October 1997




02.10.97
F1:- Frank Williams, Patrick Head and Adrian Newey are set to appear at the trial investigating the death of Ayrton Senna on Friday. The trio face manslaughter charges after the Williams driver's fatal crash at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix. State prosecutor Maurizio Passarini alleges the Brazilian's modified steering column failed as he reached Tamburello, sending him into the wall. Williams contend the column broke on impact when the car hit the wall.



FITTIPALDI:- Emerson Fittipaldi has decided to quit motor racing as a participant but will carry on working in the sport. The ex-Formula One champion and two- time Indy 500 winner broke his neck in an IndyCar race last year and injured his spine in a plane crash last month. "I have to stop extreme sports. It is over," he said. "Physically I could do it but mentally I would not be ready." He may move into team ownership.



TOURING CARS:- Esso Ultron Team Peugeot notched the second fastest time on the first day of qualifying for Sunday's Bathurst 1000 in Australia. Tim Harvey and Paul Radisich made adjustments to the car after an earlier run-out. "I feel there's more to come. The car felt really good," said Harvey.

Vectra drivers Derek Warwick and John Cleland will take part in the Bathhurst 1,000km race in Australia on Sunday. The pair will take on the world's greatest touring car drivers in the annual six-hour event. Warwick will share driving duties with Peter Brock, a multiple winner of the race. Cleland will team up with fellow Briton James Kaye.






03.10.97
F1:- The trial over the death of Ayrton Senna was adjourned after three of the accused failed to appear in court. Frank Williams, Patrick Head and Adrian Newey were unable to find accommodation in the Imola region because hotels are fully booked because of a trade fair. The trial will resume on October 28 with the testimony of former Williams driver David Coulthard. Williams, Newey and Head will appear the following day. Williams, Newey, Head and three race officials, face manslaughter charges.



TOURING CARS - BATHURST 1000:- In-form Alain Menu just missed out on provisional pole in the first qualifying session for Sunday's race. The Swiss ace won 14 of the 24 races in this year's British Touring Car Championship to claim the crown for the first time. He set a time of two minutes, 17.462 seconds in his Renault but was beaten by Geoff Brabham, eldest son of three- times Formula One champion Sir Jack. Brabham clocked 2:17.427. He is racing with younger brother David.

Friday's qualifying times:        mins secs
 1 G & D Brabham   Aus     BMW 320I 2:17.42
 2 Menu/Plato      Swi/GB  Renault  2:17.46
 3 Harvey/Radisch  GB/NZ   Peugeot  2:17.54
 4 Watts/Crompton  GB/Aus  Peugeot  2:17.55
 5 Morris/Baird    Aus/NZ  BMW 320I 2:17.58
 6 Cleland/Kaye    GB      Vauxhall 2:17.92
 7 A Jones/Moore   Aus     Renault  2:18.14
 8 B Jones/Biela   Aus/Ger Audi     2:18.19
 9 Warwick/Brock   GB/Aus  Vauxhall 2:18.33
10 Richards/Neal   Aus/GB  Nissan   2:18.84
 
F3:- Jonny Kane could claim the British Formula Three Championship in the penultimate round, which takes place at Silverstone this weekend. The Paul Stewart Racing driver has not won since May and Nicolas Minassian has closed the gap to 34 points. Forty-two points are available in the last two races, meaning Minassian must finish eight points clear of Kane at Silverstone to keep in contention.



BRITISH GTs:- Silverstone plays host to the final round of the Privilege Insurance GT Championship at the weekend. Former Pink Floyd manager Steve O'Rourke and Tim Sugden head the title race in their Porsche 911 GT2. Sugden admitted: "We have got to finish in the top three class to win so won't be taking any stupid risks."



CAMBRIAN RALLY:- Ffestiniog driver John Roberts is aiming for his fourth win in five years in Saturday's Conwy Honda Cambrian Rally, which is based in Llandudno.







04.10.97
TOURING CARS - BATHURST 1000:- Touring car champion Alain Menu was denied pole by just 0.02 secs. Menu, making his debut in the famous event, was edged out of the top spot in his Renault by 29-year-old Australian Paul Morris in a BMW. British duo Tim Harvey (Peugeot) and John Cleland (Vauxhall) qualified third and ninth respectively while Frank Biela is eighth. Derek Warwick (Vauxhall), David Brabham (BMW) and Julian Bailey (Honda) are also among the 30 competitors.

Final qualifying times (Sat):       mins secs
1 Morris/Baird     Aus/NZ  BMW 320I  2:16.59
2 Menu/Plato       Swi/GB  Renault   2:16.61
3 Harvey/Radisch   GB/NZ   Peugeot   2:17.15
4 Warwick/Brock    GB/Aus  Vauxhall  2:17.27
5 Watts/Crompton   GB/Aus  Peugeot   2:17.56
6 Brabham/Brabham  Aus     BMW 320I  2:17.58


F3:- Nicolas Minassian on a Renault, took pole position for Sunday's Autumn Gold Cup race with a qualifying time of 1 minute 15.682 at Silverstone. Brazilians Enrique Bernoldi and Mario Haberfeld were second and third.



BRITISH GTs:- Ian Flux and Jake Ulrich grabbed pole position for the Privilege Insurance GT Championship at Silverstone. Flux's time of 1 minute 19.145 in the first of the two sessions was just under two tenths of a second faster than John Greasley and John Morrison.



EUROCARS:- Mallory Park plays host to the final rounds of the V6 and V8 Eurocars Championships on Sunday. Legendary motorcycle racer Phil Read will drive a Legend car around the famous Mallory Mile oval.



F.PALMER AUDI:- Jonathan Palmer, the ex-grand prix driver, has created Formula Palmer Audi, a new category to appeal to those looking for a route into Formula One. The championship will start next April and be run by the BARC over 16 races at all major UK circuits.






05.10.97
TOURING CARS - BATHURST 1000:- Geoff and David Brabham eventually gave BMW the edge over Audi after an extended duel on and off the track. But it took until five hours after the race, originally 'won' by Australia's Paul Morris and Craig Baird (NZ). The pair were disqualified and fined $20,000 after a stewards' inquiry and the Brabham's were awarded the race. Last year's British touring car champion Frank Biela was awarded second and team-mate Jean-Francois Hemroulle took third spot.

Sunday's result:                       hrs ms sc
1 Brabham/Brabham        Aus     BMW    6:41.25
2 Jones/Biela            Aus/Ger Audi   6:41.37
3 McConville/Hemroulle   Aus/Bel Audi   6:42.36
4 Richards/Rydell        Aus/Swe Volvo  2 laps behind
5 Nilsson/McLean         Swe/Aus Volvo  at 3 laps


CAMBRIAN RALLY
After eight stages:          mins secs
 1 Roberts/Lewis   Sierra      45:33
 2 Gough/Beddoes   Mitsubishi  45:53
 3 Phil'rk/Evans   Metro       45:53
 4 Mills/Sankey    Sierra      45:55
 5 Bengry/Perrott  Mitsibushi  46:52
 6 Jones/Lewis     Mitsubishi  47:04
 7 Roberts/Tomley  Escort      47:36
 8 Joel/Wood       Escort      47:42
 9 Thomas/Harrison Sierra      47:42
10 Winter/Simmons  Metro       47:44


F3:- Nicolas Minassian won the Autumn Gold Cup race at Silverstone from teammate Enrique Bernoldi. Minassian closed the gap on British F3 leader Jonny Kane to 21 points.



BRITISH GTs:- Pink Floyd manager Steve O'Rourke has won the 1997 Privilege Insurance GT Championship crown at Silverstone. O'Rourke, sharing his Porsche with Tim Sugden, finished third to guarantee the overall title ahead of race winners John Greasley and John Morrison.






06.10.97

CHAMPION WORLD DRIVER RANKINGS
October 6 standings:            Points
 1 M Schumacher  Formula 1        899
 2 A Zanardi     CART             887
 3 J Villeneuve  Formula 1        884
 4 J Gordon      NASCAR           873
 5 G de Ferran   CART             751
 = P de la Rosa  Formula Nippon   751
 7 D Jarrett     NASCAR           715
 8 T Kanaan      Indy Lights      694
 9 A Menu        Brit Tour Cars   690
10 H C'sro Neves Indy Lights      655

RALLYING:- Tommi Makinen has pledged his future to Mitsubishi Ralliart for next season. The 1996 World Rally Champion and current championship leader, who also holds an option for the 1999 season, said: "I'm delighted to continue."








07.10.97 - F1
Tyrrell have signed Tora Takagi as one of their drivers for next season. The Japanese star has been their official test driver, covering over 1,200 miles this year, and will pilot the Tyrrell Ford 026 next season. He looks likely to link up with Jos Verstappen in 1998 with Finn Mika Salo making the move to Arrows. Spokesman Bob Tyrrell said: "Tora is already a star in his own country and we believe he has the potential to become Japan's best-ever F1 driver."

The International Automoblie Federation will consider bringing back the Friday qualifying sessions next season at their meeting in Paris on Wednesday. The sessions were dropped from Grand Prix races in 1997 with only Saturday times used to decide the starting grid.






08.10.97
F1: The International Automobile Federation have announced the French Grand Prix has been dropped for the 1998 season. President of the French Automobile Federation Jacques Regis confirmed the FIA had decided not to include France after a dispute over TV rights. Private channel TF1 have paid FIA for the rights but are the subject of court action by state channel FR3.


1998 PROVISIONAL PROGRAMME

March 8  Australia GP, Albert Park
March 29 Brazilian GP, Interlagos
April 12 Argentine GP, Buenos Aires
April 26 San Marino GP, Imola
May 10   Spanish GP, Barcelona
May 24   Monaco GP, Monte Carlo
June 7   Canadian GP, Montreal
July 12  British GP, Silverstone
July 26  Austrian GP, Spielberg (A1 Ring)
August 2 German GP, Hockenheim
Aug 16   Hungarian GP, Budapest
Aug 30   Belgian GP, Spa-Francorchamps
Sept 13  Italian GP, Monza
Sept 27  Luxembourg GP, Nurburgring
Oct 11   Portuguese GP, Estoril
Nov 1    Japanese GP, Suzuka
The International Automobile Federation have decided not to bring back the Friday qualifying sessions for Formula One races next season. At their annual meeting, the FIA decided against the move. The Friday qualifying sessions were dropped this season and only times in the Saturday session were used to determine grid placings. There had been speculation that the two-day sessions were to make a return for the 1998 campaign.

Formula One veteran Ken Tyrrell thinks even if Michael Schumacher does not win the 1997 title he is still number one. Tyrrell, who led Jackie Stewart to his three world crowns, said: "He stands a little taller than the next man. If you put Schumacher and Jacques Villeneuve in the same type of car then Michael would win all the races. Jacques is very good but I rank him with the likes of Mika Hakkinen, Damon Hill and Giancarlo Fisichella, equal at the head of the second group."



THE JAPANESE GP
The first Japanese Grand Prix was staged at Fuji in 1976. Suzuka held its first race 11 years later in 1987, Gerhard Berger crossing the line first for Ferrari. The circuit has often been the final or penultimate round of the season and, therefore, the title has often been decided in Japan. Last season Damon Hill became world champion at the 3.64-mile track, which is unique because it features a figure of eight configuration.

For the second year in a row, Jacques Villeneuve visits Japan with a chance to win the drivers' title. In 1996, Damon Hill's superb display in the final race at Suzuka gave him the championship, while his then Williams team-mate Villeneuve failed to finish. This year Villeneuve only needs to finish ahead of Michael Schumacher in a points-scoring spot to take the crown. If the duo finish level on points at the end of the season, Villeneuve would triumph because he has won more races.

Jacques Villeneuve and Williams have turned round a campaign that had threatened to end on a low. Villeneuve was expected to easily sew up the title after going so close in 1996 but car problems and, at times, erratic driving hindered him early on. However, he can win the championship on Sunday and Williams need six points to claim the constructors' crown. The Canadian loves Suzuka and said: "It should be one of our best tracks. I have great memories from Formula 3."

Even if Ferrari and Michael Schumacher fail to win any titles this season their performances were beyond any pre-season expectations. The Italian team had stated 1998 was the year they felt they would be able to challenge for the championship. However, Schumacher won in Monaco, Canada, France and Belgium as Williams floundered with technical problems. The German has continually played down his chances this season but the title race could still go down to the wire.

The 1996 Suzuka winner Damon Hill knows what a difference a year makes. Last year, he left Japan a world champion but returns almost a year to the day having had a below-par season, by his standards, with Arrows-Yamaha. He also triumphed here in 1994 but has yet to win since leaving Williams - but he was cruelly denied in Hungary. Michael Schumacher denied him a point in Austria and a pitstop stall ended his hopes in Luxembourg, so he will be out to build on his total in Japan.

Giancarlo Fisichella wants to end his penultimate race with Jordan on a high. He has been reclaimed by Benetton for 1998 but Fisichella still has a chance to give Jordan their first victory. "The circuit is fantastic, probably my favourite, along with Spa," he said. Team-mate Ralf Schumacher raced in the Nippon F3000 Championship and said: "My time in Japan was important to me. I learnt more there than I would have done in F3000 in Europe."

Tyrrell driver Mika Salo knows Suzuka well after spending 1991-94 racing on the Japanese Formula 3000 circuit. "I raced at Suzuka three times a year," he confirmed. "We also did a lot of testing there. It's difficult to learn so may give me an advantage over some. Salo's team-mate at the Woking-based team, Jos Verstappen, has just become a father for the first time after the arrival of Max-Emilian. "It will be very difficult to leave the family behind," he said.

Nigel Mansell holds the lap record at Suzuka of one minute, 40.646 seconds. He set it with Williams in 1992. Suzuka is situated between Nagoya and Osaka and is tough, technical and a medium downforce circuit. Jacques Villeneuve failed to finish his maiden Japanese Grand Prix last year when he lost a wheel on lap 36. However, the Canadian has had plenty of racing experience at Suzuka and in Japan. He competed in the Japanese Formula Three Championship in 1992.

Heinz-Harald Frentzen raced in Japan before taking up Formula One. The German competed in the 1993 Japanese Formula 3000 Championship. Williams need just six points on Sunday to claim a record-breaking ninth Constructors' Championship. They currently jointly hold the record of eight triumphs with rivals Ferrari. Suzuka, like Spa, is popular with the drivers and has its version of Eau Rouge. The fastest corner is the 130R, which is taken in sixth gear at 250kmh.


Previous winners (at Suzuka):
1996 D Hill       GB  Williams
1995 M Schumacher Ger Benetton
1994 D Hill       GB  Williams
1993 A Senna      Brz McLaren
1992 R Patrese    It  Williams
1991 G Berger     Aut McLaren
1990 N Piquet     Brz Benetton
1989 A Nannini    It  Benetton
1988 A Senna      Brz McLaren
1987 G Berger     Aut Ferrari

Previous winners (at Fuji):
1977 J Hunt       GB  McLaren
1976 M Andretti   US  Lotus





09.10.97 - F1
Damon Hill has urged Jacques Villeneuve to claim the title in Japan or risk regretting a missed opportunity. The Canadian needs to finish one point ahead of rival Michael Schumacher to be only the fourth man in history to win the Formula One and IndyCar crowns. Hill admitted: "Jacques will want to polish it off here because when you have to go into the last race the tension is unbearable. He is pretty well on course. I cannot see him being uncompetitive here."

Rubens Barrichello and Jan Magnussen will again form the Stewart team's driver line-up for next season. Jackie Stewart kept faith with the pair for his Ford-powered cars and said: "I'm very proud to be able to continue with both of them. In this early year of the team's growth it is essential to maintain a level of stability so can evolve naturally from the platform we've made. We will work hard to move this year's promise into more Championship points." Minardi will use Ford V10 engines in 1998. The Italian team have yet to win a point this season.






10.10.97
F1: THE JAPANESE GP
Eddie Irvine delivered teammate Michael Schumacher a huge psychological boost in Friday's free practice session. The under-fire Ulsterman answered his critics as he blasted his Ferrari to the top of the standings. Irvine celebrated a rare foray to the head of the pack just one race after saying the car was as "slow as a brick" He eventually finished just 0.008 secs ahead of Ralf Schumacher - with brother Michael back in 10th and Jacques Villeneuve 11th quickest.

Eddie Irvine shrugged off speculation about his future at Ferrari after leading the way in Friday's practice session in Japan. He said: "I was not worried about my place in the team. It's just the Italian press. One day they are replacing me with Jarno Trulli, then it's Ralf Schumacher, then back to Trulli.

Japanese driver Ukyo Katayama will retire from Formula One at the end of this season after six years. The 34-year-old Minardi driver made his debut in the 1992 South African GP and his best result was fifth. He said: "I have always been happy with my results, but the time has come to make room for younger drivers." Briton Max Mosley has been unanimously re-elected for a second four-year term as President of the International Automobile Federation (FIA).

Tyrrell have announced a partnership with fastening product company YKK. The branding will appear on the cars and overalls next season. FIA president Max Mosley has said he expects the Formula One circuit to return to the USA within five years. "We would like to see it in the States and there are constant negotiations to get a grand prix there," he said.

Friday's leading practice times:mins secs
 1 E Irvine       GB  Ferrari   1:38.903
 2 R Schumacher   Ger Jordan    1:38.911
 3 O Panis        Fr  Prost     1:38.941
 4 H-H Frentzen   Ger Williams  1:39.398
 5 J Alesi        Fr  Benetton  1:39.454
 6 J Herbert      GB  Sauber    1:39.840
 7 D Hill         GB  Arrows    1:39.898
 8 D Coulthard    GB  McLaren   1:39.945
 9 G Berger       Aut Benetton  1:40.422
10 M Schumacher   Ger Ferrari   1:40.460
11 J Villeneuve   Can Williams  1:40.616
12 S Nakano       Jpn Prost     1:40.653
13 G Fisichella   It  Jordan    1:40.720
14 M Hakkinen     Fin McLaren   1:40.724
15 R Barrichello  Brz Stewart   1:40.937
16 U Katayama     Jpn Minardi   1:41.158
17 J Magnussen    Den Stewart   1:42.000
18 J Verstappen   Hol Tyrrell   1:42.290
19 M Salo         Fin Tyrrell   1:42.587
20 P Diniz        Brz Arrows    1:42.893
21 G Morbidelli   It  Sauber    1:44.736
22 T Marques      Brz Minardi   1:46.282

F3:- Jonny Kane needs just one more point to clinch the British Formula Three crown in the 16th and final round. His sole rival Nicolas Minassian can only triumph if he wins the race, collects the extra point for fastest lap and Kane is out of the top 10. There are 21 points left and if the scores are level Minassian would win - he has six wins to Kane's three. Paul Stewart Racing driver Kane said: "I have been thinking more about the championship than winning every race."



HILL RALLYING:- Tim Marsh, twice a winner of the Safety devices Hillrally in Wales, saw his hopes ended by overnight rain on the second stage. His TMC Special became stuck in a muddy hole and the transmission failed as he and co-driver Chris Cooke attempted to drive out. Russell Ridley and Tony Foster lead the event after four stages.



MALLORY PARK:- Sean Adams from Burbage heads the Craig Mason Memorial Trophy 400cc race entries for the New Era Club's meeting at Mallory Park on Sunday. The final of the Clubman of Mallory Championship will also take place.






11.10.97
F1: THE JAPANESE GP
Jacques Villeneuve has been reinstated in Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix and will race under appeal from pole. The sport's governing body, the FIA, are likely to listen to the appeal at their Paris headquarters next week. If the hearing goes against the Williams team, Villeneuve will lose any points he wins in Suzuka. He was disqualified for ignoring a yellow flag during qualifying as Jos Verstappen's Tyrrell was being moved from the track.

Jacques Villeneuve's initial ban in Japan comes after he was given a one- race ban, suspended for nine races, at last month's Italian Grand Prix. Five other drivers, including the Canadian's title rival Michael Schumacher, were also punished for ignoring the same yellow flag in Japan. However, Schumacher's one-race ban is suspended for two races. Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Johnny Herbert, Ukyo Katayama and Rubens Barrichello were given the same punishment.

The disqualification and subsequent reinstatement, under appeal, of Jacques Villeneuve means the title race is set to go down to the last race in Jerez. The Canadian admitted: "I find it very difficult to accept, definitely. It is a heavy blow now that we are fighting for the championship. When it happened, five other drivers did the same thing out of the nine out there." Villeneuve had earlier claimed pole position in qualifying, while Michael Schumacher was second fastest.


Saturday's qualifying times:   mins secs
 1 J Villeneuve   Can Williams  1:36.071
 2 M Schumacher   Ger Ferrari   1:36.133
 3 E Irvine       GB  Ferrari   1:36.466
 4 M Hakkinen     Fin McLaren   1:36.469
 5 G Berger       Aut Benetton  1:36.561
 6 H-H Frentzen   Ger Williams  1:36.628
 7 J Alesi        Fr  Benetton  1:36.682
 8 J Herbert      GB  Sauber    1:36.906
 9 G Fisichella   It  Jordan    1:36.917
10 O Panis        Fr  Prost     1:37.073
11 D Coulthard    GB  McLaren   1:37.095
12 R Barrichello  Brz Stewart   1:37.343
13 R Schumacher   Ger Jordan    1:37.443
14 J Magnussen    Den Stewart   1:37.480
15 S Nakano       Jpn Prost     1:37.588
16 P Diniz        Brz Arrows    1:37.853
17 D Hill         GB  Arrows    1:38.022
18 G Morbidelli   It  Sauber    1:38.556
19 U Katayama     Jpn Minardi   1:38.983
20 T Marques      Brz Minardi   1:39.678
21 J Verstappen   Hol Tyrrell   1:40.259
22 M Salo         Fin Tyrrell   1:40.529

HILL RALLY:- Russell Ridley and Tony Foster lead the field after seven stages of the Safety Devices Hillrally in Wales. Bradford sisters Stephanie and Rachael Simmonite took 53 seconds off the leaders and are two seconds behind.



PORSCHE SUPERCUP:- Patrick Huisman has been named the Porsche-Pirelli Supercup champion after illegal technical manipulations were found on Horst Farnbacher's car. Farnbacher took the title after winning the last race at the Nurburgring. Oliver Mathai is now runner-up.






12.10.97
F1: THE JAPANESE GP
Michael Schumacher drove a brilliant race to boost his hopes of a third championship triumph. Schumacher moved ahead on lap 24 after Ferrari teammate Eddie Irvine let him pass and blocked Jacques Villeneuve. Irvine had gone ahead on lap three and apart from falling back after his pit-stop, led until Schumacher took over. Villeneuve was fifth but could lose his points at a hearing while Heinz-Harald Frentzen's second place clinched the constructors' title for Williams.



Result after 53 laps          min sec
 1 M Schumacher  Ger Ferrari  1:29:48
 2 H-H Frentzen  Ger Williams 1:29:49
 3 E Irvine      GB  Ferrari  1:30:14
 4 M Hakkinen    Fin McLaren  1:30:15
 5 J Villeneuve  Can Williams 1:30:28
 6 J Alesi       Fr  Benetton 1:30:28
 7 J Herbert     GB  Sauber   1:30:30
 8 G Fisichella  It  Jordan   1:30:45
 9 G Berger      Aut Benetton 1:30:48
10 R Schumacher  Ger Jordan   1:31:10
11 D Coulthard   GB  McLaren    DNF
12 D Hill        GB  Arrows   @ 1 lap
13 P Diniz       Brz Arrows   @ 1 lap
14 J Verstappen  Hol Tyrrell  @ 1 lap

Retirements:
Lap  3: J Magnussen    Den Stewart
Lap  6: R Barrichello  Brz Stewart
Lap  8: U Katayama     Jpn Minardi
Lap 22: S Nakano       Jpn Prost
Lap 36: O Panis        Fr  Prost
Lap 46: M Salo         Fin Tyrrell
Lap 46: T Marques      Brz Minardi

Did not start:
G Morbidelli   It  Sauber

DRIVERS' STANDINGS
 1 J Villeneuve  Can  Williams  79 pts
 2 M Schumacher  Ger  Ferrari   78
 3 HH Frentzen   Ger  Williams  41
 4 J Alesi       Fr   Benetton  35
 5 D Coulthard   GB   McLaren   30
 6 G Berger      Aut  Benetton  24
 7 E Irvine      GB   Ferrari   22
 8 G Fisichella  It   Jordan    20
 9 M Hakkinen    Fin  McLaren   17
10 O Panis       Fr   Prost     16
11 J Herbert     GB   Sauber    14
12 R Schumacher  Ger  Jordan    13
13 D Hill        GB   Arrows     7
PROVISIONAL ON VILLENEUVE'S APPEAL

CONSTRUCTORS' STANDINGS
 1 Williams-Renault     120 points
 2 Ferrari              100
 3 Benetton-Renault      63
 4 McLaren-Mercedes      47
 5 Jordan-Peugeot        33
 6 Prost-Mugen-Honda     21
 7 Sauber-Petronas       15
 8 Arrows-Yamaha          9
 9 Stewart-Ford           6
10 Tyrrell-Ford           2
Williams are champions
PROVISIONAL ON VILLENEUVE'S APPEAL

Michael Schumacher credited teammate Eddie Irvine for his part in the German's victory in Japan. Irvine let Schumacher overtake him to take the lead and he said: "I thank Eddie for this victory. He is a great driver and a great teammate. This showed anyone who has placed question marks against Eddie that they are wrong." Schumacher's fifth victory of the season was the 27th of his career and could lead to his third world title.

Michael Schumacher said his team plan had worked perfectly as he claimed the victory that put pressure on Jacques Villeneuve in the drivers championship. "Jacques' plan was to hold everyone up and make things difficult for me," Schumacher said. "He wanted to make me lose as many points as possible as he's likely to get no points from the race himself." Looking ahead to the title decider at Jerez in a fortnight, Schumacher added: "It is the right situation for me."

Heinz-Harald Frentzen defended teammate Jacques Villeneuve after finishing second to Michael Schumacher in Japan. Villeneuve, who faces a points penalty, came fifth and Frentzen said: "People said before the race Jacques would push Michael off but he didn't aim for that. That's not his way and I wanted to help him by trying to finish in front of Michael." Frentzen could not go on to victory and added: "It's easy to catch up on this track but difficult to overtake."

Eddie Irvine said he had acted on team instructions when he let Michael Schumacher slip ahead of him and race on to victory. Irvine had a chance to win himself but came third and said: "I knew Jacques would try to hold Michael up but I got ahead and waited for the 'phone call. I then slowed down to give Michael a gap over Jacques. It is disappointing for me but if the championship had not been at stake I would not have done it."

Williams technical director Patrick Head admitted Jacques Villeneuve's plan to try to hold up Michael Schumacher failed as the German roared to victory. "Jacques wanted to keep Michael where other people could challenge as he was aware there was a strong chance he may lose any points he got," said Head. "I don't think it was that useful but it let Eddie Irvine get away a bit. We had a problem at the second fuel stage and Jacques probably lost a bit of heart after that."



F3 (Thruxton):- Jonny Kane clinched the British Formula Three Championship by finishing second in the final round. The Comber-born driver needed just one point from the 20-lap race to prevent Nicolas Minassian snatching the crown. Kane started on pole before being overtaken by Minassian on lap eight but held on to take second spot. Kane said: "It hasn't sunk in yet. It's been a long time coming and I'm relieved it's all over. I came here determined to wrap it up."


ROUND 16 RESULT               mins secs
 1 N Minassian Dallara-Renault 23:15.15
 2 J Kane      Dallara-Mugen-H 23:20.20
 3 E Bernoldi  Dallara-Renault 23:22.07
 4 P Dumbreck  Dallara-Mugen-H 23:22.73
 5 M Haberfeld Dallara-Spiess  23:23.69
 6 W Hughes    Dallara-Mitsub' 23:24.51
 7 M Webber    Dallara-Mugen-H 23:21.20
 8 B Collins   Dallara-Mitsub' 23:31.48
 9 M O'Connell Dallara-Toyota  23:31.93
10 P Cook      Dallara-Spiess  23:42.95

Final Championship positions:      pts
 1 J Kane      GB  Paul Stewart    199
 2 N Minassian Fr  Pr'ecme Renault 183
 3 P Dumbreck  GB  Paul Stewart    149
 4 M Webber    Aus Alan Docking    131
 5 E Bernoldi  Brz Pr'ecme Renault 127
 6 M Hab'field Brz Martin Donnelly 108
 7 B Smith     SA  Fortac M'sport   72
 8 B Collins   GB  Fortac M'sport   64
 9 G Smith     GB  DC Cook Racing   60
10 K McGerrity GB  TOM's Toyota     36

SAN REMO RALLY:- Carlos Sainz and Juha Kankkunen warmed up for Monday's 12th and final asphalt round with a short final test session on the twisting mountain roads. The Team Ford Repsol pair completed a handful of runs over the test stage. Sainz is hoping to build on his victory in Indonesia when he narrowed the gap on Championship leader Tommi Makinen. The three-day rally starts in San Remo at 0800 on Monday morning with drivers facing eight stages before returning to the town for the overnight halt.



F.VAUXHALL:- Paul Stewart Racing won its fifth successive drivers title in the Formula Vauxhall Championship at Thruxton. Brazil's Luciano Burti claimed the crown by four points from series rival Andrew Kirkaldy.



HILL RALLY:- Gordan Monaghan and Karl Gudgeon won the Safety Devices Hillrally and are national champions. The Lancastrians, in a Range Rover Special, have had two thirds and two fourths in the event. Russell Ridley and Tony Foster were second.






13.10.97
F1:- Jacques Villeneuve's appeal against his disqualifation in practice for the Japanese Grand Prix will be heard next Tuesday, October 21. Villeneuve ignored a yellow flag during Saturday's session just before winning pole position. He was initially banned from the race but reinstated pending his appeal. The world championship leader could lose the two points he gained for coming fifth in Suzuka, putting Michael Schumacher top of the standings.



CHAMPION SPARK PLUG RANKINGS:- Points are given to the top 10 drivers in each race and where two drivers compete, such as in GT racing, both will score the points allocated. Each of the 25 championships selected has been given a rating based on global standing, financial output etc. The points available per race are also dependent on the number of rounds. A points bonus is awarded to the driver taking pole - three points for Formula One, NASCAR and CART, two for series' rated 5.5 and above, one for others.

October 13 driver standings:     Points
 1 M Schumacher  Formula 1        999
 2 J Villeneuve  Formula 1        934
 3 A Zanardi     CART             887
 4 J Gordon      NASCAR           873
 5 G de Ferran   CART             751
 = P de la Rosa  Formula Nippon   751
 7 D Jarrett     NASCAR           715
 8 A Menu        Brit Tour Cars   691
 9 J Alesi       Formula 1        663
10 H-H Frentzen  Formula 1        653


SAN REMO RALLY:- Local favourite Piero Liatti claimed the lead on an opening day which saw the first stage cancelled because of over-enthusiastic fans on the circuit. Liatti moved ahead for the first time on the final stage to push Freddie Loix back into second. Colin McRae was eighth after he lost over 20 seconds when he suffered a puncture on stage five. "It's frustrating but there's a long way to go and I feel happier now that the car is handling better," he said.

Positions after first day:    hr min sec
 1 P Liatti    It  Subaru      1:13.31
 2 F Loix      Bel Toyota      1:13.33
 3 T Makinen   Fin Mitsubishi  1:13.58
 4 C Sainz     Sp  Ford        1:14.00
 5 D Auriol    Fr  Toyota      1:14.05
 6 J Kankkunen Fin Ford        1:14.08
 = A Aghini    It  Toyota      1:14.08
 8 C McRae     GB  Subaru      1:14.11
 9 U Nittel    Ger Mitsubishi  1:15.04
10 G Cunico    It  Subaru      1:16.30

GTs:- A Porsche factory sportscar race team will compete in the US in conjunction with the FIA GT Championship for the first time since the 1980s. The two-car race team includes Hans Stuck, Thierry Boutsen, Bob Wollek and Yannick Dalmas. They will compete in three-hour races at Sebring this weekend and at Laguna Seca on October 26 in Porsche 911 GT1s.


NASCAR
Leading Winston Cup point standings after DieHard 500 on Oct 12:
 1 J Gordon      4,321 pts
 2 M Martin      4,211
 3 D Jarrett     4,166
 4 J Burton      4,041
 5 T Labonte     3,796
 6 D Earnhardt   3,794
 7 B Labonte     3,687
 8 B Elliott     3,536
 9 T Musgrave    3,322
10 R Wallace     3,242

F3:- Mario Haberfeld, who was sixth overall in the British Formula Three Championship, will compete in the Macau Formula Three Grand Prix next month. He said: "I have done a street race before so I have some experience." Past winners of the Portuguese race include Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna.



RALLYING:- Richard Burns will join Tommi Makinen in the Mitsubishi team in the 1998 World Rally Championship. Colin McRae is locked in talks with both Ford and current team Subaru.






14.10.97
SAN REMO RALLY:- Colin McRae moved within 24 seconds of leader Piero Liatti after recording the fastest time in the first four stages. The Scot overcame suspension problems to jump from his overnight eighth spot into second place as his rivals ran into trouble. Freddy Loix had transmission problems while Auriol was penalised 30 seconds for staying in the pits too long. McRae is in third place in the world championship, 20 points adrift of leader Tommi Makinen.

Positions at the end of second day:
                             hr min sec
 1 P Liatti    It  Subaru      2:56.11
 2 C McRae     GB  Subaru      2:56.17
 3 T Makinen   Fin Mitsubishi  2:56.37
 4 C Sainz     Sp  Ford        2:56.40
 5 J Kankkunen Fin Ford        2:56.48
 6 F Loix      Bel Toyota      2:57.02
 7 D Auriol    Fr  Toyota      2:57.15
 8 A Aghini    It  Toyota      2:57.43
 9 A Navarra   It  Subaru      2:59.26
10 D Oldrati   It  Subaru      3:02.41

F1:- Pacific Racing Ltd has closed after 13 years in the motorsport industry. The company was founded in 1984 and went on to win every British and European single-seater championship it entered below Formula One. Its sister company Pacific Grand Prix Ltd competed in Formula One for two seasons from 1994.



RALLYING:- British rally champion Mark Higgins will contest six European rounds of the World Championship in a two-litre Nissan Almera next year.






15.10.97
F1:- FIA president Max Mosley has advised Williams to withdraw their appeal against the disqualification of Jacques Villeneuve in Japan. Mosley said the Canadian risks a further suspension that could rule him out of the last race of 1997 in Jerez. "Villeneuve risks not only the loss of his two points from Japan but also suspension from Jerez," he said. Villeneuve leads the title race and Mosley added: "I imagine he will only lose two points if he does not appeal."

Gerhard Berger is set to retire after the final race of the 1997 season, according to an Austrian newspaper. The publication claims the Austrian veteran will announce on Friday that the Grand Prix of Europe in Jerez on October 26 will be his last race. Berger has won 10 grands prix from 1986 to 1997 and had a surprise win in this season's German Grand Prix. He has called a news conference for Friday but his agent said the article was just speculation.



TOURING CARS (Donington):- World superbike rider Aaron Slight switches to four wheels on Sunday. Slight was third overall in the superbike standings but he will make his British touring car debut in a two-litre Honda Accord on Sunday. The New Zealander is joined in the Honda team for the winner-takes-all Tourist Trophy by new British Formula Three champion Jonny Kane. BTCC champion Alain Menu and Williams- Renault team-mate Jason Plato are expected to shine.



SAN REMO RALLY:- Britain's Colin McRae was four seconds behind Subaru team-mate Pierro Liatti after 25 special stages but still ended up victorious. The Italian was ordered by his team to deliberately incur a 10-second penalty, thereby handing the win to McRae. Liatti failed to pass the final control point within the required time and was then penalised. McRae is still in with an outside chance of landing the World Championship with two races remaining.


Final positions:              hr min sec
 1 C McRae     GB  Subaru      4:08.25
 2 P Liatti    It  Subaru      4:08.31
 3 T Makinen   Fin Mitsubishi  4:08.37
 4 C Sainz     Sp  Ford        4:08.39
 5 F Loix      Bel Toyota      4:09.15
 6 J Kankkunen Fin Ford        4:09.18
 7 A Aghini    It  Toyota      4:11.03
 8 D Auriol    Fr  Toyota      4:11.58
 9 D Oldrati   It  Subaru      4:17.44
10 H Rovanpera Fin Seat        4:21.57

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
 1 T Makinen   Fin           56 pts
 2 C Sainz     Sp            47
 3 C McRae     GB            42
 4 K Eriksson  Swe           28
 5 P Liatti    It            24
 6 J Kankkunen Fin           23
 7 R Burns     GB            15
 8 A Schwarz   Ger           11
 9 G Panizzi   Fr             8
10 F Loix      Bel            8

CONSTRUCTORS STANDINGS
1 Subaru                    94 pts
2 Ford                      81
3 Mitsubishi                73

INDYCAR:- Paul Tracy, fired by Team Penske last week, has announced he will drive for Team Kool Green on the PPG CART World Series next year.



F.FORD:- Brands Hatch is the venue for the richest ever prize available to the world's top young drivers this weekend. Around 500 drivers in 20 countries have competed this year to take part in the Slick Formula Ford World Finals, with 20,000 at stake for the winner. The formula is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.






16.10.97
F1:- Williams have dropped their appeal against the one-race ban for Jacques Villeneuve, giving Michael Schumacher a one-point lead before the last race. The move came a day after FIA president Max Mosley suggested Villeneuve could be banned for the year's final race unless Williams withdrew its appeal. Villeneuve raced in Suzuka under appeal of a one-race ban he received for ignoring a yellow flag during practice. The European Grand Prix at Jerez takes place on October 26.

Ferrari's Eddie Irvine has said he will do everything possible "within the rules" to help teammate Michael Schumacher to the F1 drivers' title. Irvine said of Williams rival Jacques Villeneuve in the Daily Telegraph: "For someone who has had the fastest car, he doesn't deserve the title. I won't be aiming to take Villeneuve out, but I will certainly put my car in his way whenever possible," he said. The deciding race of the season takes place at Jerez, Spain, on October 26.

REVISED 1997 DRIVERS' STANDINGS
(after Japanese GP)
 1 M Schumacher  Ger  Ferrari   78 pts
 2 J Villeneuve  Can  Williams  77
 3 HH Frentzen   Ger  Williams  41
 4 J Alesi       Fr   Benetton  36
 5 D Coulthard   GB   McLaren   30
 6 G Berger      Aut  Benetton  24
 7 E Irvine      GB   Ferrari   22
 8 G Fisichella  It   Jordan    20
 9 M Hakkinen    Fin  McLaren   17
10 O Panis       Fr   Prost     16
11 J Herbert     GB   Sauber    15
12 R Schumacher  Ger  Jordan    13
13 D Hill        GB   Arrows     7


TOURING CARS:- Renault's Jason Plato clinched top spot in the practice heat for Sunday's RAC Tourist Trophy with a 99.56mph circuit at Donington Park. The 29-year-old, who finished third in the British championship, was four tenths of a second faster than Sweden's Rickard Rydell. Former champion Frank Biela, driving an Audi Quattro, was third fastest, just ahead of British champion Alain Menu. Menu, the 1996 title holder, is keen to retain the title and £25,000 prize pot.
Thursday's practice for Sunday's race:
                             mins secs
 1 J Plato     Renault Laguna 1:10.773
 2 R Rydell    Volvo S40      1:11.169
 3 F Biela     Audi Quattro   1:11.191
 4 A Menu      Renault Laguna 1:11.266
 5 A Reid      Nissan Primera 1:11.515
 6 Y Muller    Audi Quattro   1:11.520
 7 W Hoy       Ford Mondeo    1:11.564
 8 D Leslie    Nissan Primera 1:11.579
 9 J B'tcliffe Audi Quattro   1:11.709
10 P Radisich  Ford Mondeo    1:12.323





17.10.97 - F1
Gerhard Berger has said he will retire from Formula One after next week's European Grand Prix. Berger, who opted not to renew his two-year contract with Benetton, was reported to have been unable to find a drive for 1998. The 38-year-old Austrian told a press conference: "The European Grand Prix will be my last." A move to Ferrari was ruled out when Michael Schumacher and Eddie Irvine were confirmed for next season.

Oliver Gavin has completed his first major Formula One test with Benetton at Silverstone and has been asked back for further runs.






18.10.97
F1:- Michael Schumacher said he feared fellow Heinz-Harald Frentzen might attempt to block him in his world title chase at the European Grand Prix. He said: "I have no doubt that Jacques (Villeneuve) is a fair competitor but I wonder whether Frentzen might tip the scales by trying to block me." He also hinted in the German magazine interview that he might leave Ferrari if the title is not won next year. He added: "If we don't make progress I will have to look for another place."



TOURING CARS:- Renault and Nissan had a tactical approach in qualifying for Sunday's £25,000 event. The qualifying times established the line-up for both of Sunday's preliminary heats with the second grid of the day reversed. The top teams decided a car at each end of the timesheet was the best policy. Nissan's Anthony Reid and Renault's Jason Plato front the first heat. Team-mates David Leslie and Alain Menu are on the front row of the second heat.

Saturday's qualifying times:  mins secs
 1 A Reid      GB  Nissan Prim 1:10.836
 2 J Plato     GB  Renault Lag 1:10.851
 3 R Rydell    Swe Volvo S40   1:10.991
 4 F Biela     Ger Audi A4     1:11.221
 5 J Kane      GB  Honda Acc   1:11.366
 6 P Radisich  NZ  Ford Mondeo 1:11.414
 7 A Slight    NZ  Honda Acc   1:11.516
 8 Y Muller    Fr  Audi A4     1:11.538
 9 A Hahne     Ger Volvo S40   1:11.685
10 J Cleland   GB  Vauxhall V  1:12.067
11 K Nissen    Den Audi A4     1:12.217
12 C Abt       Ger Audi A4     1:12.362
13 P Cook      GB  Nissan Prim 1:12.480
14 T Sugden    GB  Vauxhall C  1:13.553
15 K Makinen   Fin Nissan Prim 1:13.643
16 J Brunstedt Swe Opel Vectra 1:15.564
17 W Hoy       GB  Ford Mondeo 1:17.188
18 D Leslie    GB  Nissan Prim 1:17.367
19 A Menu      Swi Renault Lag 1:17.683
20 T Linnerud  Swe Open Vectra 1:18.922

TOUR OF MULL:- Neil MacKinnon (Subaru) took the lead in the Philips Tour of Mull after 16 of 21 stages after Callum Duffy's Ford Escort suffered a seized engine. MacKinnon is almost three minutes ahead of second placed Chris Griffiths.



F.FORD:- Jacky Van der Ende claimed pole for Sunday's Slick 50 Formula Ford world finals heat one at Brands Hatch. Paul Edwards starts at the front of the grid for heat two while Vitor Meira is on pole in heat three.






19.10.97
TOURING CARS (Donington):- BTCC champion Alain Menu earned his second consecutive victory in the £25,000 Tourist Trophy. He led home Renault team-mate Jason Plato, with Rickard Rydell finishing in third place. Swiss ace Menu led every lap of the final but nearly lost top slot at the first corner to David Leslie. By the 18th lap, Menu had a lead of three seconds over Leslie. Plato nudged past Leslie three laps from home, pushing the Nissan into the gravel.

Sunday's final times:          mins secs
 1 A Menu      Swi Renault Lag 30:09.206
 2 J Plato     GB  Renault Lag    @2.907
 3 R Rydell    Swi Volvo S40      @5.236
 4 F Biela     Ger Audi A4       @13.578
 5 Y Muller    Fr  Audi A4       @16.769
 6 A Reid      GB  Nissan Prim   @20.263
 7 W Hoy       GB  Ford Mondeo   @25.551
 8 A Hahne     Ger Volvo S40     @29.060
 9 J B'tcliffe GB  Audi A4       @29.396
10 K Nissen    Den Audi A4       @36.209

GTs:- Perry McCarthy and Australia's David Brabham came third in the 11th round of the FIA GT World Championship at Sebring in Florida. Bernd Schneider won the race and leads the series. BMW works driver Peter Kox and Roberto Ravaglia were second.



F.FORD:- Jacky Van der Ende won the Slick 50 Formula Ford World Final at Brands Hatch after dominating the 20-lap race. Richard Tarling was second with Brazilian Richardo Sperafico third.





20.10.97


CHAMPION SPARK PLUG WORLD RANKING

Driver ratings (October 20):    Points
 1 M Schumacher  Formula 1       1002
 2 A Zanardi     CART             887
 3 J Villeneuve  Formula 1        884
 4 J Gordon      NASCAR           873
 5 P de la Rosa  Formula Nippon   833
 6 G de Ferran   CART             751
 7 D Jarrett     NASCAR           715
 8 A Menu        Brit Tour Cars   691
 9 J Alesi       Formula 1        673
10 HH Frentzen   Formula 1        653

RALLYING:- Reigning world rally champion Tommi Makinen is to stay with Mitsubishi next year. He has signed a deal with an option to stay on until 1999. Colin McRae will head the British challenge in the Network Q RAC Rally, which runs from November 22-25. The Scot is still in with a chance of winning the World Championship. Other British entrants are Richard Burns, Mark Higgins, Gwyndaf Evans and McRae's brother Alister.






21.10.97
F1: THE EUROPEAN GP
The Grand Prix of Europe was an 11th- hour replacement for the Portuguese Grand Prix because work on the Estoril circuit was not completed in time. Spain has already staged a race this season - the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona on May 25, which was won by Jacques Villeneuve. Jerez is situated near the Atlantic coast in south-west Spain and last staged a race in 1994. The 4.423km track regularly stages World Motorcycle Championship races.

Jacques Villeneuve aims to put the disappointment of Japan behind him and clinch the world crown on Sunday. The Canadian trails Michael Schumacher by one point after a qualifying violation led to his Suzuka points becoming void. However, he began well in the last race and admitted: "If I can get through the first corner and have a start like the one in Japan, it would be great. I don't know who the track will suit as it has a mixture of corners."

Ferrari are doing their best to ensure Michael Schumacher is still ahead of Williams rival Jacques Villeneuve after Sunday's final race of the season. Eddie Irvine could also play a part again after sacrificing his race lead in Japan to keep the German in the hunt for his third drivers' title. "We can't work miracles," said Ferrari chief Jean Todt. "It would be a mistake to start celebrating now but a tribute has to go to Irvine."

Michael Schumacher will be the world's number one driver even if he goes not win the Championship, according to a host of top motor sport names. Three-times world champion Jackie Stewart said: "He is the best driver around by far and has won so many races you would not have expected." Eddie Jordan added: "Michael has to my number one all-time great driver. He has proved he is the best around so often in the last few years especially when the conditions test the driver."

The last 12 months will not be remembered too fondly by 1996 world champion Damon Hill but he could still leave Arrows-Yamaha on a high. The last race at Jerez was in 1994 and the lack of experience on the track for some teams could work in Hill's favour. Hill was second on the circuit three years ago and a problem-free qualifying session could aid his cause to improve on his total of seven points. The Briton will be driving for Jordan next season.

Jordan have not achieved everything they hoped for in 1997 - including that elusive first grand prix win - but still believe it is their best season. Team supremo Eddie Jordan said: "We have still to win a race and have not managed to improve on our fifth place in the Constructors' Championship. However, this has still been, without a doubt, our best season and I think we proved a lot with our young drivers." Jerez is Giancarlo Fischella's last race before he rejoins Benetton.

The last time a Grand Prix was staged at Jerez was in 1994. Michael Schumacher and Damon Hill were battling for the title and the Briton made a good start and led until the first round of pit-stops. A fuelling rig malfunctioned and indicated Hill was down by 13 litres of fuel. More was added later but it then transpired enough was given initially. Hill then had to contend with a heavy car for the rest of the race and finished second behind the German.

Sunday's race in Spain will be contested over 69 laps, with a total distance of 305.532km. Michael Schumacher holds the lap record on the circuit of 1 min 25.040 secs. The German was on pole in Jerez in 1994 and won the race for Benetton. Mika Salo will have his last race for Tyrrell before moving to Arrows-Yamaha as Damon Hill's replacement. Williams driver Heinz-Harald Frentzen is aiming for his sixth podium finish in a row.



F3:- Warren Hughes began Portman Racing's winter testing programme at Snetterton at the start of their bid to win the 1998 British F3 Championship. Hughes managed to end the day quickest by over three-quarters of a second having completed around 120 laps.






23.10.97 - F1
Michael Schumacher and his rivals have been warned not to deliberately crash into Jacques Villeneuve in Sunday's European Grand Prix. FIA president Max Mosley said severe penalties could be imposed on anyone interfering with the climax of the season in Jerez. Mosley said: "It is going to be made very clear to everybody this time that we want a proper and fair contest. It's not just Schumacher and Villeneuve. Anyone could get involved."

Michael Schumacher has hit out at the rumour mongerers who are claiming he is trying to cheat his way to a third driver's crown. Schumacher is upset at the suggestions that he is breaking the rules following Ferrari's dramatic improvement during the title run-in. They concern a new front wing which Ferrari have introduced. Schumacher said: "The people who are spreading these rumours are bad sports, they are talking rubbish."






24.10.97
F1: THE EUROPEAN GP
Jacques Villeneuve gained the upper hand in his championship battle with Michael Schumacher as the countdown to Sunday's Spanish GP began in Jerez. Villeneuve, who was back in a lowly ninth spot after the morning session, powered into third, while Schu had to settled for ninth place. Battling Brit Damon Hill finished a superb second place as he prepares to leave the Arrows-Yamaha team. Prost star Olivier Panis set the pace at the end of the first day.

Championship challengers Michael Schumacher and Jacques Villeneuve were both satisfied with their positions after Friday practice. Schumacher finished in ninth spot while Villeneuve battled up to third. "We concentrated on our race set-up and the car felt generally very good. So, I am quite happy. These positions mean nothing," said Schu. "I feel good about how the sessions have gone. It is important to be at the front of the grid," added Villeneuve.

Damon Hill is backing Michael Schumacher to inherit his world crown at Jerez on Sunday - but would like Jacques Villeneuve to take it. Hill said: "I would like to see Jacques win it having mixed with him last year. But I have to say that Michael has driven exceptionally well this season. The win will be down to his brilliance. I would not want to be in Jacques shoes this weekend. He has frittered away points this season and is going to be under a lot of pressure."

Friday's leading free practice times:
                              mins secs
 1 O Panis        Fr  Prost    1:22.735
 2 D Hill         GB  Arrows   1:22.898
 3 J Villeneuve   Can Williams 1:22.922
 4 R Barrichello  Brz Stewart  1:22.964
 5 M Hakkinen     Fin McLaren  1:23.024
 6 H Frentzen     Ger Williams 1:23.124
 7 J Alesi        Fr  Benetton 1:23.174
 8 D Coulthard    GB  McLaren  1:23.440
 9 M Schumacher   Ger Ferrari  1:23.532
10 R Schumacher   Ger Jordan   1:23.678
11 J Magnussen    Den Stewart  1:23.685
12 E Irvine       GB  Ferrari  1:23.695
13 G Berger       Aut Benetton 1:23.923
14 G Fisichella   It  Jordan   1:24.263
15 U Katayama     Jpn Minardi  1:24.329
16 J Herbert      GB  Sauber   1:24.507
17 S Nakano       Jpn Prost    1:24.735
18 P Diniz        Brz Arrows   1:24.797
19 M Salo         Fin Tyrrell  1:25.025
20 N Fontana      Arg Sauber   1:25.134
21 J Verstappen   Hol Tyrrell  1:25.327
22 T Marques      Brz Minardi  1:26.816

Pedro Diniz, who partnered Damon Hill this season, has signed a two-year deal to continue driving for Arrows, team boss Tom Walkinshaw has announced. "Anyone who has been watching Grand Prix racing this year knows just what a good driver Pedro is," said Walkinshaw. "This year as Damon's teammate he has more than proved himself a top-line driver," Walkinshaw added. Diniz will be partnered by Mika Salo, who has been named as the replacement for Damon Hill, next year.



RALLYING:- Stig Blomqvist will bid for his third victory in the RAC Rally when he teams up with Skoda's Felicia Kit-Car for the last time in next month's event. Blomqvist, winner in 1971 and 1983, steered the 1.6 litre Kit-Car into third place overall 12 months ago. The 51-year-old Swede has high hopes that he can add to Skoda's record of 25 class wins in the event. Blomqvist said: "It would be great to end the Felicia's career with yet another class victory."

Vauxhall are to return to rallying next year in an official capacity for the first time since 1995. Jarmo Kytolehto and co-driver Atto Kapanen are to drive the new Astra in all rounds of the British Championship and the Network Q RAC Rally. Vauxhall Sport's Motorsport manager Mike Nicholson said: "We're absolutely delighted to be returning to rallying. We achieved some great results with the current Astra and are encouraged by the prospects the new car offers."



BULLDOG RALLY:- The top drivers in the championship will take on some of the leading factory teams at the Bulldog Rally in mid Wales on Saturday. The works Nissan Sunny of new British Champion Mark Higgins and a Renault's Robbie Head and Martin Rowe will test the Mintex regulars. Only Brian Lyall is missing from the championship top ten, having secured the national title last month. Steve Petch could win the Group N title and Guy Anderson the Formula 2 crown.

25.10.97 F1: THE EUROPEAN GP
Jacques Villeneuve grabbed pole for Sunday's race but title rival Michael Schumacher and Heinz-Harald Frentzen notched the same time. The Canadian will take the number one spot because he achieved one minute, 21.072 seconds first. Ferrari ace Schumacher will start from second on the grid, with Villeneuve's team-mate Frentzen in third spot. Damon Hill, who is aiming to go out on a high in his last race for the Arrows-Yamaha outfit, was fourth fastest.

Jacques Villeneuve was amazed by his performance in qualifying as he booked pole position for Sunday's showdown. "My time is surprising but it's the best way to finish the last qualifying session when you are fighting for the Championship," he said. "What surprised me most is that I set the time on my first run but pole is vital as it's a question of who gets to the finish in front of the other guy." It is the 13th pole of the Canadian's Formula One career.

Michael Schumacher was staggered after being edged off pole position by Jacques Villeneuve despite clocking the same time. "When I saw the times on my computer read-out I couldn't believe it," he said. "You cannot get closer, it shows the competition's at a very high level. I wanted a head-to-head with Jacques and that's what I've got. We are going to have a very good race. The first corner will be interesting. It depends who gets the best start."

Damon Hill was over the moon after storming to fourth fastest in qualifying for Sunday's race. He said: "I am really happy with this. I really wanted to give the Arrows team something special for the last race. If it hadn't been for Ukyo Katayama, who spun right in front of me on the last corner, I could have been on pole. I'm really happy with the tyres Bridgestone have brought here which are a little bit more adventurous."

Williams technical boss Patrick Head has warned drivers to keep their cool when the race for the world title gets underway on Sunday. He said: "I hope the championship is settled on the track, not in a gravel pit. It would not be good for the sport. Too many championships have ended up that way and it's not healthy. We will be having a quiet word with our drivers telling them to take it easy at the first corner."


Saturday's qualifying times:  mins secs
 1 J Villeneuve   Can Williams 1:21.072
 2 M Schumacher   Ger Ferrari  1:21.072
 3 H-H Frentzen   Ger Williams 1:21.072
 4 D Hill         GB  Arrows   1:21.130
 5 M Hakkinen     Fin McLaren  1:21.369
 6 D Coulthard    GB  McLaren  1:21.476
 7 E Irvine       GB  Ferrari  1:21.610
 8 G Berger       Aut Benetton 1:21.656
 9 O Panis        Fr  Prost    1:21.735
10 J Alesi        Fr  Benetton 1:22.011
11 J Magnussen    Den Stewart  1:22.167
12 R Barrichello  Brz Stewart  1:22.222
13 P Diniz        Brz Arrows   1:22.234
14 J Herbert      GB  Sauber   1:22.263
15 S Nakano       Jpn Prost    1:22.351
16 R Schumacher   Ger Jordan   1:22.740
17 G Fisichella   It  Jordan   1:22.804
18 N Fontana      Arg Sauber   1:23.281
19 U Katayama     Jpn Minardi  1:23.409
20 T Marques      Brz Minardi  1:23.854
21 M Salo         Fin Tyrrell  1:24.222
22 J Verstappen   Hol Tyrrell  1:24.301
The British Grand Prix would be held only once every three years if plans for a European Union-wide ban on tobacco advertising go ahead. FIA president Max Mosley warned that races would be switched to the Far East to protect the tobacco industry's investment in Formula One. Nine races are currently staged in EU countries with three - Britain, Germany and France - banning advertising. If the ban spreads then the nine races would be reduced to three.



BULLDOG RALLY:- Marcus Dodd powered his Cosworth to a first ever Mintex National Championship win, leading from start to finish. In sun-drenched and dusty conditions, the Poole driver equipped himself best to overcome Northern Ireland champion Stephen Harrison, who finished second. By starting the race, Steve Petch took the Group N championship and Guy Anderson collected the Formula Two title in the same manner.


Final positions after 10 stages:
 1 Dodd/McAuley    Ford        1:26:36
 2 Harron/McCrea   Subaru      1:27:23
 3 Mellors/Bennie  Ford        1:27:47
 4 D'worth/B'fld   Subaru      1:29:21
 5 D'garno/Forrest Ford        1:30:03
 6 Burn/Quirk      Metro 6R4   1:30:09
 7 Easson/Cook     Mitsubishi  1:31:11
 8 Roberts/Jones   Ford        1:31:47
 9 Smith/Kitson    Lancia      1:32:18
10 Wetton/Haigh    Mitsubishi  1:32:25

Final standings:
1 B Lyall        125 points
2 M Grierson      98
3 S Dalgarno      92
4 R Duckworth     91
5 S Smith         86





26.10.97
F1: THE EUROPEAN GP
Jacques Villeneuve clinched his first Formula One title in only his second season after Michael Schumacher retired on lap 48 when both cars came together. The Canadian went to overtake the Ferrari ace but Schumacher turned in on him and ended up in the gravel and out of the race as Villeneuve went ahead. Villeneuve had dropped from first to third at the start, behind Schumacher and team-mate Heinz-Harald Frentzen. Mika Hakkinen won the race - his first ever victory. Villeneuve was third.

Stewards have decided to take no action over the collision between Jacques Villeneuve and Michael Schumacher. The race officials issued a statement that said they had "unanimously concluded it was a racing accident and no further action is necessary." The German appeared to turn in on Villeneuve has he overtook his rival. Schumacher was involved in an incident in Adelaide in 1994 when he collided with Damon Hill and claimed the title ahead of the Briton.

New world champion Jacques Villeneuve accused rival Michael Schumacher of trying to take him out of the race after the two collided in Spain. "I knew Michael was capable of just trying to take me off and that is what he tried to do," said the Williams ace. "When I made the move my chances were less than 50 per cent but there was no point finishing second. It was better to try and perhaps find myself in the gravel than finish second and have heavy shoulders."

Jacques Villeneuve was surprised he was able to finish the race after he and title rival Michael Schumacher collided on lap 48. The 1997 world champion admitted: "I knew Michael was out right away because of the way he hit me. I did not know if I could finish the race though because the car felt very strange afterwards." Villeneuve did suffer problems with his Williams late on in the race and lost speed but still finished third.

Williams ace Jacques Villeneuve has had an inconsistent season but still won the title, although he admitted he made mistakes along the way. Third place in Jerez gave him the crown and he confirmed: "It feels great. It has been an up and down year. We had the most competitive car from the middle of the season but there were times we did not get the job done. I made mistakes, the team made mistakes. To win after the disqualification in Suzuka feels great."

McLaren's Mika Hakkinen secured his first ever grand prix victory at the 96th attempt. The Finn had come agonisingly close on a number of occasions but for once fortune was on his side. Jacques Villeneuve looked set to seal the title with a win but car problems meant Hakkinen could take the lead. Hakkinen's McLaren team-mate David Coulthard also edged ahead of the Canadian to finish second. Damon Hill failed to finish in his Arrows-Yamaha.

David Coulthard did what he set out to do in the final race of the season - finish on the podium. He let team-mate Mika Hakkinen go past late on and both were able to sweep past Jacques Villeneuve's struggling Williams for a McLaren one-two. "It was a nice result," said Coulthard. "I was happy to be on the podium for the last race. It was what I set out to do and it is good for the team." Eddie Irvine was fifth and Johnny Herbert was eighth in his Sauber.

Williams clinched a record ninth Constructors' Championship in Suzuka but answered their critics by taking the driver crown against the odds. The Oxfordshire-based outfit had been accused of putting the development of the 1998 car ahead of the 1997 season. Jacques Villeneuve and Heinz-Harald Frentzen also came under fire but after the Canadian won the title the pit crew donned blond wigs in homage. Frank Williams has already decided to stick with the duo for next season.


Race result (69 laps):       hr min sec
 1 M Hakkinen    Fin McLaren  1:38.57.7
 2 D Coulthard   GB  McLaren     @1.645
 3 J Villeneuve  Can Williams    @1.802
 4 G Berger      Aut Benetton    @1.919
 5 E Irvine      GB  Ferrari     @3.789
 6 H-H Frentzen  Ger Williams    @4.537
 7 O Panis       Fr  Prost    @1:07.145
 8 J Herbert     GB  Sauber   @1:12.960
 9 J Magnussen   Den Stewart  @1:17.487
10 S Nakano      Jpn Prost    @1:18.215
11 G Fisichella  It  Jordan     one lap
12 M Salo        Fin Tyrrell    one lap
13 J Alesi       Fr  Benetton   one lap
14 N Fontana     Arg Sauber     one lap
15 T Marques     Brz Minardi    one lap
16 J Verstappen  Hol Tyrrell    one lap
17 U Katayama    Jpn Minardi    one lap

1997 Drivers' standings:
 1 J Villeneuve  Can  Williams  81 pts
 2 M Schumacher  Ger  Ferrari   78
 3 H-H Frentzen  Ger  Williams  42
 4 J Alesi       Fr   Benetton  36
 = D Coulthard   GB   McLaren   36
 6 M Hakkinen    Fin  McLaren   27
 = G Berger      Aut  Benetton  27
 8 E Irvine      GB   Ferrari   24
 9 G Fisichella  It   Jordan    20
10 O Panis       Fr   Prost     16
11 J Herbert     GB   Sauber    15
12 R Schumacher  Ger  Jordan    13
13 D Hill        GB   Arrows     7

1997 Constructors' standings:
 1 Williams-Renault     123 points
 2 Ferrari              102
 3 Benetton-Renault      67
 4 McLaren-Mercedes      63
 5 Jordan-Peugeot        33
 6 Prost-Mugen-Honda     21
 7 Sauber-Petronas       16
 8 Arrows-Yamaha          9
 9 Stewart-Ford           6
10 Tyrrell-Ford           2
Formula One legend Martin Brundle has said a ban on tobacco advertising at grands prix would be disastrous. Brundle, now a TV commentator, said: "I'm alarmed at the idea. It would be a disaster for British motor racing. We have a 1bn industry and we dominate the world. The British Grand Prix has been a cornerstone of the World Championship since the 1950s." If tobacco advertising is banned, it could mean the British GP being run only once every three years.



GTs:- Alexander Wurz claimed pole position for the 11th and final round of the FIA GT Championship in Monterey. The Austrian, in his final GT qualifying run before starting a full-time Formula One career, led a Mercedes 1-2-3 with co-driver Greg Moore. Bernd Schneider and Klaus Ludwig will be second on the grid and Alessandro Nannini and Marcel Tiemann are third.



SUPREME GTs:- Larry Schumacher clinched the GTS-2 drivers' championship after finishing third in the Exxon Supreme GT Series race at Laguna Seca Raceway. The overall winner of the race was a Ford Panoz GTR1 driven by Eric Bernard and David Brabham.






27.10.97
F1:- Michael Schumacher may face sanctions after clashing with Jacques Villeneuve in the European Grand Prix. The two-times world champion has been ordered to appear at an extraordinary meeting of the World Motor Sport Council in Paris on November 11. Schumacher clipped the Canadian's car in the 48th lap and ended up in the gravel while Villeneuve went on to clinch the title. The FIA said they had acted after a report from the Jerez race director.

Jackie Stewart was proud of his team's debut season in Formula One. Jan Magnussen ended the campaign with ninth spot in Jerez but the highlight was Rubens Barrichello's second place to Michael Schumacher in Monaco. "Overall I feel we should be very content with what we have achieved in our first year," he said. "I was really pleased we recorded another race finish at Jerez. Jan drove a very good race and I must say how happy I am."


CHAMPION SPARK PLUG WORLD RANKING
Driver ratings (October 27):   Points
 1 M Schumacher  Formula 1       1002
 2 J Villeneuve  Formula 1        957
 3 A Zanardi     CART             887
 4 J Gordon      NASCAR           873
 5 P de la Rosa  Formula Nippon   833
 6 G de Ferran   CART             751
 7 D Jarrett     NASCAR           715
 8 HH Frentzen   Formula 1        693
 9 A Menu        Brit Tour Cars   691
10 J Alesi       Formula 1        673
== B Schneider   Grand Touring    673

GTs:- German duo Bernd Schneider and Klaus Ludwig clinched victory in the 11th and final round of the FIA GT Championship series in Monterey. The win gave Schneider the drivers Championship and Mercedes the manufacturers crown. Allan McNish was third with Ralf Kalleners while Geoff Lees and Sweden's Anders Olofsson were sixth.





28.10.97
F1:- Michael Schumacher has admitted he was to blame for the collision with Jacques Villeneuve's Williams during Sunday's European Grand Prix at Jerez. Schumacher was fiercely criticised for a manoeuvre which ended with his Ferrari spinning off the track during the race. He told a press conference at Ferrari HQ that he had made an error of judgement and said: "I made a mistake. I obviously made the wrong judgement and a wrong manoeuvre, which put me out of the race."

Damon Hill has urged F1 bosses to act in a bid to stop future championships ending in more crash controversy. Hill said: "I'm not interested in settling any scores or gloating about what happened on Sunday. I think the serious issue here is the credibility of Formula One and the way the sport is managed when we have an incident like that. We have inconsistencies sometimes. As long as nothing is done, these sort of incidents will continue to happen."

David Coulthard has told the Ayrton Senna death smash trial that he had never doubted the integrity of the Williams Formula One team. Coulthard was a test driver for Williams at the time of the San Marino Grand Prix crash in 1994. He said: "After the accident I had no doubts whatsoever over the integrity of the car and the design team. My view of the Williams team is very similar to that of many people who have a great deal of respect for them."


CHAMPION SPARK PLUG WORLD RANKING
Driver ratings (October 28):   Points
 1 M Schumacher  Formula 1       1002
 2 J Villeneuve  Formula 1        957
 3 J Gordon      NASCAR           903
 4 A Zanardi     CART             887
 5 P de la Rosa  Formula Nippon   833
 6 HH Frentzen   Formula 1        754
 7 A Menu        Brit Tour Cars   751
 8 B Schneider   Grand Touring    693
 9 J Alesi       Formula 1        691
10 J Vasser      CART             673
== M Martin      NASCAR           673





29.10.97 - F1
Team boss Frank Williams has told the Ayrton Senna crash trial that he did not believe Senna's steering column broke before his fatal crash in 1994. He did not say what he thought caused the accident but acknowledged different columns were subsequently manufactured. Six Formula One officials, including the Williams-Renault boss, are charged with manslaughter in the trial. Williams denies the charges arising from the crash which killed Senna at the San Marino Grand Prix.





30.10.97 - RALLY AUSTRALIA
Colin McRae suffered a minor accident on the opening super-special stage of the rally before the drivers leave Perth on Friday. The Briton locked his wheels and struck a barrier and was unhurt and went on to finish in a time of 1:38. McRae needs to win the event to keep alive his championship challenge. Carlos Sainz and Didier Auriol set the joint fastest time of 1:34 while world championship leader Tommi Makinen was third quickest in a group on 1:35.

Positions after super-special stage:
                               min sec
1 C Sainz     Sp  Ford          01.34
= D Auriol    Fr  Toyota        01.34
3 T Makinen   Fin Mitsubishi    01.35
= K Eriksson  Swe Subaru        01.35
= J Kankkunen Fin Ford          01.35
= N Bates     Aus Toyota        01.35
7 R Burns     GB  Mitsubishi    01.36
= F Loix      Bel Toyota        01.36
9 C McRae     GB  Subaru        01.38
= P Bourne    NZ  Subaru        01.38
= K Shinozuka Jpn Mitsubishi    01.38

RALLYING:- The finalists in the Motoring News search to find a rally champion of the future have been announced. They are Nik Elsmore, Niall McShea, Calum MacKenzie, Stuart Egglestone, Ryan Champion and Mark Perrott.





31.10.97 - RALLY AUSTRALIA
Britain's Colin McRae kept his hopes of the Championship alive by leading the Rally after leg one in Perth. The Scot has a nine-second advantage over his rivals but he said: "So far, so good but there is a long way to go. The stages are dry but are still slippery. I am quite happy to be running first on the next stage." Juha Kankkunen set the fastest time on four of the special stages but withdrew from the rally as it was impossible for him to recover lost time.


Positions after leg one:     hr min sec
 1 C McRae     GB  Subaru      1:32.26
 2 R Burns     GB  Mitsubishi  1:32.35
 3 D Auriol    Fr  Toyota      1:32.57
 4 C Sainz     Sp  Ford        1:33.17
 5 K Eriksson  Swe Subaru      1:33.44
 6 T Makinen   Fin Mitsubishi  1:34.07
 7 N Bates     Aus Toyota      1:34.59
 8 P Bourne    NZ  Subaru      1:35.01
 9 E Ordynski  Aus Mitsubishi  1:36.00
10 F Loix      Bel Toyota      1:36.28