01.08.97 - Stena Line Ulster Rally LEADERBOARD after 8 of 19 stages: (interim) hr min sec 1 Higgins/Mills Nissan 1:03:36 2 Nesbitt/Kennedy Toyota 1:03:44 3 Evans/Davies Ford 1:03:53 4 McRae/Senior Volkswagen 1:04:04 5 Boland/Morrissey Ford 1:04:08 6 Head/Thomas Renault 1:04:49 7 Rowe/Beech Renault 1:04:56 8 Laukkanen/Man'maki Volkswagen 1:05:38 9 Cathers/Porter Subaru 1:06:00 10 McKinstry/McCrea SEAT 1:06:15Nissan's Mark Higgins holds the overnight lead of the Ulster Rally, following today's eight stages. But Renault driver Robbie Head has set fastest times on all but one of today's stages. Head was leading the rally until engine sensor failure on the fifth stage forced him to stop and disconnect the faulty component. "It has been a very big fight today and it will be the same tomorrow," said Head.
Carno-based Mark Higgins took over the lead on stage six from Andrew Nesbitt's four-wheel drive Toyota Celica. He praised his Yokohama tyres in the process: "The tyres were very good on that stage and everything is going well." Nesbitt, who is contesting the Irish Tarmac Championship and is therefore not eligible for British Championship points, holds second place in the overall leaderboard.
A mis-fire hampered defending champion Gwyndaf Evans in the new Ford Escort Super Rally car for much of the day, although the Welshman retains third place overall. British title adversary Alister McRae in fourth in the Volkswagen Golf GTi, admitting to taking things easy to preserve his eight point championship lead. The second leg of the Ulster Rally is 179 stage miles finishing in Belfast city centre at 16.00 on Saturday.
02.08.97GTs:- Steve Soper and JJ Lehto came fourth in final qualifying for the sixth round of the FIA GT Championship. Their time of 1:23.718 was just ahead of Allan McNish and Yannick Dalmas who were fifth in 1:24.219.
TOURING CARS (Knockhill):- John Bintcliffe and Frank Biela led the way as they claimed pole for rounds 15 and 16 in the Audi A4 quattros. The Harrogate driver claimed his first ever BTCC pole only for Biela to scorch round in 52.451 secs. Biela's fastest lap was over one second under his own lap record - a perfect 33rd birthday present for the Monaco-based German. It is the first time ever that Audi has claimed both front row positions for each race.
Saturday's qualifying times (round 15): mins:secs 1 J Bintcliffe Audi A4 Q 0:52.608 2 F Biela Audi A4 Q 0:52.715 3 A Menu Renault Laguna 0:52.810 4 R Rydell Volvo S40 0:52.996 5 A Reid Nissan Primera 0:53.036 6 J Thompson Honda Accord 0:53.114 7 G Tarquini Honda Accord 0:53.145 8 P Radisich Ford Mondeo 0:53.178 9 D Leslie Nissan Primera 0:53.192 10 J Plato Renault Laguna 0:53.259 Saturday's qualifying times (round 16): mins:secs 1 F Biela Audi A4 Q 0:52.451 2 J Bintcliffe Audi A4 Q 0:52.509 3 J Thompson Honda Accord 0:52.638 4 A Menu Renault Laguna 0:52.665 5 R Rydell Volvo S40 0:52.785 6 A Reid Nissan Primera 0:52.828 7 G Tarquini Honda Accord 0:52.869 8 D Leslie Nissan Primera 0:53.173 9 P Radisich Ford Mondeo 0:53.280 10 K Burt Volvo S40 0:53.314 NEW ZEALAND RALLY Leaderboard after stage 2: mins 1 C McRae Subaru 20:16 2 Makinen Mitsubishi 20:20 3 Burns Mitsubishi 20:47 4 Sainz Ford 20:48 5 Eriksson Subaru 20:56 6 Kankkunen Ford 20:58 7 Bourne Subaru 21:21 8 McAndrew Subaru 21:58 9 Graham Subaru 22:07 10 Argyle Mitsubishi 22:19ULSTER RALLY:- Mark Higgins claimed his first ever Mobil 1 British Rally Championship victory when he won the Ulster Rally. "It was great to get through without any problems," said the delighted Nissan driver, who becomes the fourth different winner of this year's event. "It's a great result for both myself and my co-driver Phil Mills. It puts us back in with a chance of winning the championship."
Renault Maxi Megane driver Robbie Head had led the event for the opening five stages until he was delayed when an engine sensor failed. The Scot, who set fastest times on 12 of the 19 stages, finished third Mobil British Rally Championship contender. Gwyndaf Evans finished in second place overall in the brand new Ford Escort Super Rally car. That result means he has closed to within two points of championship leader Alister McRae.
Bradford sisters Stephanie and Rachael Simmonite have provisionally claimed their third consecutive Ladies Cup with their fifth class win this year. Their path to victory was eased when principal rivals Barbara Armstrong and Natalie Barrett both retired. The final round of the Mobil 1 British Rally Championship is the Manx Rally on 11th-13th September.
Result after 19 stages: hr min sec 1 Higgins/Mills Nissan 2:53:54 2 Evans/Davies Ford 2:55:05 3 Nesbitt/Kennedy Toyota 2:55:21 4 Boland/Morrissey Ford 2:55:49 5 Head/Thomas Renault 2:58:06 6 Rowe/Beech Renault 2:58:26 7 Cathers/Porter Subaru 3:00:51 8 McRae/Senior Volkswagen 3:03:08 9 McKinstry/McCrea SEAT 3:03:46 10 Mann/Cook Proton 3:04:19 03.08.97BRITISH GTs:- Colin Blower and Jamie Campbell Walter took the sixth round of the Privilege Insurance GT Championship at Donington. The pair became the fifth different winners of a race this season.
TOURING CARS (Knockhill):- John Bintcliffe drove superbly to claim his first Touring Car victory in the first of the day's two races. The Audi driver dominated from his first-ever pole position to push Audi teammate Frank Biela into second place. Biela had the consolation of driving the fastest lap of 86.21 seconds and also of reversing the result in the second race. Alain Menu and Gabriele Tarquini were both forced to retire due to problems with their cars.
Sunday's round 15 result: mins secs 1 J Bintcliffe Audi 31:46.368 2 F Biela Audi @ 0.721 3 A Menu Renault @24.470 4 R Rydell Volvo @26.837 5 A Reid Nissan @27.150 6 J Thompson Honda @27.514 7 G Tarquini Honda @27.951 8 K Burt Volvo @32.423 9 D Warwick Vauxhall @43.112 10 J Cleland Vauxhall @45.751 Sunday's round 16 result: mins secs 1 F Biela Audi 38:41.554 2 J Bintcliffe Audi @ 2.987 3 G Tarquini Honda @21.891 4 K Burt Volvo @28.953 5 J Plato Renault @43.056 6 J Cleland Vauxhall @46.202 7 R Rydell Volvo @46.475 8 P Watts Peugeot @48.915 9 T Harvey Peugeot @49.075 10 R Gravett Honda @ 1 lap Total Cup winner: R Gravett Standings after round 16: 1 A Menu Renault Laguna 210 pts 2 F Biela Audi 107 3 R Rydell Volvo 101 4 J Plato Renault Laguna 100 5 J Bintcliffe Audi 90 6 G Tarquini Honda Accord 82 Constructors's standings: 1 Renault 212 pts 2 Honda 150 3 Audi 147 4 Volvo 145 5 Nissan 101NEW ZEALAND RALLY:- Colin McRae's hopes of victory were dashed - just as he looked set to make it four wins on the trot. The Scot was 57 seconds ahead of Carlos Sainz on stage four after Tommi Makinen rolled out of contention. McRae could do little on stage nine as his Subaru ground to a halt with a cam belt pulley failure. He said: "We were well on course for a much-needed win. Fortunately for us Tommi has not scored either but it might have helped Carlos's cause."
Leaderboard after stage 10: 1 C Sainz Ford 1:26:14 2 K Eriksson Subaru 1:26:36 3 J Kankkunen Ford 1:27:26 4 R Burns Mitsubishi 1:28:23 5 P Bourne Subaru 1:29:17 6 N Bates Toyota 1:31:06 7 G Trelles Mitsubishi 1:33:07 8 J McAndrew Subaru 1:33:41 9 B Stokes Ford 1:33:44 10 R Jones Mitsubishi 1:34:15 McRae out SS9 - engine problem 04.08.97 WORLD DRIVER RANKINGS August 4 standings: Points 1 M Schumacher Formula 1 656 2 A Zanardi CART 570 3 J Gordon NASCAR 568 4 P Tracy CART 553 5 H C'sro Neves Indy Lights 551 6 T Kanaan Indy Lights 524 7 G Seton Aus Tour Cars 518 8 T Kristensen Formula 3000 496 9 G de Ferran CART 493 10 A Menu Brit Tour Cars 484 11 J Villeneuve Formula 1 478 12 M Andretti CART 466 13 D Jarrett NASCAR 459 14 S Goodyear Indy Racing Lge 457NEW ZEALAND RALLY:- Kenneth Eriksson took the lead from Carlos Sainz on the opening stage of the second leg and remained eight seconds ahead at the end of the day. Eriksson, in his Subaru Impreza, was just ahead of the Ford Escort of double world champion Sainz and 32 seconds clear of Finn Juha Kankkunen. Briton Richard Burns remains fourth in his Mitsubishi Carisma. Sainz had held a 12-second lead as the cars went south from Auckland before Eriksson took charge.
Leaderboard after stage 18:(end of leg two) 1 K Eriksson Subaru 3:18:53 2 C Sainz Ford 3:19:01 3 J Kankkunen Ford 3:19:25 4 R Burns Mitsubishi 3:20:24 5 P Bourne Subaru 3:23:04 6 N Bates Toyota 3:27:18 7 G Trelles Mitsubishi 3:29:28 8 S Sufan Toyota 3:30:28 9 B Stokes Ford 3:31:18 10 R Jones Mitsubishi 3:31:46 05.08.97F1:- Gianni Morbidelli will return to the Formula One circuit this weekend after breaking his arm in June. The Sauber driver had been replaced by Argentina's Norberto Fontana in the last three races but will return to the track in the Hungarian Grand Prix. Morbidelli broke his arm in testing ahead of the Magny-Cours race. In a statement, Sauber said: "The team's decision has been taken following last week's successful test at Fiorano. He has recovered."
NEW ZEALAND RALLY:- Kenneth Eriksson of Sweden won the New Zealand rally for the first time, ending 13 seconds clear of nearest rival Carlos Sainz of Spain. Eriksson's win consolidated the Subaru team's lead in the manufacturer's championship. But the result left defending champion Tommi Makinen of Finland in command of the drivers' series for Mitsubishi. Sainz's chances of catching Eriksson faded when he hit a sheep on the opening stage of the last leg.
Final leaderboard after stage 24: 1 K Eriksson Subaru 4:14.11 2 C Sainz Ford 4:14.24 3 J Kankkunen Ford 4:14.30 4 R Burns Mitsubishi 4:15.29 5 P Bourne Subaru 4:20.05 6 N Bates Toyota 4:25.53 7 G Trelles Mitsubishi 4:27.55 8 S Sufan Toyota 4:29.23 9 B Stokes Ford 4:29.38 10 R Jones Mitsubishi 4:29.57 DRIVERS STANDINGS 1 T Makinen Fin Mitsubishi 42 pts 2 C Sainz Sp Ford 34 3 C McRae GB Subaru 32 4 K Eriksson Swe Subaru 24 5 P Liatti It Subaru 18 6 R Burns GB Mitsubishi 12 7 A Schwarz Ger Ford 11 8 J Kankkunen Fin Ford 10 MANUFACTURERS' STANDINGS 1 Subaru 74 pts 2 Mitsubishi 56 3 Ford 55 06.08.97F1: THE HUNGARIAN GP
Jacques Villeneuve will be looking to repeat his 1996 Hungary win on Sunday and keep on track in the title race. The Williams-Renault driver trails Michael Schumacher by 10 points in the drivers' championship. But the Canadian triumphed last year in the 77-lap race and admitted: "The Hungaroring is a very difficult circuit for overtaking so qualifying is vital. Michael might have gained six points in Hockenheim but the championship is far from over."
The Williams team suffered a setback in the last race in Germany with both Jacques Villeneuve and Heinz-Harald Frentzen failing to finish. Frentzen is under pressure to perform in Hungary on Sunday after failing to impress since replacing Damon Hill. He said: "The track is likely to be dirty so if you have driven in the dirt it's at least a lap before the tyres start to work properly again. I hope this change of pace in Hungary will see a change in my luck."
Damon Hill's Arrows team appear to be winning the reliability race but the speed factor is hindering their chances of claiming more points. Their solitary point came from Hill's sixth place at Silverstone but the slow track in Hungary could be an advantage. Hill said: "The Hungarian circuit is like a big go-kart track. It is similar to Monaco. The car is quite fun to drive. You can slide it a bit. I like Hungary. I had my first victory in F1 there in 1993."
The Jordan team travel to Hungary still looking for that elusive first victory. Giancarlo Fisichella came agonisingly close in Germany before a puncture dashed his hopes. Neither he nor Ralf Schumacher have driven in Hungary. But technical director Gary Anderson said: "In many ways it resembles Argentina. The drivers learnt that circuit quickly so it is encouraging. High tyre wear will create the need for more pit stops than usual so race strategy is crucial."
Gerhard Berger kick-started Benetton's season with his Hockenheim victory and the revitalised team are eager to build on that success. Jean Alesi also earned a point in Germany and technical director Pat Symonds revealed: "Everyone is highly motivated, especially Gerhard and Jean. "But Hockenheim and the Hungaroring are at opposite ends of the spectrum so we can make no assumptions." The team are also set to introduce some new parts to the B197 cars in Hungary.
The Tyrrell team believe the Hungarian circuit will suit their cars more than the previous two races at Silverstone and Hockenheim. Harvey Postlethwaite, managing director of the Woking-based team, said: "We are looking forward to Hungary. "It is because a well-balanced car rather than straight-line speed is important to go well there." And driver Mika Salo added: "It is narrow and twisty, requiring good handling, so should suit the Tyrrell."
PREVIOUS WINNERS 1996 J Villeneuve Can Williams 1995 D Hill GB Williams 1994 M Schumacher Ger Benetton 1993 D Hill GB Williams 1992 A Senna Brz McLaren 1991 A Senna Brz McLaren 1990 T Boutsen Bel Williams 1989 N Mansell GB Ferrari 1988 A Senna Brz McLaren 1987 N Piquet Brz WilliamsTOURING CARS:- Alain Menu is poised to collect his first BTCC title this weekend after finishing runner-up three times. The Renault driver has won 10 races this season ánd needs two good finishes at Snetterton to secure the crown. The Audi duo of Frank Biela and John Bintcliffe have burst into form, with the German lying second overall. But current champion Biela admitted: "Alain only needs to score well to wrap up things. Keeping second place must be my main target."
08.08.97F1: THE HUNGARIAN GP
David Coulthard boosted his chances of keeping his McLaren drive for next season with an excellent performance in practice for Sunday's race. The Scot was second fastest behind Ferrari's Michael Schumacher. But with Damon Hill and Gerhard Berger both linked with McLaren, Coulthard and team-mate Mika Hakkinen may be battling for one place in the team. Coulthard said: "I feel we have made progress this year and McLaren would be my first choice for next season."
World champion Damon Hill returned to the scene of his first ever grand prix win to clock the fifth fastest time in practice for Sunday's race. A gearbox problem had threatened to leave the Arrows driver bottom of the pile but with two minutes of the session to go he produced a flying lap. "It's evidence we've made progress," he said. "With five minutes of the session left the car had no floor. I must have got over the start-line with just a few seconds to spare."
Damon Hill has admitted he may not be able to drive for one of the top teams next year. The world champion has had a disappointing season with TWR Arrows and has been talking to Sauber about next year. But he said: "I don't want to rush a decision about my future. The situation may arise where the car I end up in next year will not automatically be in front but there's the chance it can make progress."
Friday's practice times: min secs 1 M Schumacher Ger Ferrari 1:17.583 2 D Coulthard GB McLaren 1:17.810 3 J Trulli It Prost 1:17.848 4 H-H Frentzen Ger Williams 1:17.884 5 D Hill GB Arrows 1:18.161 6 R Schumacher Ger Jordan 1:18.368 7 R Barrichello Brz Stewart 1:18.565 8 G Fisichella It Jordan 1:18.686 9 E Irvine GB Ferrari 1:18.734 10 J Herbert GB Sauber 1:18.796 11 J Villeneuve Can Williams 1:18.805 12 J Magnussen Den Stewart 1:18.856 13 G Berger Aut Benetton 1:18.923 14 J Verstappen Hol Tyrrell 1:19.346 15 J Alesi Fr Benetton 1:19.358 16 U Katayama Jpn Minardi 1:19.521 17 G Morbidelli It Sauber 1:19.567 18 P Diniz Brz Arrows 1:20.002 19 M Salo Fin Tyrrell 1:20.106 20 M Hakkinen Fin McLaren 1:20.176 21 S Nakano Jpn Prost 1:20.414 22 T Marques Brz Minardi 1:20.707TOURING CARS (Snetterton):- Honda's James Thompson topped the times in official testing, edging out Anthony Reid's Nissan by 100th of a second. Championship leader Alain Menu, who needs a couple of good results in rounds 17 and 18 on Sunday to take the title, was fourth fastest. He has a 103-point advantage over 1996 champion Frank Biela and Menu will take the crown if he leaves Norfolk with a lead of more than 97 points. Gabriele Tarquini was third fastest in his Honda.
Friday's testing times: mins secs 1 J Thompson GB Honda Acc 1:08.298 2 A Reid GB Nissan Pr 1:08.938 3 G Tarquini It Honda Acc 1:09.010 4 A Menu Swi Renault L 1:09.056 5 P Radisich NZ Ford Mon 1:09.193 6 R Rydell Swe Volvo S40 1:09.365 7 T Harvey GB Peugeot 1:09.554 8 K Burt GB Volvo S40 1:09.589 9 J Plato GB Renault L 1:09.596 10 D Leslie GB Nissan Pr 1:09.610 11 P Watts GB Peugeot 1:09.849 12 F Biela Ger Audi A4 1:09.858INDYCAR:- Mark Blundell is chasing his third win of the season as the CART series moves to Mid Ohio this weekend. Blundell has two victories so far this season and is in eighth place in the drivers' championship. "I've been on the podium in three of the last four races and want to be up there again this weekend," he said. "I haven't had a pole in CART racing yet so that is definitely a goal for me. I think we have a good chance and we'll certainly be going for it."
09.08.97F1: THE HUNGARIAN GP
Damon Hill admitted his performance had taken him by surprise as he stormed to third place in qualifying. He said: "I am absolutely delighted, although I must say this is a bit unexpected. I thought I had a chance of making the top 10 or even the top six, but third is truly fantastic. I owe this to my team, who have worked brilliantly, and to Bridgestone, who have got the tyre mixture just right."
Saturday's qualifying times: min secs 1 M Schumacher Ger Ferrari 1:14.672 2 J Villeneuve Can Williams 1:14.859 3 D Hill GB Arrows 1:15.044 4 M Hakkinen Fin McLaren 1:15.140 5 E Irvine GB Ferrari 1:15.424 6 H-H Frentzen Ger Williams 1:15.520 7 G Berger Aut Benetton 1:15.699 8 D Coulthard GB McLaren 1:15.705 9 J Alesi Fr Benetton 1:15.905 10 J Herbert GB Sauber 1:16.138 11 R Barrichello Brz Stewart 1:16.138 12 J Trulli It Prost 1:16.297 13 G Fisichella It Jordan 1:16.300 14 R Schumacher Ger Jordan 1:16.686 15 G Morbidelli It Sauber 1:16.766 16 S Nakano Jpn Prost 1:16.784 17 J Magnussen Den Stewart 1:16.858 18 J Verstappen Hol Tyrrell 1:17.095 19 P Diniz Brz Arrows 1:17.116 20 U Katayama Jpn Minardi 1:17.232 21 M Salo Fin Tyrrell 1:17.482 22 T Marques Brz Minardi 1:18.029 INDYCAR (Mid-Ohio) Friday's practice times: mins secs 1 B Herta US Reynard 1:06.277 2 A Zanardi It Reynard 1:06.303 3 G Moore US Reynard 1:06.473 4 G de Ferran Brz Reynard 1:06.653 5 D Franchitti Sco Reynard 1:06.689 6 S Pruett US Reynard 1:06.724 7 C Fittipaldi Brz Swift 1:06.751 8 J Vasser US Reynard 1:06.861 9 M Gugelmin Brz Reynard 1:06 956 10 R Boesel Fr Reynard 1:06.995 13 M Blundell Eng Reynard 1:07.235Bryan Herta broke the course record in Friday's first day of qualifying at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Herta drove a fastest lap of 122.649mph to beat Alex Zanardi's previous best speed of 122.100mph last year. Zanardi himself also beat the time but had to settle for second place after his last lap of 122.601mph. Scotland's Dario Franchitti was fifth fastest while Mark Blundell was 13th after suffering a pinched nerve in his back during the morning.
TOURING CARS (Snetterton):- Championship leader Alain Menu celebrated his 34th birthday by claiming pole for both of Sunday's British Touring Car Championship races. He claimed a time of 1 min 08.839 secs in round 17 and said: "All the corners were good. If I can win the title on my birthday weekend I'll be happy." Anthony Reid, second in the first race, thought he had exacted a quick revenge in round 18 - but his hopes were dashed. He beat Menu but his Primera failed the pit-lane ride height check.
Saturday's round 17 qualifying:mins secs 1 A Menu Swi Renault L 1:08.839 2 A Reid GB Nissan Pr 1:08.957 3 J Thompson GB Honda Acc 1:09.057 4 F Biela Ger Audi A4 1:09.071 5 J Plato GB Renault L 1:09.238 6 R Rydell Swe Volvo S40 1:09.348 7 P Radisich NZ Ford Mon 1:09.442 8 P Watts GB Peugeot 1:09.449 9 T Harvey GB Peugeot 1:09.478 10 J Cleland GB Vauxhall 1:09.556 Saturday's round 18 qualifying:mins secs 1 A Menu Swi Renault L 1:09.346 2 J Plato GB Renault L 1:09.585 3 D Leslie GB Nissan Pr 1:09.675 4 G Tarquini It Honda Acc 1:09.682 5 R Rydell Swe Volvo S40 1:09.687 6 J Thompson GB Honda Acc 1:09.701 7 W Hoy GB Ford Mon 1:09.750 8 K Burt GB Volvo S40 1:09.950 9 P Watts GB Peugeot 1:10.026 10 T Harvey GB Peugeot 1:10.090F.FORD:- Brazil's Rodrigo Sperafico grabbed pole from Holland's Jacky van der Ende in the last minute of the Formula Ford qualifying session at Snetterton.
RENAULT SPIDER CUP:- Nick Hart took pole position for Sunday's round 11 of the Renault Sport Spider Cup at Snetterton.
F.RENAULT:- Etienne van der Linde is on pole for for Sunday's 10th round of the Formula Renault Sport series.
10.08.97F1: THE HUNGARIAN GP
Damon Hill returned to the scene of his first ever grand prix victory and earned his best-ever finish for Arrows. A throttle problem cost him victory on the last lap and he finished second to Jacques Villeneuve. "I was getting to the point where I thought I could count on victory but then I had a hydraulic pump problem that affected the throttle," he said. "I needed 40 seconds over Jacques not 30. I am disappointed for the team and for Bridgestone."
It was a good day for Britain, despite Damon Hill's last-lap heartache as he and Johnny Herbert both finished on the podium in Hungary. Hill was second in the Arrows and Herbert was third in his Sauber. Eddie Irvine and David Coulthard had also looked set to get into the points at one stage. But the Ferrari driver eventually finished ninth, while Coulthard's poor fortune continued and he retired from the race on lap 65.
Arrows boss Tom Walkinshaw was gutted after Damon Hill lost the chance of his first win for the team on the last lap. "It's not easy," he said. "Damon did a fantastic job and deserved to win." But Jacques Villeneuve was able to close the gap on championship leader Michael Schumacher to three points after relegating Hill to second. "Damon was worth a win," said the Williams driver. "But it is better for us this way because we are still fighting in the championship."
Damon Hill has been linked with Sauber and a tie-up with Johnny Herbert for 1998 and they proved a formidable team by both finishing on the podium. Hill was second behind Jacques Villeneuve in his Arrows, while Herbert drove his Sauber to third place. "It's good for the team and very good for morale," said Herbert. "If we carry on like this, I'm sure we can get in the points again this season." His four points gives Sauber a 12-point total in the constructors' race.
Race result: hr min sec 1 J Villeneuve Can Williams 1:45.47 2 D Hill GB Arrows @ 0.09 3 J Herbert GB Sauber @ 0.20 4 M Schumacher Ger Ferrari @ 0.30 5 R Schumacher Ger Jordan @ 0.30 6 S Nakano Jpn Prost @ 0.41 7 J Trulli It Prost @ 1.15 8 G Berger Aut Benetton @ 1.16 9 E Irvine GB Ferrari 1 lap 10 U Katayama Jpn Minardi 1 lap 11 J Alesi Fr Benetton 1 lap 12 T Marques Brz Minardi 2 laps 13 M Salo Fin Tyrrell 2 laps Not classified: 14 D Coulthard GB McLaren 65 laps 15 J Verstappen Hol Tyrrell 61 laps 16 P Diniz Brz Arrows 53 laps 17 G Fisichella It Jordan 42 laps 18 H-H Frentzen Ger Williams 29 laps 19 R Barrichello Brz Stewart 29 laps 20 M Hakkinen Fin McLaren 12 laps 21 G Morbidelli It Sauber 7 laps 22 J Magnussen Den Stewart 5 laps Fastest lap: Frentzen 1.18.372 DRIVERS' STANDINGS 1 M Schumacher Ger Ferrari 56 pts 2 J Villeneuve Can Williams 53 3 J Alesi Fr Benetton 22 4 G Berger Aut Benetton 20 5 HH Frentzen Ger Williams 19 6 E Irvine GB Ferrari 18 7 O Panis Fr Prost 15 8 D Coulthard GB McLaren 14 = M Hakkinen Fin McLaren 14 10 J Herbert GB Sauber 11 = R Schumacher Ger Jordan 11 12 G Fisichella It Jordan 8 13 D Hill GB Arrows 7 CONSTRUCTORS' STANDINGS 1 Ferrari 74 points 2 Williams-Renault 72 3 Benetton-Renault 46 4 McLaren-Mercedes 28 5 Prost-Mugen-Honda 20 6 Jordan-Peugeot 19 7 Sauber-Petronas 12 8 Arrows-Yamaha 7 9 Stewart-Ford 6 10 Tyrrell-Ford 2TOURING CARS (Snetterton):- Alain Menu won the British Touring Car Championship after notching his 11th race victory of the season. The Williams-Renault driver led round 17 from start to finish on the weekend of his 34th birthday and admitted: "It is marvellous. I am sure Frank Williams will be very happy and he'll be even happier when we also win the manufacturers' title." Menu was second behind rookie team-mate Jason Plato in round 18. It was Plato's debut BTCC win.
Sunday's round 17 results: mins secs 1 A Menu Swi Renault L 27:12.65 2 J Thompson GB Honda Acc @ 01.94 3 F Biela Ger Audi A4 @ 20.18 4 J Plato GB Renault L @ 20.72 5 R Rydell Swe Volvo S40 @ 22.84 6 P Radisich NZ Ford Mon @ 26.21 7 J Cleland GB Vauxhall @ 27.77 8 T Harvey GB Peugeot @ 34.74 9 D Leslie GB Nissan Pr @ 35.15 10 W Hoy GB Ford Mon @ 36.74 Total Cup independents 13 L Brookes GB Peugeot @ 1:04.05 Sunday's round 18 results: mins secs 1 J Plato GB Renault L 27:15.14 2 A Menu Swi Renault L @ 00.38 3 G Tarquini It Honda Acc @ 00.68 4 J Thompson GB Honda Acc @ 04.93 5 R Rydell Swe Volvo S40 @ 08.46 6 D Leslie GB Nissan Pr @ 08.90 7 W Hoy GB Ford Mon @ 14.82 8 K Burt GB Volvo S40 @ 15.78 9 F Biela Ger Audi A4 @ 16.11 10 A Reid GB Nissan Pr @ 16.52 Total Cup independents 12 M Neal GB Nissan Pr @ 56.69RENAULT SPORT:- David Shaw claimed the 11th round of the Renault Sport Spider Cup at Snetterton when winner Bryce Wilson was disqualified after a collision. Wilson and Nick Hart clashed on lap two as they were battling for the lead.
PORSCHES:- Johnny Mowlem took his Team AFN Class 1 Porsche to his 12th race win in a row in the Porsche Cup at Castle Combe.
F.RENAULT:- Darren Malkin won his second Formula Renault Sport race of the year in round 10 at Snetterton after leader Hoover Orsi retired in sight of the finish.
INDYCAR (Mid-Ohio):- Bryan Herta broke the course record in Friday's first day of qualifying and it proved enough to give him pole. Herta drove a fastest lap of 122.649mph to beat Alex Zanardi's previous best speed of 122.100mph last year. Zanardi himself also beat the time but had to settle for second place. Greg Moore was third fastest. Scotland's Dario Franchitti will be fifth on the grid and Mark Blundell is 13th. He was hampered by a pinched nerve in qualifying.
Final qualifying times: mins secs 1 B Herta US Reynard 1:06.277 2 A Zanardi It Reynard 1:06.303 3 G Moore US Reynard 1:06.473 4 G de Ferran Brz Reynard 1:06.653 5 D Franchitti Sco Reynard 1:06.689 6 M Gugelmin Brz Reynard 1:06 696 7 S Pruett US Reynard 1:06.724 8 C Fittipaldi Brz Swift 1:06.751 9 J Vasser US Reynard 1:06.857 10 M Andretti US Swift 1:06.919 13 M Blundell Eng Reynard 1:07.235 11.08.97F1:- Damon Hill has put into perspective his stunning re-emergence as a Formula One force after his Hungarian GP heroics. "The next race will be twice as hard," confessed Hill, as he looks forward to next week's Belgian GP at Spa. Jacques Villeneuve snatched victory on the final lap as throttle failure cost Hill victory in his troubled Arrows. "I think it will be more difficult at Spa and it's not the type of circuit where we can repeat that performance," said the world champion.
DRIVER RANKINGS:- Alessandro Zanardi has moved to within 54 points of Michael Schumacher at the top of the Championship Spark Plug World Driver rankings. The Italian added 95 points to his rankings total following his victory in round 13 of the PPG CART World Series at Mid-Ohio last weekend. Schumacher failed to capitalise on his Hungarian GP pole position, slipping to fourth place at the finish. Jacques Villeneuve's win in Hungary moved him from 11th place to fourth.
August 11 standings: Points 1 M Schumacher Formula 1 719 2 A Zanardi CART 665 3 J Gordon NASCAR 618 4 J Villeneuve Formula 1 578 5 P Tracy CART 553 6 H C'sro Neves Indy Lights 551 7 A Menu Brit Tour Cars 549 8 G de Ferran CART 531 9 T Kanaan Indy Lights 524 10 G Moore CART 523 11 G Seton Aus Tour Cars 518 12 T Kristensen Formula 3000 496 13 M Andretti CART 485 14 T Kendall Trans-Am 472INDYCAR:- Alex Zanardi won his fourth race of the season to extend his points lead in the CART Championship standings. The Italian beat Canadian Greg Moore into second place to stretch his overall lead from six to 27 points. "I thought I had the speed to win and if we keep up the same effort I'm sure nobody can catch us," he said. Scotland's Dario Franchitti finished in 12th place but Mark Blundell failed to finish after suffering engine problems in the seventh lap.
Sunday's race result: 1 A Zanardi It Reynard 83 laps 2 G Moore US Reynard same lap 3 B Rahal US Ford sl 4 R Boesel Brz Ford sl 5 J Vasser US Reynard sl 6 G de Ferran Brz Honda sl 7 M Gugelmin Brz Reynard sl 8 M Andretti US Swift sl 9 S Pruett US Reynard sl 10 A Ribeiro Brz Reynard sl 11 D Franchitti Sco Reynard sl DNF M Blundell Eng Reynard 15.08.97F1:- Minardi will celebrate their 200th Grand Prix in the Belgian race at Spa on Sunday week. They made their debut in 1985 and have fielded 17 drivers since entering the world championship. Their best finishing position in the manufacturers championship was seventh in 1991. Giancarlo Minardi said: "This is a milestone in the team's life. My objective is always to improve our performance from one race to the next."
WORLD SUPERSPORTS:- Teenager James Toseland will race for Honda in the inaugural World Supersport Championship next year. The 16-year-old has won the last two rounds of the British series at Mallory Park and Knockhill.
BRITISH GTs:- BBC commentators Charlie Cox and Tiff Needell will be battling for glory in the GT Championship at the weekend. They race for the factory Harrier and Lister teams respectively and both are in with a chance of outright victory. Cox, who shares the Harrier with Win Percy, said: "We won at Brands the last time the series visited there in April. "If we are going to stand a chance of winning the title, victory is a must." Needell is deputising for 1996 GT1 champion Ian Flux in the Lister Storm.
MCRAE FOREST STAGES:- Brian Lyall could clinch the title in this weekend's McRae Forest Stages Rally, the penultimate round of the 1997 Scottish Championship. He has a 19 point lead over rival Sandy Dalagrno, but a top 13 finish would be good enough for the Subaru driver to win his first national crown. The opposition includes former winner Neale Dougan and former Scottish champion Murray Grierson, with Chris Wagner's Audi also likely to do well. The rally starts at 9:30am on Saturday.
17.08.97INDYCAR:- The start of the CART Series race at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, has been delayed by rain. Officials advise that the race will be run today if it can be started by 2300 BST. If not, it will be rescheduled to a later date.
Saturday's final practice times:mins secs 1 M Gugelmin Brz Reynard 1:42 379 2 M Blundell Eng Reynard 1:42.451 3 A Zanardi It Reynard 1:42.546 4 D Franchitti Sco Reynard 1:42.689 5 M Andretti US Swift 1:42.795 6 S Pruett US Reynard 1:42.797 7 G de Ferran Brz Reynard 1:43.160 8 B Herta US Reynard 1:43.220 9 R Boesel Fr Reynard 1:43.452 10 G Moore US Reynard 1:43.546F3 (Pembrey):- Jonny Kane extended his lead in the Formula Three Championship after rounds nine and 10 in Wales. Argentine Brian Smith won the ninth round in the Fortec MotorSport Mitsubishi car for his first ever F3 championship win. Nicolas Minassian won the second race of the day from Promatecme-renault teammate Enrique Bernoldi. Kane took second and fifth places respectively to extend his series lead to 23 points over Peter Dumbreck.
18.08.97INDYCAR (Road America):- Alex Zanardi won his third straight race on the CART circuit when he roared to victory in Wisconsin. It was his fourth win in the last five races and puts him 38 points clear of Brazil's Gil de Ferran on 168 points in the Championship. The Italian can seal the Championship title at Vancouver in two weeks. Britain's Mark Blundell kept Zanardi under pressure until he was overtaken at a pit stop but he had to retire with an engine fire three laps from the end.
Final results: Laps 1 A Zanardi It Reynard 50 2 M Gugelmin Brz Reynard 50 3 G de Ferran Brz Reynard 50 4 C Fittipaldi Brz Swift 50 5 S Pruett US Reynard 50 6 B Rahal US Reynard 50 7 A Unser Jr US Penske 50 8 J Vasser US Reynard 50 9 R Hearn US Lola 50 10 J Fangio II Arg Reynard 50 16 M Blundell Eng Reynard 47 25 D Franchitti Sco Reynard 15 August 18 standings: Points 1 A Zanardi CART 760 2 M Schumacher Formula 1 719 3 J Gordon NASCAR 658 4 G de Ferran CART 598 5 J Villeneuve Formula 1 578 6 P Tracy CART 553 7 H C'sro Neves Indy Lights 551 8 A Menu Brit Tour Cars 549 9 T Kendall Trans-Am 525 10 T Kanaan Indy Lights 524Alex Zanardi replaced Michael Schumacher at the top of the rankings after his fifth CART win of the season.
20.08.97F1: THE BELGIAN GP
The aim of the Williams team this weekend is to regain the initiative in the driver and constructor races. The Oxfordshire-based outfit have closed the gap on Ferrari and Michael Schumacher, with Jacques Villeneuve just three points behind the German. Villeneuve was runner-up to Schumacher in Belgium last year after taking pole. "It's a demanding track which gives you a buzz," he said. "When you manage to go quick through Eau Rouge you really stop breathing through the corner."
World champion Damon Hill won at Spa in 1993 and 1994 for Williams and will be out to build on his superb second place in Hungary this season for Arrows. Throttle problems saw victory snatched from Hill's grasp on the last lap. But while the Hungaroring suited the Arrows car because it is a relatively slow circuit in Formula One terms, Belgium provides a different challenge. Hill has been linked with Sauber and McLaren for 1998 but has doggedly stuck to his task this year.
Jordan are hoping for an upturn in fortunes after missing out on that elusive first win in Germany and then having a low key time in Hungary. Both Giancarlo Fisichella and Ralf Schumacher have driven on the circuit this year, although not in Formula One. "Spa is possibly the best circuit in the world," said Fischella. "I raced there for Peugeot earlier this year." Schumacher added: "I raced at Spa on July 20 in a GT1 AMG Mercedes with Klaus Ludwig. We came fifth."
The Stewart-Ford team will be making modifications to their V10 engines ahead of Sunday's race. Technical director Alan Jenkins said: "Despite our successful testing at Monza, we will be making further modifications to improve reliability." Rubens Barrichello earned his first pole position back in 1994 at Spa. "And I enjoyed several wins there in my Opel-Lotus days," added the Brazilian. "Now we are hoping for the reliability that will take us to the finish."
Spa is the longest circuit on the calendar at 6.968km and its sweeping curves, fast turns and sharp hairpin make it a favourite with the drivers. Tyrrell drivers Mika Salo and Jos Verstappen think the track is the best of the bunch and the Finn just missed out on the points in Belgium last year. Salo was seventh and his then team-mate Ukyo Katayama eighth. And Vestappen was third for Benetton in Spa in 1994. "I'll be trying 110 per cent to score this time out," revealed Salo.
PREVIOUS WINNERS 1996 M Schumacher Ger Ferrari 1995 M Schumacher Ger Benetton 1994 D Hill GB Williams 1993 D Hill GB Williams 1992 M Schumacher Ger Benetton 1991 A Senna Brz McLaren 1990 A Senna Brz McLaren 1989 A Senna Brz McLaren 1988 A Senna Brz McLaren 1987 A Prost Fr McLaren 1986 N Mansell GB WilliamsTOURING CARS:- Alain Menu has already clinched the drivers' crown but also wants to sew up the manufacturer and team titles for Renault and Williams. Thruxton plays host to rounds 19 and 20 of the BTCC on Monday and Menu said: "I've had my little bit of glory. Now everyone who made it happen should enjoy the rewards." Menu's Renault team-mate Jason Plato is second in the championship after his debut victory at Snetterton, while 1996 champion Frank Biela is third.
F3 (Donington Park):- Jonny Kane wants to extend his lead in the British Formula Three Championship, a proven training ground for future grand prix drivers. The Ulsterman is 23 points clear of Paul Stewart Racing team-mate Peter Dumbreck ahead of Sunday's round 11. "I don't want to think about the championship just yet as there is still a long way to go," said Kane. He hopes to emulate Rubens Barrichello and Jan Magnussen, both F3 champions who now race for Stewart-Ford in F1.
22.08.97F1: THE BELGIAN GP
World champion Damon Hill has revealed he turned down a £13m deal for the next two years from an unnamed team. Swiss-based team Sauber are believed to have made the offer and the news comes after Hill said he had rejected an offer from McLaren. The McLaren deal was thought to be a basic £1.3m for next year, with a £650,000 win bonus. Hill confirmed: "I have turned away deals for the next two years in excess of $20m."
David Coulthard is more than happy to be kept on by McLaren for 1998. He and team-mate Mika Hakkinen have been confirmed as the team's drivers for 1998 after weeks of uncertainty. "I am delighted to extend my contract with West McLaren-Mercedes," said the Scot. "I am looking forward to healthy and productive competition with Mika." And McLaren boss Ron Dennis said: "Both have contributed to the re-shaping of our team and should benefit from the fruits of these efforts next year."
Benetton duo Gerhard Berger and Jean Alesi set the pace in the free practice sessions for Sunday's race. Berger topped the standings, with Alesi just over half-a-second behind. Damon Hill was third fastest in the first run-out but dropped to fourth behind Stewart's Rubens Barrichello in the next rain-hit session. Championship leader Michael Schumacher was fifth fastest but Williams rival Jacques Villeneuve was 17th. David Coulthard was sixth fastest.
Friday's practice times: min secs 1 G Berger Aut Benetton 2:06.802 2 J Alesi Fr Benetton 2:07.371 3 R Barrichello Brz Stewart 2:08.238 4 D Hill GB Arrows 2:08.372 5 M Schumacher Ger Ferrari 2:09.272 6 D Coulthard GB McLaren 2:09.288 7 J Herbert GB Sauber 2:09.772 8 J Trulli It Prost 2:09.772 9 P Diniz Brz Arrows 2:10.153 10 U Katayama Jpn Minardi 2:10.231 11 S Nakano Jpn Prost 2:10.272 12 M Hakkinen Fin McLaren 2:10.413 13 H-H Frentzen Ger Williams 2:10.914 14 E Irvine GB Ferrari 2:10.993 15 F Fisichella It Jordan 2:11.093 16 G Morbidelli It Sauber 2:11.262 17 J Villeneuve Can Williams 2:11.709 18 T Marques Brz Minardi 2:11.778 19 J Magnussen Den Stewart 2:12.545 20 R Schumacher Ger Jordan 2:12.750 21 M Salo Fin Tyrrell 2:13.256 22 J Verstappen Hol Tyrrell 2:14.048TOURING CARS (Thruxton):- Alain Menu smashed the record for the fastest-ever touring car qualifying lap of a British circuit in final testing for Monday's rounds 19 and 20. The 34-year-old clocked one minute, 16.104 seconds in his Renault Laguna, while averaging a speed of 111.44mph. Menu claimed the BTCC championship at Snetterton two weeks ago. And the Swiss driver now wants to win the manufacturers' crown for Renault and the team prize for Williams at the Bank Holiday event.
Friday's testing times: min secs 1 A Menu Swi Renault Lag 1:16.104 2 J Thompson GB Honda Acc 1:16.269 3 F Biela Ger Audi A4 1:16.697 4 R Rydell Swe Volvo S40 1:16.845 5 G Tarquini It Honda Acc 1:16.871 6 A Reid GB Nissan Prim 1:16.949 7 W Hoy GB Ford Mondeo 1:17.300 8 D Leslie GB Nissan Prim 1:17.340 9 J B'cliffe GB Audi A4 1:17.354 10 P Radisich NZ Ford Mondeo 1:17.398 11 J Plato GB Renault Lag 1:17.414 12 K Burt GB Volvo S40 1:17.484F3:- Jonny Kane wants to extend his lead in the British Formula Three Championship - a proven training ground for future grand prix drivers. The Ulsterman is 23 points clear of Paul Stewart Racing team-mate Peter Dumbreck ahead of Sunday's round 11. "I don't want to think about the championship just yet as there is still a long way to go," said Kane. He hopes to emulate Rubens Barrichello and Jan Magnussen, both F3 champions who now race for Stewart-Ford in F1.
23.08.97F1: THE BELGIAN GP
Finland's Mika Hakkinen will start from the back of the grid after his qualifying times were cancelled on because of fuel irregularities. The problem arose when his McLaren car underwent a technical check. The team were also fined after the sample of fuel taken from the car was found not to conform with that lodged at the beginning of the season. Hakkinen used his spare car during Saturday's qualifying when he recorded the fifth fastest time.
Saturday's qualifying times: min secs 1 J Villeneuve Can Williams 1:49.450 2 J Alesi Fr Benetton 1:49.759 3 M Schumacher Ger Ferrari 1:50.293 4 G Fisichella It Jordan 1:50.470 5 M Hakkien Fin McLaren 1:50.503 6 R Schumacher Ger Jordan 1:50.520 7 H-H Frentzen Ger Williams 1:50.656 8 P Diniz Brz Arrows 1:50.853 9 D Hill GB Arrows 1:50.970 10 D Coulthard GB McLaren 1:51.610 11 J Herbert GB Sauber 1:51.725 12 R Barichello Brz Stewart 1:51.916 13 G Morbidelli It Sauber 1:52.094 14 J Trulli It Prost 1:52.274 15 G Berger Aus Benetton 1:52.391 16 S Nakano Jpn Prost 1:52.749 17 E Irvine GB Ferrari 1:52.793 18 J Magnussen Den Stewart 1:52.886 19 M Salo Fin Tyrrell 1:52.897 20 U Katayama Jpn Minardi 1:53.544 21 J Verstappen Hol Tyrrell 1:53.725 22 T Marques Brz Minardi 1:54.505Hakkinen due to start from back of grid due to fuel irregularities, but allowed to start under appeal.
TOURING CARS (Thruxton):- Round 19 Saturday's qualifying times: min secs 1 R Rydell Swe Volvo S40 1:16.341 2 J Thompson GB Honda Acc 1:16.762 3 J B'cliffe GB Audi A4 1:16.811 4 A Menu Swi Renault Lag 1:16.859 5 F Biela Ger Audi A4 1:16.944 6 G Tarquini It Honda Acc 1:16.962 7 A Reid GB Nissan Prim 1:17.219 8 D Leslie GB Volvo S40 1:17.487 9 D Warwick GB Vauxhall Vec 1:17.583 10 P Radisich NZ Ford Mondeo 1:17.611 11 J Cleland GB Vauxhall Vec 1:17.677 12 W Hoy GB Ford Mondeo 1:17.765 Round 20 Saturday's qualifying times: min secs 1 J Thompson GB Honda Acc 1:16.392 2 F Biela Ger Audi A4 1:16.413 3 A Menu Swi Renault Lag 1:16.452 4 R Rydell Swe Volvo S40 1:16.526 5 G Tarquini It Honda Acc 1:16.700 6 A Reid GB Nissan Prim 1:17.023 7 J B'cliffe GB Audi A4 1:17.266 8 J Plato GB Renault Lag 1:17.394 9 D Leslie GB Volvo S40 1:17.580 10 P Radisich NZ Ford Mondeo 1:17.601F.FORD:- Jacky Van Der Ende qualified on pole for round 12 of the Formula Ford Championship at Thruxton with a time of one minute, 18.958 seconds. He only needs to win two more rounds to win the title.
RENAULT SPIDER CUP:- Bryce Wilson took the Renault Sport Spider Cup title with his eighth win in round 12 at Thruxton. Gareth Downing, the current Ford Fiesta champion, set the fastest time in qualifying for round 12, clocking one minute, 37.873 seconds.
24.08.97 F1: THE BELGIAN GP Result after 44 laps: 1 M Schumacher Ger Ferrari 1:33:46.7 2 G Fisichella It Jordan @ 26.7 3 M Hakkinen Fin McLaren 30.8 4 HH Frentzen Ger Williams 32.1 5 J Herbert GB Sauber 39.0 6 J Villeneuve Can Williams 42.1 7 G Berger Aut Benetton 1:03.7 8 P Diniz Brz Arrows 1:25.9 9 J Alesi Fr Benetton 1:42.0 10 G Morbidelli It Sauber 1:42.5 11 E Irvine GB Ferrari 1 lap 12 M Salo Fin Tyrrell 1 lap 13 J Magnussen Den Stewart 1 lap 14 D Hill GB Arrows 2 laps 15 U Katayama Jpn Minardi 2 laps 16 J Trulli It Prost 2 laps DRIVERS' STANDINGS 1 M Schumacher Ger Ferrari 66 pts 2 J Villeneuve Can Williams 54 3 J Alesi Fr Benetton 22 4 HH Frentzen Ger Williams 22 5 G Berger Aut Benetton 20 6 E Irvine GB Ferrari 18 7 M Hakkinen Fin McLaren 18 8 O Panis Fr Prost 15 = D Coulthard GB McLaren 14 10 G Fisichella It Jordan 14 = J Herbert GB Sauber 13 12 R Schumacher Ger Jordan 11 13 D Hill GB Arrows 7 CONSTRUCTORS' STANDINGS 1 Ferrari 84 points 2 Williams-Renault 76 3 Benetton-Renault 46 4 McLaren-Mercedes 32 5 Jordan-Peugeot 25 6 Prost-Mugen-Honda 20 7 Sauber-Petronas 14 8 Arrows-Yamaha 7 9 Stewart-Ford 6 10 Tyrrell-Ford 2Rainmaster Michael Schumacher produced a consummate performance as he extended his Championship lead with a dominant drive at rain-lashed Spa. The German star made light of the typically unpredictable conditions to simply storm away leaving his Ferrari crew to twiddle their thumbs. One of them looked to be nodding off as Schumacher opened a 60-second lead. Jacques Villeneuve battled back from 14th to sixth while Damon Hill never challenged and retired on the last lap.
Michael Schumacher took a giant step towards the world crown but was characteristically nonchalant after a brilliant display in Belgium. He cruised to his third Belgian GP win in a row after a breathtaking early move which saw him charge past both Jean Alesi and Jacques Villeneuve. He said: "It was fairly straightforward and I managed to pull out a gap. I think we took the right decision on set-up and tyres and when the circuit gets difficult it suits me."
Damon Hill's taste of glory in Hungary proved to a be a brief one as he suffered another frustrating race in the Arrows at Spa. Hill, second last time out, appeared to make a mistake on tyre choice and one stop too many saw him slip back before he limped out on the final lap. Johnny Herbert produced a brave drive to hold for fifth place in the Sauber. David Coulthard spun off on lap 21 while Eddie Irvine failed to finish after a last-lap shunt with Pedro Diniz.
Disappointed Damon Hill had to admit he blundered after losing his way on a rainy afternoon at Spa. Hill, experiencing the highs and lows of Formula One after being so close to victory two weeks ago, finished 14th. He said: "It was a bad one for me. I called for intermediates. It was my choice because I could see some rain. As it turned out I called the wrong shot. I've only got myself to blame. It's a shame. I had to come in at the end because there was a loose wheel."
The notoriously fickle weather in the Ardennes forest created pre-race panic at the Belgian Grand Prix. The drivers had just begun lining up on the grid for the start when the circuit was hit by a sudden heavy downpour. Mechanics had already begun taking the wet-weather tyres back to the pits when they were forced to ferry them back. Organisers had no option but to start the race with the safety car before drivers were finally let loose after three laps.
F3 (Donington):- 11th ROUND RESULT mins secs 1 N Minassian Dallara-Renault 24:47.01 2 J Kane Dallara-Mugen-H 24:47.53 3 M O'Connell Dallara-Toyota 24:47.61 4 M Webber Dallara-Mugen-H 24:48.79 5 P Dumbreck Dallara-Mugen-H 25:07.12 6 G Smith Dallara-Opel 25:11.64 7 B Smith Dallara-Mitsub' 25:17.59 8 E Bernoldi Dallara-Renault 25:19.16 9 W Hughes Dallara-Mitsub' 25:25.20 10 H Stanton Dallara-Mugen-H 25:25.32 STANDINGS: 1 Kane 149 2 Dumbreck 121 3 Minassian 104 4 Webber 99 5 Haberfeld 72 6 B Smith 67GTs:- Britain's Steve Soper and Finland's JJ Lehto retained their lead in the FIA Grand Touring Championship despite coming fourth in the Suzuka 1,000km endurance race in Japan. The McLaren duo have won three rounds so far this season, but they finished around three minutes behind Mercedes trio Alessandro Nannini, Marcel Tiemann and Bernd Schneider.
MEWLA RALLY:- John Price has won the Marketing Mewla National Rally and secured the National Rally series for a record seventh time in 1h:44m.09 secs driving a Metro 6R4.
25.08.97F1:- Damon Hill could be driving for Jordan next year if the Silverstone-based team lose Giancarlo Fisichella. The Italian was recently named as a Benetton driver for 1998 by their team chief but Eddie Jordan is battling to keep him for at least another season. If Jordan is successful then there would be no chance of signing Hill as Ralf Schumacher is staying. Sauber are still willing to discuss terms with Hill while Prost and his current Arrows team are other options.
TOURING CARS (Thruxton):- Williams-Renault clinched the teams and manufacturers' titles in the Auto Trader RAC Touring Car Championship even though Audi won both rounds. Alain Menu finished runner-up behind the man he succeeded as drivers' champion, Frank Biela, in the second race to give Renault both titles. Menu challenged for the lead throughout the contest but the German passed the flag with two seconds to spare. Biela's teammate John Bintcliffe won the opening race the 19th round.
Round 19 result after 20 laps:mins secs 1 J Bintcliffe GB Audi A4 26:30.915 2 F Biela Ger Audi A4 @ 0.358 3 J Thompson GB Honda Acc @ 1.772 4 G Tarquini It Honda Acc @ 1.968 5 W Hoy GB Ford Mond @ 15.445 6 T Harvey GB Peugeot @ 25.907 7 J Plato GB Renault @ 26.307 8 D Leslie GB Nissan @ 32.959 9 D Warwick GB Vauxhall @ 42.133 10 L Brookes GB Peugeot @ 43.233 Round 20 result after 20 laps:mins secs 1 F Biela Ger Audi A4 26:25.410 2 A Menu Swi Renault @ 2.394 3 J Thompson GB Honda Acc @ 11.673 4 G Tarquini It Honda Acc @ 14.237 5 J Bintcliffe GB Audi A4 @ 19.836 6 J Plato GB Renault @ 23.805 7 R Rydell Swe Volvo @ 23.845 8 D Warwick GB Vauxhall @ 25.247 9 W Hoy GB Ford Mond @ 29.813 10 D Leslie GB Nissan @ 30.089 DRIVER STANDINGS Pts 1 A Menu Swi Renault Laguna 251 2 F Biela Ger Audi A4 146 3 J Plato GB Renault Laguna 132 4 J Thompson GB Honda Accord 120 5 R Rydell Swe Volvo S40 118 6 J B'cliffe GB Audi A4 111 CONSTRUCTOR STANDINGS 1 Renault 260 pts 2 Honda 196 3 Audi 192 4 Volvo 171 5 Nissan 121 26.08.97 - F1Eddie Jordan has ruled out any chance of Damon Hill joining his team for next year's Formula One championship. The Jordan boss said he will be keeping the same line-up of Italian Giancarlo Fisichella and German Ralf Schumacher. Hill had been linked to the Jordan team after his rejection of a £13m two-year deal with Sauber and an offer of £1.3m, with win bonuses, with McLaren. But Jordan said: "Youth has been a key to our success and it would be foolish to overturn that decision."
27.08.97F1:- Alain Prost is hoping to sign Damon Hill if the two can agree on money, according to French press reports. Prost is quoted in L'Equipe as saying: "I want the best driver possible on condition that he is not too expensive. I have my budget." Both Hill and Prost are believed to be holding talks this week to see if an agreement can be reached. Peugeot are keen to have a high profile name alongside Olivier Panis who signed a new two year contract last week.
WORLD DRIVER RANKINGS August 27 standings: Points 1 M Schumacher Formula 1 819 2 A Zanardi CART 760 3 J Gordon NASCAR 658 4 J Villeneuve Formula 1 621 5 G de Ferran CART 598 6 A Menu Brit Tour Cars 577 7 P Tracy CART 553 8 H C'sro Neves Indy Lights 551 9 D Jarrett NASCAR 534 10 M Martin NASCAR 529 11 T Kendall Trans-am 525 12 T Kanaan Indy Lights 524 13 G Moore CART 523 14 G Seton Aus Touring Cars 518 28.08.97 - RALLY FINLANDTommi Makinen is targeting his fourth consecutive win when the 10th round kicks off on his home turf on Friday. The world champion leads the series by six points from Carlos Sainz. "It's nice to drive at home and I like the Finnish stages so much," he said. Britain's Colin McRae, in a Subaru, is likely to be Makinen's biggest threat. He has set the pace for much of the season and added: "It's not so much the individual result as what is happening overall from now on."
29.08.97RALLY FINLAND:- Finland's Marcus Gronholm delighted the home fans as he drove Toyota's new Corolla into the lead in the first leg. The 29-year-old heads Juha Kankkunen and reigning champion Tommi Makinen. But it seemed obvious Kankkunen and Carlos Sainz avoided high finishes as the first driver out on Saturday will face loose gravel and slippery roads. Kankkunen slowed down on the fourth stage, a sprint special, and Sainz accepted a 10-second penalty for being late to a service point.
Leaderboard at end of first leg:mins sec 1 Gronholm/R'tanen Fin Toyota 36.00 2 Kytolehto/K'pnen Fin Ford 36.04 3 Kankkunen/Repo Fin Ford 36.06 4 Makinen/Harjanne Fin Mits'bhi 36.08 5 McRae/Grist GB Subaru 36.09 6 Sainz/Moya Sp Ford 36.11 7 Eriksson/P'mnder Swe Subaru 36.15 8 Auriol/Giraudet Fr Toyota 36.24 9 Lindholm/H'tunen Fin Ford 36.35 10 Jansson/Svensson Swe Toyota 36.45 10-second penalty imposed on Sainz for checking in one minute lateMINTEX RALLY SERIES:- Silverstone plays host to its first ever rally sprint on Saturday, with top drivers from the Mintex National Rally Series taking part. Over 40 drivers will contest the stage, which has been designed for use in November's Network Q RAC Rally.
30.08.97F1:- German car firm BMW are reportedly looking to make a Formula One comeback and are tipped to link up with the Williams team. A German publication has said BMW would almost certainly opt to supply engines to Williams and that the partnership would start in 1999 at the latest. BMW currently have an engine deal with McLaren in the World GT Championship.
Heinz-Harald Frentzen is set to see out his Williams contract after being backed by Frank Williams in an interview with a German publication. Frentzen has failed to shine since replacing Damon Hill this season. However, Williams revealed: "I am very happy with him and he has a two-year contract with us. "He's a fantastic driver, he's got plenty of talent but he still needs time to learn how to use the Williams' potential to the full."
INDYCAR (Vancouver):- Alex Zanardi made a good start in his bid to seal the title this weekend by leading the way in Friday's practice. The Italian was over 1mph faster than second-placed Scott Pruett as he took provisional pole. "I'm very determined to get this championship because I know you don't get this chance every year," he said. England's Mark Blundell was 12th fastest after hitting the tyre barrier at one point while Dario Franchitti of Scotland was 14th.
Friday's practice times: mins secs 1 A Zanardi It Reynard 0:54.184 2 S Pruett US Reynard 0:54.750 3 M Andretti US Swift 0:54.810 4 J Vasser US Reynard 0:54.888 5 G de Ferran Brz Reynard 0:55.088 6 G Moore US Reynard 0:55.141 7 A Ribeiro Brz Lola 0:55.146 8 B Herta US Reynard 0:55.186 9 M Gugelmin Brz Reynard 0:55.260 10 C Fittipaldi Brz Swift 0:55.334 12 M Blundell Eng Reynard 0:55.622 14 D Franchitti Sco Reynard 0:55.677RALLY FINLAND:- Colin McRae's hopes of a crucial win in Finland ended when he had to retire with engine failure after stage five. McRae had finished joint eighth on the stage, the first of the second day, putting him in seventh place overall but he could not continue the race. "As we crossed the finish the engine just died and there was nothing we could do to get it re-started," he said. "The engineers will look at it." Current champion Tommi Makinen heads the field at the end of the second day.
Leaderboard at the end of second day: hr min sec 1 Makinen/H'nne Fin Mits'bhi 2.11.58 2 Sainz/Moya Sp Ford 2.12.00 3 Kankkunen/Repo Fin Ford 2.12.02 4 Gronholm/R'nen Fin Toyota 2.12.35 5 Kytolehto/K'n Fin Ford 2.13.07 6 Lindholm/H'nen Fin Ford 2.13.45 7 Jansson/S'sson Swe Toyota 2.15.31 8 Hagstrom/G'str Fin Toyota 2.16.12 9 Nittel/Thorner Ger Mits'bhi 2:17.37 10 Puhakka/Eerola Fin Mits'bhi 2.19.42 31.08.97INDYCAR:- Alex Zanardi took another step toward the CART Indy-car season title by claiming pole position and a championship point with it. Zanardi turned a lap of 54.025 seconds on the 2.704km temporary street circuit He now holds a 39-point lead over Gil de Ferran and can wrap up the title if he adds five points to that margin in Sunday's 100-lap event. "I'll try to win the race but if Bobby Rahal gets in front, I won't try to pass him. Second place would be good."
Saturday's top ten qualifiers:mins secs 1 A Zanardi It Reynard 0:54.025 2 B Rahal US Reynard 0:54.351 3 J Vasser US Reynard 0:54.386 4 M Andretti US Swift 0:54.419 5 M Gugelmin Brz Reynard 0:54.505 6 B Herta US Reynard 0:54.542 7 G de Ferran Brz Reynard 0:54.553 8 M Blundell GB Reynard 0:54.600 9 G Moore Can Reynard 0:54.614 10 D Franchitti GB Reynard 0:54.655Mark Blundell, the leading British driver in the Indy Car series, has signed a two-year extension to his contract with the PacWest Racing Group.
RALLY FINLAND:- Reigning world champion Tommi Makinen sealed an unpredecented fourth straight victory in his home country's championship event. Only Shekhar Mehta of Kenya has won four championship rally events in a row - the Safari rally in Kenya 1979-82. Makinen edge closer to a second world drivers' title in succession for as his closest contenders went pointless. Carlos Sainz of Spain, second in the standings behind Makinen, had to retire on Sunday with gear box trouble.
Result after 22 stages: hr min sec 1 Makinen/H'nne Fin Mits'bhi 3.16.18 2 Kankkunen/Repo Fin Ford 3.16.25 3 Kytolehto/K'n Fin Ford 3.18.18 4 Lindholm/H'nen Fin Ford 3.18.53 5 Jansson/S'sson Swe Toyota 3.21.12 6 Hagstrom/G'str Fin Toyota 3.22.48 7 Nittel/Thorner Ger Mits'bhi 3:25.15 8 Auriol/G'det Fr Toyota 3.26.57 9 Puhakka/Eerola Fin Mits'bhi 3.27.59 10 Rovanpera/S'dr Fin Seat 3.28.21 DRIVERS STANDINGS 1 T Makinen Fin Mitsubishi 52 pts 2 C Sainz Sp Ford 34 3 C McRae GB Subaru 32 4 K Eriksson Swe Subaru 24 5 P Liatti It Subaru 18 6 J Kankkunen Fin Ford 16 7 R Burns GB Mitsubishi 12 8 A Schwarz Ger Ford 11 MANUFACTURERS' STANDINGS 1 Subaru 74 pts 2 Mitsubishi 66 3 Ford 61