02.10.97F1:- 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.
03.10.97F1:- 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 2:18.84F3:- 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.
04.10.97TOURING 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 2:17.58F3:- 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.
05.10.97TOURING 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 47:44F3:- 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 655RALLYING:- 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 - F1Tyrrell 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.
08.10.97F1: 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, SuzukaThe 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 - F1Damon 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.
10.10.97F1: THE JAPANESE GP
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 1:46.282F3:- 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.
11.10.97F1: THE JAPANESE GP
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 1:40.529HILL 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.
12.10.97F1: THE JAPANESE GP
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 APPEALMichael 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 36SAN 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.
13.10.97F1:- 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 653SAN 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 1:16.30GTs:- 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 3,242F3:- 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.
14.10.97SAN 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 3:02.41F1:- 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.
15.10.97F1:- 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 73INDYCAR:- 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.
16.10.97F1:- 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 7TOURING 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 - F1Gerhard 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.
18.10.97F1:- 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 1:18.922TOUR 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.
19.10.97TOURING 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 @36.209GTs:- 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 653RALLYING:- 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.
21.10.97F1: THE EUROPEAN GP
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 - F1Michael 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."
24.10.97F1: THE EUROPEAN GP
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 1:26.816Pedro 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.
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 1:24.301The 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 26.10.97F1: THE EUROPEAN GP
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 2Formula 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.
27.10.97F1:- 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 673GTs:- 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.
28.10.97F1:- 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 - F1Team 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 AUSTRALIAColin 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 01.38RALLYING:- 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 AUSTRALIABritain'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