04.07.98F1:- David Coulthard insists he is still the biggest threat to championship leader and McLaren team-mate Mika Hakkinen. Michael Schumacher and Ferrari are homing in on the Finn because Coulthard has been dogged by bad luck in his last three races. However, Coulthard said: "I think it is going to be difficult to pull back 20 points but it is possible. "I am not going to adopt a negative attitude. I will try to win the British Grand Prix and take it from there."
FERRARI CHALLENGE:- Britain's Nigel Albon steered his Ferrari F355 to victory in the Ferrari Challenge at the Asian Festival of Speed at the Johor circuit, Malaysia. He won the 216-mile race to stay on course to retain his overall title.
JIM CLARK MEMORIAL RALLY LEADERBOARD after stage 15 of 26 (Interim) hr min sec 1 Buckley/Ewing Subaru 1:15:58 2 Price/Broad MG Metro 1:20:10 3 Griffiths/Davies MG Metro 1:21:28 4 Rooke/Sorensen Ford 1:21:30 5 Paterson/Harris Subaru 1:21:35 6 Hendy/Milton Ford 1:22:38 7 Worswick/Molyneux Ford 1:22:39 8 Porter/Simmons Lancer 1:22:54 9 Vassallo/Redpath Subaru 1:23:26 10 Turnbull/Dawson Ford 1:23:29LURGAN PARK RALLY, N Ireland:- Belgian Patrick Snijers beat Derek McGarrity by eight seconds to take the spoils in Northern Ireland in what was his third attempt. SEAT won the Formula Two Cup for the second year running after a fine drive by Gwyndaf Evans and co-driver Conor O'Dwyer, the National Hunt jockey. Evans said: "Conor did an extremely good job in the co-driver's seat." O'Dwyer joked: "Heading towards Becher's Brook in the Grand National will be no problem after this."
Final positions: mins secs 1 Snijers/McKee Ford 14:18.7 2 McGarrity/C'rthrs Ford 14:26.6 3 McKinstry/N Orr Subaru 14:32.6 4 B'ggstaff/McC'lss Metro 14:35.8 5 Evans/O'Dwyer SEAT 14:38.7 6 Colbert/Burrows Metro 14:45.7 7 Leckey/McNickle Subaru 14:48.2 8 Vatenen/Gallagher Subaru 14:55.4 9 Gass/I Orr Ford 15:03.9 10 White/Brown Ford 15:08.1 05.07.98SPA 24 HRS:- Belgians Marc Duez and Eric van de Poele and France's Alain Cudini drove their BMW 320i to victory in the Spa 24-hour race in Belgium.
PORSCHE CUP:- Leicester's Malcolm Sargent earned two wins in round six of the Pirelli Porsche Cup at Castle Combe. Peter Chambers and Godfrey Jones emerged unscathed after a huge accident in the first race, where both cars went over the top of a barrier.
07.07.98 - F1The Australian Grand Prix will stay at Melbourne's Albert Park for at least the next eight years. The Victorian state government decided to keep the event which moved to Melbourne in 1996 after it had been staged in Adelaide for 11 years. Victoria estimate that this year's race made a net profit of just over $3m and nearly $60m for the state. The race has also been voted the world's best Grand Prix by the Formula One teams for the last two years.
The BMW Motorsport management team have named Gerhard Berger as their new motorsport director as they build up for their Formula One return in 2000.
08.07.98 - F1: THE BRITISH GPDavid Coulthard is hoping to regain his early season form on Sunday in a bid to press home his title claim. "I am looking forward to it as it is my home grand prix," he said. "I feel comfortable with the environment and enjoy increased spectator support. "It is a nice feeling knowing many of the marshals and staff but there are extra pressures as one of the four British drivers in Formula One. "I get many more demands on my time for this race."
McLaren star David Coulthard knows Silverstone well after many hours of racing and testing at the circuit ` but he has never won on the track. "Out of all this year's races, this is the one I would really love to win. My first Formula One win in Britain would give me immense satisfaction," he said. "However, Silverstone puts up a range of challenges and there are at least 10 other drivers intent on winning. Like the majority of tracks these days overtaking opportunities are limited."
Michael Schumacher has never won the British race and Ferrari last triumped in Northamptonshire in 1990 but recent form suggests that record could change. McLaren had threatened to take the spoils well before the end of the season but Schumacher is now just six points behind leader Mika Hakkinen. Ferrari had stated that 1998 was the year they would be ready to win their first drivers' crown since 1979. Schumacher's consistent displays suggest that could well be the case.
Williams have dominated this race in recent years, with six victories in the last seven grands prix at Silverstone. However, this year Jacques Villeneuve is set to relinquish his world title without a fight and his team are only fourth in the constructors' standings. The absence of design wizard Adrian Newey, who is now installed at McLaren, and the Renault works engines has contributed to the lack of success. The FW20 has been more reliable of late but Williams are yet to win in 1998.
Damon Hill earned his first 1997 point at Silverstone and if he repeats that at least this year you can expect the loudest cheer of the day. Hill's Silverstone-based Jordan team have yet to win a point all year. He was lying just out of the points last year while driving for Arrows but a late Shinji Nakano retirement left him in sixth place. Jacques Villeneuve won the race but the roof almost came off the stand as Hill crossed the line way down in his wake.
Jordan were handed a boost before their home grand prix when Ralf Schumacher posted the fastest time after three days of testing by the teams. His team-mate Damon Hill was ninth quickest but was pleased with the aerodynamic changes made to his car. He said: "I feel the work we have done in testing will have a positive effect. The aero-modifications are certainly a step forward. Honda have made improvements with a new exhaust and we have made changes to the suspension."
Benetton's 'rookie' duo of Alexander Wurz and Giancarlo Fisichella have been improving with every race and Silverstone should suit the car. "It is one of the classic circuits with a good mixture of very fast corners, which our car seems to like," confirmed technical director Pat Symonds. "There are also quite a lot of bumps on the track, which presents us with fewer problems than some of the other teams. It can be hard on tyres but our work with Bridgestone has been productive."
Arrows claimed their first point in Northamptonshire last season and a similar result this season would be a major boost to the team. Driver Mika Salo said: "Silverstone is the fastest circuit and I have been driving this track for 10 years now. This one has the best layout so far. Our test with the new C-spec engine was encouraging and I view it as a big improvement for the team." His team-mate Pedro Diniz added: "I like the circuit very much."
Tyrrell are hoping the recent three-day test sessions at Silverstone will boost the team's chances on Sunday. "Silverstone deserves full marks for a smooth surface capable of generating high levels of grip," said managing director Dr Harvey Postlethwaite. "It is a place where a Formula One car can really be unleashed. It is our home event and we want to go well. We are hopeful we have got to the bottom of the mechanical problems that have blighted our performances."
Sunday's race is scheduled to start at 2pm and should last for 60 laps. Silverstone is owned and operated by the British Racing Drivers' Club and has held the British Grand Prix annually since 1987. The Northamptonshire track opened for racing in 1948 and is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Silverstone is 5.140km, or 3.194 miles, in length and the race distance is set to be 308.406 km or 191.634 miles and race-day is a 90,000 sell-out.
Silverstone staged the first-ever round of the Formula One World Championship in 1950. It shared the British Grand Prix with Aintree and then Brands hatch before gaining sole rights in 1987. Sunday's race will be the 33rd British Grand Prix at the circuit. Jim Clark and Alain Prost both won the British Grand Prix five times. The last Briton to win the race was Johnny Herbert for Benetton in 1995.
1997 result: 1 J Villeneuve Can Williams 2 J Alesi Fr Benetton 3 A Wurz Aut Benetton 4 D Coulthard GB McLaren 5 R Schumacher Ger Jordan 6 D Hill GB Arrows Fastest race lap: M Schumacher 1:24.475 Previous winners: 1997 J Villeneuve Can Williams 1996 J Villeneuve Can Williams 1995 J Herbert GB Benetton 1994 D Hill GB Williams 1993 A Prost Fr Williams 1992 N Mansell GB Williams 1991 N Mansell GB Williams 1990 A Prost Fr Ferrari 1989 A Prost Fr McLaren 1988 A Prost Fr McLaren 1987 N Mansell GB Williams 1986 N Mansell GB Williams 09.07.98F1:- British American Racing want former world champion Damon Hill to drive for them in 1999. The team bought out Tyrrell and Jacques Villeneuve has also been linked with them because managing director Craig Pollock is a friend of the Canadian. Pollock said: "Damon is underestimated. I do not know what he wants but I would not rule out talks. It would be stimulating to have Damon or Jacques." Hill has the option to walk out of Jordan at the end of this year.
Michael Schumacher looks set to extend his stay with Ferrari. Ahead of Sunday's British Grand Prix, Schumacher hinted that he was going to sign up with the Italian team for another two years. Asked about the offer, he said: "We have talked and there is no reason why I should not stay." Schumacher has been linked with McLaren but his manager Willi Weber said he has not represented the German in talks with the British team.
Championship leader Mika Hakkinen believes his experience and McLaren's know-how will give him the edge over Michael Schumacher on Sunday. The German is just six points behind Hakkinen going into the British Grand Prix at Silverstone at the weekend. However, Hakkinen said: "There is always going to be pressure and when you are in the leading position the pressure is going to be ever more. "I am leading the championship and that is the most important thing."
David Coulthard has admitted that his decision to hand McLaren team-mate Mika Hakkinen victory in Australia could cost him the title. The Scot trails the Finn by 20 points and needs a win in Sunday's British Grand Prix to get back on track. Coulthard slowed down to give Hakkinen victory in Melbourne last March because of a pre-race deal and he said: "It is costing me points in the championship. "Faced with the same set of circumstances I would do it again."
BRITISH GTs (Silverstone):- John Greasley and Magnus Wallinder set the fastest time in the first qualifying session for Sunday's race. They clocked one minute, 45.366 seconds to finish just 0.005 seconds ahead of Steve O'Rourke and Tim Sugden in their McLaren F1 GTR. Favourites Julian Bailey and Tiff Needell were third quickest. Meanwhile, Kurt Luby and Richard Dean were fastest in the GT2 class, ahead of the Porsche GT2 of Geoff Lister and John Morrison.
First qualifying session (Thurs):mins secs 1 Greasley/W'der Porsche GT1 1:45.365 2 O'Rourke/S'gdn McLaren GT1 1:45.371 3 Bailey/Needell Lister GT1 1:45.516 4 Ulrich/Flux Lister GT1 1:45.783 5 Fisken/Hardman McLaren GT1 1:46.395 6 Hewland/Evans Lister GT1 1:49.241 7 Portman/C-W'tr Harrier GT1 1:51.414 8 Neal/Leslie Porsche GT1 1:51.770 9 Lindsay/Ward Harrier GT1 1:54.026 10 Kent/V'rdn-Roe TVR GT1 1:54.389 11 Luby/Dean Chrysler GT2 1:54.421 12 Lister/M'rison Porsche GT2 1:55.616F3 (Silverstone):- Darren Manning is on course to become the first driver to win the British Grand Prix support race twice. The 23-year-old claimed provisional pole for Saturday's showdown after the first qualifying session with a time of one minute, 43.898 seconds. Denmark's Kristian Kolby was second quickest in 1:44.362. Paul Stewart Racing's Mario Haberfeld was third fastest, while fellow Brazilian and team-mate Luciano Burti was fifth fastest.
First qualifying session (Thurs):mins secs 1 D Manning GB Speedsport 1:43.898 2 K Kolby Den Fortec 1:44.362 3 M Haberfeld Brz P Stewart 1:44.362 4 R Mauricio Brz A Docking 1:44.508 5 E Bernoldi Brz Promatecme 1:44.617 6 L Burti Brz P Stewart 1:44.708 7 B Collins GB Intersport 1:44.910 8 Y Igarashi Jpn A Docking 1:44.916 9 J Spence GB M Donnelly 1:44.952 10 W Hughes GB Portman 1:44.961F3000 (Hockenheim):- Norfolk-based Den Bla Avis had their most productive two-day test sessions of the season in Germany. Jason Watt was second fastest behind West Competition's Nick Heidfeld, while Gareth Rees clocked the fourth quickest time in Hockenheim. The first day of testing was hit by rain but Heidfeld set the pace on the second day. Watt and Rees eclipsed the performance of sister team Super Nova Racing, with Juan Pablo Montoya sixth fastest.
Test session: mins secs 1 N Heidfeld West Comp 2:00.891 2 J Watt Den Bla Avis 2:01.135 3 G Rodgrigues Astromega 2:01.210 4 G Rees Den Bla Avis 2:01.216 5 A Muller Team Oreca 2:01.235 6 JP Montoya Super Nova 2:01.323 7 W Lupberger Edenbridge 2:01.403 8 N Minassian West Comp 2:01.432 9 K Mollekens Arden/KTR 2:01.568 10 S Sarrazin Apomatox 2:01.709 10.07.98F1: THE BRITISH GP
David Coulthard struck a cautionary note as McLaren again showed their dominance in Friday's session. He said: "It doesn't guarantee anything. It's a similar situation to what we had last year. Michael was leading the championship by 17 points at this point last season, but Jacques still won. People have very short memories and the championship is following its normal form. I am hopeful that ultimately we will triumph."
Friday's free practice times: 1 D Coulthard GB McLaren 1:25.640 2 M Hakkinen Fin McLaren 1:25.764 3 H-H Frentzen Ger Williams 1:26.107 4 J Villeneuve Can Williams 1:26.114 5 E Irvine GB Ferrari 1:26.791 6 G Fisichella It Benetton 1:26.840 7 M Schumacher Ger Ferrari 1:26.844 8 A Wurz Aut Benetton 1:27.121 9 R Schumacher Ger Jordan 1:27.460 10 D Hill GB Jordan 1:27.667 11 J Herbert GB Sauber 1:27.978 12 J Alesi Fr Sauber 1:28.136 13 T Takagi Jpn Tyrrell 1:28.258 14 R Barrichello Brz Stewart 1:28.339 15 J Trulli It Prost 1:28.685 16 J Verstappen Hol Stewart 1:28.983 17 O Panis Fr Prost 1:29.193 18 M Salo Fin Arrows 1:29.262 19 P Diniz Brz Arrows 1:29.375 20 R Rosset Brz Tyrrell 1:29.664 21 S Nakano Jpn Minardi 1:30.090 22 E Tuero Arg Minardi 1:30.266Williams are rumoured to have lined up a deal to sign Cart champion Alex Zanardi for next season, say Five Live. Zanardi could replace world champion Jacques Villeneuve who has een linked with a move to new team British American Racing. BAR's managing director Craig Pollock is a friend of Villeneuve and they are also said to be chasing Damon Hill. Pollock is confident his team can make an immediate impact and said: "I feel the team could be competitive."
F3:- Combined qualifying sessions: mins secs 1 D Manning GB Speedsport 1:43.045 2 L Burti Brz P Stewart 1:43.556 3 E Bernoldi Brz Promatecme 1:43.671 4 R Mauricio Brz A Docking 1:43.823 5 J Spence GB M Donnelly 1:43.928 6 K Kolby Den Fortec 1:44.089 7 M O'Connell GB Dallara 1:44.103 8 M Haberfeld Brz P Stewart 1:44.202 9 M Hynes GB Dallara 1:44.239 10 W Hughes GB Portman 1:44.410 BRITISH GTs (Silverstone): Combined qualifying sessions: mins secs 1 Greasley/W'der Porsche GT1 1:45.366 2 O'Rourke/S'gdn McLaren GT1 1:45.371 3 Bailey/Needell Lister GT1 1:45.516 4 Ulrich/Flux Lister GT1 1:45.783 5 Fisken/Hardman McLaren GT1 1:46.395 6 Hewland/Evans Lister GT1 1:48.618 7 Neal/Leslie Porsche GT1 1:49.711 8 Portman/C-W'tr Harrier GT1 1:51.414 9 Luby/Dean Chrysler GT2 1:53.411 10 Lindsay/Ward Harrier GT1 1:54.026 11 Kent/V'rdn-Roe TVR GT1 1:54.389 12 Cunningham/K'g Chrysler GT2 1:55.122 11.07.98F1: THE BRITISH GP
David Coulthard was dejected after failing to win a place on the front row for Sunday's race. The Scot needs a win to get his title ambitions back on track but was only fourth fastest in qualifying. "It is the most disappointing moment I can remember," he revealed. "It could be very damaging for the race and for the championship. I felt as though I was up against a brick wall out there. It indicates there is a problem there."
Damon Hill is disappointed that he is not starting higher than seventh for Jordan's home race on Sunday. "I went out on the last lap hoping I could really do something special," he said. "I do not feel like I got the best lap I could. Jacques Villeneuve is a few 10ths of a second ahead and is third on the grid." Rain is expected to hit the race on Sunday and Hill added: "I am more worried, like everyone else, about this prediction of bad weather."
Saturday's qualifying times: 1 M Hakkinen Fin McLaren 1:23.271 2 M Schumacher Ger Ferrari 1:23.720 3 J Villeneuve Can Williams 1:24.310 4 D Coulthard GB McLaren 1:24.436 5 E Irvine GB Ferrari 1:24.442 6 H-H Frentzen Ger Williams 1:24.542 7 D Hill GB Jordan 1:25.081 8 J Alesi Fr Sauber 1:25.084 9 J Herbert GB Sauber 1:25.461 10 G Fisichella It Benetton 1:25.760 11 A Wurz Aut Benetton 1:26.376 12 P Diniz Brz Arrows 1:26.376 13 M Salo Fin Arrows 1:26.487 14 J Trulli It Prost 1:26.808 15 J Verstappen Hol Stewart 1:26.948 16 R Barrichello Brz Stewart 1:26.990 17 T Takagi Jpn Tyrrell 1:27.061 18 E Tuero Arg Minardi 1:28.051 19 S Nakano Jpn Minardi 1:28.123 20 R Rosset Brz Tyrrell 1:28.608 21 O Panis Fr Prost 1:26.847 22 R Schumacher Ger Jordan 1:25.461 * Panis and R Schumacher both demoted after failing to comply with technical regulations during qualifying.
Jordan boss Eddie Jordan believes stories about Damon Hill quitting the team and the sport are just part of "artful negotiations" by the driver. The team chief says such threats are typical of a grand prix star in the middle of contract talks. "Drivers are artful negotiators," said Jordan. "They all seem to come out with similar lines at this time of year. The idea of him not continuing is totally inconsistent with the conversations I am having with him."
BRITISH F3 (Silverstone) Round 10 result: mins secs 1 D Manning GB Speedsport 23:21.312 2 W Hughes GB Portman 23:27.347 3 R Mauricio Brz A Docking 23:30.461 4 K Kolby Den Fortec 23:33.998 5 M Haberfeld Brz P Stewart 23:34.586 6 A Yoong Mal Dallara 23:35.565 7 A Wilcox GB Dallara 23:39.548 8 T Spouge GB Dallara 23:49.026 9 A Pavicevic Aus Dallara 23:53.726 10 Y Igarashi Jpn Dallara 23:57.102 Championship Positions: 1 Bernoldi 119 pts 2 Haberfeld 109 3 O'Connell 96 12.07.98F1: THE BRITISH GP
David Coulthard's Championship hopes took a dive as he slid out in the rain. The Scot, only fourth fastest in qualifying, moved up to second behind teammate and Championship leader Mika Hakkinen and was closing. But as the rain became heavier and Coulthard pushed, he went sliding sadly into a gravel trap on lap 37. Damon Hill's hopes also disappeared in the rain as he lost control and spun out on lap 14, but Eddie Irvine's consistent run continued with third.
Michael Schumacher was in confusion after having to serve a penalty of ten seconds en route to his first UK win. "I still don't know the reason for my penalty," he admitted. "The radio in the car went about halfway and then I got a sign on the pit wall to come in. I thought we might have a fuel problem and I didn't think it was for a penalty Why Mika went wide I don't know. This was not the result we expected but it is very satisfactory to be only two points down going to the next race."
Defeated Mika Hakkinen rued the severe wet weather after sliding out of the lead with only ten laps remaining. "It is extremely disappointing," he said. "We were looking good until the heavy rain came. I didn't think I could stay in front because I had lost all my downforce when I went off before and damaged my front wing. At Becketts, the car just went straight and I could not turn. There was no way I could keep position."
Former champion Damon Hill admitted to mixed feelings after seeing Ralf Schumacher gain Jordan's first point. "I'm very pleased for him, but I'm obviously very disappointed that I didn't get stay up there myself. I managed to spin away," Hill said. "Ralf did very well coming from the back of the grid and he got a point so there's a lot to celebrate now. It's a change in the bad luck we've been having," added Hill, whose challenge was ended on the 14th lap.
Final positions: (after 60 laps)hr min sec 1 M Schumacher Ger Ferrari 1:47.12.4 2 M Hakkinen Fin McLaren 1:47.22.4 3 E Irvine GB Ferrari 1:47.29.1 4 A Wurz Aut Benetton 1 lap 5 G Fisichella It Benetton 1 lap 6 R Schumacher Ger Jordan 1 lap 7 J Villeneuve Can Williams 1 lap 8 S Nakano Jpn Minardi 2 laps 9 T Takagi Jpn Tyrell 4 lapsRetirements: Hill (13), Frentzen (15), Salo (27), Herbert (27), Truro (29), Rosset (29), Trulli (37), Coulthard (37), Verstappen (38), Barrichello (39) Panis (40), Diniz (45), Alesi (53)
DRIVERS' STANDINGS 1 M Hakkinen Fin McLaren 56 pts 2 M Schumacher Ger Ferrari 54 3 D Coulthard GB McLaren 30 4 E Irvine GB Ferrari 29 5 A Wurz Aut Benetton 17 6 G Fisichella It Benetton 15 7 J Villeneuve Can Williams 11 8 H-H Frentzen Ger Williams 8 9 R Barrichello Brz Stewart 4 10 J Alesi Fr Sauber 3 = M Salo Fin Arrows 3 12 J Herbert GB Sauber 1 = P Diniz Brz Arrows 1 = J Magnussen Den Stewart 1 CONSTRUCTORS' STANDINGS 1 McLaren-Mercedes 86 pts 2 Ferrari 83 3 Benetton 32 4 Williams-Mecachrome 19 5 Stewart 5 6 Sauber-Petronas 4 = Arrows 4CHAMP CARS:- Scotland's Dario Franchitti finished third as competition leader Alex Zanardi extended his advantage by winning the Cleveland Grand Prix. Zanardi won his third Indy car race in a row and clinched his fifth triumph of the season after starting from third. Zanardi took the lead 12 laps into the 100-lap temporary street-course event over the 1.6-mile layout. American Michael Andretti was second, while Briton Mark Blundell came 10th.
Final positions:(all after 100 laps) 1 A Zanardi It Honda 2 M Andretti US Ford 3 D Franchitti GB Honda 4 S Pruett US Ford 5 A Fernandez Mex Ford 6 G de Ferran Brz Honda 7 J Vasser US Honda 8 B Rahal US Ford 9 P Carpenter Can Mercedes 10 M Blundell GB Mercedes DRIVER STANDINGS: Points 1 A Zanardi It Honda 155 2 G Moore Can Merc-Benz 96 3 J Vasser US Honda 92 4 A Fernandez Mex Ford 85 5 M Andretti US Ford 68 13.07.98 - F1Michael Schumacher faces an agonising wait before discovering if his victory at Silverstone will stand. Defeated McLaren protested that the German should have received a 10-second penalty for overtaking Alexander Wurz while a yellow warning flag was raised. Stewards threw out the appeal but McLaren will now take the matter to the International Court of Appeal. A decision on that protest might not come until after the next race in Austria on Sunday week.
Damon Hill has dismissed rumours that he is considering retirement after crashing out at Silverstone. "I'm certainly optimistic for the future and the team seems to be moving forward," said Hill. "The race didn't go well for me but the most important thing is the team won their first point. I don't know where the story about my retirement came from because I don't think I ever said that but I'm used to rumours by now," he added.
Ferrari driver Eddie Irvine launched a stinging attack on Damon Hill after his performance at Silverstone. "He has become a menace on the track. He is a sad old man who appears to be a bad loser," said Irvine. "I had no trouble with any drivers until I got behind Hill. He was right back to his old tricks, weaving all over the place. I've got no time for Hill and he got his punishment when he went off. He should have had common sense."
David Coulthard has said sorry to his British fans for snubbing them as he trudged away from Silverstone. Coulthard shrugged aside their words of comfort when he made his way back to the Mclaren team to ask why he was not given wet tyres in the conditions. He said: "I want to apologise to the people who came up to me afterwards. I was just so focused and intent on coming back to the bus to discuss the choice made that I never spoke to anyone. Emotions were running high."
15.07.98F1:- The FIA will hear McLaren's appeal over the British Grand Prix result in Paris on July 27 - a day after the next race in Austria. Ferrari's Michael Schumacher won the race in the pits after coming in for a 10-second stop-go penalty, while Mika Hakkinen was second for McLaren. Three race stewards have been invited to appear before the World Motor Sport Council in Paris on July 29. Schumacher is now only two points behind championship leader Hakkinen.
CHAMP CARS (Toronto):- Mark Blundell heads for round 11 of the series this Sunday still searching for his first win of the season. The Briton won the Toronto Molson Indy last year and led for 93 laps of the 95-lap race. Blundell feels he is capable of a podium finish and said: "It was one of the best races of my career. "It is one thing to lead from start to finish and another thing entirely to do it with Alex Zanardi breathing down your neck. It made winning sweeter."
16.07.98F1:- Michael Schumacher has revealed that he is set to sign a contract extension with Ferrari. Speaking in Monza, where he has been testing ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix, he said: "I am close to signing but cannot tell you when I will sign." His current deal runs out in 1999 and reports in Italy suggest he will extend the deal for three years, through 2002. Schumacher had his third straight win at Silverstone on Sunday and is two points behind leader Mika Hakkinen.
British American Racing have given Jean-Christophe Boullion the role of test driver. The 28-year-old currently lives in Oxford and has signed an agreement with the team, who begin racing in 1999. Boullion made 11 Formula One starts for Sauber in 1995 and has also been a test driver with Williams. He will begin work with Tyrrell, who were bought out by BAR, in the interim. Jacques Villeneuve and Damon Hill have also been linked with the team.
TOURING CARS:- Paula Cook has confirmed that she will compete in the final round of the RAC British Touring Car Championship at Silverstone on September 20-21. The Rotherham-based driver made the decision after a two-day test at Croft in the ex-Williams Renault Laguna run by DC Cook Motorsport. She recorded a best lap time of one minute, 22.8 seconds. "It was better than expected especially as I had just stepped out of my Formula Three car from the weekend," she said.
MINTEX RALLY SERIES:- Roger Duckworth will be defending a 13- point lead over Murray Grierson in round five of the championship in the Vale of Neath on Saturday. The two Subaru Impreza drivers will be battling it out in the six-stage rally, which also forms part of the Ka Championship and Micra Challenge. Scot Grierson won the event in 1993 and 1995 but his chances of a third win are reduced by the presence of Brian Lyall. Lyall is the defending national champion and won this rally last year.
ULSTER RALLY:- SEAT are entering two Ibiza kit cars in the Ulster International Rally from July 31 to August 1 and Robbie Head will play a crucial part. Gwyndaf Evans and Barbara Armstrong will be tackling the next stage of the Mobil 1 British Rally Championship. Head and co-driver Bryan Thomas will follow the route ahead of the event to analyse weather and road conditions. It means Head's proposed rally debut for SEAT has been put back to the Manx International Rally in September.
18.07.98CHAMP CARS (Toronto):- Scotland's Dario Franchitti was fourth fastest in qualifying for Sunday's 11th round of the series. Mark Blundell, who won this race last year and is bidding for a podium place, was 10th quickest. Championship leader Alex Zanardi of Italy earned the best lap time, clocking 58.737 seconds. Gil de Ferran was the only other driver to dip under the 59-second mark and Michael Andretti was third quickest with 59:002.
Qualifying session (Fri): secs 1 A Zanardi It Honda 58:737 2 G de Ferran Brz Honda 58:862 3 M Andretti US Ford 59:002 4 D Franchitti GB Honda 59:281 5 T Kanaan Brz Honda 59:329 6 C Fittipaldi Brz Ford 59:509 7 R Hearn US Ford 59:599 8 B Rahal US Ford 59:627 9 Al Unser Jnr US Mercedes 59:645 10 M Blundell GB Mercedes 59:668MINTEX RALLY SERIES:- Marcus Dodd earned his first championship win of the season in a car he had never seen before until the eve of the rally. The 27-year-old powerboat dealer from Poole collected a new Escort world rally car from Ford's motorsport headquarters in Essex on Friday night. He was fastest in all but the second stage of round six and pipped 1994 winner Steve Petch by 78 seconds. Roger Duckworth was third to extend his lead in the championship to 19 points.
Result after six stages: Penalty 1 Dodd/Bennie Ford 1:11.08 2 Petch/Croft Ford 1:12.26 3 Duckworth/B'feld Subaru 1:13.25 4 Harrison/Cook MG Metro 1:13.38 5 Gwynne/O'Gorman Subaru 1:13.40 6 Smith/James Ford 1:13.58 7 P'lliskirk/Evans MG Metro 1:14.17 8 Grierson/Roy Subaru 1:15.16 9 Robinson/M'bank Ford 1:15.32 10 Tough/Addison Mitsubishi 1:15.35 19.07.98 - CHAMP CARSItalian Alessandro Zanardi's incredible year continued with a pass with three laps to go to win the Toronto CART Grand Prix on Sunday. The race belonged to the polesitter, Scottish-born Dario Franchitti who lead most of the race until he spun out on the 80th lap. Michael Andretti came second in his Swift Ford with teammate Jimmy Vasser in third position. Bobby Rahal and Bryan Herta finished fourth and fifth in Reynard Fords.
21.07.98F1: THE AUSTRIAN GP
Heinz-Harald Frentzen has been linked with a move to Prost-Peugeot for the 1999 campaign, according to German racing magazine Sport-Auto. Williams have warned Frentzen, who replaced Damon Hill, that he must accept a cut in salary if he wants to stay with the team. The German is believed to earn around £2m a year. He said: "Anyone hoping to win races over the next couple of years will not have an easy task at Williams."
This grand prix made a re-appearance on the calendar after 10 seasons last year and the A-1 Ring is an updated and reshaped version of the Osterreichring. Around £17.5m has been spent on the circuit since its last race in 1987. Canadian Jacques Villeneuve triumphed at the track last season ` on his way to capturing the world title. However, this season his Williams team have been upstaged by the McLaren and Ferrari drivers and there is little to suggest that will change in Austria.
Michael Schumacher is targeting his fourth straight win this weekend in a bid to lead the championship for the first time in 1998. After his controversial win in the British Grand Prix, Schumacher is just two points behind leader Mika Hakkinen. "It is a very different circuit to Silverstone," said Schumacher. "After our performance in testing and practice I did not expect that result. I am happy to be going to the A-1 ring and we should be very competitive."
After their early-season domination, McLaren have not won a race in their last three outings. Mika Hakkinen has seen his lead whittled down to just two points and David Coulthard appears to have only an outside chance of taking the title. McLaren have appealed against the Silverstone result, where Michael Schumacher took the spoils in the pits. The hearing will be held in Paris next week but the FIA are unlikely to overturn the result.
David Coulthard was tipped to be the top Briton this season but Eddie Irvine is threatening to take that honour. Michael Schumacher makes the headlines for Ferrari but the team's progress in the constructors' race has also been down to Irvine's consistent form. The Ulsterman, who has been linked with a move to Williams, is fourth in the standings and is just one point behind McLaren star Coulthard. Irvine is known to be considering his options for the 1999 campaign.
Jacques Villeneuve won here last year but is still looking for his first 1998 victory going into Sunday's race. After the waterlogged scenes at the British Grand Prix, Williams are hoping for fine weather so they can capitalise on the improvements made to the FW20. Villeneuve said: "I have memories of it being a fun but not demanding track. Since it is possible to overtake there I am looking forward to having a few battles. Silverstone qualifying showed we have a more competitive car."
Jordan claimed their first point of the season at their Silverstone base last time out but it was Ralf Schumacher and not Damon Hill who achieved the feat. Hill spun out in the British Grand Prix and will be desperate to make a mark. The 1996 champion was the first to admit he was at fault in front of his home crowd but he has also been hit by car problems and bad luck this year. He was one place off the points for Arrows last year so could go one better at least in a car with more potential.
Stewart are hoping engine improvements will aid their hunt for more points. Ford introduced the new Series 5 version of the Zetec-R V10 in qualifying for the last round of the championship at Silverstone. "Both drivers were impressed with the improved driveability and smoothness of the engine," said Ford's European director of motorsport Martin Whitaker. Managing director Paul Stewart added: "We cannot expect miracles but we do anticipate some improvement."
Tyrrell have less than half a season to make an impact before the new British American Racing team take over. BAR have bought the Woking-based outfit, who aim to get the most out of the Tyrrell-Ford 026 in Austria. "The A-1 Ring is definitely a high downforce circuit, although not in the same way as Monaco or the Hungaroring," said Tyrrell's David Brown. "We have also noticed that chassi balance there is even more dependent on track temperature."
Sunday's race is scheduled to last for 71 laps or 306.578km (189.57 miles). The Osterreichring, the original Austrian circuit, was constructed in 1968 and 18 races were staged there. The final race in 1987 needed three starts to get underway. Austria held its first grand prix at Zeltweg in 1964. The A-1 Ring also hosts the Austrian Motorcycling Grand Prix and that sport returned there in 1996.
1997 result: 1 J Villeneuve Can Williams 2 D Coulthard GB McLaren 3 H-H Frentzen Ger Williams 4 G Fisichella It Jordan 5 R Schumacher Ger Jordan 6 M Schumacher Ger Ferrari Fastest race lap: J Villeneuve 1:11.814 (record) Previous winners: 1997 J Villeneuve Can Williams Previous winners (Osterreichring): 1987 N Mansell GB Williams 1986 A Prost Fr McLaren 1985 A Prost Fr McLaren 1984 N Lauda Aut McLaren 1983 A Prost Fr RenaultTOURING CARS:- The championship enters its decisive second phase with rounds 15 and 16 at Snetterton on Sunday. Volvo's Rickard Rydell is the leading contender, 42 points ahead of reigning champion Alain Menu, but at least five other drivers have a chance of glory. Neither Rydell or the Volvo team have ever won at Snetterton, a fact that the 29-year-old from Stockholm would quickly like to eradicate. Six different drivers have won the last six rounds in Norfolk.
Ford's Will Hoy believes he has a lucky link with the Snetterton circuit and is confident he can come out in front. "I watched my first ever race at Snetterton, so it has always been a special circuit to me," he said. "It's been kind to me, too - three of my BTCC victories have been there and I feel a fourth is on the cards. The Mondeo is a force in the wet or dry." Hoy lies eighth in the rankings after 14 of the 26 races and is a distant 100 points adrift of leader Rydell.
Renault's Jason Plato aims to begin his charge for the title after a stuttering start to the campaign. "I'm really looking forward to the second half of the season," he said. "For various reasons, the first half didn't produce the results we expected. "We have all had a bit of a rest and we will come back kicking. The Laguna goes well. I hope to win here again." Peugeot will also be keen to impress, and new engine modifications should improve their chances of doing well.
22.07.98 FORD FIESTA'S (Snetterton):- Leading testing times (Wed): 1 P Cate 1:28.669 2 D Gibson 1:28.718 3 R Claydon 1:28.737 4 S Clarke 1:28.773 5 C Stancombe 1:28.945 6 N Gordon 1:28.959 F.FORD (Snetterton):- Leading testing times (Wed): 1 J Button 1:10.904 2 D Wheldon 1:10.943 3 M Ambrose 1:11.127 4 N Keisa 1:11.239 5 T Sisley 1:11.451 6 B Horne 1:11.512 VAUXHALL VECTRA (Snetterton):- Leading testing times (Wed): 1 S Graves GB 1:18.215 2 F Figueiredo Brz 1:18.708 3 M Blair GB 1:19.028 4 J Yeomans GB 1:19.113 5 M Nichol GB 1:19.417 6 D Gibson GB 1:19.547 F.VAUXHALL JUNIOR (Snetterton):- Leading testing times (Wed): 1 A Pizzonia Brz 1:10.186 2 T Scheckter Za 1:10.258 3 R Lyons GB 1:10.293 4 J Hanson GB 1:10.541 5 R Bell GB 1:10.721 6 J Dalziel GB 1:10.809 23.07.98F1:- Michael Schumacher predicted Formula One world champion Jacques Villeneuve could run into trouble with his new team next season. Schumacher said the 27-year-old faced a leap into the unknown after his move to British American Racing. "It's a different experience to build a new team and to start from scratch," warned Schumacher. "It'll be interesting to see which way it goes. It could go either way. There is more uncertainty with a new team."
Jacques Villeneuve has signed up with British American Racing. The 27-year-old Formula One world champion will join the new outfit in their debut 1999 season. Craig Pollock, BAR's managing director said: "His presence will go a long way towards our goal of being competitive in the shortest time possible." Villeneuve, who was a student of Pollock's at school in Switzerland, is free to leave Williams at the end of the year.
RALLYING:- Colin McRae will be looking to extend his world championship lead when the Rally New Zealand begins on Friday. Scotland's McRae won the Acropolis rally in his Subaru Impreza last month to take the championship lead from Toyota's Carlos Sainz. He will be first off the blocks when the super special stage starts at Manukau, south of Auckland. McRae will be followed by Sainz and defending world champion Tommi Makinen in his Mitsubishi.
TOURING CARS (Snetterton):- Leading testing times (Thur): min secs 1 J Thompson 1:09.176 2 A Reid 1:09.431 3 D Leslie 1:09.654 4 W Hoy 1:09.854 5 D Warwick 1:09.891 6 T Harvey 1:09.893 7 P Kox 1:09.897 8 G Mordidelli 1:09.984 9 J Cleland 1:10.067 10 A Menu 1:10.093 24.07.98F1: THE AUSTRIAN GP
Friday's practice times: 1 D Coulthard GB McLaren 1:13.703 2 G Fisichella It Benetton 1:13.704 3 M Hakkinen Fin McLaren 1:13.746 4 J Herbert GB Sauber 1:14.103 5 R Barrichello Brz Stewart 1:14.302 6 A Wurz Aut Benetton 1:14.397 7 M Schumacher Ger Ferrari 1:14.411 8 E Irvine GB Ferrari 1:14.523 9 D Hill GB Jordan 1:14.535 10 J Alesi Fr Sauber 1:14.627 11 J Trulli It Prost 1:14.685 12 O Panis Fra Prost 1:14.755 13 J Villeneuve Can Williams 1:14.820 14 R Schumacher Ger Jordan 1:15.117 15 T Tagaki Jpn Tyrrell 1:15.158 16 J Verstappen Hol Stewart 1:15.231 17 H-H Frentzen Ger Williams 1:15.345 18 M Salo Fin Arrows 1:15.696 19 S Nakano Jpn Minardi 1:16.171 20 P Diniz Brz Arrows 1:16.303 21 E Tuero Arg Minardi 1:16.582 22 R Rosset Brz Tyrrell 1:18.469TOURING CARS:- Series leader Rickard Rydell maintained his Touring Car dominance by setting the fastest time in official testing for Sunday's races at Snetterton. The Swede shrugged off a sore back to average more than 102mph and top the time sheets in preparation for rounds 15 and 16 at the Norfolk circuit. "Obviously I'm pleased but one small mistake could cost you 10 places on the grid," Rydell said. He added: "Qualifying itself is going to be incredibly close."
25.07.98F1: THE AUSTRIAN GP
The less-fancied teams were able to make a name for themselves in the dying minutes of qualifying as the track dried out. The drivers did not take to the circuit until 27 minutes of the session had elapsed because of heavy rain. Giancarlo Fisichella and Jean Alesi will start on the front row but late bursts by Rubens Barrichello and Mika Salo gave Stewart and Arrows a boost. Barrichello was fifth fastest and Salo was a place behind him.
Italian 'rookie' Giancarlo Fisichella was delighted after earning his first pole position. He denied Swiss team Sauber their first top placing on the grid and admitted: "It is unbelivable." A downpour hit the circuit during the first part of the session but Fisichella excelled in the conditions. "I hope it is wet again during the race," he said. "I spun twice and then I decided to go out in a different set of tyres."
David Coulthard was disappointed by his qualifying performance but believes he can still drive into the points in Sunday's race. The Scot was only 14th fastest but he told BBC Radio Five Live: "It was disappointing but I would still expect to get in the points. I feel that if I could have had another lap I would have been further up the grid. There is nothing wrong with the car it was just an unfortunate session."
Damon Hill hit out at his Jordan team after a disappointing qualifying session left him 15th on the grid. "We missed a great opportunity," said Hill, who is still looking for his first point of 1998. You have to finish your laps just as the session is ending. That is the first rule of wet-weather qualifying. I finished a good few minutes before the end of the session. I think we could have been in the top four. I need to discuss this with the team."
McLaren-Mercedes admitted that they made an attempt to lure Michael Schumacher from Ferrari. Mercedes-Benz sporting director Norbert Haug said the team spoke to the former world champion before he signed a new deal with the Italian outfit. "We spoke but we did not find a way," revealed Haug. The move leaves a question mark over Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard but team boss Ron Dennis says he will announce his 1999 driver line-up soon.
McLaren plan to protest against alleged use by Ferrari of a banned traction control system. McLaren team boss Ron Dennis said he was "bitterly disappointed" that news of a possible protest by his team had been leaked to the media by Ferrari. Dennis claimed there had been a pre- season agreement between the two teams to keep such matters private until action was taken formally. Ferrari team boss Jean Todt denied any such agreement existed.
Saturday's qualifying times: min secs 1 G Fisichella It Benetton 1:29.598 2 J Alesi Fr Sauber 1:30.317 3 M Hakkinen Fin McLaren 1:30.517 4 M Schumacher Ger Ferrari 1:30.551 5 R Barrichello Brz Stewart 1:31.005 6 M Salo Fin Arrows 1:31.028 7 H-H Frentzen Ger Williams 1:31.515 8 E Irvine GB Ferrari 1:31.651 9 R Schumacher Ger Jordan 1:31.917 10 O Panis Fr Prost 1:32.081 11 J Villeneuve Can Williams 1:32.083 12 J Verstappen Hol Stewart 1:32.099 13 P Diniz Brz Arrows 1:32.206 14 D Coulthard GB McLaren 1:32.399 15 D Hill GB Jordan 1:32.718 16 J Trulli It Prost 1:32.906 17 A Wurz Aut Benetton 1:33.185 18 J Herbert GB Sauber 1:33.205 19 E Tuero Arg Minardi 1:33.399 20 T Takagi Jpn Tyrrell 1:34.090 21 S Nakano Jpn Minardi 1:34.536 22 R Rosset Brz Tyrrell 1:34.910TOURING CARS (Snetterton):- Anthony Reid moved into second position in the overall standings after taking pole position for both races on Sunday. Championship leader Rickard Rydell was only fourth and sixth fastest for rounds 15 and 16. Reid said: "So far, so good. Obviously, we at Nissan are aiming primarily for the manufacturers' title. However, I have not yet given up my dream of winning the drivers' title and these two poles can only help, especially with Rickard faring badly."
Round 15 qualifying times (Sat):min secs 1 A Reid GB Nissan 1:08.841 2 A Menu Swi Renault 1:08.971 3 J Plato GB Renault 1:09.031 4 J Thompson GB Honda 1:09.052 5 P Kox NL Honda 1:09.156 6 R Rydell Swe Volvo 1:09.189 7 D Leslie GB Nissan 1:09.375 8 G Morbidelli It Volvo 1:09.593 9 M Neal GB Nissan 1:09.601 10 Y Muller Fr Audi 1:09.677 Round 16 qualifying times (Sat):min secs 1 A Reid GB Nissan 1:08.792 2 A Menu Swi Renault 1:08.815 3 J Thompson GB Honda 1:08.841 4 R Rydell Swe Volvo 1:08.874 5 J Plato GB Renault 1:08.957 6 Y Muller Fr Audi 1:09.156 7 P Kox NL Honda 1:09.189 8 M Neal GB Nissan 1:09.239 9 D Warwick GB Vauxhall 1:09.322 10 G Morbidelli It Volvo 1:09.346NEW ZEALAND RALLY:- Colin McRae slipped down to third place after leading for four of the eight stages on the opening leg after colliding with a spectator. The man suffered a broken leg and was airlifted to hospital after being struck at a corner half way through the sixth stage in the Maramarua Forest. The Subaru driver is 4.4 seconds adrift of overnight leader Didier Auriol, with Carlos Sainz in second. Richard Burns is hot on McRae's heels in the Mitsubishi in fourth.
Positions after stage 8: (end of first leg) overall time 1 D Auriol Fr Toyota 27:02.7 2 C Sainz Sp Toyota 27:04.9 3 C McRae GB Subaru 27:07.1 4 R Burns GB Mitsubishi 27:15.7 5 J Kankkunen Fin Ford 27:18.8 6 T Makinen Fin Mitsubishi 27:25.8 7 M Gronholm Swe Toyota 27:27.2 8 P Liatti It Subaru 27:40.2 9 T Radstrom Swe Toyota 27:49.8 10 P Bourne NZ Subaru 27:59.5 CHAMP CARS (Michigan):- Final qualifying times (Sat): secs 1 A Fernandez Mex Ford 31:370 2 J Vasser US Honda 31:461 3 R Hearn US Ford 31:546 4 A Unser jr US Mercedes 31:592 5 B Herta US Ford 31:663 6 S Pruett US Ford 31:674 7 A Zanardi It Honda 31:685 8 M Andretti US Ford 31:700 9 C Fittipaldi Brz Ford 31:724 10 G de Ferran Brz Honda 31:832 16 D Franchitti GB Honda 31:987 19 M Blundell GB Mercedes 32.120 RENAULT SPIDER CUP (Snetterton):- Round nine qualifying (Sat): 1 N Hart 1:16.140 2 D Vercoe 1:16.356 3 S Wiseman 1:16.414 4 D Henderson 1:16.614 5 S Hill 1:16.666 6 A Priaulx 1:16.689 VECTRA SRi V6 CHALLENGE (Snetterton):- Round eight qualifying (Sat): 1 F Figueiredo 1:18.097 2 S Graves 1:18.355 3 M Blair 1:18.586 4 J Yeomans 1:18.858 5 M Nichol 1:19.302 6 D Gibson 1:19.349 F.FORD (Snetterton):- Round eight qualifying (Sat): 1 J Button 1:10.268 2 M Ambrose 1:10.348 3 D Wheldon 1:10.375 4 N Kiesa 1:10.468 5 D Hayes 1:10.762 6 C Murray 1:10.770 FORD FIESTA'S (Snetterton):- Round eight qualifying (Sat): 1 S Clarke 1:27.984 2 N Gordon 1:28.017 3 D Gibson 1:28.078 4 I Churchill 1:28.154 5 P Cate 1:28.218 6 J Levy 1:28.224 F.VAUXHALL JUNIOR (Snetterton):- Round nine qualifying (Sat):min secs 1 R Lyons GB 1:09.974 2 T Scheckter SA 1:10.358 3 L Walker GB 1:10.397 4 K Hall GB 1:10.471 5 J Hanson GB 1:10.639 6 J Dalziel GB 1:10.748 Round 10 qualifying (Sat): 1 A Pizzonia Brz 1:10.232 2 L Walker GB 1:10.236 3 R Lyons GB 1:10.241 4 T Scheckter SA 1:10.309 5 K Hall GB 1:10.592 6 J Hanson GB 1:10.664 F.RENAULT SPORT (Snetterton):- Round nine qualifying (Sat): min secs 1 D Bell GB 1:07.920 2 A Coelho Brz 1:07.970 3 V Meira GB 1:08.042 4 T Sriachavanon Th 1:08.081 5 T Mullen GB 1:08.166 6 R Austin GB 1:08.393 Star Cup: 8 R Kerr GB 1:09.081 F3000 (A1-Ring):- Race result after 48 laps (Sat):hr min sec 1 S Ayari Fr Durango 1:11.04.2 2 J Montoya Col Super N 1:11.26.2 3 J Watt Den Den Bla 1:11.31.8 4 G Rodriguez Uru Team As 1:11.32.5 5 N Minassian Fr W Comp 1:11.36.1 6 B Junqueira Brz Drace 1:11.37.3 7 N Heidfeld Ger W Comp 1:11.42.0 8 S Sarrazin Fr Apoma'g 1:11.42.2 9 O Martini It Auto S 1:11.43.1 10 K Mollekens Bel Arden 1:11.49.2 17 C Horner GB Arden 1:12.29.7 QUINTON STAGES RALLY Leaders after stage six: min secs 1 Burton/Morgan Peugeot 0:47:48 2 Winter/Jones Rover 0:48:32 3 Bengry/F'brook Mitsubishi 0:48:42 4 Smith/Clarke Ford 0:49:18 5 Bell/Spooner Mitsubishi 0:49:29 6 McGin'le/Astb'y Ford 0:49:43 26.07.98F1: THE AUSTRIAN GP
Michael Schumacher claimed third spot but he had to battle back from 16th place after a trip into the gravel. The uncharacteristic mistake left the Ferrari star way down the field but he steadily moved back to fourth. Then a brake problem for Eddie Irvine allowed the German to overtake his Ferrari team-mate. Ralf Schumacher took Jordan's points total to three by finishing fifth but former world champion Damon Hill just missed out in seventh.
Hopes of points finishes for Mika Salo and Rubens Barrichello came to an end early on when both had to retire. Stewart driver Barrichello had started fifth, while Arrows star Salo was sixth on the grid. Salo went out after colliding with David Coulthard on the first lap, forcing the Scot to make a pitstop. Benetton's Giancarlo Fisichella, who had edged out Jean Alesi to take pole, went out after a collision with the Frenchman, whose race was also ended.
Finnish star Mika Hakkinen clinched his first win since the Monaco race back in May and extended his series lead over Michael Schumacher to eight points. "It was an excellent victory for me and the team," said the McLaren driver. Hakkinen moved up from third to first at the start and admitted: "I just kept my foot down and hoped for the best. I was not sure how fast Giancarlo Fisichella and Jean Alesi would be at the start so just concentrated on my own start."
David Coulthard earned a timely boost by finishing second, despite being hampered by a first-lap collision. The safety car came out after the Scot was hit by Mika Salo and Coulthard admitted: "It allowed me to change the wing and rejoin the field at the back." Coulthard had not been on the podium since the Spanish Grand Prix and had started in 14th place. He added: "It was nice to be on the podium after the bad qualifying session on Saturday."
Ferrari insisted their were no team orders, even though Michael Schumacher overtook team-mate Eddie Irvine in the closing stages to secure third place. Ferrari technical director Ross Brawn said: "The only team orders were not to knock each other off. We were marginal on brakes and the on-board data was showing us both cars were on the limit." Irvine added: "I had brake problems at the end so had to be a bit careful. You could see the brake dust."
Title-chasing Michael Schumacher was happy with third place after a mistake nearly ended his race. He went into the gravel and lost part of his wing and was down the field after the resulting pitstop. "It was a great pitstop by the guys," he said. "It was a stupid mistake by myself. I went off line and ran wide. Third place was good considering I was nearly out of the race. I thought I had damaged the car more than I had. I went back into the race in 16th place."
Ralf Schumacher outshone his Jordan team-mate Damon Hill for the second race in a row by taking fifth place. Hill was just out of the points in seventh and said: "We gambled on the strategy to move us up the grid. I made one of the best starts I can remember. However, that strategy meant I had to stop early and so overall I was not able to make up enough places. The car felt the best it has felt all season." Schumacher added: "I am very happy with how the race worked."
Giancarlo Fisichella's hopes of victory after the first pole position of his short career ended after 21 laps. The Benetton driver collided with Sauber's Jean Alesi and both men were forced out of the race. "I do not want to complain about Jean because usually he is a fair driver but this incident could have been avoided. I had just left the pits when I find myself alongside him. I overtook him, then when I braked I saw him shoot past on my left and close the door on me."
McLaren will learn on Monday if their appeal against Michael Schumacher's win at Silverstone has been successful. Schumacher won the race in the pits after taking a 10-second stop-go penalty at the en of the race. Mika Hakkinen was second for McLaren and is now eight points clear of Schumacher overall. The FIA hearing takes place in Paris but Schumacher said: "Ferrari did not make a mistake or commit an error. I cannot imagine we will be punished."
David Coulthard has been linked with the new British American Racing team. BAR, who bought out Tyrrell, announced this week that Williams star Jacques Villeneuve was joining them for 1999. Damon Hill had been linked with the team but BAR boss Craig Pollock told BBC Radio 5 Live: "David Coulthard has everything we need in a driver. He is a terrific driver, can put a car on pole position and knows how to win races. He would be ideal to have on board next year."
Result after 71 laps: hr min sec 1 M Hakkinen Fin McLaren 1:30.44.0 2 D Coulthard GB McLaren 1:30.49.3 3 M Schumacher Ger Ferrari 1:31.23.1 4 E Irvine GB Ferrari 1:31.28.0 5 R Schumacher Ger Jordan 1:31.34.7 6 J Villeneuve Can Williams 1:31.37.2 7 D Hill GB Jordan 1:31.57.7 8 J Herbert GB Sauber one lap 9 A Wurz Aut Benetton one lap 10 J Trulli It Prost one lap 11 S Nakano Jpn Minardi one lap 12 R Rosset Brz Tyrrell two laps DID NOT FINISH Laps completed 13 J Verstappen Hol Stewart 51 14 E Tuero Arg Minardi 30 15 G Fisichella It Benetton 21 16 J Alesi Fr Sauber 21 17 H-H Frentzen Ger Williams 16 18 R Barrichello Brz Stewart 8 19 P Diniz Brz Arrows 3 20 M Salo Fin Arrows 1 21 O Panis Fr Prost 0 22 T Takagi Jpn Tyrrell 0 Fastest lap: D Coulthard 1:12.878 DRIVERS' STANDINGS 1 M Hakkinen Fin McLaren 66 pts 2 M Schumacher Ger Ferrari 58 3 D Coulthard GB McLaren 36 4 E Irvine GB Ferrari 32 5 A Wurz Aut Benetton 17 6 G Fisichella It Benetton 15 7 J Villeneuve Can Williams 12 8 H-H Frentzen Ger Williams 8 9 R Barrichello Brz Stewart 4 10 J Alesi Fr Sauber 3 = M Salo Fin Arrows 3 = R Schumacher Ger Jordan 3 13 J Herbert GB Sauber 1 = P Diniz Brz Arrows 1 = J Magnussen Den Stewart 1 CONSTRUCTORS' STANDINGS 1 McLaren-Mercedes 102 pts 2 Ferrari 90 3 Benetton 32 4 Williams-Mecachrome 20 5 Stewart 5 6 Sauber-Petronas 4 = Arrows 4 8 Jordan 3TOURING CARS (Snetterton):- Anthony Reid won the Sprint Race and James Thompson claimed his second win of the season in the Feature Race. Reid made a great start but for most of the race Jason Plato stayed close behind the Nissan and the Renault driver eventually took second spot. The safety car was used for eight laps in the second race after a collision between Alain Menu and John Cleland, which ended their races. Championship leader Rickard Rydell was second behind Thompson.
Round 15 result (Sun): min secs 1 A Reid GB Nissan 20:11.954 2 J Plato GB Renault 20:12.434 3 A Menu Swi Renault 20:12.704 4 J Thompson GB Honda 20:15.880 5 R Rydell Swe Volvo 20:16.310 6 D Leslie GB Nissan 20:16.516 7 G Morbidelli It Volvo 20:23.071 8 W Hoy GB Ford 20:23.653 9 J Cleland GB Vauxhall 20:24.389 10 D Warwick GB Vauxhall 20:24.611 Round 16 result (Sun): mins secs 1 J Thompson GB Honda 52:37.426 2 R Rydell Swe Volvo @ 04.335 3 J Plato GB Renault @ 08.407 4 D Leslie GB Nissan @ 08.866 5 Y Muller Fr Audi @ 09.123 6 C Baird NZ Ford @ 18.726 7 J Bintcliffe GB Audi @ 24.417 8 W Hoy GB Ford @ 11.699 9 J Cleland GB Vauxhall @ 12.415 10 D Warwick GB Vauxhall @ 12.657 DRIVER STANDINGS (after 16 rnds): 1 R Rydell Swe Volvo S40 164 pts 2 J Thompson GB Honda Accord 122 3 A Reid GB Nissan 119 4 J Plato GB Renault Lag 114 5 A Menu Swi Renault Lag 113 CONSTRUCTOR STANDINGS 1 Nissan 172 pts 2 Volvo 170 3 Renault 168 4 Honda 141 5 Vauxhall 116 INDEPENDENTS: 1 T Rustad 163 pts 2 R Gravett 148 3 M Neal 124NEW ZEALAND RALLY:- Colin McRae slipped back to fourth place on the second day after suffering two mishaps. McRae spun on the 12th stage and then slid wide on the penultimate stage and damaged the steering of his Subaru. Fellow Briton Richard Burns, who won the event two years ago, was 10 seconds and one place ahead of McRae. Didier Auriol strengthened his lead over his Toyota teammate Carlos Sainz to almost 31 seconds after winning five of the day's eight stages.
Positions after stage 18: (at end of day two) overall time 1 D Auriol Fr Toyota 1:43:23.6 2 C Sainz Sp Toyota 1:43:54.0 3 R Burns GB Mitsubishi 1:44:08.5 4 C McRae GB Subaru 1:44:18.0 5 J Kankkunen Fin Ford 1:44:57.4 6 T Makinen Fin Mitsubishi 1:44:58.7 7 P Liatti It Subaru 1:46:55.8 8 T Radstrom Swe Toyota 1:47:05.3 9 P Bourne NZ Subaru 1:48:40.5 10 Y Fujimoto Jpn Toyota 1:52:01.8CHAMP CARS (Michigan):- Mexican Adrian Fernandez clinched his first CART pole and is in line for a bumper pay day if he triumphs in Sunday's race. He lapped the two-mile oval in 31.370 seconds and admitted: "This means an enormous amount to me. We are going to have a big party." Jimmy Vasser, who set the track record two years ago, was second fastest. Britain's Dario Franchitti and Mark Blundell will be 16th and 19th on the grid respectively.
Final qualifying times (Sat): secs 1 A Fernandez Mex Ford 31:370 2 J Vasser US Honda 31:461 3 R Hearn US Ford 31:546 4 A Unser jr US Mercedes 31:592 5 B Herta US Ford 31:663 6 S Pruett US Ford 31:674 7 A Zanardi It Honda 31:685 8 M Andretti US Ford 31:700 9 C Fittipaldi Brz Ford 31:724 10 G de Ferran Brz Honda 31:832 16 D Franchitti GB Honda 31:987 19 M Blundell GB Mercedes 32.120RENAULT SPIDER CUP (Snetterton):- Nick Hart halved the points gap on series leader Dan Eaves with a victory in the ninth round. Eaves finished fifth after starting from last place while Andy Priaulx set a new lap record on his way to a career best second.
Round nine result (Sun): mins secs 1 N Hart 17:59.909 2 A Priaulx 18:06.941 3 D Henderson 18:08.938 4 D Vercoe 18:09.941 5 D Eaves 18:12.483 6 J Hunter 18:14.276FORD FIESTA'S (Snetterton):- Simon Clarke leads the series after converting his pole position into his first win of the season. Clarke was never headed throughout the 14-lap race.
Round eight result (Sun):mins secs 1 S Clarke 20:58.221 2 P Cate 21:02.244 3 N Gordon 21:02.518 4 A Morrison 21:04.439 5 D Gibson 21:13.762 6 R Claydon 21:16.398F.FORD (Snetterton):- Jenson Button leads the Championship but Daniel Wheldon stole the show by winning the 15-lap event. Button was second to move three points clear of team-mate Derek Hayes.
Round eight result (Sun):mins secs 1 D Wheldon 17:52.719 2 J Button 17:52.810 3 N Kiesa 17:56.392 4 M Ambrose 17:59.490 5 C Murray 18:00.141 6 D Hayes 18:02.001F.RENAULT SPORT (Snetterton):- Doug Bell claimed the spoils by edging out series leader Aluizio Coelho. Seventh-placed Gavin Jones took the Star Cup honours on his series return.
Round nine result (Sun):min secs 1 D Bell GB 19:39.391 2 A Coelho Brz 19:43.450 3 T Mullen GB 19:47.699 4 T Sriachavanon Th 19:53.327 5 V Meira GB 19:56.199 6 C Clark GB 19:56.944 7 G Jones GB 20:02.407 F.VAUXHALL JUNIOR (Snetterton):- Round 10 result (Sun): mins secs 1 R Lyons GB 25:55.617 2 L Walker GB 25:57.862 3 A Pizzonia Brz 25:57.921 4 G Paffett GB 25:58.024 5 J Hanson GB 25:59.537 6 J Fourie GB 26:01.887 STANDINGS: 1 A Pizzonia Brz 123 pts 2 R Lyons GB 107 3 T Scheckter Brz 71 4 R Bell GB 54 5 J Fourie SA 42 VECTRA SRi V6 CHALLENGE (Snetterton):- Round eight result (Sun):mins secs 1 F Figueiredo 20:00.399 2 M Blair 20:07.780 3 G Coombes 20:17.533 4 J Yeomans 20:20.693 5 P Sears 20:21.393 6 D Pinkney 20:22.025SUPERCUP:- Germany's Oliver Mathai repeated last year's victory at the A-1 Ring in Austria when triumphing in the fourth round of the Porsche Pirelli Supercup. Twenty-four-year-old student Matteo Maria Galimberti earned his best-ever Supercup result by finishing third and is also third in the standings.
27.07.98F1:- McLaren will find out the result of their appeal over Ferrari star Michael Schumacher's July 12 win in the British Grand Prix on Tuesday. The German won the race in the Silverstone pits while taking a 10- second stop-go penalty. Mika Hakkinen was second in the race for McLaren, who launched a protest on the day but were unsuccessful. The FIA International Court of Appeal met in Paris but Ferrari are confident the result will stand.
David Coulthard is ready to stay at McLaren for another year, after being linked with Formula One new boys BAR. The Scot, who finished second in the Austrian Grand Prix, said: "I believe I will be at McLaren next year. I don't see a better alternative for myself or for the team. Mika Hakkinen and myself offer one of the best line- ups in Formula One. I believe I am still improving as a driver. I have more to offer and the best is still to come."
TOOURING CARS:- Triple Eight Race Engineering face a race against time to get their two Vauxhall Vectras ready for the next rounds of the Championship. Both cars were badly damaged in round 16 at the weekend and the team have just three days to rebuild the cars. Technical director John Gentry said: "The shell of Derek Warwick's car has gone off to the body shop. John Cleland's car stood up incredibly well considering the impact but it needs a complete new side."
NEW ZEALAND RALLY:- Carlos Sainz steered his Toyota to victory and leads the World Championship, ahead of British Subaru driver Colin McRae. The Spaniard is three points ahead of McRae, who could only finish fifth, and is now the most successful rally driver in history with 22 victories. France's Didier Auriol was second in his Toyota, while current world champion Tommi Makinen was third. Briton Richard Burns was ninth and is sixth in the standings.
Colin McRae's chances of victory ended with a puncture during the final stage and he finished fifth. "We had a great run through the first time and decided to take a risk by taking out the spare wheel to lighten the car on the second run," he said. "We were unlucky to get a puncture and had to run 30km through the section with a flat because the anti-deflation mousse also punctured. Obviously the result is disappointing because I have a good record here."
Result after 25 stages: hr min sec 1 C Sainz Sp Toyota 3:54:57.1 2 D Auriol Fr Toyota 3:55.01.2 3 T Makinen Fin Mitsubishi 3:56.40.8 4 J Kankkunen Fin Ford 3:57.03.8 5 C McRae GB Subaru 3:58.47.5 6 P Liatti It Subaru 3:59.25.2 7 T Radstrom Swe Toyota 4:02.28.6 8 Y Kataoka Jpn Mitsubishi 4:02.28.6 9 R Burns GB Mitsubishi 4:10.26.6 10 Y Fujimoto Jpn Toyota 3:28:39.4 DRIVER STANDINGS Pts 1 C Sainz Sp Toyota 41 2 C McRae GB Subaru 38 3 T Makinen Fin Mitsubishi 28 4 J Kankkunen Fin Ford 27 = D Auriol Fr Toyota 27 6 R Burns GB Mitsubishi 21 MANUFACTURER STANDINGS: 1 Toyota 63 pts 2 Subaru 52 3 Mitsubishi 49 4 Ford 36CHAMP CARS:- Three spectators were killed and five others were injured when a tyre and suspension flew into the grandstand during a crash at the US 500. The tragedy occured after Mexico's Adrian Fernandez, who started from pole position at Brooklyn in Michigan, hit the outside wall at turn three. The condition of the other five fans was described as "stable". Fernandez himself escaped serious injury but the race continued and Canada's Greg Moore went on to win.
Result: Laps Completed 1 G Moore Can Honda 250 2 J Vasser US Honda 250 3 A Zanardi It Honda 250 4 S Pruett US Ford 250 5 R Hearn US Ford 250 6 M Andretti US Ford 250 7 B Rahal US Ford 250 8 P Carpentier Can Mercedes 250 9 P Tracy Can Honda 250 10 B Herta US Ford 250 17 M Blundell GB Mercedes 240 21 D Franchitti GB Honda 213RENAULT-CAMPUS:- Teenage Elf Fastrack driver Westley Barber claimed his fifth win of the year in Magny-Cours to equal the record for a season. The 16-year-old needs just seven points from the last two rounds to win the French Renault-Elf Campus Cup title.
CHAMPION SPARK PLUG WORLD RANKING Driver ratings (July 27) Points 1 M Schumacher Formula 1 1074 2 A Zanardi CART 983 3 J Gordon Champ Cars 934 4 M Hakkinen Formula 1 930 5 D Jarrett NASCAR 792 6 M Martin NASCAR 761 7 E Irvine Forumla 1 737 8 L Aiello Le Mans 728 9 J Villeneuve Formula 1 724 10 D Coulthard Formula 1 713 28.07.98 - F1McLaren have failed in its attempt to overturn Michael Schumacher's win in the British Grand Prix. The race ended when Schumacher's Ferrari crossed the finish line driving down the pit lane rather than on the track. McLaren, for whom Mika Hakkinen came in second, protested. It lost and then appealed against the decision. The International Court of Appeal upheld the original decision of the British stewards.
Motor racing's governing body said the result of the British Grand Prix would be allowed to stand after rejecting McLaren's appeal. An FIA statement said: "The results of the 1998 British Grand Prix are therefore final." There was no immediate comment from McLaren but a Ferrari spokesman said his team were happy with the result. "This is a clear result and we can now look forward to the rest of the season," he said.
29.07.98F1: THE GERMAN GP
The three stewards who officiated at this year's controversial British Grand Prix have returned their FIA licences at a World Motor Sport Council meeting. India's Nazir Hoosein, Canadian Roger Peart and Briton Howard Lapsley made the voluntary move in Paris and can no longer officiate at FIA events. The meeting was held after Michael Schumacher won the race in the pits. Now the FIA have announced changes designed to reduce the administrative workload of stewards at future races.
FIA president Max Mosley has insisted that not all team orders are banned. "Team orders are not prohibited when they are made in the interests of winning the championship," he said. "They are not allowed when they interfere with the results in the competition - an act prejudical to the interests of the competition." It comes after David Coulthard let Mika Hakkinen win in Australia, while Eddie Irvine's "brake problem" gave Michael Schumacher third place in Austria.
McLaren's one-two in the Austrian Grand Prix left team chief Ron Dennis choked with emotion after the race ` and he could feel that way again on Sunday. The fast circuit at Hockenheim should suit his cars. Mika Hakkinen's A-1 Ring win and David Coulthard's superb drive to land second place gave McLaren some breathing space in the tussle with Ferrari. After Austria, Dennis said: "I am pleased for everybody in the team who have all worked extremely hard."
Michael Schumacher was second in front of his home fans last season but will be aiming to go one better, while putting his Austrian error behind him. Schumacher was third at the A-1 Ring but a trip into the gravel went close to ending his participation. However, he is just eight points behind leader Mika Hakkinen, who was third at Hockenheim in 1997. Ferrari last won the German Grand Prix in 1994, thanks to the now-retired Gerhard Berger, who also won last year.
Heinz-Harald Frentzen has endured a season he will want to forget but is eyeing a podium place in his home race. "It is a special circuit," he said. "We face long and lonely straights in the forest yet the Motodrom has the atmosphere of a football stadium. "It is always a thrill to drive through it, although I cannot hear the spectators I do notice the sea of colourful caps and flags. It is going to be a busy weekend finding the right balance on my car."
Damon Hill has been overshadowed by Jordan team-mate Ralf Schumacher in the last two races and the German will be aiming for a repeat in his home race. Hill has yet to win a point this season while Schumacher has three but the former world champion was just out of the points in seventh in Austria. He said after the race that the car felt good, although the fast track at Hockenheim may not suit the Jordans. However, Hill knows the circuit well and won the 1996 German Grand Prix.
Jordan's target for the rest of the season is to win points in every round. Owner Eddie Jordan said: "We must aim to finish in the top six in every race. It has been a long, hard winter but I think summer is finally arriving." Chief designer Mike Gascoyne added: "Our test in Monza has given us a reasonable idea of the high-speed performance of the car. While we will not be as competitive as the top two teams, I think we should qualify in the top eight."
Stewart-Ford driver Rubens Barrichello is relishing his return to Hockenheim, a circuit full of good memories. "It was where I clinched the Lotus Euroseries Championship in 1990," the Brazilian recalled. "It's a circuit that requires good brakes and good speed for the fast straights. It's not a demanding circuit tactically. The car was well-balanced during the Monza test so hopefully that will give us a chance of a good qualifying spot."
Hockenheim is one of the fastest circuits on the Formula One calendar and Tyrrell admit that it presents a challenge for the team. Race engineer David Brown said: "Hockenheim can be stiflingly hot but, more significantly, the long straights dictate a low-downforce chassis. The cars reach speeds of up tp 345 km/h but drivers must then brake for second-gear changes. Good chassis stability is needed for that and the infield section."
LAP VIEW FROM HEINZ-HARALD FRENTZEN: By the end of the start-finish straight we reach 295km/h in fifth gear. It is important to build up speed to get through Nordkurve as you need it for the long straight prior to the first chicane. Shifting to fifth and sixth gear, we reach up to 340 to 350km/h. This is our top speed, not only for Hockenheim but for the whole season. We shift back into second gear and pass the chicane at 100km/h.
To reach the Ost Kurve we shift from third to sixth gear. This was rebuilt a couple of years ago to include a chicane. Then from 320km/h we change to first gear, only to accelerate again to sixth, reaching a top speed of 330km/h just before the third and last chicane. The chicane divides the long back straight in half. The last straight leads to the Motodrom - the heart of the Hockenheimring.
Shortly before we enter Mobil Kurve we will slow down from 325 to 175km/h in fourth gear. Sachs Kurve is next and taken at 80km/h in second gear. Opel and Sud Kurve are last and both of these are taken in second gear at about 140km/h. Then it is back to the start-finish straight in front of the main grandstand. It is always a thrill to drive here in my home race.
Sunday's race is scheduled to last for 45 laps or 307.022km. Hockenheim covers 4.24 miles and is one of the longest circuits used in the World Championship. Sunday's event will be the 21st Formula One World Championship race to be staged at Hockenheim. The circuit was originally built as a test track for Mercedes cars. Hockenheim won exclusive rights to stage the German Grand Prix in 1986.
1997 result: 1 G Berger Aut Benetton 2 M Schumacher Ger Ferrari 3 M Hakkinen Fin McLaren 4 J Trulli It Prost 5 R Schumacher Ger Jordan 6 J Alesi Fr Benetton Fastest race lap: G Berger 1:45.747 (record) Previous winners: 1997 G Berger Aut Benetton 1996 D Hill GB Williams 1995 M Schumacher Ger Benetton 1994 G Berger Aut Ferrari 1993 A Prost Fr Williams 1992 N Mansell GB Williams 1991 N Mansell GB Williams 1990 A Senna Brz McLaren 1989 A Senna Brz McLaren 1988 A Senna Brz McLarenTOURING CARS (Thruxton):- Sweden's Rickard Rydell goes into Sunday's rounds 17 and 18 with a lead of 42 points and only 10 races left. The Volvo man will leave the Hampshire track in front of his rivals whatever the results. However, James Thompson, who is second in the Championship, will have the chance to close the gap on the Swede. "With the Honda's speed we should be strong at a high-speed track like Thruxton," said Thompson. "I was third there in both of April's races."
Alain Menu's hopes of back-to-back Championship triumphs were dented when he crashed out of the feature race in the last meeting at Snetterton. He said: "We have done well at Thruxton in the past and I need to start winning a few races to keep the title. "It is a challenging track and it is going to be an important race as time is running out." The Swiss star dominated the series in his Renault last season but is currently fifth in the standings.
The Vauxhall team will want to forget the last round at Snetterton as both John Cleland and Derek Warwick failed to finish the feature race. Cleland had been the only driver to score points in every race. Meanwhile, the battle for the Autosport Cup for Independents is hotting up, with Tommy Rustad heading the category. However, three class wins from Robb Gravett have boosted the 1990 champion and Mark Lemmer, who missed Snetterton, is expected to return.
ULSTER RALLY:- Renault Dealer Rallying's Martin Rowe could clinch the Championship if he triumphs in the Ulster Rally, which begins on Friday. Ulster is the penultimate round of the series and Rowe will take the crown if he wins the event and closest rival Gwyndaf Evans is out of the top three. The asphalt surface should suit the Renault Maxi Megane. However, Rowe said: "I will not be thinking too much about the title. It is a tough rally. Anything can happen."
Gwyndaf Evans won the 1997 Ulster Rally and another victory this year would boost his title hopes. "The Ulster Rally is one of my favourite events," he said. "I have got a lot of happy memories from here. You have to prepare well for Ulster but still one unpredictable element remains - the weather. I do not think there have been many Ulster rallies where there has not been changeable weather, with regionalised showers making conditions difficult."
British champions Volkswagen will field a double-strength team for the Ulster International Rally on Friday. Austrian Raimund Baumschlager will join Alister McRae, who won the Scottish Rally in June, in the line-up. Baumschlager last made a UK appearance in the 1996 RAC Rally and drove his Golf GTI into sixth place. McRae's co-driver David Senior says Ulster is his favourite event in the series and added: "I love the stages. They are so fast and demanding."
Vauxhall are hoping their new Astra car will feature in the top five of the Ulster Rally. Jarno Kytolehto came within five seconds of victory on the first leg of the Pirelli Rally in April ` in what is the car's development year. The the non-championship Donegal Rally was used in preparation for Ulster. Motorsport manager Mike Nicholson said: "I do not think it is realistic to expect us to challenge for the top three but we may make it interesting."
BRITISH GTs (Donington):- John Greasley and Magnus Wallinder won the last event and are eyeing a repeat in Sunday's GT1 class round six. The Porsche duo will no doubt be pushed hard by McLaren pair Steve O'Rourke and Tim Sugden and Lister Storm drivers Julian Bailey and Tiff Needell. Kurt Luby and Richard Dean have domina ed the GT2 class and had a third straight class win at Silverstone. Geoff Lister and John Morrison have increased the air restrictor sizes in their Porsche to boost engine power.
F.PALMER AUDI (Donington):- August will be a busy month for FPA, with five races over four consecutive weekends - beginning this Sunday at Donington Park. In preparation for this, the turbos have been increased to run 30bhp higher to 250bhp. It means the overboost facility will be operational, resulting in even more overtaking opportunities. Meanwhile, nineteen-year-old Richard Tarling was boosted ahead of Sunday by topping the test times at Pembrey.
STANDINGS (after round four): 1 P Clarke GB 61 pts 2 T Serjala Fin 60 3 S Nakazawa Jpn 58 4 R Tarling GB 56 5 D Turner GB 52 6 J Keen GB 51 7 M Smith GB 40 = E Redfern GB 40 9 I James GB 39 10 D Faulkner Ire 36 F.VAUXHALL JUNIOR (Thruxton):- Round 11 test times (Wed): min secs 1 A Pizzonia Brz 1:20.182 2 J Hanson GB 1:20.575 3 R Lyons GB 1:20.660 4 K Hall GB 1:20.833 5 J Fourie SA 1:21.175 6 M Paviovic Yug 1:21.208 VAUXHALL VECTRA CHALLENGE (Thruxton):- Round nine test times (Wed): 1 S Graves GB 1:27.661 2 M Blair GB 1:27.766 3 F Figuieredo Brz 1:28.077 4 J Yeomans GB 1:28.739 5 G Coomes GB 1:29.524 6 R Meaden GB 1:29.840 RENAULT SPIDER CUP (Thruxton):- Round 10 test times (Wed): min secs 1 D Henderson 1:25.658 2 M Cole 1:25.818 3 D Vercoe 1:25.820 4 D Eaves 1:26.234 5 N Hart 1:26.368 6 T Masini 1:26.532 F.RENAULT SPORT (Thruxton):- Round nine test times (Wed):min secs 1 V Meira 1:27.198 2 J Port 1:27.232 3 T Mullen 1:27.304 4 A Coelho 1:27.350 5 D Bell 1:28.210 31.07.98F1: THE GERMAN GP
Friday's practice times: 1 M Hakkinen Fin McLaren 1:43.946 2 D Coulthard GB McLaren 1:44.138 3 D Hill GB Jordan 1:44.294 4 J Alesi Fr Sauber 1:44.546 5 M Schumacher Ger Ferrari 1:44.757 6 E Irvine GB Ferrari 1:44.780 7 J Villeneuve Can Williams 1:44.928 8 H-H Frentzen Ger Williams 1:45.186 9 J Herbert GB Sauber 1:45.364 10 R Schumacher Ger Jordan 1:45.511 11 J Trulli It Prost 1:45.611 12 A Wurz Aut Benetton 1:45.943 13 G Fisichella It Benetton 1:46.005 14 M Salo Fin Arrows 1:46.163 15 R Barrichello Brz Stewart 1:46.257 16 O Panis Fr Prost 1:46.484 17 T Takagi Jpn Tyrrell 1:46.743 18 P Diniz Brz Arrows 1:46.903 19 J Verstappen Hol Stewart 1:47.086 20 E Tuero Arg Minardi 1:48.175 21 S Nakano Jpn Minardi 1:48.832 22 R Rosset Brz Tyrrell 1:49.986 14 M Salo Fin Arrows 1:46.163 15 R Barrichello Brz Stewart 1:46.257 16 O Panis Fr Prost 1:46.484 17 T Takagi Jpn Tyrrell 1:46.743 18 P Diniz Brz Arrows 1:46.903 19 J Verstappen Hol Stewart 1:47.086 20 E Tuero Arg Minardi 1:48.175 21 S Nakano Jpn Minardi 1:48.832 22 R Rosset Brz Tyrrell 1:49.986TOURING CARS (Thruxton):- The official testing on Friday had plenty of drama both on and off the superfast Hampshire track. Before the teams had began final preparations, the former champion John Cleland was forced to miss the meeting. The Scotsman has not fully recovered from severe bruising and a broken rib after crashing at Snetterton last week. On the circuit, Anthony Reid continued to set the pace after Thursday's times. James Thompson was again Reid's closest rival with Rickard Rydell taking third.
Friday's official testing times: mins secs 1 A Reid GB Nissan 1:16.159 2 J Thompson GB Honda 1:16.349 3 R Rydell Swe Volvo 1:16.362 4 D Leslie GB Nissan 1:16.390 5 A Menu Swi Renault 1:16.576 6 G Morbidelli It Volvo 1:16.619 7 D Warwick GB Vauxhall 1:16.785 8 P Kox Hol Honda 1:16.789 9 J Plato GB Renault 1:16.931 10 Y Muller Fr Audi 1:17.070 ULSTER RALLY LEADERBOARD after 8 of 19 stages (interim) hr min sec 1 Evans/Davies SEAT 1:11:30 2 Laukkanen/Jarvi Renault 1:11:43 3 Rowe/Ringer Renault 1:11:48 4 McRae/Senior Volkswagen 1:11:58 5 Baumschla'r/Wicha Volkswagen 1:13:44 6 Easson/Rabbett Mitsubishi 1:14:14 7 O'Callag'n/Harris Ford 1:14:20 8 Mann/Cook Proton 1:14:29 9 Higgins/Wood Subaru 1:15:03 10 Ipatti/Kajula Mitsubishi 1:15:29Jenny Davies and Claire Mole challenge for the Ladies award came to an abrupt end when the Proton crashed into a tree on stage two. Both Jenny and Claire were taken to hospital and have sustained whiplash injuries. They are being kept in overnight for observation. There was further drama on stage four when the Simmonites rolled their Ford Escort. Both girls are uninjured but the car is too damaged to continue.
Tapio Laukkanen lost time on stage three when he slid wide and clipped a tree. The rear beam on the Renault Maxi Megane was bent, but the team managed to change it at the next service. He then set a blistering pace on the next stage - a full 12 seconds faster than Alister McRae - to take the lead. Unfortunately he only held the lead for two stages, a missed junction in stage eight costing him several seconds and dropping the Renault to second.
Laukkanen's misfortune was to Gwyndaf Evans' advantage as the SEAT driver was able to regain the lead before the overnight halt. This is the Gwyndaf's first tarmac rally with the SEAT and he feels there is more development to come but he is pleased with the performance so far. Barbara Armstrong in the second SEAT Ibiza was held up by the Simmonite's crash on stage four.