October 1996


01.10.96 - F1
Rising star Ralf Schumacher has expressed his shock at Damon Hill's decision to join Arrows next season. Schumacher jnr was expecting Hill to join him at Jordan until Friday's bombshell announcement. He said: "I'm really disappointed about his decision but I guess it's about money. Maybe he doesn't like Schumachers, I don't know." The young German is being put through his paces in his first Jordan tests at the Estoril circuit.





02.10.96 - MANSELL
Nigel Mansell could be set for a return to Formula One racing with Jackie Stewart's new outfit. The former world champion has still not ruled himself out of another crack at the F1 crown despite the lure of more IndyCar racing in America. He is quoted in the Daily Mirror as saying: "If a good opportunity came along I would seriously consider it." Stewart is searching for a top name to front his 100m Stewart Racing team for next season.





04.10.96 - F1
The Williams Formula One team are promising a fair fight to the finish for their two drivers Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve in the Japanese GP. The Oxfordshire team are spending about 20,000 to fly a car and mechanics to Suzuka to ensure that each driver will have a spare car set up for them. For most races Williams have just one spare and the drivers take it in turns to have it set up their way. Villeneuve trails Hill by nine points in the battle for the drivers' crown.

Tyrrell Formula One have said its cars will be powered by Ford engines next season - ending a four-year association with Yamaha. Team boss Ken Tyrrell said: "We did not achieve the objectives that either Tyrrell or Yamaha sought from the association this year. The switch re-unites Tyrrell and Ford after six years apart. Tyrrell cars were powered by Ford engines for 18 of the 20 seasons between 1970 and 1990.





05.10.96
SCOTTISH RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP:- Jimmy Christie and Murdoch Campbell became Scottish champions in a dramatic final round at Ayr. Andy Horne had the title in his grasp but suffered steering failure on his MG Metro just two miles from the finish. The rally was won by Dom Buckley.

CAMBRIAN RALLY:- Nigel Worswick produced a blistering final stage to win the Snowdonia Windows Cambrian Rally by one second from Rob Atkinson. John Roberts, winner for the last three years, retired on the opening stage.





06.10.96
F.RENAULT:- British Formula Renault champion David Cook is shortlisted for the prestigious BRDC Autosport/McLaren Young Driver of the Year award. The prize includes a test drive in a McLaren F1 car. Cook produced a determined display in the Formula Renault Eurocup race at Nogaro, France, won by Brazilian Enrique Bernoldi to clinch the title. The Yorkshireman battled through to seventh after trouble-hit qualifying had left him 20th on the grid.

GTs:- Britain's Ray Bellm and James Weaver won the 10th round of the series at Nogaro, France in a McLaren. The pair finished the four-hour race 1 min 09 secs clear of another McLaren driven by French duo Pierre-Henri Raphanel and Lindsey Owen-Jones. A third British driver, Soames Langton, is lying unconscious in intensive care after crashing.

TOURING CARS:- British champion John Cleland and partner Mark Skaife, driving a Commodore, came seventh in Australia's top race, the Bathurst 1000. Australian Craig Lowndes and New Zealander Greg Murphy won the event.





07.10.96
F1:- Jackie Stewart has swooped to sign up Danish driver Jan Magnussen for his new Formula One team. The 23-year-old has agreed a four-year deal with the Ford-powered team which makes its debut in Australia next March. "Jan is the best Formula Three driver I have ever seen including Ayrton Senna," said Stewart. Magnussen made his debut for McLaren Mercedes last year and said: "This is a dream come true. I am honoured to get this challenge of a lifetime."

GTs:- Soames Langton is still in a coma in a Bordeaux hospital with head and neck injuries after crashing during an endurance race. The British driver was seriously injured when his Porsche crashed into a wall exactly 11 years after his father was killed at Brands Hatch.





08.10.96 - F1: JAPANESE GP PREVIEW
Renault Sport boss Patrick Faure said he was sorry to see Damon Hill leaving the team after Sunday's Japanese race. "It's no secret we would have preferred Damon to continue with Williams-Renault for our final year in Formula One," Faure said. "The people at Renault have a great deal of affection for him. If I had to say one thing to him prior to the Japanese Grand Prix, I would say 'I am sorry you are leaving us. Good luck for the race.'"

Damon Hill goes into the biggest race of his life on Sunday knowing he holds the key to his own destiny. Hill just needs to finish in the top six in Japan to stave off the spirited late challenge from teammate Jacques Villeneuve and clinch the world title. As he lines up on the grid in Suzuka he he will be around two hours from being crowned world champ or world chump. Villeneuve has slowly nibbled away at the Briton's healthy lead but needs to win and hope Hill is out of the points.

Damon Hill has admitted Sunday's title showdown with Williams teammate Jacques Villeneuve is "scary". The Briton, in his final drive for the team before switching to Arrows, needs to keep his nerve to hold off the challenge of the eager young pretender. "It's scary that it's so close and I'll just have to wait to find out what's going to happen at Suzuka. But then I've waited all season...I've waited a lot longer that actually," Hill added.

Jacques Villeneuve is keeping his customary cool before entering the pressure cooker of Suzuka on Sunday. The 25-year-old French Canadian produced a breath-taking drive to roar to victory in Portugal and trim Hill's lead to just nine points. Villeneuve said: "It doesn't look good with just this race to go but you never know do you? Anything could happen in Japan and until the last lap of the last race I will believe I can do it."

Jacques Villeneuve set himself up for the joust in Japan with a blistering test session in Estoril. Villeneuve, on a mission to snatch the world championship from Damon Hill's grasp, left his rivals for dead as he flew round in 1 min 20.38 secs. Hill was more than a second adrift in fifth but had a day less to get used to the conditions. Williams-Renault's technical director Patrick Head described the session as: "Typical motor racing homework."

For the first time in three years Michael Schumacher enters the final race of the season with no chance of winning the world championship. But the double world champion could still have a major say in the destiny of this year's crown. If the German wins in Suzuka Damon Hill will automatically take the title. Hill will be looking to avoid a repeat of the 1994 conclusion when a smash with Schumacher forced them both to retire, ending his dream of glory.

Williams big-wig Patrick Head is convinced Damon Hill will sign off in style by winning the world title. The team's technical director said: "I would stake my life savings on Damon. All he needs to do is stay calm." But Head admitted the departing Briton, who held a 25-point lead at one stage, should have already wrapped up his first-ever championship. "He should have done the business in Portugal. Jacques won the race on speed that Damon did not have," he added.





09.10.96 - F1
Japanese company Bridgestone will provide tyres for Damon Hill's TWR Arrows Formula One team next season.





10.10.96 - TOURING CARS
The BBC will televise three of next year's Auto Trader RAC Touring Car Championship meetings live. The races at Donington Park, Knockhill and Brands Hatch will stage the live broadcasts as the BBC moves to offset the loss of Formula One coverage. But that switch in broadcasting rights means there will be no touring car event to back up the British Grand Prix. The BBC will also continue to show extended highlights on Grandstand of the nine other BTCC double-headers.





11.10.96 - F1:- THE JAPANESE GP
Damon Hill finished fifth fastest at the end of the second practice session around a rain-drenched Suzuka circuit. The Londoner's Williams rival, French-Canadian Jacques Villeneuve, the only man who can pip him to the championship title, was fourth. Benetton's Gerhard Berger was fastest with Mika Hakkinen second in a McLaren. World champion Michael Schumacher came in third. Hill leads the championship race by nine points going into the last race.


Friday's free practice times: mins secs
 1 G Berger       Aut Benetton 1:42.350
 2 M Hakkinen     Fin McLaren  1:42.954
 3 M Schumacher   Ger Ferrari  1:43.321
 4 J Villeneuve   Can Williams 1:43.372
 5 D Hill         GB  Williams 1:43.747
 6 M Brundle      GB  Jordan   1:43.845
 7 J Alesi        Fr  Benetton 1:43.860
 8 E Irvine       GB  Ferrari  1:44.092
 9 R Barrichello  Brz Jordan   1:44.441
10 M Salo         Fin Tyrrell  1:44.300
11 H Frentzen     Ger Sauber   1:44.598

Italian driver Alessandro Nannini, whose right arm was sewn back on after a helicopter crash, is to test a Benetton-Renault Formula One car. Nannini, who won the 1989 Japanese Grand Prix in a Benetton, has recently been driving for Alfa Romeo in the International Touring Car championship. The 37-year-old will be at Estoril from November 25-28 but he stressed: "It is just a test. I have not thought seriously about coming back to Formula One."





12.10.96
F1:- THE JAPANESE GRAND PRIX
Jacques Villeneuve claimed pole position for Sunday's showdown with Damon Hill for the drivers title. But Hill snatched a place on the front row in his final qualifying lap, hauling himself up from fourth. Villeneuve needs to win the race with his Williams rival out of the points to take the driver's championship after Hill had held a huge mid-season lead. But the Canadian meant business setting a cracking pace. Hill looked like being well down the grid before coming second.

Damon Hill was stunned to learn he had completed a whole season of qualifying on the front row of the grid when he took second place for Sunday's race. "That's amazing," he said. "But this was not about qualifying. The front row is perfect for me and it's no advantage being on pole because of the rain. The important thing is I finish in the points. All I have got to do is keep Jacques in my sights. I'm relaxed and confident and I think I will be world champion."

Damon Hill lashed out at title rival Jacques Villeneuve in a stormy press conference after the Canadian snatched pole for Sunday's race. Villeneuve and Michael Schumacher began chatting to each other while Hill was answering a question. Hill told them: "Pay attention boys, you might learn something" and Schumacher responded: "Thanks grandad". Hill added: "I think it's pretty lame. It's just a little tactic that goes on. I think it should be stamped out."

Johnny Herbert walked away unhurt after crashing his Sauber just five minutes into qualifying. He lost control going into a high-speed corner on the figure-of-eight Suzuka track, slamming into barriers so hard his front right wheel was ripped off. The car bounced across the track and hit the barriers on the other side before coming to a stop. But Herbert climbed out of the wreckage and walked away unaided. Qualifying was held up while the car was removed.


Saturday's final qualifying times:
                              mins secs
 1 J Villeneuve   Can Williams 1:38.909
 2 D Hill         GB  Williams 1:39.370
 3 M Schumacher   Ger Ferrari  1:40.071
 4 G Berger       Aut Benetton 1:40.364
 5 M Hakkinen     Fin McLaren  1:40.458
 6 E Irvine       GB  Ferrari  1:41.005
 7 H Frentzen     Ger Sauber   1:41.277
 8 D Coulthard    GB  McLaren  1:41.384
 9 J Alesi        Fra Benetton 1:41.562
10 M Brundle      GB  Jordan   1:41.660
11 R Barrichello  Bra Jordan   1:41.919
12 O Panis        Fra Ligier   1:42.206
13 J Herbert      GB  Sauber   1:42.658
14 U Katayama     Jap Tyrrell  1:42.711
15 M Salo         Fin Tyrrell  1:42.840
16 P Diniz        Brz Ligier   1:43.196
17 J Verstappen   Hol Footwork 1:43.383
18 P Lamy         Por Minardi  1:44.874
19 R Rosset       Bra Footwork 1:45.412

dnq G Lavaggi     Ita Minardi  1:46.795

SAN REMO RALLY:- Colin McRae hopes to avenge the loss of his drivers' title to Tommi Makinen by guiding Subaru to the manufacturers title in Sunday's race. Makinen's Mitsubishi team are nine points ahead of Subaru but McRae and teammates Kenneth Eriksson and Piero Liatti are determined to move ahead. "I will do my best to ensure Subaru take that title for the second consecutive year," said McRae. "It is the most important thing now so we'll keep a good eye on it."

TRUCK RACING:- Steve Parrish's driving skills were tested to the limit in some closely contested races on Saturday. Parrish finished second in the heat race and third in the final, on both occasions being beaten to the post by Gerd Korber and Fritz Kreutzpointner. Parrish now leads the Championship by 17 points, going into the final two races on Sunday. "Two strong finishes is all I need to secure my fifth title," he said. "I'm feeling more confident."

F3:- Ulsterman Jonny Kane was denied pole position for Sunday's final round of the British Formula Three Championship by Frenchman Nicolas Minassian. Kane, who has finished first or second in his five previous races, was beaten by just three-hundredths of a second at Silverstone. However the Irish racer is on course to clinch the runners-up spot as his nearest rivals Belgium's Kurt Mollekens and Juan Pablo Montoya of Colombia were seventh and eighth on the grid.


Formula Three - qualifying:    Min:Secs
 1 A Minassian D Renault       1:18.909
 2 J Kane      DM Honda        1:18.939
 3 R Firman    DM Honda        1:19.004
 4 G Smith     D Mitsubishi    1:19.063
 5 A Burgueno  DS Opel         1:19.079
 6 B Smith     T Toyota        1:19.142
 7 K Mollekens DM Honda        1:19.152
 8 JP Montoya  D Mitusbishi    1:19.157
 9 D Manning   DM Honda        1:19.262
10 T Yokoyama  T Toyota        1:19.351



13.10.96
F1: THE JAPANESE GRAND PRIX
Damon Hill captured the world title in style after young pretender Jacques Villeneuve spun out of the deciding Grand Prix in Japan. Hill was leading the race comfortably when his team-mate lost the right rear wheel of his Williams on lap 37. Villeneuve had been in the pits moments earlier but it was not clear exactly how the problem arose. Hill's team told him of his success by radio and he responded by roaring to his eighth win of the season.

Damon Hill drove a brilliant race to clinch the world championship in style. The Great Briton emulated his father Graham, who won the title in 1962 and 1968 and fittingly led the field from start to finish after a lightning start. Jacques Villeneuve's hopes of snatching the crown at the death were ruined when a wheel flew off on lap 37. But Hill was already enjoying a healthy lead at that stage, with the Canadian fourth, and ensured his farewell to Williams was a fond one.

Damon Hill was understandably ecstatic after finally realising his dream of winning the world championship. The British ace, who took the crown in style by winning the Japanese Grand Prix, admitted: "It's all too much. I can't really put it into words. I got word that Jacques (Villeneuve) was out while I was driving but I couldn't take it in for a while." Hill, who was drenched in champagne by double champion Michael Schumacher, dedicated the title to Williams.

Damon Hill reflected on his world title triumph with undisguised delight and he predicted months of celebrations. He said: "I feel as though I am on a rocket that has just taken off. I think I am going to celebrate until at least Christmas and probably beyond. This is a fairytale ending for me. I can't believe it's finally happened. There are lots of things to take on board. You use up a lot of your mental energy winning a Grand Prix. It'll take a while for the full impact to hit me."

Damon Hill dedicated his championship win to his wife Georgie after storming to victory in Japan. "She has stood by me all the way and given me fantastic support," he said. "The pressure is on her just as much as me and I can be tough to live with. She gives me the strength I need to carry through and I would like to thank her, my family and my children. I have worked for three years to try and achieve this and it's a tremendous relief to have won the championship."

Damon Hill carved himself a niche in history after following in his father's footsteps to capture the world title. The 36-year-old became the first son of a champion to pick up the trophy after his fine win in Suzuka. Graham Hill took the title in 1962 and 1968 before tragically dying in an air crash in 1975. His son becomes the eighth British champion since the championship's inception in 1951 and only the second in the last 20 years.

The win which clinched Damon Hill's maiden Formula One title was his 21st Grand Prix triumph in 67 starts. As he crossed the line in what was his last drive for Williams, Hill punched the air with delight. He was met in the pit lane by wife Georgie, who said afterwards: "This is fantastic and fulfills everything he has worked so hard for." Rival Michael Schumacher who finished second, sportingly added: "He deserves it. He's had a good season."

Jacques Villeneuve paid a glowing tribute to Damon Hill after the Briton ended his world championship dreams. The Canadian was disappointed at missing out but said: "I am very happy for Damon. He is a great champion. He drove a perfect race and he has worked very hard and driven very well all year for this." Team boss Frank Williams said: "He fully deserved this as he has worked so hard and overcome all his setbacks and above all he is a gentleman."

The emotional scenes following Damon Hill's World Championship victory spilled over into the commentary box as Murray Walker choked back the tears. Walker was making his final commentary for the BBC, 47 years after making his broadcasting debut at Siverstone. With Hill seconds away from the chequered flag, Walker said: "This is a mighty emotional occasion."

"I've got to stop now because I've got a lump in my throat," he added as a jubilant Hill crossed the line.


Result after 52 laps:        hrs:mins:secs
 1 D Hill         GB  Williams 1:32:33.791, 197.520 kph
 2 M Schumacher   Ger Ferrari  @ 1.833
 3 M Hakkinen     Fin McLaren    3.212
 4 G Berger       Aut Benetton  26.526
 5 M Brundle      GB  Jordan   1:07.120
 6 H Frentzen     Ger Sauber   1:21.186
 7 O Panis        Fra Ligier   1:24.510
 8 D Coulthard    GB  McLaren  1:25.233
 9 R Barrichello  Bra Jordan   1:41.065
10 J Herbert      GB  Sauber   1:41.799
11 J Verstappen   Hol Footwork - 1 lap
12 P Lamy         Por Minardi  - 2 laps
13 R Rosset       Bra Footwork - 2 laps

Did not finish:
   E Irvine       NI  Ferrari  -13 laps
   J Villeneuve   Can Williams -15 laps
   M Salo         Fin Tyrrell  -32 laps
   U Katamaya     Jpn Tyrrell  -37 laps
   P Diniz        Brz Ligier   -39 laps
   J Alesi        Fr  Benetton -52 laps




British Formula One Champions:
Damon Hill     (1996)
Nigel Mansell  (1992)
James Hunt     (1976)
Jackie Stewart (1969, 1971, 1973)
Graham Hill    (1962, 1968)
Jim Clark      (1963, 1965)
John Surtees   (1964)
Mike Hawthorn  (1958)


FINAL DRIVERS CHAMPIONSHIP
 1 D Hill        GB   Williams  97 pts
 2 J Villeneuve  Can  Williams  78
 3 M Schumacher  Ger  Ferrari   59
 4 J Alesi       Fr   Benetton  47
 5 M Hakkinen    Fin  McLaren   31
 6 G Berger      Aut  Benetton  21
 7 D Coulthard   GB   McLaren   18
 8 R Barrichello Brz  Jordan    14
 9 O Panis       Fr   Ligier    13
10 E Irvine      GB   Ferrari   11
11 M Brundle     GB   Jordan     8
12 H Frentzen    Ger  Sauber     7
13 M Salo        Fin  Tyrrell    5
14 J Herbert     GB   Sauber     4
15 P Diniz       Brz  Ligier     2
16 J Verstappen  Hol  Footwork   1


FINAL CONSTRUCTORS' CHAMPIONSHIP
1 Williams-Renault     175 points
2 Ferrari               70
3 Benetton-Renault      68
4 McLaren-Mercedes      49
5 Jordan-Peugeot        22
6 Ligier-Mugen Honda    15
7 Sauber                11
8 Tyrrell-Yamaha         5
9 Footwork-Hart          1


RALLYING:- Colin McRae signed a new two-year deal with Subaru ahead of the San Remo Rally which starts in earnest on Monday. The former world champion also revealed that his new co-driver will be Welshman Nicky Grist, who replaces Derek Ringer after their nine-year partnership. The Scotsman's new deal will see him through to the end of the 1998 season. He will make his debut with 34-year-old Grist at the Monte Carlo rally next January. "I am looking forward to working with Nicky," said McRae.

TRUCK RACING (Spain):- Steve Parrish clinched his fifth title with another series of professional performances on Sunday. Parrish lined up second on the grid in the opening race but grabbed the lead from Sweden's Slim Borgudd and held on for victory in the nine-lap contest. In the final 14-lap race, Parrish settled for third place following a collision with Spain's Manuel Santos. The final standings saw the Briton triumphant on 394 points, ten ahead of second placed Gerd Korber of Germany.

ITC:- Manuel Reuter put his Touring Car Championship title hopes firmly back on track with a win and second place in rounds 21 and 22 at Hockenheim. The 34-year-old German regained the series lead from reigning champion Bernd Schneider after losing it two weeks ago at Mugello in Italy.

F3:- Frenchman Nicolas Minassian won the final round of the British Formula Three Championship. His Renault-powered Dallara strode away at the front to record his second win of the season, 7.7 seconds clear of Ulster's Johnny Kane. Kane, who needed to win the race to ensure the runner-up spot, was pipped by Kurt Mollekens by just two points. Another Briton, Guy Smith, finished a strong third, ahead of 1996 champion, Ralph Firman.


Provisional result:           Min:Secs
 1 A Minassian D Renault      29:23.99
 2 J Kane      DM Honda       29:31.69
 3 G Smith     D Mitsubishi   29:37.28
 4 R Firman    DM Honda       29:43.12
 5 JP Montoya  D Mitusbishi   29:44.07
 6 D Manning   DM Honda       29:44.47
 7 K Mollekens DM Honda       29:44.84
 8 B Smith     T Toyota       29:45.54
 9 A Burgueno  DS Opel        29:45.43
10 T Yokoyama  T Toyota       29:49.42




14.10.96
F1:- Damon Hill is set for a multi-million pound cash bonanza after clinching the Formula One world title. The 36-year-old Briton will at least double the 4.5m he is due to receive from the Arrows team in 1997 from extra sponsorship and advertising deals. He knows he may have just 12 months to cash in after losing his seat in the Williams team. "I'll be world champion all year and I am going to enjoy it," said Hill, who sealed the title by winning in Japan.

Damon Hill said he was more interested in winning this year's world title than matching his father's two championships. "I'm not in competition with what my father did," he said. "He had a fantastic career but I just set myself a target of winning the championship."

"It's quite difficult to beat this. There's never going to be another first time and what's going to happen in the future is not on my mind. Right now I don't really want to see a racing car for a few weeks."

Damon Hill has been challenged to prove he is a true champion when he switches to the TWR Arrows team in 1997. Fellow Briton Martin Brundle said: "It is going to be interesting for him and for the rest of us to see how fast the world champion really is. Damon has gone from the best car to a team that scored just one point in the championship this season and was miles off the pace." Bookmakers make Hill only a 100/1 chance to retain his title next season.

SAN REMO RALLY:- World champion Tommi Makinen crashed out of the San Remo Rally after just 500 metres of the opening stage. The Finn rolled his Mitsubishi after midjudging a corner but he escaped serious injury though co-driver Seppo Harjanne hurt his back. Scot Colin McRae took advantage to build a four second lead over Piero Liatti at the end of the day. "I'm back where I should be," McRae said. "Now I've taken the lead I don't intend to let go of it quickly."


Positions after 4 stages:
(end of day one)            hrs mins secs
 1 C McRae     Sco Subaru      1:32.47
 2 P Liatti    It  Subaru      1:32.51
 3 A Dal'villa It  Toyota      1:33.06
 4 G Pi'zzola  It  Toyota      1:33.11
 5 C Sainz     Sp  Ford Escort 1:33.21
 6 D Auriol    Fr  Mitsubishi  1:33.24
 7 K Eriksson  Swe Subaru      1:33.26
 8 B Thiry     Bel Ford Escort 1:33.27
 9 G Cunico    It  Ford Escort 1:33.31
10 A Medeghini It  Subaru      1:34.10




16.10.96 - SAN REMO RALLY
The San Remo rally has been won by Scot Colin McRae, who beat Spain's Carlos Sainz by 22 seconds in the penultimate event of the 1996 championship. 1995 world champion McRae completed the race in 4hrs 26mins 57 secs in his Subaru Impreza 555 car. Sainz, in his Ford Escort Cosworth, finished ahead of his Belgian teammate Bruno Thiry. Sainz narrowed the gap on McRae in Wednesday's final stages but could not catch the flying Scotsman.

Final positions after 18 stages:
                            hrs mins secs
 1 C McRae     Sco Subaru      4:26.57
 2 C Sainz     Sp  Ford Escort 4:27.19
 3 B Thiry     Bel Ford Escort 4:29.06
 4 K Eriksson  Swe Subaru      4:29.41
 5 F Loix      Bel Toyota      4:29.48
 6 G Cunico    It  Ford Escort 4:30.41
 7 G Pi'zzola  It  Toyota      4:30.58
 8 D Auriol    Fr  Mitsubishi  4:31.50
 9 A Medeghini It  Subaru      4:34.59
10 P B'nardini Fr  Ford Escort 4:34.59




17.10.96 - MANSELL
Nigel Mansell has admitted Damon Hill's Formula One championship win has fired his desire to return to the sport. Mansell, who tipped Hill to follow in his footsteps after he took the world title in 1992, said he could be tempted by the right offer. "To go for another world title or to compete at the highest level is very exciting," he said. "You are only young once and you can only do the sport while you are able to do it and my time is not up."





18.10.96 - HONG-KONG BEIJING RALLY
Britain's Richard Burns goes into the final leg of the Asian-Pacific Championship with the job of clinching the manufacturers title for Mitsubishi. Burns lies second in the individual standings but cannot catch leader Kenneth Eriksson. He has plenty of experience in China, having finished second and third in the last two years. The event starts on Saturday and will pass the Great Wall and Ming Tombs before finishing next Friday.





19.10.96

HONG-KONG BEIJING RALLY
Leaders after 1 of 26 stages: mins secs
 1 P Liatti    It  Subaru         14:56
 2 R Burns     GB  Mitsubishi     14:59
 3 A Vatanen   Fin Mitsubishi     15:15
 4 K Shinozuka Jpn Mitsubishi     15:59
 5 Y Fujimoto  Jpn Toyota         16:07
 6 Y Kataoka   Jpn Mitsubishi (N) 16:08
 7 K Eriksson  Swe Subaru         16:11
 8 Ning Jun Lu Chn Subaru (N)     16:17
 9 K Singh     Mal Proton         16:30
10 N Tajima    Jpn Suzuki         17:09
Eriksson lost time at the start of SS2 when an unmarked car appeared to disturb his concentration.

TOUR OF MULL:- Chris Griffiths led in a Subaru Legacy after the second leg of the 27th Tour of Mull Rally, with early leader Callum Duffy suffering trouble with his Escort. Seven times winner Neil Mackinnon had been poised to take top spot but was delayed by clutch failure and now lies second, 36 seconds off the pace. James MacGillivray is third in his Opel Corsa, a further 28 seconds back.





20.10.96
F.NIPPON:- Ralf Schumacher became the youngest ever Formula Nippon champion when he clinched the title at Fuji Speedway in Japan in the final round on Sunday. The 21-year-old brother of F1 champion Michael Schumacher makes his Formula One debut with the Jordan team in 1997. It was the first time a rookie had won the Formula Nippon, formerly known as F3000, crown in its 24-year history.



HONG-KONG BEIJING RALLY
Leaders after 6 of 26 stages: mins secs
 1 R Burns     GB  Mitsubishi   1:08:21
 2 A Vatanen   Fin Mitsubishi   1:08:51
 3 K Eriksson  Swe Subaru       1:09:57
 4 K Shinozuka Jpn Mitsubishi   1:12:09
 5 Y Fujimoto  Jpn Toyota       1:12:12
 6 Y Kataoka   Jpn Mitsubishi N 1:13:18
 7 K Singh     Mal Proton       1:13:49
 8 N Tajima    Jpn Suzuki       1:16:28
 9 Ning Jun Lu Chn Subaru N     1:18:00
10 Tong C Xian Chn Subaru N     1:18:04

TOUR OF MULL:- Neil McKinnon notched a record eighth win in his Subaru Legacy, finishing 56 seconds ahead of Chris Griffiths, also in a Subaru. John Price finished third - a further 4 mins 32 secs behind in his Metro 6R4, after James MacGillvray's Opel Corsa slid off the road for eight minutes.




21.10.96 - HONG-KONG BEIJING RALLY

Leaders after 10 of 26 stages: mins secs
 1 R Burns     GB  Mitsubishi   1:45:34
 2 A Vatanen   Fin Mitsubishi   1:46:34
 3 K Eriksson  Swe Subaru       1:46:56
 4 Y Fujimoto  Jpn Toyota       1:51:10
 5 K Shinozuka Jpn Mitsubishi   1:51:42
 6 Y Kataoka   Jpn Mitsubishi N 1:54:53
 7 K Singh     Mal Proton       1:54:59
 8 N Tajima    Jpn Suzuki       1:59:23
 9 Tong C Xian Chn Subaru N     2:01:22
10 Wong        Chn Subaru N     2:04:02




22.10.96
F1:- Heinz-Harald Frentzen will drive for Williams for the first time today during a testing session in Estoril. The 29-year-old, who has driven for Sauber since 1992, will drive the car which carried Damon Hill to the world drivers' title. Williams will conduct four days of tests but Frentzen is set for many more sessions behind the wheel before the start of the 1997 season. Hill will start testing for Arrows in a few weeks' time.

Jackie Stewart's new Formula One team have signed Brazilian Rubens Barrichello to a three-year contract. The 24-year-old will team up with Denmark's Jan Magnussen at the team after four years with Jordan. Stewart said: "We are delighted to have Rubens with us from the start. We said from the outset that we want a driver with Formula One experience alongside a young up-and-coming talent, which we have in Jan."



HONG-KONG BEIJING RALLY
Leaders after 15 of 26 stages:
(resumes Tuesday)             mins secs
 1 A Vatenan   Fin Mitsubishi   2:51:50
 2 R Burns     GB  Mitsubishi   2:53:22
 3 K Shinozuka Jpn Mitsubishi   3:02:32
 4 K Singh     Mal Proton       3:05:46
 5 Y Kataoka   Jpn Mitsubishi N 3:07:57
 6 Tong C Xian Chn Subaru N     3:19:57
 7 Chan Y N    Chn Subaru N     3:23:16
 8 Chan C W    Chn Subaru N     3:23:35
 9 Lu          Chn Subaru N     3:23:41
10 N Tajima    Jpn Suzuki       3:23:50




23.10.96 - HONG-KONG BEIJING RALLY
Richard Burns only managed to shave five seconds off the lead of Finland's Ari Vatanen during the longest day of the gruelling Hong Kong-Beijing rally. Mitsubishi Lancer driver Burns, who had held the lead, cut the gap to 1 min 27 seconds on Vatanen. He nearly struck disaster in his Lancer during the third of the day's five stages over 83 miles. He said: "I didn't have a caution in my pace notes for the last big jump and it really gave me a moment."


Leaders after 20 of 26 stages:mins secs
 1 A Vatenan   Fin Mitsubishi   4:07:58
 2 R Burns     GB  Mitsubishi   4:08:25
 3 K Shinozuka Jpn Mitsubishi   4:25:55
 4 K Singh     Mal Proton       4:20:20
 5 Y Kataoka   Jpn Mitsubishi N 4:31:45
 6 Tong C Xian Chn Subaru N     4:48:55
 7 N Tagima    Jpn Suzuki       4:50:11
 8 Chan C W    Chn Subaru N     4:51:06
 9 Chan Y N    Chn Subaru N     4:54:50
10 Nakano      Chn Subaru N     4:54:53




24.10.96 - HONG-KONG BEIJING RALLY
Richard Burns finished the day breathing down the neck of leader Ari Vatanen with one day left. The Finnish Mitsubishi Lancer driver is aiming to become the first driver to win the 2,356-mile race twice. Japan's Kenjiro Shinozuka was set to complete a Mitsubishi clean sweep of the top three places. The rally finishes on Friday in Tiananmen Square in Beijing. Only 25 of the 70 cars that left Hong Kong on Saturday are still in the race.


Leaders after 22 of 26 stages: mins secs
 1 A Vatenan   Fin Mitsubishi  4:25:45
 2 R Burns     GB  Mitsubishi  4:26:49
 3 K Shinozuka Jpn Mitsubishi  4:44:33
 4 K Singh     Mal Proton      4:47:11
 5 Y Kataoka   Jpn Mitsubishi  4:50:32
 6 Tong C Xian Chn Subaru N    5:08:56
 7 N Tagima    Jpn Suzuki      5:11:34
 8 Chan C W    Chn Subaru N    5:12:06
 9 Nakano      Chn Subaru N    5:13:22
10 Chan Y N    Chn Mitsubishi  5:14:20




25.10.96
MINTEX NATIONAL RALLY SERIES:- The Mintex Series reaches its climax in the forests of mid-Wales on Saturday with two of the three major titles going to the wire. Escort Cosworth driver Jeremy Easson and Subaru pilot Steve Petch enter the Bulldog Midland Rally with the Group N title at stake after a long battle. Formula Two has five drivers separated by just nine points. Charlie Eaton leads in a 1600cc Honda Civic. Chris Mellors has already clinched the overall title so is not competing.

HONG-KONG BEIJING RALLY:- Finnish superstar Ari Vatanen won the last ever 555 Hong Kong to Beijing Rally as a major era in world rallying came to an end. The former World Rally Champion will now go down in history as the only man ever to win the classic event twice as the rally takes a new format in 1997. Vatanen led the 23 remaining drivers in to Beijing's Tiananmen Square after being race leader since the fourth day. Team mate Richard Burns was second with Japan's Kenjiro Shinozuka coming third.


Result after 26 stages:       mins secs
 1 A Vatenan   Fin Mitsubishi  5:01:27
 2 R Burns     GB  Mitsubishi  5:02:10
 3 K Shinozuka Jpn Mitsubishi  5:23:55
 4 K Singh     Mal Proton      5:25:26
 5 Y Kataoka   Jpn Mitsubishi  5:29:13
 6 Tong C Xian Chn Subaru N    5:49:58
 7 N Tagima    Jpn Suzuki      5:53:02
 8 Chan C W    Chn Subaru N    5:53:45
 9 Nakano      Chn Subaru N    5:54:38
10 Tam         Chn Mitsubishi  5:59:49

TOURING CARS:- Derek Warwick has been confirmed as John Cleland's partner in Vauxhall Sport's Touring Car line-up in the 1997 Auto Trader RAC Championship. "This is the move I have been pushing hard to make and I'm delighted it's all come together in this way," he said. Warwick, who drove for Alfa Romeo in the 1995 Championship, added: "I've got a lot of winning still left to do." The Briton has a wealth of motor sport experience including a victory in the 1992 Le Mans 24-hour race.




26.10.96 - MINTEX NATIONAL RALLY SERIES

BULLDOG MIDLAND RALLY - ROUND SEVEN
Final positions after eight stages:
                              hr:mn.sec
 1 Hill/Boyles    Mitsubishi L 1:24.55
 2 Higgins/Mills  Nissan Sunny 1:25.20
 3 Head/Thomas    Renault Meg  1:25.40
 4 Jordan/Boyere  Renault Meg  1:26.31
 5 Mevius/Fortin  Renault Meg  1:26.43
 6 Lyall/Goff     Ford Escort  1:27.14
 7 B-Evans/Jones  Ford Escort  1:27.30
 8 Per't/Mansell  Ford Escort  1:27.37
 9 Jones/Lewis    Mitsubishi L 1:28.01
10 Dodd/McAuley   Ford Escort  1:28.35




28.10.96 - F1
Michael Schumacher is set to stay at Ferrari after his contract expires next year, company president Luca di Montezemolo has been quoted as saying. Di Montezemolo was quoted by newspaper La Stampa as saying that Schumacher was almost certain to remain at the Italian team until after the 1998 season. "Regarding Schumacher, we can practically guarantee another two seasons," said Di Montezemolo. Chairman Giovanni Agnelli said at the weekend that Schu would be staying.