields/Richard Wise
    Off in ditch
169 SS21 Alan Mayhew/Bryan Newton
    Stopped in stage
170 RS16 Stephen Lee/Stanley Graham
    Did not reach SS17
171 SS 4 Peter Cuthbert/Nick Kennedy
    Did not complete stage
174 SS 6 Michael Chinchen/Andy Juniper
    Did not complete stage
177 SS20 Peter Goodwin/Robin Hernaman
    Off in stage
178 RS13 Tim Mason/Paul Burns
    Did not reach SS13
179 SS 4 Bill Douglas/Paul Ohren-Bird
    Did not complete stage
181 SS 2 Martin Sansom/Phil Wells
    Off in stage
184 SS 5 Red Barry/Phil Gooch
    Did not complete stage                       
187 SS 6 David Knowles/Jason Austin
    Did not complete stage
189 SS 1 David Blades/Shaun White
    Did not complete stage
190 SS 2 Tina Powell/Heather Harden
    Off in stage
191 SS 2 Mike Kelly/Derek Scofield
    Off in stage
192 SS14 Clive Taylor/Jim Ward
    Did not complete stage
198 SS16 Peter Hopkins/Jason Curtis
    Off in stage

F1:- Heinz-Harald Frentzen set the fastest time in his latest test for his new Williams-Renault team. Damon Hill's replacement edged out teammate Jacques Villeneuve with a best time of one minute, 21.15 seconds in completing 25 laps. Villeneuve, the early favourite for next year's title, was slightly slower with a best of 1:21.17 in his 30 laps. The testing took place at the Portuguese circuit of Estoril.

World constructors' champions Williams have served a writ on chief designer Adrian Newey in a dispute over the terms of his contract. Williams said in a prepared statement that Newey was on leave and the dispute was "an internal matter". Newey is reported to have received a number of attractive offers from other teams, including McLaren. He forms a partnership with technical director Patrick Head and is well advanced in designing the 1997 car.

European FIA Formula 3000 champion Jorg Muller of Germany has joined world champion Damon Hill's TWR Arrows Formula One team as a test driver. Arrows chief Tom Walkinshaw said: "We have been impressed by Jorg's lap times and by the quality of his feedback and also by the speed with which he has gelled with other members of the team. He has slotted seamlessly into our test programme and is doing much to ease the burden our heavy test schedule places on Damon and Pedro Diniz."

26.11.96 - F1
An Italian prosecutor has obtained leave to indict F1 team manager Frank Williams and five others for alleged manslaughter over the death of Ayrton Senna, according to reports in Italy. The report, which could not be confirmed, said technical manager Patrick Head and race director Roland Bruynseraede also faced trial over Senna's death at San Marino in 1994. Senna, three times world champion, suffered fatal head injuries when his Williams car smashed into a wall.

The Williams F1 team were shocked by claims manager Frank Williams would be indicted for alleged manslaughter over the death of Ayrton Senna in 1994. An Italian agency report was the first the team heard of the news and they were attempting to contact their Italian lawyers to verify the story. Williams media manager Jane Gorard said: "We have not had any official communication from our representatives in Italy. We do not know when we can make an announcement.

The new Stewart Grand Prix team has won undisclosed backing from the Malaysian government for their Formula One debut next year. Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said the agreement would boost Malaysia's bid for its own Grand Prix in 1999. "This is the first time a nation state, as a whole has become directly involved in sponsoring world motor sport at the highest level," he said. The Malaysian flag will be displayed on the front of the two Stewart cars.

27.11.96 - F1
The Williams F1 team are awaiting official confirmation that staff could be indicted for alleged manslaughter over the death of Ayrton Senna. Team boss Frank Williams, technical director Patrick Head and head designer Adrian Newey are among six men who will be indicted, according to reports. Senna died after crashing into a wall at Imola in May 1994. Bologna magistrate Diego di Marco said a final decision would be taken in the next few days.

Imola managing director Federico Bendinelli has admitted he expects to be indicted following an inquiry into Ayrton Senna's fatal crash in 1994. Bendinelli and Williams team boss Frank Williams are reported to be among six men who will face charges. "I am not worried because I am innocent," Bendinelli told the Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper. "I'm confident because the track was certified... Everything was in order on the unfortunate day that Senna died."

Jackie Stewart has sought to dampen down expectations that his brand new Formula One team will set the Grand Prix world alight next year. The Scot will unveil the new Stewart Ford car on December 10, with Reubens Barrichello and teammate Jan Magnussen beginning testing in January. But Stewart does not want to raise unfulfillable goals. "You can't expect to run before you can walk and crawl. You have to be realistic," said Stewart.

Top Formula One designer Ross Brawn is set to link up again with Michael Schumacher at Ferrari after leaving his job with the Benetton team. He was the man behind the successful Benetton cars which helped Schumacher to the 1994-95 world titles. Schumacher joined Ferrari last season and is expected to mount a strong challenge to Williams in 1997. Brawn will take up his new post as Ferrari technical director next week.

Former Grand Prix star Alessandro Nannini is part of a consortium which has taken a majority share holding in the Minardi team. Nannini's promising career was ruined six years' ago when he severed his right arm in a helicopter crash.

Austrian Gerhard Berger escaped unhurt after his Benetton-Renault crashed on the rain-soaked Estoril circuit during the third day of Formula One tests. Berger's car slid off at the sharp "parabolica" corner following intermittent rain and hit the safety rails, damaging the car's left flank. Fastest time of the day, 1:20.33, was posted by Canadian Jacques Villeneuve. Michael Schumacher was second after clocking 1:20.85 in his Ferrari, while brother Ralf recorded 1:22.38.

MANSELL:- Nigel Mansell rates his prospects of returning to competitive action next season as 60-40...but that may not be behind the wheel of a Formula One car. Mansell, who won the World Championship in 1992 and the IndyCars title a year later, is being coy about his plans. He said: "I'm being patient. I cannot confirm nor deny there are a lot of opportunities, not just in Formula One. I've had a number of offers from America for next year, exciting ones and another offer in another Formula."

F1:- Tyrrell Racing have signed Dutch driver Jos Verstappen for the 1997 Formula One season. They are the 24-year-old former karting champion's fourth GP team, having previously driven in 31 races for Benetton, Simtek and Arrows. "The chance to join the Tyrrell team was an opportunity not to be missed," said Verstappen, who will partner Finn Mika Salo. The new Tyrrell-Ford 025 is currently under construction in Surrey.

Ferrari's deal to produce engines for Formula One team Sauber is on again. The Italian company announced that the two teams will form an independent company to work on engines for use by Sauber in the next two seasons. Ferrari had said earlier in the month they had pulled out of the deal because the Swiss group had been premature in announcing the agreement.

5MTV`h[]_IKMOQjr_acegqy& & ( * F H q  > f &Nv>fhjlnxln024133U~Fn2:9a)Qy -Oq)R{ H q """#6#6#^######$6$^$$$$$$$%<%a%%%%%&?&?&A&[&x&&&&&&&&&((((((())).*0*2*2*4*6*@*H*),+,-,.....0.8.00?0f00001)1P1P1w1111111113335 555555555h7j7j7;9=9;;<<>>>@@BBtDvD7F9FGGIIIIJJ?JeJJJJJ!KGKnKKKKL)LMLrLLLL M0MZMMMMMMMMMNN8N_NtNvNNNNNN OOO