02.12.98F1:- It has been confirmed that Formula One will return to the United States in the 2000 season. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway will host the grand prix in what is a multi- year agreement. A date for next year's race has yet to be decided but it will be the first grand prix in the United States since Ayrton Senna won at Phoenix in 1991. Indianapolis stages the Indy 500 and also the Brickyard 400, one of the big events in American stock car racing.
F3000:- Portman Arrows have been accepted as an entry in the International Formula 3000 Championship for 1999. Piers Portman is confident his team can mount a serious challenge. "I feel certain that with the experience we have gained in two years in Formula Three we will be in a strong position from the start," he said. South African Werner Lupberger is to continue his partnership with Edenbridge Racing for a third straight season of International Formula 3000.
07.12.98F1:- Tax officials are to investigate the financing of the Belgian Grand Prix at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit. Belgium's special tax investigation unit is looking into the account of the company running the track and promotions to the company of the race. For 1993 alone, investigators are seeking over seven millions francs, but some reports have the figure higher. "We have had no contact with the FIA over this," circuit secretary Andre Maes said. "It goes over our head."
NEWS:- Teenager Jenson Button has been awarded the McLaren Autosport Young Driver of the Year title. Button won the Slick Formula Ford Championship this season and also the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch.
14.12.98F1:- Honda's long-awaited return to Formula One will be in the year 2000, according to reports. The world-renowned car and motorcycle maker announced in March it would be returning to the sport it quit in 1992 as a full constructor and team. However it has so far refrained from stating the timing of the return. Business daily Nihon Keizai Shimbun quoted a senior official of the company as saying: "It is impossible in 1999. We are aiming at the year 2000."
1999 PROVISIONAL F1 CALENDAR March 7 Australia GP, Albert Park March 21 China GP, Zhuhai * April 11 Brazilian GP, Interlagos May 2 San Marino GP, Imola May 16 Monaco GP, Monte Carlo May 30 Spanish GP, Barcelona June 13 Canadian GP, Montreal June 27 French GP, Magny Cours July 11 British GP, Silverstone July 25 Austrian GP, Spielberg August 1 German GP, Hockenheim Aug 15 Hungarian GP, Budapest Aug 29 Belgian GP, Spa-Francorchamps Sept 12 Italian GP, Monza Sept 26 European GP, Nurburgring Oct 17 Malaysian GP, Kuala Lumpur Oct 31 Japanese GP, Suzuka * may be Buenos Aires on Mar 28 FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP - Provisional 1999 dates: Jan 17-20 Monte Carlo Rally Feb 12-14 Swedish Rally Feb 26-28 Safari Rally Mar 21-24 Portugal Rally Apr 18-21 Spanish Rally May 9-12 French Rally May 23-26 Rally Argentina June 6-9 Acropolis Rally Jul 16-18 Rally New Zealand Aug 20-22 Rally Finland Sep 19-21 China Rally Oct 3-6 San Remo Rally Nov 4-6 Rally Australia Nov 20-23 Rally of Great Britain F3000: Provisional 1999 dates: May 15 Monte Carlo May 29 Catalunya, Spain Jun 26 Magny-Cours, France Jul 10 Silverstone, UK Jul 24 A1-Ring, Austria Jul 31 Hockenheim, Germany Aug 14 Hungaroring, Hungary Aug 28 Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium Sep 11 Monza, Italy Sep 26 Nurburgring, Germany 1999 BTCC CALENDAR APRIL 4/5 Donington Park (National circuit) 17/18 Silverstone (Int'nal circuit) MAY 2/3 Thruxton 15/16 Brands Hatch (Indy circuit) 30/31 Oulton Park (Fosters circuit) JUNE 19/20 Donington Park (National circuit) JULY 3/4 Croft 17/18 Snetterton JULY/AUGUST 31/1 Thruxton AUGUST 14/15 Knockhill 29/30 Brands Hatch (Indy circuit) SEPTEMBER 11/12 Oulton Park (Island circuit) 18/19 Silverstone (Int'nal circuit) 1999 BATHURST 1000 OCTOBER 2/3 Bathurst (Australia) 15.12.98F.FORD:- Alain Menu Motorsport will contest the 1999 Slick 50 Formula Ford Zetec Championship in the all new Van Diemen RF99 and begin testing in February.
F3:- Jenson Button has signed to drive for Renault UK's Formula Three team in 1999 and will be partnering Aluizio Coelho.
16.12.98 - F1The Prost team have revealed that John Barnard, who designed cars which Alain Prost used to win two of his world titles, has joined thier team. Barnard has spent much of the subsequent time with Ferrari, and has also had spells with Benetton, Toyota and Arrows.
Damon Hill set the fastest time in his Jordan during testing in Barcelona. Hill pipped former Jordan teammate Ralf Schumacher while Jacques Villeneuve was only ninth for British American Racing.
23.12.98 - F1British American Racing have challenged the FIA over its ruling that F1 teams must run their cars in similar liveries BAR, who are believed to want to field their two cars in colours representing different cigarette brands, believe the regulation inhibits commercial freedom. BAR managing director Craig Pollock said: "We have tried to explore every possible avenue to resolve the matter. The FIA did not give us any other option and we have therefore initiated formal legal proceedings."
30.12.98 - Granada-Dakar Rally Kenjiro Shinozuka and Henri Magne will be on a revenge mission for the event, which runs from January 1-17. The Mitsubishi duo won the crown in 1997 but lost out to the French pairing of Jean-Pierre Fontenay and Gilles Picard in the 1998 rally. Nissan look set to provide the main opposition to Mitsubishi. Their line-up includes France's Stephane Peterhansel, who has switched to cars after winning a record six rallies on a motorbike.
31.12.98F1:- Formula One team supremo Frank Williams has been awarded a knighthood in the New Year Honours List. Since their first grand prix in Argentina in 1978, his Williams team have won nine contructors' crowns and seven driver titles. Nigel Mansell, Damon Hill and Alain Prost all triumphed under the guidance of Williams, who is known to be one of the toughest taskmasters in the sport. His team failed to win a race in 1998 but could be a force again next season.
Frank Williams was delighted after being handed a knighthood for his services to motorsport. "I am very surprised and very happy that I have received such an important honour," he said. "Additionally, I am truly delighted that the team's achievements in grand prix racing have been recognised in this way." He set up his Williams team in the 1970s and admitted: "At the beginning it was just me and the creditors."
First grand prix win: Britain 1979
Constructors' Championships: Nine - 1980, 1981, 1986, 1987, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997.
Driver crowns: Seven - 1980 (A Jones), 1982 (K Rosberg), 1987 (N Piquet), 1992 (N Mansell), 1993 (A Prost), 1996 (D Hill), 1997 (J Villeneuve).
Results: victories 103, second places 86, third places 54, fourth places 42, fifth places 45, sixth places 29.
GRANADA-DAKAR RALLY Leading prologue results (Thurs):min sec 1 K Shinozuka Jpn Mitsubishi 05:11 2 J-L Schlesser Fr Schlesser @:04 = J-P Fontenay Fr Mitsubishi same 4 M Prieto Sp Mitsibishi @:05 5 JM Servia Sp Schlesser @:06 6 H Masuoka Jpn Mitsubishi @:16 7 J Kl'nschmidt Ger Mitsubishi @:18 = C Souza Por Mitsubishi same 9 T de Lavergne Fr Nissan @:19 10 G de Mevius Bel Nissan @:24