01.06.98 FORMULA PALMER AUDI (Snetterton):- Test times: mins secs 1 M Smith 1:07.42 2 J Moro 1:07.46 3 S White 1:07.47 4 D Turner 1:07.48 5 J Wilson 1:07.53 6 R Tarting 1:07.72 7 J Keen 1:08.04 8 F Maluhy 1:08.08 9 P Clarke 1:08.23 10 C Breeze 1:08.39CHAMP CARS:- Scotland's Dario Franchitti managed a highly creditable fourth place finish at the Milwaukee 200. Reynard driver Jimmy Vasser took the chequered flag in first place, just ahead of Brazil's Helio Castro-Neves. British former formula one driver Mark Blundell finished 12th and said: "It was a tough race for me. We just didn't get our car to our liking and then it was a big struggle. I was also getting vibrations which worsened over the course of the race."
Result: Complete laps 1 J Vasser US Honda 200 2 H Castro-N Brz Merc-Benz 200 3 A Unser US Merc-Benz 200 4 D Franchitti GB Honda 200 5 B Rahal US Reynard 200 6 R Hearn US Ford 199 7 P Tracy Can Reynard 199 8 A Zanardi It Honda 199 9 A Fernandez Mex Reynard 199 10 S Pruett US Reynard 199 12 M Blundell GB Merc-Benz 196 02.06.98F1: THE CANADIAN GP
Michael Schumacher steals the headlines for Ferrari but Eddie Irvine has consistently been in the points. The Ulsterman is nine points behind Schumacher overall and his total has helped the Italian team to second place in the constructors' standings. They have more than double the points of Williams and Benetton and hope tyre developments will help them on Sunday. "We hope to have more new tyres and be in with a better chance of holding the Bridgestone cars," said Irvine.
McLaren have not won in Canada since 1992 but such is the domination of Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard this year the team are clear favourites. After failing to finish in Monaco, Coulthard will be desperate to close the gap on his championship-leading team-mate. The Finn heads the Scot by 17 points and will be hunting his fifth victory of the campaign. Gerhard Berger gave McLaren their last victory in Montreal.
World champion Jacques Villeneuve is eyeing a change of luck on his home circuit - which is named after his late father Gilles. Villeneuve slid out of the race on the second lap last year and he admitted: "I felt really stupid and that was my biggest disappointment of the season. My first grand prix at Montreal in 1996 was okay because I was second." The Canadian will be driving the new Williams FW20B car, which features a new rear end.
Jordan began the season with pundits wondering when they would claim their first race win but now the team are just chasing their first point of 1998. Montreal has always been a lucky track for Eddie Jordan's outfit so Damon Hill and Ralf Schumacher will be out to kickstart their season. Although Jordan are still awaiting their first victory, one of their two second places was in Canada in 1995. Hill, meanwhile, won the 1996 Montreal race for Williams.
Tyrrell will be using the P10 version of the Cosworth-developed Ford Zetec-R V10 engine for the first time in qualifying at the weekend. Deputy technical director Mike Gascoyne said: "The P10 has a better, more usable, power output than the Ford V10s we have been using so far this year. Canada is a place where Tyrrell has traditionally gone well. We ran sixth and seventh for much of last year's race and the latest version of the Ford V10 is a step forward."
The Canadian Grand Prix was originally held at Mosport Park but alternated with Mount Tremblant before returning to the Eastern Ontario circuit. It was switched to the current Ille de Notre Dame track in 1978, amid concerns over safety. The track hosted the 1967 World Fair and was renamed to commemorate the late Gilles Villeneuve, who was killed in Belgium in 1982. The circuit is 4.421km long (2.747 miles) and the race is over 69 laps.
Nelson Piquet claimed his final grand prix win in Canada in 1991 - after leader Nigel Mansell began his victory celebrations a lap early. Michael Schumacher won in 1997 but only after leader David Coulthard made a pitstop that went wrong. Jean Alesi secured his only race victory in 1995 at Montreal. Ex-Benetton team boss Flavio Briatore is back in Formula One ` heading a company that will supply Mechachrome engines to the teams.
1997 result: 1 M Schumacher Ger Ferrari 2 J Alesi Fr Benetton 3 G Fisichella It Jordan 4 H-H Frentzen Ger Williams 5 J Herbert GB Sauber 6 S Nakano Jpn Prost Fastest lap (record): D Coulthard GB McLaren 1:19.635 Previous winners: 1997 M Schumacher Ger Ferrari 1996 D Hill GB Williams 1995 J Alesi Fr Benetton 1994 M Schumacher Ger Benetton 1993 A Prost Fr Williams 1992 G Berger Aut McLaren 1991 N Piquet Brz Benetton 1990 A Senna Brz McLaren 1989 T Boutsen Bel Williams 1988 A Senna Brz McLaren 1987 N Mansell GB Williams 1986 N Mansell GB WilliamsF.FIESTA's/F.FORD:- Neal Gordon set the fastest time of one minute, 39.375 seconds in testing for the sixth round of the Ford Fiesta Championship at Donington. Daniel Wheldon was quickest in testing for the Slick 50 Formula Ford Championship on the same circuit.
SCOTTISH RALLY:- Vauxhall believe the all-new Astra has a real chance of victory in round five of the Mobil 1 British Championship, which starts on Friday. The car has only contested two previous rallies but Jarno Kytolehto was just five seconds away from victory in the recent Pirelli International Rally. "We returned to rallying expecting this year to be a development programme," revealed manager Mike Nicholson. "The Astra has been going so well we have had to revise our objectives."
Alister McRae and his Volkswagen team return to the scene of their greatest triumph on Friday. McRae and co-driver David Senior gave Volkswagen a one-two in Scotland last year, just edging out Tapio Laukkanen. The win for McRae, on home turf, helped lead Volkswagen in the direction of the 1997 British Championship crown.. "We are overdue a win," said McRae. "We should have won in Wales and on the Pirelli International but lost out beacuse of niggling problems."
03.06.98F1:- World champion Jacques Villeneuve will take his time before deciding whether he will stay with Williams next season. The Canadian has reportedly been pencilled in at Ferrari if rival Michael Schumacher moves to McLaren but Williams want a decision soon. He said: "It has not even crossed my mind where I will drive next year. Everybody is concentrating so hard on getting this season going in the right direction there have not been any discussions on next year."
INDONESIA RALLY:- The FIA has cancelled September's Rally of Indonesia because of the current civil unrest in the country.
ACROPOLIS RALLY:- Just eight points separate the top five drivers as the World Championship moves into round eight on Sunday and fourth- placed Richard Burns is eyeing success. Burns and co-driver Robert Reid have had an impressive season but the Greek event is one of the most testing. "It is tough on both cars and tyres," said Burns. "Our car proved itself bullet-proof on the more abrasive stages in Argentina and there is no reason why we should not be among the leaders again."
Colin McRae is confident of success after he and Nicky Grist posted 15 fastest stage times in the rock-strewn gravel roads in Argentina. The rough terrain and searing heat make the Acropolis Rally one of the toughest in the series. However, Subaru driver McRae said: "We were the fastest in Argentina and although everyone is still close I am confident of a good result. One of our main advantages in Greece has been tyres."
04.06.98F1:- Jacques Villeneuve has said he will not make a decision on his future in the sport at the moment. The world champion's contract with Williams is up at the end of the year but said he will do nothing until the problems with his car are sorted out. Williams want to know his intentions by the middle of July but it looks likely he will stay with them. He has said he is unlikely to join the new British American Racing team run by his friend Craig Pollock.
David Coulthard faces a crucial test of his title hopes in Montreal on Sunday. He is currently 17 points behind his McLaren teammate Mika Hakkinen in the drivers standings and needs to start cutting the deficit. "Mika's advantage might seem quite a lot but things can change very quickly in Formula One," he said. "I'm not giving up the title by any means. I still think I have a very good chance of winning it this year and am confident I can do well in Montreal."
LE MANS 24 HOURS:- Britain's Martin Brundle was fastest for Toyota in the first of four official qualifying sessions for the Le Mans 24 Hours Race at the weekend. Brundle, a former winner of the race for Jaguar, knocked four seconds off last year's record pole position time around the 13.605km road circuit. He set the marker time at three minutes 37.404 seconds. Second fastest was France's Jean-Marc Gounon in a Mercedes on 3:38.423, ahead of Uwe Alzen in a Porsche on 3:38.863.
Previous winners: 1997 M Alboreto/S Johansson/T Kristensen Porsche 1996 M Reuter/A Wurz/D Jones Porsche 1995 Y Dalmas/JJ Lehto/M Sekiya McLaren 1994 Y Dalmas/H Haywood/M Baldi Porsche 1993 G Brabham/E Helary/C Bouchut Peugeot 1992 D Warwick/Y Dalmas/M Blundell Peugeot 1991 J Herbert/B Gachot/V Weidler Mazda 1990 M Brundle/J Nielsen/P Cobb JaguarF.VAUXHALL LOTUS:- Andrew Delahunty will become Britain's youngest racing driver this weekend when he drives his 150mph Vauxhall Lotus at Mallory Park. He will compete in the British Single Seater Championship at the age of 16.
SCOTTISH RALLY:- Championship leader Martin Rowe defends a one-point lead over Gwyndaff Evans as the Mobil British Championship resumes this weekend. Rowe, in his Renault Megane Maxi, holds his narrow lead after Welshman Evans won the third round in his SEAT Ibiza. Evans' victory ended Rowe's run of victories in the two opening rounds. The RSAC Scottish Rally counts as two rounds of the Championship, with the fourth round on Friday and the fifth round on Saturday.
Gwyndaf Evans is hoping to move to the top of the standings with a good showing in Scotland. Evans trails leader Martin Rowe by one point with each of them winning two races so far this season. Evans, who won the title in 1996, is chasing his first win in the event and said: "The Scottish is a very fast rally and is usually hot and dusty. "Those are difficult conditions for drivers and also pretty demanding for cars," he added.
05.06.98F1: THE CANADIAN GP
Friday's practice times: Mins:secs 1 M Hakkinen Fin McLaren 1:19.613 2 M Schumacher Ger Ferrari 1:20.999 3 J Alesi Fr Sauber 1:20.252 4 D Coulthard GB McLaren 1:20.316 5 G Fisichella It Benetton 1:20.480 6 H-H Frentzen Ger Williams 1:20.622 7 E Irvine GB Ferrari 1:20.821 8 R Barrichello Brz Stewart 1:20.937 9 D Hill GB Jordan 1:21.069 10 O Panis Fr Peugeot 1:21.191 11 J Herbert GB Sauber 1:21.239 12 A Wurz Aut Benetton 1:21.274 13 J Trulli It Prost 1:21.282 14 R Schumacher Ger Jordan 1:21.294 15 T Takagi Jpn Tyrrell 1:21.370 16 J Villeneuve Can Williams 1:21.597 17 M Salo Fin Arrows 1:21.962 18 P Diniz Brz Arrows 1:22.100 19 S Nakano Jpn Minardi 1:22.137 20 E Tuero Arg Minardi 1:22.425 21 R Rosset Brz Tyrrell 1:23.011 22 J Magnussen Den Stewart 1:23.146David Coulthard is relying on the weather to help him in his bid to see Scotland's opening World Cup game against Brazil on Wednesday. He will have a private plane on standby to fly him to France - if his scheduled Silverstone test session is rained off. "I have a group of friends who are going and they have got the tickets," said the 27-year-old from Twynholm. "We were due to test in Magny-Cours in France but it was switched. All I can hope is that the test is called off."
EUROCARS:- The Eurocar Team Cup is launched at Croft on Sunday. Each team consists of a Eurocar V6 driver and a Eurocar V8 driver and the points scored by each driver in their respective races determine the winners. The first prize is worth £1,000 and there are also cash awards down to fourth place.
LE MANS 24 HOURS:- Germany's Bernd Schneider posted the fastest time in practice for the race, which begins on Saturday. He will be teaming up with Kieurs Luwig and Mark Webber in a Mercedes CLK-LM and clocked three minutes, 35.544 seconds in the trials. The team of Martin Brundle, Emmanuel Collard and Eric Helary were second fastest in their Toyota GT1. One of last year's winners Michele Alboreto was ninth fastest in his Porsche LMP.
Final qualifying times CLASS LMP1/2 PROTOTYPES mins:secs 1 P Martini BMW 3:38.829 2 M Alboreto Porsche 3:40.503 3 S Soper BMW 3:42.323 4 D Cottaz Courage 3:43.641 5 V Sospiri Ferrari 3:44.458 Final qualifying times CLASS GT1 1 B Schneider Mercedes 3:35.544 2 M Brundle Toyota 3:36.552 3 J Gounon Mercedes 3:36.901 4 J Muller Porsche 3:38.084 5 A McNish Porsche 3:38.407 Final qualifying times CLASS GT2 mins:secs 1 O Beretta Chrysler 3:59.981 2 K Wendlinger Chrysler 4:05.006 3 J Jarier Porsche 4:05.010 4 J Bell Chrysler 4:05.648 5 N Amorim Chrysler 4:08.958 SCOTTISH RALLY LEADERBOARD after 8 of 13 stages (interim) hr min sec 1 Evans/Davies SEAT 56:15 2 McRae/Senior Volkswagen 56:17 3 Rowe/Ringer Renault 56:52 4 Kytolehto/Kapanen Vauxhall 57:31 5 Ipatti/Kajula Mitsubishi 59:03 6 Mann/Cook Proton 59:40 7 Champion/Thorley Mitsubishi 59:43 8 Wearden/Agnew Honda 59:54 9 Easson/Rabbett Mitsubishi 1:00:02 10 Higgins/Wood Subaru 1:00:24Scot Alister McRae has been swapping seconds with Gwyndaf Evans throughout leg 1 of the RSAC Scottish Rally. They tied on the final stage of the day to give Gwyndaf the overnight honours in the SEAT by just two seconds. At service in Galashiels, Gwyndaf said "The engine is the best it has ever been on a rally, we are very pleased". Volkswagen driver Alister McRae commented "I am going flat out on every stage, it's a very fast rally."
Manxman Martin Rowe in the leading Renault has changed the diff and fitted harder tyres. He improved his time through Elibank by 19 seconds, consolodating his third place overall. The Simmonite Sisters appear to have recovered from their earlier problems when they hit a rock and damaged the front suspension on the Ford. Barbara Armstrong's SEAT was stranded in stage three, but she will be able to restart Leg 2 on Saturday.
Fourth placed Fin, Jarmo Kytolehto commented "These stages are so fast I could do with another gear". The team have made minor adjustments to the Vauxhall to try and improve their position but think the only way will be if others in front have problems. Neil Wearden once again dominated the Ferodo Super 1600 category in his Honda. He was faster than all but four of the two-litre cars and almost three minutes ahead of his nearest class rival.
Bradford's Stephanie Simmonite had a disappointing day on the fifth round of the Mobil 1 British Rally Championship. The Ford Escort driver, starting the day in sixth position overall, dropped dramatically down the standings after finishing the eight stages in 52nd spot Simmonite, whose co-driver is her sister Rachel, were also upstaged in the Ladies Cup, with Natalie Barratt taking the honours. Barbara Armstrong crashed out, so she maintains her Ladies Cup overall lead.
Provisional Championship points DRIVERS MANUFACTURERS 1 Evans 117 1 SEAT 152 2 Rowe 111 2 Renault 140.5 3 Wearden 84 3 Ford 107 4 McRae 74 4 Vauxhall 105 5 Laukkanen 59 5 Volkswagen 104.5 06.06.98F1: THE CANADIAN GP
David Coulthard admitted he had left himself with work to do before claiming pole position in Montreal. He said: "It was not comfortable leaving it so late and there was not a lot in it but I am just glad to have got that pole. Throughout this season Mika Hakkinen has always seemed to be able to go that little bit quicker than me. I decided to let him go fast this time and see if I could beat him."
Scot David Coulthard set his sights on a glorious double after claiming pole for Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix. He said: "What I have got to be looking for tomorrow is the 10 points for a win to boost my championship hopes. "I'd say my chances of winning the race are better than Scotland beating Brazil in the World Cup next week, but hopefully they can pull off a shock." Coulthard hopes to be in Paris to cheer on Scotland on Wednesday if he is not needed for McLaren practice sessions.
mins secs 1 D Coulthard GB McLaren 1:18.213 2 M Hakkinen Fin McLaren 1:18.282 3 M Schumacher Ger Ferrari 1:18.497 4 G Fisichella It Benetton 1:18.826 5 R Schumacher Ger Jordan 1:19.242 6 J Villeneuve Can Williams 1:19.588 7 H-H Frentzen Ger Williams 1:19.614 8 E Irvine GB Ferrari 1:19.616 9 J Alesi Fr Sauber 1:19.693 10 D Hill GB Jordan 1:19.717 11 A Wurtz Aut Benetton 1:19.576 12 J Herbert GB Sauber 1:19.845 13 R Barrichello Brz Stewart 1:19.953 14 J Trulli It Prost 1:20.188 15 O Panis Fr Peugeot 1:20.303 16 T Takagi Jpn Tyrrell 1:20.328 17 M Salo Fin Arrows 1:20.536 18 S Nakano Jpn Minardi 1:21.230 19 P Diniz Brz Arrows 1:21.301 20 J Magnussen Den Stewart 1:21.629 21 E Tuero Arg Minardi 1:21.822 22 R Rosset Brz Tyrrell 1:21.824Damon Hill was fined $1,000 by the FIA on Saturday for speeding in the pit lane during the Canadian Grand Prix practice session in Montreal. The FIA said it was the second offence by the Jordan driver this season.
CHAMP CARS (Detroit):- Mark Blundell posted the eighth fastest time in the first day of qualifying for Saturday's race. Scottish star Dario Franchitti was 11th fastest in the session. The eighth round of the series is taking place at Belle Isle on a temporary street circuit and Max Papis took provisional pole. "Last year we qualified 11th so I will definitely be looking to start in a better grid position," said Blundell. "I will give it my best shot."
Qualifying times (Fri): min secs 1 M Papis It Toyota 1:17.990 2 J Vasser US Honda 1:18.426 3 R Hearn US Ford 1:18.510 4 R Gordon US Toyota 1:18.551 5 P Carpentier Can Mercedes 1:18.849 6 M Gugelmin Brz Mercedes 1:18.911 7 M J'dain Jnr Mex Ford 1:20.721 8 M Blundell GB Merc 1:21.285 9 PJ Jones US Toyota 1:22.009 10 A Barron US Toyota 1:23.957 11 D Franchitti GB Honda 1:28.492 LE MANS 24 HRS Warm-up times CLASS LMP1/2 PROTOTYPES mins:secs 1 V Sospiri Ferrari 3:49.360 2 M Alboreto Porsche 3:51.096 3 G Moretti Ferrari 3:52.874 4 P Martini BMW 3:53.540 5 P Raphanel Porsche 3:56.475 CLASS GT1 mins:secs 1 M Brundle Toyota 3:44.448 2 B Schneider Mercedes 3:46.603 3 J Muller Porsche 3:47.491 4 T Boutsen Toyota 3:50.151 5 J Nielsen Nissan 3:52.874 CLASS GT2 mins:secs 1 K Wendlinger Chrysler 4:06.563 2 C Hurtgen Porsche 4:13.067 3 N Neugarten Porsche 4:15.498 4 F Konrad Porsche 4:16.955 5 J Morton Porsche 4:18.398After 7 hrs:- Formula One veteran Thierry Boutsen and co-drivers Ralf Kelleners and Geoff Lees avoided technical trouble to lead with quarter of the race gone. After seven hours their Toyota was 19 seconds ahead of two works Porsches, but the other Toyota's had struggled. Martin Brundle was forced into the pits with a series of minor problems having led early on and the third Toyota suffered gearbox trouble. Both Mercedes entries are among seven retirements so far.
LE MANS 24-HR, France (7hr) hr min sec 1 Boutsen/Kelleners/Lees 6:57.59.3 (Toyota GT1) 2 Mueller/Alzen/Wolleck 6:58.18.1 (Toyota GT1) 3 McNish/Aiello/Ortelli 6:58.40.9 (Porsche GT1) 4 Nielsen/Lagorce/Krumm 2 laps behind (Porsche) 5 Cottaz/Goossens/Belloc 2 laps behind (Nissan) 6 Alb'eto/J'nsson/Dalmas 2 laps behind (Courage C51) 7 Raphanel/Murry/Weaver 2 laps behind (Nissan) 8 Hoshino/Suzuki/Ma'ikoi 3 laps behind (Nissan) Retirements: Gounon/Bouchut/Zonta Mercedes CLKLM Schneider/Ludwig/Webber Mercedes CLKLM Seiler/Kitchak/Zadra Porsche GT2 Conrad/Ham/Schumacher Porsche GT2 Wendlinger/Duez/Huisman Chrysler Viper Kristensen/Stuck/Soper BMW V12 Martini/Win'hock/Cecotto BMW V12SCOTTISH RALLY:- Martin Rowe saw his attacking policy pay off as he regained the lead in Saturday's second leg. The Renault driver took an eight second margin over colleague Tapio Laukkanen. Gywndaf Evans, who replaced Rowe at the top of the standings, dropped from third to fourth on the final stage to give Rowe a four-point title lead. Rowe has now captured four of the last six events in the British Championship, which counts towards the driving standings, with only two events to go.
Both days of the Scottish Rally count towards the Mobil 1 Rally Championship so Martin Rowe takes maximum points for three of the four rounds. Rowe held off the challenge from Renault team-mate Tapio Laukkanen to regain the lead of the Championship. A triple helping of bad luck robbed Laukkanen of victory on Leg 1 as he set four fastest times but lost six minutes with a broken fuel pipe and punctures. "It was a shame. I was the quickest and I know we could have won," he said.
FINAL LEADERBOARD after 13 stages:hr min sec 1 McRae/Senior Volkswagen 2:02:41 2 Rowe/Ringer Renault 2:02:42 3 Evans/Davies SEAT 2:03:11 4 Kytolehto/Kapanen Vauxhall 2:05:36 5 Ipatti/Kajula Mitsubishi 2:07:41 6 Laukkanen/Jarvi Renault 2:07:51 7 Mann/Cook Proton 2:08:51 8 Higgins/Wood Subaru 2:09:24 9 Cox/Eccleston Mitsubishi 2:10:01 10 Easson/Rabbett Mitsubishi 2:10:34 MANUFACTURERS 1 SEAT 177 2 Renault 172.5 3 Volkswagen 132.5 4 Ford 127 5 Vauxhall 127 6 Peugeot 96 7 Proton 52 DRIVERS 1 Rowe 143 2 Evans 139 3 Wearden 102 4 McRae 99 5 Laukkanen 87 6 Kytolehto 67 07.06.98F1: THE CANADIAN GP
Michael Schumacher managed to clinch victory in Montreal despite having to take a 10-second penalty after an incident with Heinz Harald Frentzen. The Ferrari driver, in a typically bold move, came out of the pits on lap 20 and forced Frentzen off the track. Team boss Frank Williams lodged an immediate protest and stewards decided Schumacher had driven recklessly. He went into the pits again for his stop-and-go punishment but the result is now subject to an official protest.
Result after 69 laps: * hr mins secs 1 M Schumacher Ger Ferrari 1:40.57.4 2 G Fisichella It Benetton 1:41.14.0 3 E Irvine GB Ferrari 1:41.57.4 4 A Wurz Aut Benetton 1:42.00.6 5 R Barrichello Brz Stewart 1:42.18.9 6 J Magnussen Den Stewart @ 1 lap 7 S Nakano Jpn Minardi @ 1 lap 8 R Rosset Brz Tyrrell @ 1 lap 9 P Diniz Brz Arrows @ 1 lap 10 J Villeneuve Can Williams @ 6 laps * subject to protest by Williams DRIVERS' STANDINGS 1 M Hakkinen Fin McLaren 46 pts 2 M Schumacher Ger Ferrari 34 3 D Coulthard GB McLaren 29 4 E Irvine GB Ferrari 19 5 G Fisichella It Benetton 13 6 A Wurz Aut Benetton 12 7 H-H Frentzen Ger Williams 8 = J Villeneuve Can 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 75 pts 2 Ferrari 52 3 Benetton 26 4 Williams-Mecachrome 16 5 Stewart 5 6 Sauber-Petronas 4 = Arrows 4The McLarens had to watch from the pits as Michael Schumacher closed the gap at the top of the drivers' standings. Schumacher moved to within 12 points of Mika Hakkinen after the Finn failed to complete the first lap of the re-start following a transmission fault. Teammate David Coulthard was left in front but he lost power while leading on lap 19 with a throttle failure. Jacques Villeneuve also had an early finish after going into the gravel as he tried to overtake too quickly.
A terrifying crash on lap one halted the Canadian Grand Prix when Alexander Wurz lost control of his Benetton. The Austrian was unhurt despite flipping over after braking sharply into the first corner. Another pile-up happened in the restart but the grand prix carried on despite several retirements, including Mika Hakkinen who had transmission problems. A host of cars followed suit, with David Coulthard and Jacques Villeneuve among the 12 men who failed to finish.
David Coulthard tried to put a brave face on his fortunes after seeing Michael Schumacher take his lead and win the Montreal Grand Prix. "I've go to keep smiling because the only other option is to cry," he said. "The race was a complete madhouse - but I had it under control. With Schumacher behind me, I was a bit nervous for a few laps. I didn't want to make the slightest mistake. But the problem happened. I just had enough power to get back to the pits."
Damon Hill cursed his luck yet again as he was denied the chance of getting among the points for Jordan this year. He was looking good with half the field already off the track but his race was ended by an electrical fault. "I am bitterly disappointed," said Hill. "It is very frustrating because we were on for some much needed points for the first time." Hill earlier had a brush with old rival Michael Schumacher when the German snatched second place from him.
Michael Schumacher launched a furious attack on old rival Damon Hill claiming he could have got one of them killed. Schumacher spoke out after a 150mph zig-zag duel between his Ferrari and Hill's Jordan, which the German won. "If there is someone you want to kill, you can do it in a different way," blasted Schumacher. "It was very dangerous. To be out there racing and have someone move over the racing line three times is not right. You can do it one but not three times."
Damon Hill hit back in the war of words which which followed his high-speed duel with Michael Schumacher. He said: "You cannot put any credibility on what Michael says. "Just look at some of the things he has done in the past. He has no right to blame any other driver. Michael is obviously wrong in what he is saying. He is overstating the case and just trying to defend himself. We were battling and we got very close, but we were fighting for second place."
CHAMP CARS (Detroit):- Grid for Sunday's race: min secs 1 G Moore Can Mercedes 1:13.530 2 A Zanardi It Honda 1:13.822 3 A Fernandez Mex Ford 1:13.842 4 R Hearn US Ford 1:13.995 5 B Herta US Ford 1:14.061 6 T Kanaan Brz Honda 1:14.391 7 J Vasser US Honda 1:14.420 8 D Franchitti GB Honda 1:14.513 9 G de Ferran Brz Honda 1:14.582 10 M J'dain Jnr Mex Honda 1:14.709 21 M Blundell GB Mercedes 1:16.367 ACROPOLIS RALLY Positions after stage 7: (end of day one) hr min sec 1 R Burns GB Mitsubishi 1:18:28.2 2 C McRae GB Subaru 1:18:30.6 3 D Auriol Fr Toyota 1:18:39.9 4 P Liatti It Subaru 1:18:48.1 5 J Kankkunen Fin Ford 1:18:54.4 6 F Loix Bel Toyota 1:18:59.8 7 C Sainz Sp Toyota 1:19:16.7 8 U Nittel Ger Mitsubishi 1:19:24.1 9 R Madeira Por Toyota 1:21.42.8 10 L Kirkos Gre Ford 1:22:16.1 Retirements: Makinen, Thiry, RadstromBritish driver Richard Burns led the rally at the end of the first day with former world champion Colin McRae just 2.4 seconds behind in second place. Burns, looking for his second rally of the season, took the lead when Belgian Bruno Thiry was forced to retire with engine trouble while leading. However the Subaru of McRae started to erode the four-second advantage of Burns' Mitsubishi. Frenchman Didier Auriol lies third, but more than 11 seconds behind Burns.
LE MANS 24 HRS:- Leaderboard after 18 hrs: 1 Boutsen/Kelleners/Lees 260 laps (Toyota GT1) 2 McNish/Aiello/Ortelli 260 (Porsche GT1) 3 Hoshino/Suzuki/Ma'ikoi 259 (Nissan GT1) 4 Mueller/Alzen/Wolleck 259 (Porsche GT1) 5 Nielsen/Lagorce/Krumm 258 (Nissan GT1) 6 O'Rourke/Sugden/Aub'n 255 (McLaren GTR) 7 Comas/Lammers/Mont'ni 253 (Nissan GT1) 8 Brabham/Wallace/Davies 247 (Panoz GTR-1) Retirements: (After 18 hrs) Gounon/Bouchut/Zonta Mercedes CLKLM Schneider/Ludwig/Webber Mercedes CLKLM Seiler/Kitchak/Zadra Porsche GT2 Konrad/Ham/Schumacher Porsche GT2 Wendlinger/Duez/Huisman Chrysler Viper Kristensen/Stuck/Soper BMW V12 Martini/Win'hock/Cecotto BMW V12 Alboreto/Joh'sson/Dalmas Porsche LMP Mueller/Trunk/Palmberger Porsche GT2 Robert/Sezionale/Bruneau Debora LMP2 Ekblom/Gay/Tsusmiya Courage C51 Gache/DeRad's/Gardner Riley & Scott MK3 Morton/Grohs/Graham Porsche GT2 Jarier/Donovan/Rosenblad Porsche GT2 Sospiri/Boullion/Pol'and Ferrari 333 SP Brundle/Collard/Helary Toyota GT1 Raphanel/Murry/Weaver Porsche LMP Cottaz/Goossens/Belloc Courage C51 Bscher/Pirro/Cappello McLaren F1 GTR Ferte/Fabre/Migault Ferrari 333 SP Neugarten/Lagniez/S'adja Porsche GT2Allan McNish gave Britain victory at Le Mans for the first time since 1992 - when Derek Warwick and Mark Blundell triumphed in the endurance event. The ex-Benetton Formula One test driver and French co-drivers Laurent Aiello and Stephane Ortelli gave Porsche their third successive win in the race. McNish was set for second spot until leader Thierry Boutsen was forced out with gearbox problems after 22 hours. Jorg Muller, Uwe Alzen and Bob Wollek were second to give Porsche a one-two.
Justin Bell ensured the family name lives on at Le Mans. The son of five-times winner Derek Bell and his co-drivers David Donohue and Luca Trudi steered their Chrysler Viper into the highest GT2 placing - 11th. Bell, the current GT2 world champion, was moved to tears as his legendary father congratulated him in a telephone link-up at the circuit. The highest prototype was the Ferrari 333 driven by Wayne Taylor, Eric van de Poele and Fermin Velez (eighth).
Allan McNish praised his team after he and his co-drivers Laurent Aiello and Stephane Ortelli gave Porsche their third straight win at Le Mans. The Scot revealed: "Porsche gave me the opportunity last year at Le Mans and this year I have repaid their faith in my ability." "We had to be fast and put pressure on whoever was around us." Highest GT2 finisher Justin Bell, who was 11th overall, admitted: "This is the best day of my life."
Race result: Laps 1 McNish/Aiello/Ortelli 351 (Porsche GT1) 2 Muller/Alzen/Wolleck 350 (Porsche GT1) 3 Hoshino/Suzuki/Ma'ikoi 347 (Nissan GT1) 4 O'Rourke/Sugden/Aub'n 343 (McLaren GTR) 5 Nielsen/Lagorce/Krumm 342 (Nissan GT1) 6 Comas/Lammers/M'ntmini 342 (Nissan GT1) 7 Brabham/Wallace/Davies 335 (Panoz GTR-1) Retirements: Gounon/Bouchut/Zonta Mercedes CLKLM Schneider/Ludwig/Webber Mercedes CLKLM Seiler/Kitchak/Zadra Porsche GT2 Konrad/Ham/Schumacher Porsche GT2 Wendlinger/Duez/Huisman Chrysler Viper Kristensen/Stuck/Soper BMW V12 Martini/Win'hock/Cecotto BMW V12 Alboreto/Joh'sson/Dalmas Porsche LMP Mueller/Trunk/Palmberger Porsche GT2 Robert/Sezionale/Bruneau Debora LMP2 Ekblom/Gay/Tsusmiya Courage C51 Gache/DeRad's/Gardner Riley & Scott MK3 Morton/Grohs/Graham Porsche GT2 Jarier/Donovan/Rosenblad Porsche GT2 Sospiri/Boullion/Pol'and Ferrari 333 SP Brundle/Collard/Helary Toyota GT1 Raphanel/Murry/Weaver Porsche LMP Cottaz/Goossens/Belloc Courage C51 Bscher/Pirro/Cappello McLaren F1 GTR Ferte/Fabre/Migault Ferrari 333 SP Neugarten/Lagniez/S'adja Porsche GT2 Bernard/Tinseau/O'C'nell Panoz GTR-1 Boutsen/Kelleners/Lees Toyota GT1 Man, Mich M'teiro/M'snve Porsche GT2 08.06.98F1:- Damon Hill took another swipe in his war of words with Michael Schumacher as he branded the Ferrari star "a bully." Hill accused Formula One track judges of giving Schumacher preferential treatment following the German's win in Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix. "Michael is an extremely talented driver but he is occasionally given the benefit of the doubt," Hill stormed. "He has his own rules but we all have to respect the rules. If he does not like it he should keep his mouth shut."
CHAMP CARS:- Dario Franchitti finished a creditable fourth after fellow Briton Mark Blundell crashed out early as Italian star Alex Zanardi won in Detroit. Scottish driver Franchitti, also in a Reynard Honda, chased overall series leader Zanardi hard but to no avail. Ex-Formula One driver Blundell veered into the wall on turn six after suffering a sticking throttle. He said: "It was a disappointing day. All weekend we've been searching for the answer to our handling woes."
Result from Sunday's race: Completed laps 1 A Zanardi It Honda 72 2 A Fernandez Mex Ford 72 3 G de Ferran Brz Honda 72 4 D Franchitti GB Honda 72 5 G Moore Can Mercedes 72 6 J Vasser US Honda 72 7 P Tracy Can Honda 72 8 T Kanaan Brz Honda 72 9 S Pruett Can Ford 72 10 M Andretti US Ford 72ACROPOLIS RALLY:- Britain's Colin McRae is well placed for a final onslaught in the Acropolis Rally after storming into second place. McRae took his 555 Subaru to the front after the first stage of the rally's second leg but eventually slipped 4.8 seconds behind leader Didier Auriol. "We had to keep backing off to preserve the tyres and not accelerate too quickly. We are well placed but it's going to be a huge battle," said Burns. Richard Burns slipped from first to fifth at the end of the second day.
Positions after stage 12: (end of day two) hr min sec 1 D Auriol Fr Toyota 2:52:52.3 2 C McRae GB Subaru 2:52:57.1 3 J Kankkunen Fin Ford 2:53:05.6 4 C Sainz Sp Toyota 2:53:08.2 5 R Burns GB Mitsubishi 2:53:35.5 6 P Liatti It Subaru 2:53:37.8 7 F Loix Bel Toyota 2:54:39.3 8 R Madeira Por Toyota 2:59.57.7 9 L Kirkos Gre Ford 3:01:28.7 10 A Nikonenko Rus Ford 3:02:29.7TOURING CARS:- Nigel Mansell makes his return to the race track at Donington Park this weekend when he competes in the RAC British Touring Car Championship. The 1992 F1 world champion will be racing in a Ford Mondeo and is determined to make a big impact. He said: "I am really looking forward to what is an exciting challenge. The fans have been so loyal over the years, it will be lovely to see them at Donington. Hopefully, they will see a couple of great races, too."
09.06.98F1:- World champion Jacques Villeneuve has joined in with Damon Hill's criticism of the Canadian Grand Prix winner Michael Schumacher. Hill criticised Schumacher's driving in Sunday's race on Monday and Villeneuve has now told the Daily Telegraph: "He believes himself to be alone out there. Michael thinks he is invulnerable and has become a law unto himself. It's a shame that such a talented driver has to make so many blunders in order to get placed."
ACROPOLIS RALLY:- Scotland's Colin McRae has won the Acropolis Rally in Delphi. The Scot, driving a Subaru Impreza, finished the third and last stage 20 seconds clear of Frenchman Didier Auriol in a Toyota Corolla. Auriol had led after two of the closing five specials, but a stalled engine cost him 40 seconds on the fourth. That allowed 1995 world champion McRae to regain the lead he had briefly held on the second day in the eighth leg of this year's championship.
Colin McRae was pleasantly surprised after Didier Auriol's engine trouble handed him victory in Greece. "Today was unbelievable," he said. "I wasn't overly confident because everyone was so close and there were four crews who could have won. "We took it easy on some stages and judged the situation finally and came out on top. That's what counts. It's a great feeling to be leading both championships and we can look ahead to New Zealand with optimism."
Final positions after 17 stages:hr min sec 1 C McRae GB Subaru 4:26:28.6 2 D Auriol Fr Toyota 4:26:47.6 3 J Kankkunen Fin Ford 4:27:05.9 4 C Sainz Sp Toyota 4:28:09.3 5 F Loix Bel Toyota 4:29:58.0 6 P Liatti It Subaru 4:37:12.0 7 R Madeira Por Toyota 4:39.04.8 8 L Kirkos Gre Ford 4:40:12.5 9 JP Richelmi Mon Subaru 4:41:36.5 10 V Isik Tur Toyota 4:43:08.3 DRIVER STANDINGS Pts 1 C McRae GB Subaru 36 2 C Sainz Sp Toyota 31 3 T Makinen Fin Mitsubishi 24 4 J Kankkunen Fin Ford 24 5 D Auriol Fr Toyota 21 6 R Burns GB Mitsubishi 21 MANUFACTURER STANDINGS: 1 Subaru 49 pts 2 Toyota 47 3 Mitsubishi 45 4 Ford 33TOURING CARS:- Former World Formula One and Indycar champion Nigel Mansell spent Monday testing the Ford Mondeo he is to drive in Sunday's Auto Trader BTCC race. Mansell put in competitive laps in the pouring rain as he returned to the circuit where his last outing in a touring car ended in disaster. Five years ago, when he was taking part in the RTOCA Shoot-Outs race, his Ford Mondeo smashed into stonework. Fortunately Mansell escaped without serious injury at Starkeys Bridge.
F3000:- British Formula Three driver David Cook has signed for Redman & Bright, to race in the FIA F3000 International Championship for the rest of the season.
F.PALMER AUDI:- Norfolk's Jay Wheals will join the Formula Palmer Audi series starting at Snetterton this weekend.
10.06.98F3:- The Autosport British F3 Championship makes its sole visit to Snetterton for round nine on Sunday. With the championship moving into the second half of the season, the British drivers will be hoping to stop the South American domimation so far. Championship leader Enrique Bernoldi won five of the first eight rounds and had only once finished without winning. A non-finish in the previous round at Croft allowed his rivals to reduce his points lead to 19 points.
TOURING CARS:- Donington plays host to rounds 11 and 12 of the British Touring Car Championship on Sunday, with Nigel Mansell set to steal the show. The ex-Formula One star has said he wants to resolve "unfinished business" after crashing at the circuit in a touring car race five years ago. He said: "The fans were short-changed and I am pleased to have been afforded the chance of a comeback with Ford." Mansell spent Monday testing his Ford Mondeo at the circuit.
Championship leader Rickard Rydell will be looking to extend his lead over Alain Menu at the weekend. Menu's Renault team-mate Jason Plato could also feature in the hunt for victory as he is just three points behind the Swiss star. The first race on Sunday is an 18-lap Sprint Race, while the second is a 36-lap Feature Race. Qualifying takes place on Saturday, with the second session being the one- shot showdown against the clock.
Derek Warwick believes it would be a mistake to under-estimate his friend and old Formula One adversary Nigel Mansell at Donington. Mansell is set to make his first BTCC appearance of the season on Sunday and Warwick said: "I will be focused on doing the best job for Vauxhall. In doing that I would like to think I would be comfortably in front of Nigel. Ford have made a step forward, we could see that with Will Hoy at Oulton Park. We cannot under-estimate Nigel."
MINTEX NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP:- The Welsh forests are the setting for Saturday's next stage, when 130 crews will compete in the Kerridge event. Eight special stages total a 75-mile course, with Roger Duckworth's Subaru leading the way from top position. Kerridge winner from 1993, Murray Grierson, starts in third place behind the Escort Cosworth of Marcus Dodd, who has yet to open his account this year. Less than 20 points separate the top 10 drivers as the competition reaches the half-way point.
Kerridge National Rally Top 5 seeds: 1 R Duckworth/M Broomfield Subaru 2 M Dodd/J Bennie Ford 3 M Grierson/C Roy Subaru 4 S Hill/J Rabbett Mitsubishi 5 W Philliskirk/E Evans MGRALLYING:- Peugeot are set to return to the World Rally Championship after a 12-year self-imposed exile. According to director general Fredric Saint-Geours, the French car company will race their new 206 WRC rally car next year. In 1985 and 1986, Peugeot enjoyed back- to-back success in the constructor and drivers' championships with the WRC's predecessor the 205 TI6. They will race selectively next year as a curtain-raiser to the 2000 season.
F.RENAULT:- Formula Renault Sport Championship leader Aluizio Coelho led the way in testing for Sunday's seventh round at Donington Park. The Brazilian clocked a best time of one minute, 10.137 seconds to push Tatuus teammate Doug Bell into second.
RENAULT SPIDERS:- Donington lap record holder Nick Hart was fastest in testing for rounds six and seven of the Renault Insurance Services Spider Cup this weekend. Hart recorded a time of 1:18.327 while Daniel Eaves was second in 1:18.593.
CHAMPION SPARK PLUG WORLD RANKING Driver ratings (June 10) Points 1 M Schumacher Formula 1 992 2 A Zanardi CART 957 3 J Gordon Champ Cars 823 4 D Jarrett NASCAR 814 5 J Villeneuve Formula 1 773 6 M Hakkinen Formula 1 766 7 L Aiello Touring Cars 729 8 G Moore Champ Cars 720 9 D Coulthard Formula 1 693 10 J Vasser Champ Cars 691 11.06.98F.PALMER AUDI (Snetterton):- Britain's Justin Keen was fastest in practice for Sunday's round two but less than a second separated the top 10 drivers.
1 J Keen GB 1:08.32 2 R Tarling GB 1:08.33 3 P Clarke GB 1:08.35 4 T Serjala Fin 1:08.41 5 J Moro Brz 1:08.48 6 M Smith GB 1:08.50 7 D Turner GB 1:08.55 8 D Faulkener Ire 1:08.55 9 C Breeze GB 1:08.72 10 F Maluhy Brz 1:08.92TOURING CARS:- Honda's Peter Kox set the fastest time in practice for Sunday's rounds 11 and 12 of the series. Nigel Mansell, who makes his UK racing return at the weekend, was 18th quickest in his Ford. His Mondeo had been slightly damaged in an early-session crash with independent racer Mark Lemmer. Mansell revealed: "I am aiming to stay on the tack this weeekend and get to the finish. The Ford went very weather in the wet weather."
Leading practice times (Thurs): min secs 1 P Kox Hol Honda 1:10.164 2 R Rydell Swe Volvo 1:10.452 3 A Reid GB Nissan 1:10.481 4 J Cleland GB Vauxhall 1:10.926 5 G Morbidelli It Volvo 1:10.935 6 D Warwick GB Vauxhall 1:10.980 7 W Hoy GB Ford 1:10.980 8 Y Muller Fr Audi 1:11.037 9 J Thompson GB Honda 1:11.149 10 J Plato GB Renault 1:11.166IRL:- IndyCar Racing League founder Tony George will be at the Goodwood Festival of Speed at the weekend. He is looking for talented European drivers to join next year's League.
JACKIE STEWART:- Jackie Stewart, the triple Formula One Woržd champion, is to be made an Honorary Doctor of Science by Cranfield University in Bedfordshire.
12.06.98 - BRITISH GTsOver 30 teams will be contesting the fourth round on Sunday. Millenium Motorsport's Porsche GT1 driven by John Nielsen and Thorkild Thyrring are out for a second win after finding their form at Croft last time out. Competition will come from the Newcastle United Lister Storm, driven by Julian Bailey and BBC TV presenter Tiff Needell. Previous winners Stebe O'Rourke and Tim Sugden will also be out for success in their McLaren F1 GTR.
13.06.98 F3 (Snetterton):- Saturday qualifying times:mins secs 1 L Burti Brz 1:02.667 2 D Manning GB 1:02.867 3 E Bernoldi Brz 1:02.973 4 M Haberfeld Brz 1:03.067 5 M O'Connell GB 1:03.074 6 W Hughes GB 1:03.087 7 J Spence GB 1:03.113 8 K Kolby Den 1:03.171 9 B Collins GB 1:03.191 10 M Hynes GB 1:03.230F.PALMER AUDI:- Finland's Topi Serjala took pole position on his final lap out of the pits at Snetterton. He pipped Shinya Nakazawa by 100th of a second and said: "That was great. I'm very happy with my position and am feeling confident for the race."
Leading qualifying times: mins:secs 1 T Serjala Fin 1:07.846 2 S Nakazawa Jpn 1:07.859 3 R Tarling GB 1:07.881 4 D Faulkner Ire 1:08.085 5 P Clarke GB 1:08.096 6 J Keen GB 1:08.306F.CAMPUS:- Westley Barber took pole for Sunday's final Elf UK Campus Cup round. Fellow Britons Jon Tee and Guarin Simpson qualified 11th and 18th.
Leading qualifying times: mins:secs 1 W Barber GB 1:16.287 2 P Friescaher Aut 1:16.400 3 J Andanson Fr 1:16.423 4 G Dellus Fr 1:16.437 5 D Cicero US 1:16.580 6 P Perego It 1:16.716BRITISH GTs:- Julian Bailey drove his Lister Storm into pole place for Sunday's race just 0.083 seconds ahead of John Grealey. The second Lister Storm team driven by Jake Ulrich and Ian Flux came third.
Leading qualifying times: mins:secs 1 Bailey/Needell Lister S 1:02.754 2 Grealey/Wal'der Porsche 1:02.837 3 Ulrich/Flux Lister S 1:03.268 4 O'Rourke/Sugden McLaren 1:04.388 5 Greenall/Camp-W Harrier 1:05.926 6 Short/Verdon-R TVR Speed 1:07.079TOURING CARS (Donington Park):- Nigel Mansell began a successful comeback to the track as he qualified fourth fastest for Sunday's race. The former Formula One world champion finished on the 10th row of the grid after a series of mistakes in the first qualifying session. Mansell was a second slower than pole man Anthony Reid but beat teammate Will Hoy by nearly half a second. "My luck was due to change," he said. "We went out and set a good time and I'm very pleased for the team."
Qualifying times for round 11 (Sat):min:secs 1 A Reid GB Nissan 1:17.618 2 R Rydell Swe Volvo 1:18.266 3 P Radisich NZ Peugeot 1:18.580 4 N Mansell GB Ford 1:18.639 5 D Leslie GB Nissan 1:18.670 6 J Cleland GB Vauxhall 1:18.856 7 J Plato GB Renault 1:18.868 8 J Thompson GB Honda 1:18.878 9 W Hoy GB Ford 1:18.909 10 R Gravett GB Honda 1:19.194 Qualifying times for round 12 (Sat):min:secs 1 A Reid GB Nissan 1:11.005 2 D Leslie GB Nissan 1:11.328 3 J Thompson GB Honda 1:11.624 4 J Plato GB Renault 1:11.662 5 P Kox Hol Honda 1:11.758 6 J Cleland GB Vauxhall 1:12.032 7 A Menu Swi Renault 1:12.066 8 W Hoy GB Ford 1:12.174 9 T Rustad Nor Renault 1:12.175 10 D Warwick GB Vauxhall 1:12.261 MINTEX NATIONAL RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND FOUR: KERRIDGE NATIONAL RALLY Final Leaderboard after 8 special stages: hr mins secs 1 D'wrth/B'fld Subaru 1:22:44 2 Gri'son/Roy Subaru 1:23:09 3 Petch/Croft Ford Escort 1:23:47 4 Hill/Rabbett Mitsubishi 1:25:05 5 Jones/Lewis Subaru 1:25:43 6 Tough/Addison Mitsubishi 1:26:23 7 Gywnne/O'G'man Subaru 1:26:38 8 Wetton/Haigh Mitsubishi 1:28:01 9 Har'son/J'kins MG Metro 1:28:03 10 Ceen/Ceen Ford Escort 1:28:31 F.RENAULT SPORT Round 7 qualifying (Sat): mins:secs 1 A Coelho Br Tatuus 1:12.946 2 D Bell GB Tatuus 1:13.359 3 J Font Ven Tatuus 1:13.823 4 V Meira Br Van Diemen 1:14.198 5 C Clark GB Tatuus 1:14.295 6 J Bender US Van Diemen 1:14.321 RENAULT SPIDERS Round 6 result:(Sat)mins:secs 1 D Henderson 20:28.363 2 J Hunter 20:39.833 3 N Hart 20:42.575 4 D Eaves 20:43.281 5 D Vercoe 20:50.033 6 D Shaw 21:05.385 Round 7 leading times: (Sat) 1 D Shaw 1:21.811 2 J Hunter 1:22.554 3 D Henderson 1:22.851 4 N Hart 1:22.911 5 D Vercoe 1:22.923 6 D Eaves 1:24.097F.FORD:- Jenson Button claimed his third pole in six races in preparation for Sunday's sixth round. Button lapped the 1.96 mile Circuit in one minute, 24.186 seconds.
Leading qualifying times: mins:secs 1 J Button Mygale 1:24.186 2 D Hayes Mygale 1:24.378 3 N Kiesa Van Diemen 1:24.396 4 T Sisley Van Diemen 1:24.450 5 C Murray Van Diemen 1:24.562 6 P Morland Mygale 1:24.955FORD FIESTA'S:- Neal Gordon will start Sunday's sixth round of the Championship from pole position after a great qualifying show. The Norfolk driver was four-tenths of a second faster than Rae Claydon.
Leading qualifying times: mins:secs 1 N Gordon Ford Fiesta 1:37.765 2 R Claydon Ford Fiesta 1:38.204 3 D Gibson Ford Fiesta 1:38.317 4 N Hose Ford Fiesta 1:38.324 5 I Churchill Ford Fiesta 1:38.801 6 S Clarke Ford Fiesta 1:39.189 VAUXHALL VECTRA'S Round 6 qualifying times: (Sat) mins secs 1 F Figueiredo 1:27.535 2 M Blair 1:27.745 3 S Graves 1:27.982 4 J Yeomans 1:28.101 5 M Ticehurst 1:28.310 6 D Pinkney 1:28.419 7 S Robertson 1:28.499 8 M Nichol 1:28.970 9 G Coombes 1:29.140 10 P Sears 1:29.679 14.06.98F.PALMER AUDI:- Finland's Topi Serjala took maximum advantage of his pole position to claim his first win in the championship and move to joint top with Richard Tarling. He led all the way and commented: "I built up a good lead in the first couple of laps and it's great to win."
Leading times: mins:secs 1 T Serjala Fin 16:09.264 2 R Tarling GB 16:11.374 3 S Nakazawa Jpn 16:12.785 4 J Keen GB 16:14.101 5 D Turner GB 16:14.587 6 P Clarke GB 16:15.391 Driver standings after two rounds:Points 1 T Serjala Fin 38 = R Tarling GB 38 3 J Keen GB 33 4 P Clarke GB 30 5 S Nakazawa Jpn 29 6 S White Aus 28 7 M Smith GB 26 8 D Faulkner Ire 21 9 E Redfern GB 16 10 D Turner GB 15BRITISH GTs:- Tiff Needell and Julian Bailey took their Newcastle United Lister Storm GTL to victory in the fourth round.
Sunday result: mins:secs 1 Bailey/Needell Lister S 50:12.951 2 Evans/Newland Lister S 51:01.944 3 O'Rourke/Sugden McLaren 51:10.005 4 Verdon/Short TVR Speed 50:59.394 5 Luby/Dean Chrysler 50:13.076 6 Morrison/Lister Porsche 50:24.894TOURING CARS:- Nigel Mansell's much-vaunted comeback bid ended in disappointment when he finished in fifth place in his Ford Mondeo at a rain hit Donington. The race was the most dramatic one of the season so far as the 1992 world champion thrilled the crowd. The victors were Anthony Reid for Nissan, who claimed his maiden win with a dominant performance and John Cleland for Vauxhall. Richard Rydell left the circuit with his championship lead intact.
Sunday's round 11 result: min:secs 1 A Reid GB Nissan 34:23.250 2 R Rydell Swe Volvo 34:23.955 3 W Hoy GB Ford 34:24.360 4 P Kox Hol Honda 34:27.922 5 J Cleland GB Vauxhall 34:29.949 6 G Morbidelli It Volvo 34:30.468 7 Y Muller Fr Audi 34:31.087 8 R Gravett GB Honda 34:31.438 9 J Plato GB Renault 34:31.661 10 P Radisich NZ Peugeot 34:32.787 Sunday's round 12 result: min:secs 1 J Cleland GB Vauxhall 53:49.318 2 D Leslie GB Nissan 53:53.990 3 D Warwick GB Volvo 53:57.950 4 Y Muller Fr Audi 54:00.455 5 N Mansell GB Ford 53:58.862 (plus penalty) 6 M Neal GB Nissan 54:00.801 7 G Morbidelli It Volvo 54:45.498 8 T Rustad Hol Renault 54:56.355 9 J Bintcliffe GB Audi 54:17.367 10 R Moen Hol Honda 54:49.412 DRIVER STANDINGS 1 R Rydell Swe Volvo S40 121 2 J Cleland GB Vauxhall 88 3 A Menu Swi Renault Laguna 85 4 J Plato GB Renault Laguna 84 5 A Reid GB Nissan 80 6 J Thompson GB Honda Accord 76 CONSTRUCTOR STANDINGS 1 Volvo 127 pts 2 Renault 126 3 Nissan 125 4 Vauxhall 100 5 Honda 93 6 Ford 69 F.RENAULT SPORT (Donington):- Round 7 result (Sun): mins secs 1 D Bell GB Tatuus 24:33.074 2 J Font Ven Tatuus 24:37.189 3 T Mullen GB Van Diemen 24:38.185 4 G Jones GB Ermolli 24:46.911 5 R Austin GB Tatuus 24:57.499 6 T S'avanon Den Tatuus 25:03.836 RENAULT SPIDER CUP (Donington):- Round 6 result:(Sat)mins:secs 1 D Henderson 20:28.363 2 J Hunter 20:39.833 3 N Hart 20:42.575 4 D Eaves 20:43.281 5 D Vercoe 20:50.033 6 D Shaw 21:05.385 Round 7 result: (Sun) 1 D Vercoe 18:17.684 2 J Kingston 18:22.526 3 N Hart 18:23.144 4 D Shaw 18:26.657 5 D Henderson 18:27.682 6 D Eaves 18:28.203 F.FORD (Donington):- Sunday result: mins:secs 1 D Hayes Mygale 20:14.337 2 C Murray Van Diemen 20:21.049 3 J Button Mygale 20:21.569 4 T Sisley Van Diemen 20:28.173 5 B Horne Van Diemen 20:37.177 6 M Ambrose Van Diemen 20:38.429F.FIESTA'S (Donington):- Neal Gordon claimed his first ever victory in the Championship after starting on pole.
Sunday result: mins:secs 1 N Gordon Ford Fiesta 23:14.509 2 N Hose Ford Fiesta 23:18.830 3 D Gibson Ford Fiesta 23:31.803 4 R Claydon Ford Fiesta 23:32.242 5 A Morrison Ford Fiesta 23:35.983 6 I Churchill Ford Fiesta 23:39.200 VECTRA CHALLENGE (Donington):- Round 6 result: mins secs 1 S Graves 20:51.113 2 M Blair 20:55.652 3 M Ticehurst 20:59.115 4 J Yeomans 21:05.881 5 M Nichol 21:17.218 6 C Boon 21:20.106 7 G Coombes 21:21.546 8 P Sears 21:23.549 9 Furuse 21:29.040 10 H Jackson 21:42.294 15.06.98CHAMPION SPARK PLUG WORLD RANKING:- Nigel Mansell scored his first points of the season in the rankings after his appearance in the British Touring Car Championship at the weekend. The top eight drivers all stayed in the same positions after a quiet week on the motor sport front. The only new entry in the top 10 was NASCAR driver Mark Martin who overtook David Coulthard in ninth. Martin, third-placed Jeff Gordon and Dale Jarrett, who is fourth, are all in action next weekend.
Driver ratings (June 15) Points 1 M Schumacher Formula 1 992 2 A Zanardi CART 957 3 J Gordon Champ Cars 828 4 D Jarrett NASCAR 825 5 J Villeneuve Formula 1 773 6 M Hakkinen Formula 1 766 7 L Aiello Le Mans 729 8 G Moore Champ Cars 720 9 M Martin NASCAR 713 10 D Coulthard Formula 1 693SPORTSCARS:- Elliott Forbes-Robinson and Dorsey Schroeder dominated a Can-Am race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course to win for the first time this year. England's James Weaver was second with Butch Leitzinger, while third place went to Australian David Brabham and England's Andy Wallace.
RALLYING:- Ford World Rally team have agreed a three-year extension to their partnership with Oz Racing in the FIA World Championship.
16.06.98 - F1Jos Verstappen will drive for the Stewart-Ford team during their testing at Magny Cours this week. The 26-year-old Dutchman joins Rubens Barrichello at the French circuit from Wednesday June 17 to Friday June 19. Jan Magnussen, whose position with the team has been under constant review, could be replaced depending on the results of Verstappen's test. Verstappen, released by Tyrrell at the start of this season, has previously competed in 48 Grand Prixs.
Championship leader Mika Hakkinen set the pace on Tuesday with the fastest time in testing at the Magny Cours circuit in France. The Finn set a time of one minute 17.18 seconds in the morning session with his teammate, Briton David Coulthard, five- tenths slower in second place. Michael Schumacher and Eddie Irvine's two Ferraris took third and fourth places respectively. Damon Hill only managed ninth place in his Jordan.
19.06.98 - F1Heinz-Harald Frentzen was knocked unconscious after a heavy collision with Michael Schumacher's Ferrari in testing for the French Grand Prix. Frentzen was lifted out of his badly damaged Williams and rushed to hospital in Nevers, near the Magny-Cours track. He recovered consciousness and race officials said apart frrm being shaken he was unharmed. Schumacher escaped without injury frrm the accident that took place at a tight bend during afternoon practice.
20.06.98CHINA RALLY:- Colin McRae leads the event after the opening eight stages following a seesaw battle with team-mate Piero Liatti. Scot McRae and Liatti set the fastest times on all but one of the stages as they dominated the day. McRae leads the Championship and said: "We struggled on the tight sections. Then we had a spin on the hairpin that cost us the lead to Piero." The constant jolting of the steering wheel ensured that McRae finished the day with strained arm muscles.
Positions after stage 8: mins secs 1 C McRae Subaru 1:54.15.4 2 P Liatti Subaru 1:54.25.3 3 Y Kataoka Mitsubishi 1:57.51.0 3 Y Fujimoto Toyota 1:59.21.3 4 N Lu Mitsubishi 2:10.56.9 5 Y Wong Subaru 2:11.34.5 6 C Chan Mitsubishi 2:12.09.5 7 F Wen Ford 2:17.14.6 9 Z Ren Peugeot 2:18.21.3 10 F Sing Mitsubishi 2:18.40.6 BTRDA SERIES DUKERIES RALLY:- Leaders after 3 stages: 1 Winter/Dyson Metro 2 Bengry/Mee Mitsubishi 3 Thompson/Hancock Escort Cos Leading Formula Two cars: 7 Price/Cathers Escort RS 10 Kent/Ball Peugeot 11 H'tchsn/McAl'str PeugeotCHAMP CARS (Portland):- Britain's Dario Franchitti took provisional pole after the first qualifying session for Sunday's race. Compatriot Mark Blundell claimed the seventh fastest time at Portland International Raceway. Franchitti's team-mate Paul Tracy was suspended from the second session after it was ruled he took an "unjustifiable risk" that led to a crash. It is the first time a driver has been banned from any competition in the 20- year history of US CART.
Qualifying times (Fri): 1 D Franchitti GB Honda 58:821 2 B Herta US Ford 59:179 3 S Pruett US Ford 59:180 4 P Carpentier Can Mercedes 59:310 5 A Fernandez Mex Ford 59:324 6 G Moore Can Mercedes 59:346 7 M Blundell GB Mercedes 59.435 8 C Fottipaldi Brz Ford 59:480 9 A Ribeiro Brz Mercedes 59:508 10 J Vasser US Honda 59:565 21.06.98 - CHAMP CARS (Portland) Saturday's final qualifying times: 1 B Herta US Ford 58:358 2 D Franchitti GB Honda 58:447 3 S Pruett US Ford 58:645 4 J Vasser US Honda 58:657 5 A Zanardi It Honda 58:883 6 P Carpentier Can Mercedes 58:901 7 A Fernandez Mex Ford 58:939 8 C Fittipaldi Brz Ford 59:118 9 G de Ferran Brz Honda 59:145 10 M Andretti US Ford 59:188 16 M Blundell GB Mercedes 59:435 22.06.98F1:- Stewart have sacked Danish driver Jan Magnussen halfway through his four-year deal and replaced him with Dutch star Jos Verstappen. Ex-Tyrrell star Verstappen, who is set to drive in Sunday's French Grand Prix, had been testing with Stewart. Former British Formula Three champion Magnussen has failed to shine in his second season. Team boss Paul Stewart said: "He had more than his fair share of chances to be on a par with Rubens Barrichello."
CHINA RALLY:- Britain's Colin McRae emerged from a three-day battle with Subaru team-mate Piero Liatti to win the event. In the shadow of the Great Wall of China, McRae and co-driver Nick Grist stormed to a convincing win on the mountainous stages. Under new FIA regulations, drivers not registered for the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship are unable to score. Therefore McRae does not take the maximum points and the same applies to the Manufacturers' Cup.
Result after 22 stages: hr min sec 1 C McRae Subaru 4:29.44.4 2 P Liatti Subaru 4:31.44.8 3 Y Fujimoto Toyota 4:45.52.6 4 Y Kataoka Mitsubishi 4:52.35.8 5 N Lu Mitsubishi 5:08.52.7 6 C Chan Mitsubishi 5:11.14.4 7 Y Wong Subaru 5:12.05.8 8 Z Ren Peugeot 5:33.41.7 9 F Sing Mitsubishi 5:34.16.3 10 Yang Peugeot 5:41.12.6CHAMP CARS (Portland):- Italian Alessandro Zanardi outfoxed his rivals to win his second CART race in as many weeks. The defending champion finished ahead of the Reynard Fords of Scott Pruett and Bryan Herta to claim victory by 6.839 seconds. Britain's Dario Franchitti was leading the race on lap 35 but lost the advantage when he stalled leaving the pits and then crashed out on lap 72. Mark Blundell was eliminated after a clash with Jimmy Vasser on lap 28.
Sunday's race result: laps 1 A Zanardi It Honda 98 2 S Pruett US Ford 98 3 B Herta US Ford 98 4 T Kanaan Brz Honda 98 5 A Unser Jnr US Mercedes 98 6 B Rahal US Ford 98 7 M Gugelmin Brz Mercedes 98 8 J Vasser US Ford 98 9 P Carpentier Can Mercedes 98 10 R Hearn US Ford 97 DRIVERS STANDINGS 1 A Zanardi 134 pts 2 G Moore 96 3 J Vasser 85F.OPEL:- Budweiser Kid Jensen Racing have signed 20-year-old Stuart Moseley for the remainder of the 1998 Formula Opel European Union Series.
23.06.98F1:- British American Racing have secured an engine agreement with Supertec Sport for the 1999 and 2000 seasons. The Woking-based Tyrrell team were acquired by British American Racing this year and next season will be incorporated into the new team. Ex-Benetton boss Flavio Briatore is a director of Supertec Sport. The engines will be designed by Renault Sport, who are in the process of developing new types of V10 engines for the next two campaigns.
F1: THE FRENCH GRAND PRIX
Michael Schumacher will be aiming to repeat his 1997 victory on Sunday as he bids to reduce the deficit on championship leader Mika Hakkinen. The German is just 12 points behind the Finn, who was forced out of the last race in Canada with gearbox problems. "It is a good feeling to only be 12 points behind Mika and we have some bits and pieces to test before the race," said Schumacher. "We will try and impose ourselves on the race."
Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard will be targeting another McLaren one-two on Sunday ` at a circuit where the team have yet to savour victory. McLaren have not won at Magny-Cours but Alain Prost did triumph at Le Castellet for the team in 1988 and 1989. Hakkinen and Coulthard did not finish in Canada so will be aiming to recapture their early-season form. Coulthard will be desperate for points after dropping to third overall in the driver standings.
Benetton are improving with every race and, after Giancarlo Fisichella and Alexander Wurz excelled in Montreal, are third in the constructors' race. Fisichella was second and Wurz was fourth and technical director Pat Symonds said: "I am looking forward to another competitive grand prix. We are working hard at chasing McLaren and Ferrari and are trying to pull away from Williams. There is not much on the car in terms of new developments this weekend."
Jacques Villeneuve continues to be linked with the new British American Racing outfit, who will be joining the Formula One circuit next year. His friend Craig Pollock is with the team, who have taken over Tyrrell. Villeneuve said: "I want to go where there is a good car, good team, fun atmosphere and where there is a chance to be in the fight for top-three spots. Williams are a great team and I have been impressed with the way they have worked to close the gap on McLaren."
Damon Hill went agonisingly close to a podium finish in Montreal and his Jordan team will be hoping their luck finally changes in France. Former world champion Hill looked set for a third-place finish at least until car problems led to a retirement. The good news is that Hill could seriously challenge for a top-three spot for the first time this season, suggesting the team are back on track. Hill won at the circuit for Williams on his way to winning the title in 1996.
Magny-Cours will be holding the race for the eighth time on Sunday. The circuit was built on the site of the old Nevers track. Six other circuits have staged the French Grand Prix since the first race at Le Mans in 1906. Sunday's race should last for 72 laps and cover 305.814km (190.024 miles). The French Grand Prix won a late reprieve from the FIA this year. The race was initially axed from the calendar because of a TV rights row.
Jordan technical director Gary Anderson will miss Sunday's race. He will be at the team's Silverstone headquarters for the second grand prix in a row to work on the problems that have dogged the team. Jos Verstappen, who has replaced the sacked Jan Magnussen at Stewart, will make his debut for the team on Sunday. Tyrrell's Ricardo Rosset is under pressure after failing to qualify for the races in Monaco and Barcelona, although he did finish in Montreal.
1997 result: 1 M Schumacher Ger Ferrari 2 H-H Frentzen Ger Williams 3 E Irvine GB Ferrari 4 J Villeneuve Can Williams 5 J Alesi Fr Benetton 6 R Schumacher Ger Jordan Fastest race lap: M Schumacher 1:17.910 Previous winners: 1997 M Schumacher Ger Ferrari 1996 D Hill GB Williams 1995 M Schumacher Ger Benetton 1994 M Schumacher Ger Benetton 1993 A Prost Fr Williams 1992 N Mansell GB Williams 1991 N Mansell GB Williams At Le Castellet (Paul Ricard): 1990 A Prost Fr Ferrari 1989 A Prost Fr McLaren 1988 A Prost Fr McLaren 1987 N Mansell GB WilliamsTOURING CARS:- Reigning champion Alain Menu will be hoping for better luck as the championship moves on to Croft for rounds 13 and 14 this weekend. He is in dire need of some good results after Renault's failure at Donington. The Swiss star will take confidence from his double victory at Croft last year but will be hard pushed to produce a repeat performance this time around. Series leader Rickard Rydell and John Cleland in his Vauxhall are favourites to finish on the podium.
Nissan drivers David Leslie and Anthony Reid will be looking to build on their recent good form and impress on what is considered to be their home circuit. Croft is close to the Nissan factory in Sunderland and Leslie is keen to put on a good show for the fans. "This is Nissan country. A lot of people will be there from the factory and it would be nice to reward them. Both Anthony and I have now won races and it would be nice to share the spoils at Croft with a win apiece."
Croft is also the home circuit for Honda's James Thompson, who knows he must start winning soon if he wants to challenge for the championship title. "We're doing a lot of development work on the Honda," Thompson confirmed. "I have got to go for it. It's a great track both to drive and race on, and it's my home track too which is another incentive. It's an exciting circuit - half-smooth and half-bumpy - so it's a bit of a nightmare to set up the car."
Former double champion John Cleland has warned current leader Rickard Rydell that he will pounce on any opportunity at the Croft circuit this weekend. "If we can get it all together, my goal is to come out of there with two very good results and hope Rickard doesn't have two good results. I will be his worst nightmare, I will haunt him for the rest of the season. All the championships are tight at the moment. We can challenge for all the titles, there is no reason why not."
VAUXHALL VECTRA's:- Just one seat is still to be claimed in the Vauxhall Vectra V6 Challenge - the chance to test the race-winning British Touring Car Championship car. With only one round left for the drivers to score points and qualify for the test, the race for that third spot will be at Croft circuit on June 28.
25.06.98FORD FIESTA'SHIP (Croft):- Essex driver Rae Claydon battled through changeable weather conditions to set the pace in round seven testing. He was marginally ahead of youngster David Gibson, with Donington Park winner Neal Gordon clocking third.
Combined testing times:mins secs 1 R Claydon 1:44.496 2 D Gibson 1:44.660 3 N Gordon 1:44.784 4 S Clarke 1:44.918 5 N Hose 1:44.942 6 A Morrison 1:44.964F.FORD (Croft):- Somerset teenager Jenson Button produced a startling performance to take the early advantage in testing. He was five-tenths quicker than his teammate and championship leader Derek Hayes across the challenging circuit.
Combined testing times:mins secs 1 J Button 1:23.418 2 D Hayes 1:23.984 3 M Ambrose 1:24.146 4 D Wheldon 1:24.148 5 C Murray 1:24.324 6 N Kiesa 1:24.452 26.06.98F1:THE FRENCH GP
Eddie Irvine has slammed Damon Hill over the 150mph zig-zag duel with Michael Schumacher at the Canadian GP. Irvine said: "He (Damon) knew Michael was there. He drove dangerously and deliberately. He should have got a one race ban for that. It was totally ridiculous, absolutely atrocious. Weaving isn't allowed. You are allowed to move to the inside and stay there, forcing the guy to come alongside you. To go right, then left, then right - it's going too far."
Free practice times (Fri): 1 M Hakkinen Fin McLaren 1:16.515 2 E Irvine GB Ferrari 1:16.597 3 D Coulthard GB McLaren 1:16.707 4 H-H Frentzen Ger Williams 1:17.026 5 M Schumacher Ger Ferrari 1:17.429 6 R Schumacher Ger Jordan 1:17.505 7 G Fisichella It Benetton 1:16.664 8 A Wurz Aut Benetton 1:17.706 9 D Hill GB Jordan 1:17.895 10 J Herbert GB Sauber 1:17.977 11 J Trulli It Prost 1:18.036 12 J Alesi Fr Sauber 1:18.172 13 O Panis Fr Prost 1:18.367 14 R Rosset Brz Tyrrell 1:18.649 15 M Salo Fin Arrows 1:18.656 16 R Barrichello Brz Stewart 1:18.703 17 J Villeneuve Can Williams 1:19.008 18 P Diniz Brz Arrows 1:19.023 19 T Tagaki Jpn Tyrrell 1:19.057 20 J Verstappen Hol Stewart 1:20.286 21 S Nakano Jpn Minardi 1:20.445 22 E Tuero Arg Minardi 1:20.871David Coulthard is threatening to quit the Grand Prix Drivers' Association. The Scot is calling for collective responsibility from drivers after a number of collisions this season. Coulthard has already called for a code of conduct and said: "If people want to watch drivers bashing into each other they should go to a stock-car race. We must act before there is a serious accident. Unless drivers can agree under what rules we are racing I would rather not be a part of the GPDA."
TOURING CARS:- Championship leader Rickard Rydell made the best of the weather today to beat all his rivals in final official testing at Croft. The Swedish driver was the only driver to break the 1 min 22 sec barrier. He was more than three tenths of a second ahead of closest challenger Anthony Reid in a Nissan. All the leading times were set in the first half hour of the session before steady drizzle set in at the north Yorkshire circuit.
Leading practice times (Fri): min secs 1 R Rydell Swe Volvo 1:21.700 2 A Reid GB Nissan 1:22.007 3 W Hoy GB Ford 1:22.254 4 J Cleland GB Vauxhall 1:22.302 5 D Leslie GB Nissan 1:22.488 6 J Plato GB Renault 1:22.529 7 J Thompson GB Honda 1:22.637 8 J Bintcliffe GB Audi 1:22.654 9 G Morbidelli It Volvo 1:22.667 10 T Harvey GB Peugeot 1:22.804 F3:- Friday's leading times (Silverstone): 1 B Collins GB Dallara 1:58.330 2 M Hynes GB Dallara 1:58.390 3 L Burti Brz Dallara 1:58.403 4 E Bernoldi Brz Dallara 1:58.626 5 D Manning GB Dallara 1:58.653 VAUXHALL VECTRA SRi V6 CHALLENGE Friday's leading test times, Croft: 1 M Blair GB ADR 1:32.390 2 S Graves GB Barwell 1:32.552 3 F Figueredo Brz TJ 1:32.788 4 D Pinkney GB Stealth 1:32.502 5 J Yeomans GB Tech-Spd 1:34.288SPORTSCARS:- Nissan have announced they will not be renewing their contact with TWR. The current deal, which involved developing cars for the Le Mans 24-hour race, finishes at the end of July.
27.06.98F1:- THE FRENCH GP
Jordan earned their best qualifying performance of the season, with Ralf Schumacher and Damon Hill securing sixth and seventh spots on the grid. Hill said: "Honda have helped us a bit with the engine and we know the tyres are durable. With a bit more push from Honda we can be up there challenging for the points. I am confident we can be competitive. We have made progress. I do not think we will be challenging for the lead but I think we can be in the points."
Ferrari driver Eddie Irvine has revealed that there is no guarantee his contract will be renewed at the end of this season. The Ulsterman, who has had four podium finishes in the last five races, also says he is not sure he wants to stay. "They have the option on me," he said. Do I want to stay? Do I want to be number one and have a worse car or a number two and have the best machinery? If I want to beat Michael Schumacher I cannot stay here."
Qualifying times (Sat): min secs 1 M Hakkinen Fin McLaren 1:14.929 2 M Schumacher Ger Ferrari 1:15.159 3 D Coulthard GB McLaren 1:15.333 4 E Irvine GB Ferrari 1:15.527 5 J Villeneuve Can Williams 1:15.630 6 R Schumacher Ger Jordan 1:15.925 7 D Hill GB Jordan 1:16.245 8 H-H Frentzen Ger Williams 1:16.319 9 G Fisichella It Benetton 1:16.375 10 A Wurz Aut Benetton 1:16.460 11 J Alesi Fr Sauber 1:16.627 12 J Trulli It Prost 1:16.892 13 J Herbert GB Sauber 1:16.977 14 R Barrichello Brz Stewart 1:17.024 15 J Verstappen Hol Stewart 1:17.604 16 O Panis Fr Prost 1:17.671 17 P Diniz Brz Arrows 1:17.880 18 R Rosset Brz Tyrrell 1:17.908 19 M Salo Fin Arrows 1:17.970 20 T Tagaki Jpn Tyrrell 1:18.221 21 S Nakano Jpn Minardi 1:18.273 22 E Tuero Arg Minardi 1:19.146 TOURING CARS (Croft):- Qualifying times for round 13:min secs 1 J Thompson GB Honda 1:21.984 2 A Reid GB Nissan 1:22.076 3 R Rydell Swe Volvo 1:22.108 4 Y Muller Fr Audi 1:22.179 5 P Kox Hol Honda 1:22.520 6 D Leslie GB Nissan 1:22.595 7 A Menu Swi Renault 1:22.603 8 J Plato GB Renault 1:22.637 9 J Cleland GB Vauxhall 1:22.663 10 G Morbidelli It Volvo 1:22.856 Qualifying times for round 14:min secs 1 D Leslie GB Nissan 1:22.454 2 R Rydell Swe Volvo 1:22.849 3 G Morbidelli It Volvo 1:22.895 4 J Thompson GB Honda 1:22.908 5 Y Muller Fr Audi 1:23.024 6 P Kox Hol Honda 1:23.047 7 A Reid GB Nissan 1:23.108 8 J Plato GB Renault 1:23.184 9 A Menu Swi Renault 1:23.213 10 J Cleland GB Vauxhall 1:23.520RENAULT SPIDER CUP (Croft):- Jamie Hunter took pole position for round eight and halved the gap on series leader Dan Eaves by picking up two bonus points. Duncan Vercoe was second quickest and Greg Caton was fifth on his debut.
Leading qualifying times (Sat): min secs 1 J Hunter 1:29.824 2 D Vercoe 1:30.106 3 D Eaves 1:30.249 4 T Masini 1:30.415 5 G Caton 1:30.571 6 N Hart 1:30.623F.FORD (Croft):- Marcos Ambrose earned a surprise pole position for Sunday's round seven. A late spin by rookie Richard Antinucci caused the session to be red-flagged and cancelled out late bursts by Mark McKenna and Gary Catt.
Leading qualifying times (Sat): min secs 1 M Ambrose 1:31.923 2 D Wheldon 1:32.220 3 N Kiesa 1:32.749 4 T Sisley 1:32.749 5 J Button 1:33.483 6 C Murray 1:33.600VAUXHALL VECTRA'S (Croft):- Championship leader Simon Graves will be on the number one grid spot for round seven on Sunday. "It turned out to be a dry session," he said. "After testing I knew where I had to be tidy to get a quick lap."
Leading qualifying times (Sat): min secs 1 S Graves 1:32.476 2 M Blair 1:32.603 3 F Figueiredo 1:32.932 4 D Pinkney 1:33.688 5 M Ticehurst 1:33.764 6 M Rennison 1:34.244F.VAUXHALL JUNIOR (Croft):- South African Tomas Scheckter will be on pole for Sunday's round eight race. "It was a case of being in the right place and finding a gap," he said. "The car was brilliant and the session went really well."
Leading qualifying times (Sat): min secs 1 T Scheckter SA 1:36.451 2 R Lyons GB 1:36.597 3 K Hall GB 1:37.464 4 R Bell GB 1:37.610 5 J Dalziel GB 1:37.950 6 J Welsman GB 1:38.125F.FIESTA'S (Croft):- Veteran Fiesta racer Colin Stancombe grabbed pole position for Sunday's seventh round in the final seconds of the qualifying session. Championship leader Rae Claydon could only set the eighth fastest time.
Leading qualifying times (Sat): min secs 1 C Stancombe 1:44.022 2 D Gibson 1:44.469 3 S Clarke 1:44.671 4 N Gordon 1:44.683 5 J Levy 1:44.711 6 M Neuhoff 1:44.738F.RENAULT (Croft):- Series leader Aluizio Coelho denied Tim Mullen pole position with a superb final lap in qualifying for the eighth round. Chris Buncombe headed the Star Cup runners in sixth place.
Leading qualifying times (Sat): min secs 1 A Coelho 1:21.045 2 T Mullen 1:21.136 3 D Bell 1:21.388 4 V Meira 1:21.642 5 C Clark 1:21.679 6 C Buncombe 1:21.780F.PALMER AUDI (Brands Hatch):- Britain's Darren Turner will be on pole for today's race after edging out compatriot Justin Keen by just three 10ths of a second. There was less than a second covering the top 18 in what was the closest qualifying session to date. The round three top 10 was dominated by Britons, with eight of the places going to homegrown talent. Joint championship leader Richard Tarling was third fastest and Martyn Smith was fourth.
Round three qualifying times (Sat): mins secs 1 D Turner GB 44:616 2 J Keen GB 44:652 3 R Tarling GB 44:731 4 M Smith GB 44:771 5 J Wilson GB 44:788 6 E Redfern GB 44:979 7 P Clarke GB 44:980 8 S Nakazawa Jpn 44:019 9 I James GB 45:061 10 J Moro Brz 45:067 28.06.98F1: THE FRENCH GP
Damon Hill's hopes of a points finish ended before he had completed 20 laps. The ex-world champion had qualified for the race in seventh and looked set to give Jordan their first points of the year but was hit by throttle trouble. Car problems had cut short his qualifying session and he said: "I think it is closely related to the problem we had on Saturday." Hill's team-mate Ralf Schumacher also had problems and after a lengthy pitstop he was 20th at one point.
David Coulthard's title hopes were dealt a crushing blow because of a refuelling problem on lap 55. The Scot, who had started in third spot and who was overtaken by Eddie Irvine at the start, had looked set to claim fourth place. However, when he came in for his pitstop he was hit by a lengthy delay and then had to come back in for two more additional stops. It appeared he may miss out on any points but battled back to sixth spot.
Britain's Johnny Herbert was hindered by car problems early on but still managed to finish in a creditable eighth place. He was just two spots off the points, while his Sauber team-mate Jean Alesi went one better in seventh. Meanwhile, Benetton's Alexander Wurz is improving with every race and his fifth place means he is also fifth in the drivers' standings. His team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella finished ninth.
Michael Schumacher paid tribute to his Ferrari team after he closed the gap on championship leader Mika Hakkinen to just six points. After he had claimed his 30th career win and fourth victory in France in five years, he said: "It is amazing. "We have worked very hard to achieve this and the Goodyear group worked flat out so we could have these tyres here." His team-mate Eddie Irvine was second to give Ferrari a one-two and he quipped: "It is about time."
Michael Schumacher revealed that the drivers' title was firmly in his thoughts as he drove to victory. "The championship was always my thought throughout the race," admitted the German star. "I was crossing my fingers for Eddie Irvine that he could stay ahead of Hakkinen because the six-point gap he has is nothing. We will see consistent developments from the other teams but we should be there fighting."
Championship leader Mika Hakkinen was disappointed with his third place in France but said that his McLaren team were still geared up to take the title. "It was a tough race," he said. "We are going to be working flat out now and there is no point in starting to worry about what Ferrari have done. "So far I think everyone in the team has done a fantastic job." Meanwhile, world champion Jacques Villeneuve drove an uneventful race to take fourth place for Williams.
Stewart managing director Paul Stewart was pleased that Rubens Barrichello and Jos Verstappen finished the race. Barrichello was 10th and Verstappen, who was making his debut for the team after replacing the axed Jan Magnussen, was 12th. "Getting both cars to the finish in a difficult race under tough conditions was important," said Stewart. The race was restarted after Verstappen stalled on the grid but Stewart added: "He kept his head and was competitive."
Result after 71 laps: hr min sec 1 M Schumacher Ger Ferrari 1:34.45.0 2 E Irvine GB Ferrari @ 19.5 3 M Hakkinen Fin McLaren @ 19.7 4 J Villeneuve Can Williams @ 66.9 5 A Wurz Aut Benetton one lap 6 D Coulthard GB McLaren one lap 7 J Alesi Fr Sauber one lap 8 J Herbert GB Sauber one lap 9 G Fisichella It Benetton one lap 10 R Barrichello Brz Stewart two laps 11 O Panis Fr Prost two laps 12 J Verstappen Hol Stewart two laps 13 M Salo Fin Arrows two laps 14 P Diniz Brz Arrows two laps 15 H-H Frentzen Ger Williams 3 laps 16 R Schumacher Ger Jordan 3 laps Did not finish/not classified: completed 17 S Nakano Jpn Minardi 65 laps 18 T Takagi Jpn Tyrrell 60 19 J Trulli It Prost 55 20 E Tuero Arg Minardi 41 21 D Hill GB Jordan 19 22 R Rosset Brz Tyrrell 16 Fastest lap: D Coulthard 1:17.523 DRIVERS' STANDINGS 1 M Hakkinen Fin McLaren 50 pts 2 M Schumacher Ger Ferrari 44 3 D Coulthard GB McLaren 30 4 E Irvine GB Ferrari 25 5 A Wurz Aut Benetton 14 6 G Fisichella It Benetton 13 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 80 pts 2 Ferrari 69 3 Benetton 27 4 Williams-Mecachrome 19 5 Stewart 5 6 Sauber-Petronas 4 = Arrows 4TOURING CARS (Croft):- James Thompson scored his and Honda's maiden Championship win of the season with a pole-to-flag victory in the Sprint Race at his home track. Thompson's win was one of the narrowest of the season so far as he finished just a second and a quarter ahead of Anthony Reid. It nearly went awry at mid-distance as the rain came but Thompson recovered. Rickard Rydell took the honours in the double-length feature race, stretching his Championship lead to 42 points.
Round 14 result (Sun): mins secs 1 R Rydell Swe Volvo 42:30.765 2 D Leslie GB Nissan @ 02.405 3 A Reid GB Nissan @ 03.156 4 A Menu Swi Renault @ 03.755 5 J Thompson GB Honda @ 08.578 6 J Plato GB Renault @ 14.388 7 G Morbidelli It Volvo @ 16.814 8 J Cleland GB Vauxhall @ 20.580 9 W Hoy GB Ford @ 20.581 10 Y Muller Fr Audi @ 24.886 DRIVER STANDINGS 1 R Rydell Swe Volvo S40 145 pts 2 A Menu Swi Renault Laguna 103 3 A Reid GB Nissan 102 4 J Thompson GB Honda Accord 98 5 J Cleland GB Vauxhall 96 6 J Plato GB Renault Laguna 92 CONSTRUCTOR STANDINGS 1 Volvo 150 pts 2 Nissan 149 3 Renault 146 4 Honda 116 5 Vauxhall 111 6 Ford 77F.FORD (Croft):- Daniel Wheldon got the better of team- mate Marcos Ambrose to claim victory. Ambrose had been on pole but was hampered by gearbox problems throughout the race, although he finished second. Jenson Button was third.
Round 7 result: min secs 1 D Wheldon 19:51.946 2 M Ambrose 19:52.998 3 J Button 19:58.406 4 N Kiesa 20:00.275 5 D Hayes 20:00.365 6 T Sisley 20:04.249 VAUXHALL VECTRA'S (Croft):- Round 7 result: mins secs 1 M Blair 18:55.748 2 F Figueiredo 18:56.270 3 J Yeomans 19:08.332 4 M Ticehurst 19:08.741 5 A McKenna 19:25.522 6 M Rennison 19:26.191 F.VAUXHALL JUNIOR (Croft):- Round 8 result: min secs 1 R Lyons GB 19:54.633 2 J Fourie SA 19:56.028 3 K Hall GB 20:01.586 4 T Scheckter SA 20:02.298 5 R Bell GB 20:02.953 6 A Pizzonia Brz 20:03.750F.PALMER AUDI (Brands Hatch):- Richard Tarling became the first Formula Palmer Audi driver to secure his second pole of the season. He clocked a time only 5/100ths of a second ahead of Justin Keen in qualifying for round four. For the second race in succession the top 18 were split by less than a second with Keen in second spot. For the first time in Formula Palmer Audi there will be a rolling start with all the cars following the Audi S8 pace car.
29.06.98F1:- Eddie Irvine said it was "mission accomplished" as Ferrari enjoyed their first one-two in eight years in the French Grand Prix at Magny Cours. Michael Schumacher won his third race of the season as Irvine took his first runners-up spot this year. Irvine said: "This was an important result for us and a great one for me. "When we came here we thought we could take the race to McLaren, do them some damage, and that's exactly what we did," added the Ulsterman.
RALLYING:- Top Irish National Hunt Jockey Conor O'Dwyer will experience a different sort of horsepower on Saturday, July 4. O'Dwyer will co-drive for former British Rally Champion Gwyndaf Evans on the SEAT Cars Lurgan Park Rally. O'Dwyer said: "I've never done anything like this before in my life and I'm looking forward to it. "It's a great honour to be able to make my rally debut with Gwyndaf Evans. I will certainly be in at the deep end," added the Irish jockey.
DRIVER RANKINGS:- Michael Schumacher's win at the French Grand Prix helped him stay ahead of Alessandro Zanardi in the Champion Spark Plug World Driver Rankings. Four points ahead of Zanardi going into the weekend, Schumacher had to finish fourth or higher to keep his lead.
Leading ranking positions: Pts 1 M Schumacher Ger Ferrari 1029 2 A Zanardi It Honda 987 3 J Gordon US Chevrolet 862 4 M Hakkinen Fin McLaren 808 5 D Jarrett US Ford 806 6 J Villeneuve Can Williams 774 30.06.98F1:- Eddie Jordan has made some personnel changes in a bid to strengthen the structure of his team, who have yet to win a point this season. Mike Gascoyne has been taken on as chief designer and will work alongside technical director Gary Anderson. Gascoyne, 35, was formerly Harvey Postlethwaite's deputy at Tyrrell. "I am looking forward to this challenge and hope to play a key role in leading Jordan to victory," said Gascoyne, who starts work with the team this week.
JIM CLARK MEMORIAL RALLY:- The Proton Cars Motorsport team have withdrawn from the Jim Clark Memorial Rally because they are putting engine development above other activities. Jenny Davies and Claire Mole were initially entered in their Compact SRI to use the rally as a warm-up for the Circuit of Ulster.
F.PALMER AUDI Standings after four rounds: 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