November 1998




01.11.98
F1: THE JAPANESE GP
Mika Hakkinen secured his first Formula One title in the best possible way - with a victory in Japan. He clinched the crown on lap 32 when title-rival Michael Schumacher had to retire from the grand prix. Eddie Irvine gave Ferrari a boost on what was a luckless day for the Italian team by finishing second. David Coulthard was third and Damon Hill produced a stunning move on the final lap to overtake Heinz-Harald Frentzen and claim fourth place.

Mika Hakkinen clinched the world title on lap 32 after Michael Schumacher was forced out when a tyre exploded. Schumacher was always facing an uphill battle after stalling on the grid and having to start from the back. McLaren also secured the constructors' crown, while tyre manufacturer Bridgestone claimed their first taste of glory. It was Hakkinen's first world title and the second for Finland. Keke Rosberg triumphed in 1982.

There was a stunning start to the Suzuka race when Michael Schumacher was forced to begin from the back of the grid after his engine stalled. The event had already been aborted once when Prost's Jarno Trulli also stalled. Schumacher, who was on pole and was just four points behind Championship leader Mika Hakkinen, shook his head in disbelief at the re-start. However, he stormed through the field when the cars got away at the third attempt and by lap five was seventh.

The path to the world title was a difficult one for Mika Hakkinen. In November 1995, he fractured his skull in a 270kph crash at the Australian Grand Prix in Adelaide. There were fears that he would never race again but he stepped back into a car the following February. His first win was in Jerez last season, when Jacques Villeneuve let him past. David Coulthard handed Hakkinen his second win in Melbourne this year.

The path to the world title was a difficult one for Mika Hakkinen. In November 1995, he fractured his skull in a 270kph crash at the Australian Grand Prix in Adelaide. There were fears that he would never race again but he stepped back into a car the following February. His first win was in Jerez last season, when Jacques Villeneuve let him past. David Coulthard handed Hakkinen his second win in Melbourne this year.

The path to the world title was a difficult one for Mika Hakkinen. In November 1995, he fractured his skull in a 270kph crash at the Australian Grand Prix in Adelaide. There were fears that he would never race again but he stepped back into a car the following February. His first win was in Jerez last season, when Jacques Villeneuve let him past. David Coulthard handed Hakkinen his second win in Melbourne this year.

The 1998 Suzuka finale ended on a high for the British contingent. Eddie Irvine was second in Suzuka, David Coulthard was third, Damon Hill fourth and Johnny Herbert 10th. Coulthard played a part in Mika Hakkinen's title win after handing him victory in the opening race of 1998. Hill's efforts have helped Jordan to fourth in the constructors' table. It is the highest-ever finish for the Silverstone-based team.

Michael Schumacher was understandably dejected after losing out to Mika Hakkinen in the race for the title. "I am obviously not delighted or excited," he said. "It was very disappointing but I still think we have had a good season. "When you look at it in that context it is not too bad." Schumacher had to start at the back of the grid after stalling before the race got underway and then retired from the race with a puncture.

Michael Schumacher denied that it was a puncture that forced him out of the championship finale. The German driver said: "It was an explosion within the tyre. I had been having some problems with the front tyres some laps before it happened. "I reported it to the team but did not suspect anything was wrong with the rear tyres as I could not see them through the mirrors. It was a big disappointment after working so hard in qualifying."

McLaren driver Mika Hakkinen found it hard to put his world title triumph into words after winning in Japan. "It is difficult to know what to say," said the modest Finn. "Since I started in Formula One it has been a fight every year." Team-mate David Coulthard was third in the 1998 finale and he and Hakkinen ensured it was double joy for McLaren. The team also won the constructors' crown for the first time since 1991.

Mika Hakkinen praised the people behind the scenes at McLaren after leading the British team to the driver and constructor titles. "It has taken us a long time at McLaren to reach this position and when this happens you look back at what you have done together," he said. "You think of all the hard work done by designers and mechanics. The race was not as difficult as others I have had this season but a lot of that is down to the team."

Eddie Irvine was left to fly the flag for Ferrari after Michael Schumacher's retirement and he finished second. "What happened to Michael at the start did not change our tactics for the race, it destroyed them," he said. "We have spent the last two days going through all sorts of permutations. When Michael went to the back I knew it was up to me. I made a fantastic start and got close to Mika Hakkinen at some points but just could not manage to get in front."

The 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve finished sixth in his last race for Williams before joining British American Racing. The Canadian admitted: "It was a very hard race. Our first set of tyres were not good and I could not drive the car. The rear end was very sloppy. It was the first set of tyres that hurt us." Villeneuve's team-mate Heinz-Harald Frentzen added: "This has been my toughest race for Williams. On the first lap I lost my power steering."

Tyrrell's final season in the sport was summed up in their last race. Ricardo Rosset did not take part, while Toranosuke Takagi retired from the race after a collision with Esteban Tuero. Managing director Dr Harvey Postlethwaite said: "I would like to thank all our team members for their loyalty and unflagging good humour. Having to participate instead of compete has not been easy. The end of the Tyrrell racing organisation gives rise to just a moment of reflection."

Stewart driver Rubens Barrichello had high hopes ahead of the final race of the season but failed to finish. "I am bitterly disappointed," said the Brazilian. "It just did not happen at all this weekend. "I made up a couple of places at the start but the back of the car became very loose." Jos Verstappen did not make it to the finish either and added: "Obviously, this is not the way I would have liked my last race for Stewart to end."

Benetton duo Giancarlo Fisichella and Alexander Wurz finished out of the points in Japan - in eighth and ninth position respectively. It means the team were pipped for third or fourth place in the constructor standings by Williams and Jordan. Wurz revealed: "I am quite disappointed. It was a very difficult race. I had absolutely no grip." Chief executive Rocco Benetton said: "From tomorrow we will be strongly focused on our plans for 1999."



Result after 51 laps:        hr min sec
 1 M Hakkinen    Fin McLaren  1:27.22.5
 2 E Irvine      GB  Ferrari      @06.4
 3 D Coulthard   GB  McLaren      @27.6
 4 D Hill        GB  Jordan       @73.4
 5 H-H Frentzen  Ger Williams     @73.8
 6 J Villeneuve  Can Williams     @75.8
 7 J Alesi       Fr  Sauber       @96.0
 8 G Fisichella  It  Benetton    @101.3
 9 A Wurz        Aut Benetton   one lap
10 J Herbert     GB  Sauber     one lap
11 O Panis       Fr  Prost      one lap
12 J Trulli      It  Prost   three laps

Did not finish 51-lap race:Laps completed
13 S Nakano      Jpn Minardi      40
14 M Schumacher  Ger Ferrari      31
15 T Takagi      Jpn Tyrrell      28
16 E Tuero       Arg Minardi      28
17 R Barrichello Brz Stewart      25
18 J Verstappen  Hol Stewart      21
19 M Salo        Fin Arrows       14
20 R Schumacher  Ger Jordan       13
21 P Diniz       Brz Arrows        2
Two laps shorter after aborted starts


FINAL 1998 DRIVER STANDINGS
 1 M Hakkinen    Fin  McLaren  100 pts
 2 M Schumacher  Ger  Ferrari   86
 3 D Coulthard   GB   McLaren   56
 4 E Irvine      GB   Ferrari   47
 5 J Villeneuve  Can  Williams  21
 6 D Hill        GB   Jordan    20
 7 A Wurz        Aut  Benetton  17
 = H-H Frentzen  Ger  Williams  17
 9 G Fisichella  It   Benetton  16
10 R Schumacher  Ger  Jordan    14
11 J Alesi       Fr   Sauber     9
12 R Barrichello Brz  Stewart    4
13 M Salo        Fin  Arrows     3
 = P Diniz       Brz  Arrows     3
15 J Herbert     GB   Sauber     1
 = J Magnussen   Den  Stewart    1
 = J Trulli      It   Prost      1

FINAL 1998 CONSTRUCTOR STANDINGS
1 McLaren-Mercedes     156 pts
2 Ferrari              133
3 Williams-Mecachrome   38
4 Jordan                34
5 Benetton              33
6 Sauber-Petronas       10
7 Arrows                 6
8 Stewart                5
9 Prost                  1


WINTER F.FORD (Snetterton):- Craig Murray won the opening round of the Winter Formula Ford Championship. The Scotsman was ahead of pole position man Nicolas Kiesa, who collided with Ricardo van der Ende early on, and Peter Gray on his Formula Ford debut.


Results            mins secs
1 C Murray          12:06.37
2 N Kiesa           12:06.97
3 P Gray            12:09.48
4 R van der Ende    12:10.12
5 M Taylor          12:11.04
6 M Gilmore         12:14.04


WINTER FORD FIESTA'S (Snetterton):- Colin Stancombe picked up his first win in two years in the second round of the Winter Ford Fiesta Championship. The race was delayed after a roll from Nick Beaumont, before Stancombe fought off the challenge of Gordon Shedden.


Results            mins secs
1 C Stancombe       10:34.22
2 G Shedden         10:34.88
3 I Churchill       10:35.38
4 A McKever         10:39.98
5 M Tegerdine       10:48.67
6 M Engledew        10:46.09



F.PALMER AUDI WINTER SERIES
Round One:               mins secs
1 D Hayles      GB       17:37.211
2 R Liddell     GB       17:39.604
3 A Priaulx     GB       17:45.134
4 K Hall        GB       17:49.931
5 T Verbergt    Bel      17:50.569

Round Two:
1 D Hayles      GB       11:01.203
2 A Priaulx     GB       11:05.239
3 T Verbergt    Bel      11:05.951
4 C Jones       Aus      11:07.975
5 D Watts       GB       11:19.646

CHAMP CARS (Fontana):- Britain's Mark Blundell and Dario Franchitti will start seventh and eighth on the grid for Sunday's race. Scott Pruett secured pole position with a lap of 31.249 seconds on the 2.209- mile circuit. It is the fifth pole of his Fedex Championship career but was well below the 30.316 set by Brazilian star Mauricio Gugelmin last year. Jimmy Vasser, locked in a battle with Franchitti for second place in the standings, was second quickest.


Qualifying times (Sat):         secs
 1 S Pruett     US  Ford       31:249
 2 J Vasser     US  Honda      31:301
 3 M Andretti   US  Ford       31:372
 4 R Hearn      US  Ford       31.377
 5 B Rahal      US  Ford       31:394
 6 M Gugelmin   Brz Mercedes   31:429
 7 M Blundell   GB  Mercedes   31:441
 8 D Franchitti GB  Mercedes   31:514
 9 G Moore      Can Mercedes   31:523
10 G de Ferran  Brz Honda      31:619







02.11.98
F1:- Mika Hakkinen has already issued a warning to Ferrari's Michael Schumacher by insisting he is aiming to retain his world crown next year. After beating Schumacher to the 1998 honour on Sunday, the Finn revealed: "I want back-to-back titles. I am determined to win the championship again in 1999 and what happened this year will only make me more confident. It is going to be tough defending the title but I intend to work hard."

Stewart-Ford have confirmed that Gary Anderson will be joining the team as chief designer. He has been technical director at Jordan for the last nine years and admitted: "This latest chapter in my career is a terrific challenge." Managing director of Stewart, Paul Stewart, said: "I am pleased that Gary is joining us at this important stage in the company's growth. Gary brings with him a wealth of expertise and skill."



CHAMPION SPARK PLUG WORLD RANKING:- The 1998 Formula One champion Mika Hakkinen has also taken the honours for the season in the Champion Spark Plug World Driver Rankings. The Finn beat off nearest challenger Alex Zanardi and last year's winner Michael Schumacher. It is the first time Hakkinen has led the rankings - the unofficial guide to finding the world's best driver. NASCAR's Jeff Gordon is the only driver in the top four with a race remaining but he cannot finish first or second.


Driver ratings (November 2)     Points
1 M Hakkinen    Fin Formula One  1154
2 A Zanardi     It  Champ Car    1112
3 M Schumacher  Ger Formula One  1036
4 J Gordon      US  NASCAR       1035
5 M Martin      US  NASCAR        869
6 D Coulthard   GB  Formula One   842
7 U Alzen       Ger GTCC          817
8 E Irvine      GB  Formula One   810
9 R Zonta       Brz FIA GT        773
= K Ludwig      Ger FIA GT        773

WINTER F.RENAULT:- Antonio Pizzonia took an early lead in the Formula Renault Sport Winter Series with wins in both Brands Hatch rounds. Rob Austin actually won the second race but was given a 10-second penalty for a jumped start and dropped to seventh. Rounds three and four take place at Brands Hatch on Sunday.



COSWORTH:- Neil Ressler has been appointed chairman of Cosworth racing. Ressler is currently vice president of Advanced Vehicle Technology for Ford.



CHAMP CARS (Fontana):- Britain's Dario Franchitti was pipped to second place in the overall CART driver standings after failing to finish the final race of the season. Jimmy Vasser won the Marlboro 500 and it means he finishes nine points clear of the Scot and runner-up to champion Alex Zanardi. Mark Blundell finished sixth and said: "I had the best car of the year today. It was definitely the toughest season of my career. Now it is history and I am looking forward to 1999."


Race result - 250 laps (Sun): hr min sec
 1 J Vasser     US  Honda     3:17.54
 2 G Moore      Can Mercedes     @.36
 3 A Zanardi    It  Honda      250 laps
 4 A Fernandez  Mex Ford       250 laps
 5 M Gugelmin   Brz Mercedes   250 laps
 6 M Blundell   GB  Mercedes   250 laps
 7 D Franchitti GB  Mercedes   250 laps
 8 R Hearn      US  Ford       250 laps
 9 R Gordon     US  Toyota     249 laps
10 H Castro-N   Brz Mercedes   249 laps

FINAL 1998 DRIVER STANDINGS  Points
1 A Zanardi    It  Honda       285
2 J Vasser     US  Honda       169
3 D Franchitti GB  Honda       160
4 A Fernandez  Mex Ford        154
5 G Moore      Can Mercedes    140






03.11.98
F1:- Heinz-Harald Frentzen had his first drive for Jordan when he joined team-mate Damon Hill in a test session in Suzuka. The former Williams man completed 13 laps and said: "It is too early to make any comments about the car or tyres." Hill completed 54 laps and revealed: "The car and tyres felt good and we have a good base from which to start." Ten of the 11 teams who raced in Sunday's grand prix have stayed in Japan for a two-day test.

Michael and Ralf Schumacher, who both failed to finish in Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix, had a better work-out in a test session in Suzuka. The duo were using Bridgestone tyres for the first time, following Goodyear's withdrawal from the sport. The younger Schumacher was also making his test debut for Williams. "It was different and great experience testing for such a big team," said the former Jordan driver. "Like many of the teams we are still trying to adapt."



Tuesday times:                min secs
 1 D Coulthard   GB  McLaren  1:41.296
 2 M Schumacher  Ger Ferrari  1:41.801
 3 G Fisichella  It  Benetton 1:42.944
 4 A Wurz        Aut Benetton 1:42.549
 5 R Schumacher  Ger Williams 1:42.823
 6 D Hill        GB  Jordan   1:43.505
 7 J Alesi       Fr  Sauber   1:43.821
 8 T Takagi      Jpn Tyrrell  1:44.015
 9 J Trulli      It  Prost    1:44.162
10 R Barrichello Brz Stewart  1:44.709
11 S Nakano      Jpn Minardi  1:44.888
12 H-H Frentzen  Ger Jordan   1:46.471

RALLY AUSTRALIA:- Tommi Makinen is favourite for the 12th round of the World Championship, which runs from Thursday to Sunday. His Mitsubishi team are aiming to complete a double triumph by claiming the driver and manufacturer titles. Makinen admitted: "We are in an excellent situation. Australia has always been my favourite event and the car is working well in all conditions." The rally includes 24 stages, all on loose surfaces, and Mitsubishi have had two wins in the last three years.

Colin McRae and Nicky Grist are targeting wins in Australia and Britain to clinch the World Rally Championship. Ten points in each of the rounds will give the title to the Subaru pair, regardless of how their rivals fare. Scotland's McRae won in Australia last year after a battle with Tommi Makinen and he admitted: "It is a tough proposition this year. Rally Australia is an event I enjoy and I have always had good results there but Tommi also goes well there."

Britain's Richard Burns believes he has a good chance of victory in the penultimate event of the year. The Oxford-based Mitsubishi driver set the pace in 1997 before slipping back to finish fourth - just 39 seconds behind winner Colin McRae. "It was incredibly close last year," said Burns. "If anything the rally is going to be even more fiercely fought this time around. Carlos Sainz, Colin McRae and Tommi Makinen could all still win the title."

The UK-based Hyundai Motor Sport team are looking forward to the race Down Under after finishing on the podium on their debut this year in New Zealand. Kenneth Eriksson and Wayne Bell will be driving the latest Hyundai Evo II Coupes and are confident of success. Eriksson said: "Our previous two outings on gravel events have really highlighted the potential of this car. I have a good feeling about this. I can see no reason why we should not aim for another podium finish."

Welshman Gwyndaf Evans will be bidding to help SEAT win the FIA Two-litre World Cup gold medal for the third time in three years. The hat-trick would guarantee Evans a drive in the SEAT WRC in the final round of the World Championship in Britain later this month. He said: "We tested in two different Australian forests and it went well. I was wide awake at 3am the morning after we arrived and was jet-lagged but it did not affect my driving."



CHAMP-CARS:- Reynard Motorsport have announced that they are going public in a bid to raise money to buy Gemini Transmissions. Reynard operate in Oxford and North America and have dominated the CART Series in recent years.







04.11.98 - F1
Heinz-Harald Frentzen was able to get to grips with his car on the last day of a two-day test session in Japan. Jordan's new driver only completed installation laps on the first day. He said: "It has given me the chance to get my first feel of the car and so far I am happy. First impressions are good and I believe the car has potential. As I was running on the new Bridgestone tyres I cannot really make any comparisons between my new car and the Williams car."


Wednesday times:             min secs
 1 D Coulthard   GB  McLaren  1:39.72
 2 M Schumacher  Ger Ferrari  1:41.06
 3 A Wurz        Aut Benetton 1:41.18
 4 G Fisichella  It  Benetton 1:41.38
 5 R Schumacher  Ger Williams 1:42.85
 6 H-H Frentzen  Ger Jordan   1:43.03
 7 J Trulli      It  Prost    1:43.72
 8 J Alesi       Fr  Sauber   1:44.26
 9 R Barrichello Brz Stewart  1:44.58
10 E Tuero       Arg Minardi  1:44.81





05.11.98
RALLY AUSTRALIA:- Colin McRae finished sixth in the first - and only - stage of the opening day of the Australian Rally in Perth. The 30-year-old Scot clocked 1min 33.4s in the super special stage at Langley Park, losing out by 0.6s in his head- to-head with Finland's Juha Kankkunen. Finland's world champion Tommi Makinen and France's Didier Auriol hold the joint lead after the stage as they set the same time of 1.32.0. McRae must win the rally to keep his championship hopes alive.


Positions after 1 stage:
(end of day one)              min sec
 1 T Makinen   Fin Mitsubishi  1:32.0
 2 D Auriol    Fr  Toyota      1:32.0
 3 C Sainz     Sp  Toyota      1:32.3
 4 J Kankkunen Fin Ford        1:32.8
 5 F Loix      Bel Toyota      1:33.1
 6 C McRae     GB  Subaru      1:33.4
 7 R Burns     GB  Mitsubishi  1:33.5
 8 B Thiry     Bel Escort      1:33.8
 9 N Bates     Aus Toyota      1:34.0
10 P Liatti    Fin Subaru      1:34.2

WINTER F.VAUXHALL:- Marino Franchitti, 19-year-old brother of Champ Car front runner Dario, will race in the Formula Vauxhall Junior Winter series for Lewis Motorsport. The race is at the Croft circuit in North Yorkshire on November 14-15.



WINTER FORD FIESTA'S:- Buckingham's Ian Churchill will aim to close the gap to series leader Colin Stancombe when the Winter Ford Fiesta Championships resumes this weekend. Churchill, three points behind Stancombe, is looking to win his first Fiesta race at Silverstone.



WINTER F.FORD:- Ricardo van der Ende will be looking to repeat his victory of 12 months ago in the second round of the Winter Formula Ford Championship this weekend. He won the corresponding fixture last season and finished fourth in the opening race at Snetterton.







06.11.98 - RALLY AUSTRALIA
Battling Brit Richard Burns has dominated the second day of the event. Burns set a series of fastest times as the rally headed onto the gravel tracks to open up an advantage of over a minute with one short stage left. Colin McRae was sixth, behind championship leader Carlos Sainz but ahead of title-holder Tommi Makinen. Makinen suffered a setback with an 80- second penalty for arriving late at a control area after a minor accident in his Mitsubishi.


Positions after 11 stage:
(end of day two)            hr min sec
 1 R Burns     GB  Mits'shi  1:17:31.1
 2 D Auriol    Fr  Toyota    1:18:37.4
 3 J Kankkunen Fin Ford      1:18:53.3
 4 F Loix      Bel Toyota    1:18:56.1
 5 C Sainz     Sp  Toyota    1:18:57.6
 6 C McRae     GB  Subaru    1:19:07.2
 7 B Thiry     Bel Ford      1:19:47.7
 8 T Makinen   Fin Mits'shi  1:19:53.3
 9 P Bourne    NZ  Subaru    1:20:10.3
10 S Lindholm  Fin Escort    1:21:24.4





07.11.98 - RALLY AUSTRALIA
World championship leader Carlos Sainz took control on the third day after overnight leader Richard Burns came off the road in the day's third stage. Burns managed to complete the stage but lost his lead and some power in his car Tommi Makinen was fastest on six of the day's stages and was penalised 60 seconds for jumping the lights, although the penalty was lifted later. Burns was fourth and Colin McRae, who needs to win to keep his title hopes alive, was in sixth spot.

Colin McRae's World Championship dream rests on him producing a last-day charge in Perth after suffering the huge setback of a broken driveshaft. "It just broke for no apparent reason," said McRae. "We should've been reeling in time, not losing it at that point. It has certainly not been what we expected or wanted. But for the problem, we would have been right on target, but it's not over by any means. The leaders are still within our reach."


Positions after 19 stages:
(end of third day)          hr min sec
 1 C Sainz     Sp  Toyota    2:52:22.2
 2 T Makinen   Fin Mits'shi  2:52:45.0
 3 D Auriol    Fr  Toyota    2:52:57.6
 4 R Burns     GB  Mits'shi  2:53:10.1
 = J Kankkunen Fin Ford      2:53:10.1
 6 C McRae     GB  Subaru    2:53:23.0
 7 F Loix      Bel Toyota    2:54:04.6
 8 B Thiry     Bel Ford      2:55:17.3
 9 P Bourne    NZ  Subaru    2:56:40.5
10 S Lindholm  Fin Escort    2:59:10.5

Makinen 60-second penalty lifted






08.11.98
RALLY AUSTRALIA:- Scot Colin McRae's world championship hopes have ended with Tommi Makinen's victory in the Australian Rally. McRae took the lead in Perth after winning the first three stages, but his bid ended when his turbo-booster failed on the penultimate stage. He lost more than half-a-minute and eventually finished fourth, 31 seconds behind Makinen in his Mitsubishi. The Finn was 16.5 seconds behind Carlos Sainz of Toyota. The title will be decided between the pair in two weeks.


Final positions:            hr min sec
 1 T Makinen   Fin Mits'shi  3:52:48.7
 2 C Sainz     Sp  Toyota    3:53:05.2
 3 D Auriol    Fr  Toyota    3:53:13.7
 4 C McRae     GB  Subaru    3:53:20.3
 5 J Kankkunen Fin Ford      3:53:44.8
 6 F Loix      Bel Toyota    3:56:42.9
 7 B Thiry     Bel Ford      3:57:03.6
 8 P Bourne    NZ  Subaru    3:59:30.2
 9 S Lindholm  Fin Escort    4:02:50.1
10 E Ordynski  Aus Mits'shi  4:04:15.3

Overall standings:        points
1 T Makinen   Fin Mits'shi  58
2 C Sainz     Sp  Toyota    56
3 C McRae     GB  Subaru    45
4 D Auriol    Fr  Toyota    34
5 J Kankkunen Fin Ford      33
6 R Burns     GB  Mits'shi  23
7 P Liatti    It  Subaru    17
8 F Loix      Bel Toyota    13

Manufacturers' championship:
1 Toyota                    85
2 Mitsubishi                81
3 Subaru                    65
4 Ford                      43

WINTER F.RENAULT SPORT:- Antonio Pizzonia won the Formula Renault Sport Winter Championship, thanks to victories in the final two rounds at Brands Hatch. Seventeen-year-old Rob Austin was runner-up overall after finishing fourth and second in the events. Dan Barrett clinched the Star Cup division overall on a tiebreak, while Michael Nippers was declared the BARC division winner.






09.11.98

CHAMPION SPARK PLUG WORLD RANKING
Driver ratings (November 9)     Points
1 M Hakkinen    Fin Formula One  1154
2 A Zanardi     It  Champ Car    1112
3 J Gordon      US  NASCAR       1054
4 M Schumacher  Ger Formula One  1036
5 M Martin      US  NASCAR        880
6 D Coulthard   GB  Formula One   842
7 U Alzen       Ger GTCC          817
8 E Irvine      GB  Formula One   810
9 R Zonta       Brz FIA GT        773
= K Ludwig      Ger FIA GT        773

RALLYING:- Richard Burns has backed Tommi Makkinen to win the World Rally Championship but also wants to end his season in style. The 27-year-old rolled out of the Australian Rally and saw his dreams of winning a second title dashed. Looking forward to the Rally of Britain though, he said: "It is going to be a great fight. Tommi is on a roll and it would a brave man to bet against him. Personally I am free to set my sights on scoring the victory of which I was robbed last year."

Network Q Rally organisers have asked ruling body the FIA for permission to increase the size of the field after a bumper entry in this year's event. A total of 169 cars have entered the final round of the World Championship, nine more than the original limit. Rally chiefs want to accommodate the entrants placed on the reserve list as spokesman Colin Wilson explained: "We expect to hear from them this week. The entry is of excellent quality and it would be nice to include everyone.

Gwyndaf Evans will drive the SEAT World Rally Car for the first time at the Rally of Great Britain. The Welshman will join Harri Rovanpera, after finishing second in the Formula 2 section of the Rally of Australia in a two-wheel Ibiza Evo 2 Kit Car.



TOURING CARS:- Auto Trader British Touring Car Championship organiser TOCA have unveiled new plans for the millenium. The new rules, due to be finalised by April next year, include changes to the technical regulations "without diminishing the performance." A list of benefits to encourage independent entries, including a change to the point-scoring system and improved prizes, are also proposed. TOCA said the aim of the moves is to "create even more exciting racing."



NASCAR:- Jeff Gordon notched up his 13th win of the NASCAR season in the rain-soaked NAPA 500 in Atlanta. Gordon, who clinched his third Winston Cup championship one week ago, won NASCAR's longest race, which lasted nine hours, 37 minutes and 45 second.







12.11.98 - SPORTS CARS
Italian Michele Alboreto will drive for Audi in the 1999 Le Mans 24-hour race. The 42-year-old has driven in 194 Formula One grands prix and has taken part in six Le Mans races. Reinhold Joest's team are entering two Audi works cars in next year's event and Alboreto had initial test runs in the new Audi R8 in Italy last week. He has driven in the last three Le Mans races in a Joest Racing open-top sports car and won the endurance race in a Joest Porsche in 1997.







13.11.98
WINTER FORD FIESTA'S (Snetterton):- Colin Stancombe, Maclain Engledew and Ian Churchill are separated by just three points going into the fourth round of the Winter championships. Stancombe and Engledew each have one win so far, but Churchill and Alistair McKever have scored consistent points.


Championship standings after 3 rounds:
1 C Stancombe       30 pts
2 M Engledew        28
3 I Churchill       27
4 A McKever         21
5 M Tegerdine       20
6 J Butcher         13

WINTER F.FORD (Snetterton):- Teenager Tom Sisley will try for victory again after a slow start denied him last week at Silverstone in the Winter Formula Ford Championship. Nicolas Kiesa leads the standings after two rounds, with Scotland's Craig Murray just behind him.


Championship standings after 2 rounds:
1 N Kiesa                     22 pts
2 C Murray                    20
3 R van der Ende              18
4 P Gray                      14
5 M Taylor                    13
6 F Diefenbacher/G Turkington  9

F.VAUXHALL WINTER SERIES (Croft):- Sixteen-year-old Stefan Hodgetts was quickest in testing for this weekend's Formula Vauxhall Junior Winter Series. The newcomer beat Scottish drivers John Dalziel and Gavin Pyper, who both competed in Formula Vauxhall Junior this summer.


                      mins secs
1 S Hodgetts    GB     1:23.455
2 J Dalziel     GB     1:23.575
3 G Pyper       GB     1:23.743
4 H Mutoh       Jap    1:23.747
5 M Franchitti  GB     1:23.768
6 O Wilkinson   GB     1:23.775





14.11.98

F.PALMER AUDI (Snetterton):-
Test times (Fri):      min secs
1 R Lyons       GB     1:04.904
2 D Hayes       GB     1:05.227
3 K Hall        GB     1:05.336
4 R Liddell     GB     1:05.406
5 D Watts       GB     1:05.432

F1:- Eddie Irvine has revealed he is staying with Ferrari after rejecting several offers to leave the team. Irvine said he is impressed with plans for next season even though he does not enjoy being the team's number two behind Michael Schumacher. "Next year's car will be a massive step forward," he said. "A lot of the time I have to look after what Michael's doing and help his race. I don't enjoy that at all but that's my job at the moment."



WINTER F.VAUXHALL JUNIOR (Croft):- Blairgowrie driver Gavin Pyper ended the season's activities at the Croft Circuit by winning the winter series. Qualifying on pole after a second and first on Saturday, Pyper drove an immaculate race. "Although I only had time for a couple of practice laps I was confident I would win," Pyper explained. Looking ahead to next year, he added: "I have offers from a number of teams, it's all dependent on sponsorship so we'll be busy raising the budget."



Leading round 1 result: (Sat)
                     min secs
1 J Dalziel         19:28.600
2 G Pyper           19:33.702
3 S Hodgetts        19:42.931
4 O Wilkinson       19:44.851
5 D Scandian        19:51.982

Leading round 2 result: (Sat)
1 G Pyper           19:16.783
2 J Dalziel         19:18.171
3 R Dalziel         19:37.542
4 D Scandian        19:42.887
5 T Rogers          19:45.182



WINTER F.VAUXHALL (Croft):-

Leading round 1 result: (Sat)
                     min secs
1 D Goode           20:53.646
2 R Collard         21:06.033
3 G Coomes          21:12.816
4 A Reece           22:11.841

Leading round 2 result: (Sat)
1 R Collard         20:31.570
2 G Coomes          20:37.729
3 H Taylor          21:01.911
4 D Goode           21:02.096
5 M Turner          21:03.867
6 A Reece           21:27.484






15.11.98 - F.PALMER AUDI (Snetterton)
Northern Ireland's Derek Hayes took the title after securing fourth place in the final round on Sunday. Richard Lyons claimed victory in his first ever FPA race. Having qualified on pole he lost out to Haynes and Gavin Jones on the first corner. He recovered his composure to overtake both and build a commanding lead. Series boss Jonathan Palmer said: "The winter series has been an outstanding success, allowing the best drivers to show their talent on a level field."


                     mins secs
1 R Lyons     GB     27:30.375
2 D Watts     GB     27:32.679
3 G Paffet    GB     27:32.886
4 D Hayes     NI     27:34.437
5 A Priaulx   GB     27:35.674

Final standings:
1 D Hayes     NI     112 pts
2 A Priaulx   GB     93
3 D Watts     GB     80
4 C Jones     GB     72
5 G Paffett   GB     68






16.11.98

CHAMPION SPARK PLUG WORLD RANKING
Driver ratings (November 16)     Points
 1 M Hakkinen    Fin Formula One  1154
 2 A Zanardi     It  Champ Car    1112
 3 J Gordon      US  NASCAR       1054
 4 M Schumacher  Ger Formula One  1036
 5 M Martin      US  NASCAR        880
 6 D Coulthard   GB  Formula One   842
 7 U Alzen       Ger GTCC          817
 8 E Irvine      GB  Formula One   810
 9 R Zonta       Brz FIA GT        773
 = K Ludwig      Ger FIA GT        773

F1:- Jordan have announced a new partnership with Warburg Pincus, a leading global investor.



RALLYING:- Hyundai Motor Sport have unveiled details of their 1999 FIA World Rally Championship programme. The team will contest ten rounds, challenging for the Formula 2 title with their current two-wheel drive. Hyundai will debut their new four-wheel drive, turbo-charged World Rally Car in the later part of the season.







17.11.98 - Historic Rallying
Twice British champion Russell Brookes heads a 40-strong field for the Coys Historic Rally of Great Britain which takes place on November 20/21.






18.11.98
F3000:- Prost Grand Prix have bought the F3000 team Apomatox, who will be known as Gauloises Junior next season.



F1:- Ford have denied reports that they are preparing a bid to introduce the Jaguar name into Formula One for 2001.

Organisers of the Hungarian Grand Prix were fined &156;150,000 by the International Automobile Federation after the track invasion in August.



NETWORK Q RALLY OF GREAT BRITAIN:- The final round of the 1998 World Championship starts in Cheltenham at dawn on Sunday and is scheduled to finish on Tuesday afternoon. The opening day of the rally will include special timed stages. These will take place at established venues like Silverstone, Millbrook and Donington Park. Monday and Tuesday's action will take place in the Welsh Forests and the triumphant driver will be crowned back at Cheltenham.

This year's event has attracted a strong entry from the UK and abroad. Alister McRae has won an early release from Vauxhall and will be driving alongside brother Colin in the rally in a Prodrive Subary Impreza WRC. Team Toyota Castrol have entered five Corolla world rally cars and one will be driven by Carlos Sainz, who is lying second in the World Championship. Six Escort world rally cars have been entered and Team Mitsubishi Ralliart are entering two Lancer Evolutions.

The World Rally Championship is emulating Formula One in that the battle for the drivers' crown will be decided at the 1998 finale. Carlos Sainz and Tommi Makinen are fighting for the honour after Britain's Colin McRae saw his chance end in the last round in Australia. Makinen won Down Under to lead the standings for the first time in 1998. The manufacturers' title is also up for grabs as Toyota lead Mitsubishi by four points going into this showdown.

Carlos Sainz was favourite to land the drivers' title going into the last round but he has now seen the balance of power move to Tommi Makinen. Toyota star Sainz was second to Makinen in Australia but was left fuming because the Finn escaped a one-minute penalty imposed for a jump start. The Spaniard now trails the Mitsubishi driver by two points. Colin McRae is third in the overall standings, while fellow Briton Richard Burns is sixth.

Tommi Makinen is in pole position to take this year's championship title in Britain this weekend. He starts the race two points ahead of his great rival Carlos Sainz and admits he will need all his experience if he is to lift the crown. "This Rally is always difficult," he said. "If it is held in bad weather like last year anything can happen. It is not necessary to win but you never know what Carlos will do and we need to keep close to him."

It will be England versus Scotland on Sunday when Richard Burns and Colin McRae begin their challenges. Scot McRae and his Subaru team won the rally in 1994, 1995 and 1997 and were absent from the 1996 event. Oxford-based Burns was leading the rally for Mitsubishi last year before a puncture handed the win to his rival. Burns admitted: "It is every driver's dream to win his home event and to have those dreams shattered when victory was so close was just soul-destroying."

Colin McRae may be out of the race for the world title but he will still be determined to win the event. McRae said: "This event means a lot to me, not only because it is my home rally but because it was where I secured my first World Championship. It is disappointing to have to watch Tommi and Carlos fight for the title. But it means we can go out there, put on a fantastic display for the British fans and hopefully finish the season on a high note for us and Subaru."

Richard Burns' Mitsubishi team-mate Tommi Makinen is battling for the title with Toyota's Carlos Sainz but Burns has not been given any team orders. "In theory, it makes life easier for everybody if I win because, should Carlos finish in front, then it is over for Tommi," revealed Burns. "Moreover we have got to beat the two Toyotas to take the Manufacturers' Championship for Mitsubishi." Toyota have a four-point lead over Mitsubishi in the manuafacturer table.

The two-litre, two-wheel drive category will be hotly-contested. Martin Rowe and Tapio Laukkanen will lead the Renault challenge and Nissan's Mark Higgins will be keen to make a mark in his Almera. Jarmo Kytolehto and Neil Wearden are heading the Vauxhall assault and Raimund Baumschlager and Jan Habig are following suit with Volkswagen. The Skoda Octavia kit car, which did not take part last year, will be driven as a works entry by Pavel Sibera.

Renault UK's British champion Martin Rowe will be aiming to drive his Maxi Megane to victory in the Formula Two division of the rally. However, Rowe - who will be co-driven by past winner of the event Derek Ringer - can expect tough opposition. Rowe admitted: "Mark Higgins and Nissan will be trying very hard. So will Jarmo Kytolehto in the first of the Vauxhall Astras and SEAT have a very good driver line-up in Marc Duez and Toni Gardemeister."

Martin Rowe is looking forward to the challenge the 28 timed stages, run over three days, present. "The stages are a mixture of asphalt roads and gravel tracks, putting a premium on driver and team to choose the right tyre," said the Renault star. "Silverstone will be a great day out for the spectators as all the stages there are held in daylight. Donington at night is just as spectacular and the two stages held at rally HQ are also good fun."

Gwyndaf Evans is looking forward to making his Rally challenge in the new turbocharged 300bhp SEAT WRC. Evans was second in Formula Two on the recent Rally Australia and as a result he was invited to drive the four-wheel car for his home round. "Driving this on the Rally of Great Britain is a great way to end a fantastic season with SEAT," he said. "I think a top 10 result is possible and we can give the team some valuable information on the car on the way."

Former Austrian champion Raimund Baumschlager will be at the wheel of the Pirelli-backed Mk III Volkswagen Golf GTI on Sunday. He is taking over from Alister McRae, who has been drafted in to assist his elder brother Colin as he trys to win the rally for the fourth time. Alister drove the car to two-litre World Cup wins in Finland and Australia this season. "The Golf is one of the best cars on the rally," insisted Baumschlager.

Bristol-based Proton cars are gearing up for their debut in the event. They have just completed their first full season in the Mobil 1 British Rally Championship and are encouraged by the Compact SRi's preformances. Sweden's Mats Andersson and his recently-recruited co-driver Lisa Addy start as car 60 and have been seeded as the top 1600cc entry. Jenny Davies and Claire Mole take the number 78 slot and could be in a strong position for the women's award.

Colin North and Paul Mackenzie have privately entered their Persona 1.6 XLi in the rally. It means Proton have a three-car team that are eligible for the manufacturers' award. North and Mackenzie must have one of the most unique back-up crews in the Rally of Great Britain. They are a group of students from Highbury College in Portsmouth who built the Persona as part of a BTEC motor vehicle engineering course.

The 1998 rally will be contested by five sets of brothers and two of the sets are twins. Michael and Robert Plant will be competing in a Rover Mini Cooper 1.3i and Daniel and Clive Dunababin will be in a Skoda Felicia. The Ford Escort World Championship works entry - a mainstay of rallying for nearly 30 years - will make its last appearance in this event. In the 1999 campaign, it will be replaced by the Focus.

Juha Kankkunen and Bruno Thiry will be driving the Ford Escorts for their world rallying swansong. They two will be ending a chapter in Ford history as both are switching to Subaru for the 1999 season. British Touring Car Championship driver Will Hoy is also taking part in the rally in a Ford Escort. Britain's Richard Burns will be having his last drive for Mitsubishi as he is moving to Subaru, while Colin McRae is leaving Subaru for Ford.



PREVIOUS WINNERS:
1997 C McRae/N Grist         Subaru
1996 A Schwarz/D Giraudet    Toyota
1995 C McRae/D Ringer        Subaru
1994 C McRae/D Ringer        Subaru
1993 J Kankkunen/N Grist     Toyota
1992 C Sainz/L Moya          Toyota
1991 J Kankkunen/J Piironen  Lancia
1990 C Sainz/L Moya          Toyota
1989 P Airikkala/R McNamee   Mitsubishi
1988 M Alen/I Kivimaki       Lancia
1987 J Kankkunen/J Pironen   Lancia
1986 T Salonen/S Harjanne    Peugeot
1985 H Toivonen/N Wilson     Lancia
1984 A Vatanen/T Harryman    Peugeot


DRIVER STANDINGS               Pts
1 T Makinen    Fin  Mitsubishi  58
2 C Sainz      Sp   Toyota      56
3 C McRae      GB   Subaru      45
4 D Auriol     Fr   Toyota      34
5 J Kankkunen  Fin  Ford        33
6 R Burns      GB   Mitsubishi  23

MANUFACTURER STANDINGS:
1 Toyota         85 pts
2 Mitsubishi     81
3 Subaru         65
4 Ford           43


Sunday November 22
13 special stages (47.3 miles):
     Cheltenham start              0717
 SS1 Cheltenham 1 (1.12 miles)     0720
 SS2 Cornbury (2.57 miles)         0836
 SS3 Silverstone 1 (5.34 miles)    1007
 SS4 Silverstone 2 (5.34 miles)    1020
 SS5 Millbrook 1 (4.54 miles)      1159
 SS6 Millbrook 2 (4.54 miles)      1212
 SS7 Silverstone S'prspecial (1.2) 1345
 SS8 Silverstone 3 (5.34 miles)    1422
 SS9 Silverstone 4 (5.34 miles)    1435
SS10 Towcester (1.99 miles)        1458
SS11 Donington 1 (3.91 miles)      1652
SS12 Donington 2 (3.91 miles)      1702
SS13 Cheltenham 2 (0.87 miles)     1858
     Parc Ferme - Cheltenham       2003

Monday November 23
Eight special stages (86 miles):
     Cheltenham out                0500
SS14 Radnor (14.67 miles)          0724
SS15 Myherin (10.37 miles)         0950
SS16 Tywi (12.23 miles)            1037
SS17 Cefn (5.35 miles)             1309
SS18 Crychan (15.53 miles)         1358
SS19 Esgair Dafydd (5.63 miles)    1430
SS20 Sweet Lamb (15.72 miles)      1651
SS21 Myherin (10.50 miles)         1735
     Parc Ferme - Cheltenham       2148

Tuesday November 24
Seven special stages (103.7 miles):
     Cheltenham out                0500
SS22 St Gwynno (8.54 miles)        0709
SS23 Tyle (6.59 miles)             0736
SS24 Rhondda (22.56 miles)         0812
SS25 Resolfen (27.34 miles)        1009
SS26 Rheola (15.47 miles)          1152
SS27 Argoed (5.59 miles)           1307
SS28 Margam (16.81 miles)          1326
     Cheltenham finish             1653





19.11.98
WINTER SERIES FINALS:- The Winter Series Finals bring the winter racing season to a close at Brands Hatch this weekend. The highlights are sure to be the two Formula Ford races and the Formula First Championship, which is one of several titles still to be decided. Familiar names like Nicolas Kiesa and Ricardo van der Ende will be competing. Other series to take to the track on Sunday include the Winter Saloons and Fiesta Championships and the Unipart DCM Winter Mini Challenge Race.



F3000:- Mario Haberfeld has joined the F3000 West Competition Team for next season. He will line up alongside Nick Heidfeld, runner-up in the 1998 International F3000 series. "I am looking forward to a competitive first season in F3000 with the team and it's good to continue my relationship with McLaren and Mercedes," he said. "To be part of their driver support programme is great for me. We have tested a great deal and I am confident we'll compete at the highest level."



F3:- Ricardo Mauricio has qualified on pole for the first of the two races which make up the Formula 3 GP of Macau.






21.11.98 - NASCAR
Jeremy Mayfield outraced rising star Jeff Gordon to set a track record and win pole position for the NASCAR Thunder Special 500 in Motegi, Japan. Japanese racing officials were also having talks over the possibility of staging a Winston Cup West event in Japan starting from next season.






22.11.98

NETWORK Q RALLY OF GREAT BRITAIN

Positions after stage 12:     min sec
 1 C McRae     GB  Subaru     46:29.0
 2 C Sainz     Sp  Toyota     46:33.6
 3 A McRae     GB  Subaru     46:33.8
 4 D Auriol    Fr  Toyota     46:36.6
 5 J Kankkunen Fin Ford       46:42.8
 6 R Burns     GB  Mitsubishi 46:46.8
 7 G de Mevius Bel Subaru     46:47.9
 8 B Thiry     Bel Ford       46:49.7
 9 S Lindholm  Fin Ford       47:02.8
10 K Holowczyc Pol Subaru     47:12.5
11 H Lundgaard Den Toyota     47:27.4
12 H Rovanpera Fin SEAT       47:45.5
13 A Vatanen   Fin Subaru     47:45.9
14 P Solberg   Nor Toyota     48:00.1
15 D Buckley   GB  Subaru     48:08.8
16 M Dodd      GB  Ford       48:09.4
17 A Schwarz   Ger Ford       48:14.7
18 G Evans     GB  SEAT       48:36.9
19 J Kytolehto Fin Vauxhall   48:49.6
20 T G'meister Fin SEAT       49:04.6
21 B Lyall     GB  Subaru     49:08.0
22 T Laukkanen Fin Renault    49:09.7
23 M Martin    Est Toyota     49:12.1
24 N Wearden   GB  Vauxhall   49:18.5
25 M Stohl     Aut Mitsubishi 49:21.0
26 M Rowe      GB  Renault    49:29.5
Colin McRae increased his lead to four seconds with only one of the first day's 13 stages to be contested. McRae won the first six stages, and at one time his lead was 20 seconds, but a bad run reduced it to under one. He had a puncture on stage eight and damaged his front wheel landing badly on nine. Title favourite Carlos Sainz stayed second ahead of Alister McRae. Championship leader Tommi Makinen saw his title hopes in tatters when forced to retire after a crash on stage five.


Positions after stage 13:
(end of leg one)              min sec
 1 C McRae     GB  Subaru     47:53.0
 2 C Sainz     Sp  Toyota     47:56.6
 3 A McRae     GB  Subaru     47:57.2
 4 D Auriol    Fr  Toyota     48:00.9
 5 J Kankkunen Fin Ford       48:05.7
 6 R Burns     GB  Mitsubishi 48:09.4
 7 G de Mevius Bel Subaru     48:11.7
 8 B Thiry     Bel Ford       48:12.3
 9 S Lindholm  Fin Ford       48:26.2
10 K Holowczyc Pol Subaru     48:36.0
11 H Lundgaard Den Toyota     48:53.4
12 H Rovanpera Fin SEAT       49:10.5
13 A Vatanen   Fin Subaru     49:11.7
14 P Solberg   Nor Toyota     49:24.0
15 M Dodd      GB  Ford       49:34.0
16 A Schwarz   Ger Ford       49:38.6
17 G Evans     GB  SEAT       50:00.7
18 J Kytolehto Fin Vauxhall   50:22.4
19 B Lyall     GB  Subaru     50:33.0
20 T G'meister Fin SEAT       50:35.1
21 M Martin    Est Toyota     50:39.3
22 T Laukkanen Fin Renault    50:40.1
23 N Wearden   GB  Vauxhall   50:48.2
24 M Stohl     Aut Mitsubishi 50:50.4
25 M Rowe      GB  Renault    50:59.8
26 R B'lager   Aut Volkswagen 51:04.0
27 H Al-W'aibi Om  Mitsubishi 51:17.7
28 F Dor       Fr  Subaru     51:25.6
29 G Panizzi   Fin Subaru     51:26.8
30 A Bakhashab Sau Toyota     51:28.5
31 C Mellors   GB  Ford       51:28.6
32 K Eriksson  Swe Hyundai    51:35.1
33 T Arai      Jpn Subaru     51:37.6
34 A Jeloudov  Rus Ford       51:57.3
35 S Canellas  Est SEAT       51:58.1
36 V Isik      Tur Toyota     52:30.5
37 J Kangas    Fin Subaru     53:01.0
38 W Bell      Aus Hyundai    53:19.2
39 J Habig     Zam Volkswagen 57:11.6
40 H Stacey    Hol Nissan     57:28.3
Colin McRae holds a three second lead over Carlos Sainz after the first day. McRae won the first six stages, and at one time his lead was 20 seconds, but a bad run reduced it to under one. He had a puncture on stage eight and damaged his front wheel landing badly on the next. The remaining stages provided little difficulties however. Championship leader Tommi Makinen saw his title hopes in tatters when forced to retire after crashing on stage five, leaving Sainz a clear title favourite.

Tommi Makinen has been forced out of the race after crashing on stage five. His car slipped on oil left by the historic rally earlier in the day and he crashed into a concrete barrier, ripping off his right rear wheel. Repairs were not able to be made and with the Finn's withdrawal, Carlos Sainz, two points behind, can take the title if he finishes fourth or better. Makinen said: "It happened on the first left-hand bend. There was black stuff. I have thrown the championship away."

Rally official Colin Wilson defended the actions of the organisers after Tommi Makinen's controversial exit. Makinen retired after a horrendous crash caused by oil left by a Hillman Imp competing in the Historic Rally preceding the main event. "The oil slick was immediately cleared up and several cars went through without problems," Wilson insisted. "We accept there are things we need to address and we'll look at it next year. We are sorry but these things happen."

The McRae brothers were satisfied with their day's work as they claimed first and third spots after the first leg. Colin said: "We pushed hard and I'm quite happy that I'll be first on the road tomorrow. "Alister's performance has been really fantastic. He's surprised me and a lot of others on these difficult stages." Sibling rival Alister agreed: "I think I should be smiling after the way I've gone today. I feel a lot more confident now and I even surprised myself."



WINTER FORD FIESTA'S (Brands Hatch):- Maclain Engledew captured his second win of the series but Colin Stancombe's second place gave him the title. Stancombe was in the lead for much of the race but could not withstand intense pressure from Engledew and lost the advantage on lap 10.


Result after 12 laps:   mins secs
1 M Engledew             11:23.70
2 C Stancombe            11:23.99
3 M Tegerdine            11:25.29
4 A Keith                11:25.60
5 J Butcher              11:25.92
6 M Jackson              11:31.45

WINTER F.FORD (Brands Hatch):- Dutchman Ricardo van der Ende shattered the lap record on his way to the title. He won the final race after a battle with Tom Sisley, while Craig Murray's challenge ended when he was sent to the back of the grid for qualifying errors.


Result after 12 laps:       mins secs
1 R van der Ende Van Diemen   9:13.33
2 N Kiesa        Mygale       9:14.52
3 T Sisley       Van Diemen   9:15.06
4 F Diefenbacher Mygale       9:19.31
5 M Taylor       Mygale       9:28.38
6 M Fullalove    Van Diemen   9:28.52





23.11.98

NETWORK Q RALLY OF GREAT BRITAIN
Positions after stage 21:
(end of leg 2)               hr min sec
 1 R Burns     GB  Mit'bishi 2:13:41.2
 2 A McRae     GB  Subaru    2:14:56.9
 3 J Kankkunen Fin Ford      2:15:27.3
 4 C Sainz     Sp  Toyota    2:15:42.9
 5 B Thiry     Bel Ford      2:16:42.3
 6 G de Mevius Bel Subaru    2:18:07.9
 7 S Lindholm  Fin Ford      2:18:19.8
 8 A Schwarz   Ger Ford      2:19:49.5
 9 K Holowczyc Pol Subaru    2:20:04.7
10 H Rovanpera Fin SEAT      2:20:28.3
11 M Martin    Est Toyota    2:22:18.2
12 M Stohl     Aut Mit'bishi 2:25.21.6
13 B Lyall     GB  Subaru    2:25.44.1
14 A Bakhashab Sau Toyota    2:25:54.6
15 D Higgins   GB  Subaru    2:25:54.8
16 T Laukkanen Fin Renault   2:26:07.8
17 T G'meister Fin SEAT      2:26:20.5
18 J Kytolehto Fin Vauxhall  2:26:23.9
19 H Al-Wah'bi Om  Mit'bishi 2:27:40.7
20 J Easson    GB  Mit'bishi 2:27:58.2
21 I Gwynne    GB  Subaru    2:29:16.3
22 G Panizzi   Fr  Subaru    2:29:20.5
23 P W'ridsson Swe Mit'bishi 2:29:44.5
24 R Champion  GB  Mit'bishi 2:31:24.1
25 J Kangas    Fin Subaru    2:31:25.4
26 G Cox       GB  Mit'bishi 2:31:47.7
27 G Jones     GB  Subaru    2:32:10.3
28 G Smith     GB  Ford      2:32:13.8
29 R Ferreyros Per Subaru    2:33:04.6
30 S Canellas  Sp  SEAT      2:33:16.2
31 R Davis     GB  Subaru    2:33:17.0
32 N Wearden   GB  Vauxhall  2:33:25.9
33 S Egg'stone GB  Ford      2:33:32.3
34 V Wetton    GB  Mit'bishi 2:33:44.6
35 B Bell      GB  Ford      2:34:39.5
36 F Dor       Fin Subaru    2:35:59.6
37 A van S'de  Hol Mit'bishi 2:36:08.6
38 R Davies    GB  Ford      2:36:46.6
39 R Ceen      GB  Ford      2:36:52.5
40 D Humphreys GB  Ford      2:37:00.0
Richard Burns leads Alister McRae by over a minute after another action- packed leg in the famous event. Overnight leader Colin McRae lost his advantage to Burns, but had regained it when engine trouble curtailed his bid. Frenchman Didier Auriol's rally also ended prematurely when he encountered clutch problems on the final stage. Burns seems set to atone for the final day puncture that cost him last year, while Carlos Sainz is fourth despite a scare sliding at the penultimate stage.

Rally leader Colin McRae has been forced out of the event after his Subaru developed engine problems. The 30-year-old Scot was leading after 19 of the 28 stages when engine cylinders in the car blew while heading towards the Builth Wells service area. His mechanics had 20 minutes to repair the problem but were unable to do so and McRae's bid for a record-equalling fourth victory in the rally was over. McRae's championship hopes were ended by a blown turbocharger in Australia.

Colin McRae's hopes of leaving Subaru on a high note were wrecked by engine problems after 19 stages. Subaru's technical director David Lapworth said: "The whole team's devastated. "We wanted Colin to go out with a win but we can't do any more with the car. It's soul-destroying." McRae, obviously disappointed, gave a succinct summing-up of the problem, saying: "It's knackered, it's finished. It's the end of a bad season."

Brian Lyall, currently 13th after the second leg, is the best placed amateur in this year's competition. He is two places ahead of David Higgins who enjoyed a meteoric rise on day two. Pernilla Walfridsson heads the ladies challenge, the Swede standing in 23rd position with the final leg to come. The latter stages of the second leg were delayed by half an hour after spectators encroached onto the driving area. Organisers had to restore order before the rally could continue.

Carlos Sainz needs to end fourth or better to win the world title after Tommi Makinen retired on the first day. Martin Rowe retired after 15 special stages of the event. His Renault's suspension was damaged half a kilometre from the end at Myherin and the problem could not be fixed in order to start stage 16. Finland's Jarmo Kytolehto led the F2 category after the first leg. Fellow Finn's Toni Gardemeister and Tapio Laukkanen were third and fourth.


F2 CATEGORY STANDINGS
(after second leg)         hr min sec
1 T Laukkenen Fin Renault   2:26:07.8
2 R G'meister Fin SEAT      2:26:20.5
3 J Kytolehto Fin Vauxhall  2:26.23.9
4 S Canellas  Sp  SEAT      2:33.16.2
5 N Wearden   GB  Astra     2:33.25.9
6 S Egg'stone GB  Ford      2:33:32.3


List of retirements:
Stage 3  M Ipatti     Fin    Ford
Stage 4  D Hutchinson GB     Peugeot
Stage 4  G Middleton  GB     Nissan
Stage 4  J Vickers    GB     Vauxhall
Stage 4  R Duckworth  GB     Subaru
Stage 5  P Sibera     Cz     Skoda
Stage 5  Y Sakurai    Jpn    Subaru
Stage 5  M Higgins    GB     Nissan
Stage 6  L Parish     GB     Peugeot
Stage 6  B Bean       GB     Vauxhall
Stage 6  S Weir       GB     Skoda
Stage 6  T Makinen    Fin    Mit'bishi
Stage 8  R Sperrer    Aut    Mit'bishi
Stage 8  S Redhead    GB     Subaru
Stage 8  P Cuthbert   GB     Skoda
Stage 8  M Plant      GB     Rover
Stage 10 E Wynne      GB     Suzuki
Stage 11 M Gronholm   Fin    Toyota
Stage 11 G Cooper     GB     Subaru
Stage 12 P Thomas     GB     Vauxhall
Stage 13 M Limbach    Ger    Nissan
Stage 13 R Roberts    GB     Vauxhall
Stage 13 M Worley     GB     Mit'bishi
Stage 14 A Vatanen    Fin    Subaru
Stage 14 T Arai       Jpn    Subaru
Stage 14 M Fisher     GB     SEAT
Stage 14 R Worts      GB     Vauxhall
Stage 14 T Godwin     GB     Rover
Stage 14 A Jeloudov   Rus    Ford
Stage 15 H Lundgaard  Den    Toyota
Stage 15 P Solberg    Nor    Toyota
Stage 15 C Gabb       GB     Ford
Stage 15 M Rowe       GB     Renault
Stage 15 C Mellors    GB     Ford
Stage 15 E Roberts    GB     Ford
Stage 15 N Griffiths  GB     Citroen
Stage 16 K Eriksson   Swe    Hyundai
Stage 16 D Buckley    GB     Subaru
Stage 16 I Marlow     GB     Ford
Stage 17 J Pykallsto  Fin    Mit'bishi
Stage 17 L Allfrey    GB     Ford
Stage 18 G Evans      GB     SEAT
Stage 19 M Winkles    GB     Vauxhall
Stage 19 C McRae      GB     Subaru
Stage 19 S Petch      GB     Ford
Stage 19 M Perrott    GB     Mit'bishi
Stage 20 G Fielding   GB     Mit'bishi
Stage 20 A Grundstrom Swe    Mit'bishi



CHAMPION SPARK PLUG WORLD RANKING
Driver ratings (November 23)    Points
1 M Hakkinen    Fin Formula One  1154
2 A Zanardi     It  Champ Car    1112
3 J Gordon      US  NASCAR       1054
4 M Schumacher  Ger Formula One  1036
5 M Martin      US  NASCAR        880
6 D Coulthard   GB  Formula One   842
7 U Alzen       Ger GTCC          817
8 E Irvine      GB  Formula One   810
9 R Zonta       Brz FIA GT        773
= K Ludwig      Ger FIA GT        773






24.11.98 - NETWORK Q RALLY OF GREAT BRITAIN

Final positions after stage 28:hr min sec
 1 R Burns     GB  Mit'bishi 3:49:30.6
 2 J Kankkunen Fin Ford      3:53:17.1
 3 B Thiry     Bel Ford      3:54:58.1
 4 G de Mevius Bel Subaru    3:58:25.4
 5 S Lindholm  Fin Ford      3:58:46.2
 6 H Rovanpera Fin SEAT      4:00:03.9
 7 A Schwarz   Ger Ford      4:02:47.3
 8 K Holowczyc Pol Subaru    4:03:37.3
 9 M Martin    Est Toyota    4:07:41.6
10 M Stohl     Aut Mit'bishi 4:09:37.8
11 D Higgins   GB  Subaru    4:10:42.8
12 T Laukkenen Fin Renault   4:11:36.1
13 A Bakhashab Sau Toyota    4:12:30.4
14 J Kytolehto Fin Vauxhall  4:13:07.8
15 B Lyall     GB  Subaru    4:13:11.0
16 T G'meister Fin SEAT      4:14:32.9
17 H Al-Wah'bi Om  Mit'bishi 4:15:04.5
18 I Gwynne    GB  Subaru    4:20:04.2
19 G Smith     GB  Ford      4:21:01.7
20 G Jones     GB  Subaru    4:21:17.5
21 P W'ridsson Swe Mit'bishi 4:21:33.5
22 S Canellas  Sp  SEAT      4:22:01.0
23 M Dodd      GB  Ford      4:23:19.0
24 J Kangas    Fin Subaru    4:24:26.3
25 S Egg'stone GB  Ford      4:24:33.2
26 R Ceen      GB  Ford      4:27:34.8
27 B Bell      GB  Ford      4:27:38.4
28 R Davis     GB  Subaru    4:27:42.7
29 V Wetton    GB  Mit'bishi 4:28:09.2
30 F Dor       Fr  Subaru    4:28:21.1
31 R Ferreyros Por Subaru    4:29:31.4
32 R Davies    GB  Ford      4:31:39.1
33 A Pinker    Aus Mit'bishi 4:35:51.8
34 M And'sson  Swe Proton    4:35:53.2
35 J Habig     SA  Vol'wagen 4:36:34.9
36 E Kazaz     Tur Nissan    4:40:13.4
37 A Kao       Est Mit'bishi 4:40:42.3
38 N Barratt   GB  Mit'bishi 4:41:36.0
39 P Snell     GB  Ford      4:41:52.1
40 E Mallen    Fr  Mit'bishi 4:45:23.7
Richard Burns won the event after completing a clean sweep of the third- leg stages but Carlos Sainz went out on the final stage to lose the title. Oxfordshire star Burns, who suffered an agonising last day exit 12 months ago, was fastest on all of the day's seven stages. Sainz retired though when his Toyota caught fire 400m before the end of the 16.81-mile stage at Margam. Mitsubishi celebrated a double success by claiming the manufacturers' crown.

Spain's Carlos Sainz was left in tears at the roadside after a shock exit ended hopes of the world championship. Sainz looked set to end in the fourth position he needed to overhaul Tommi Makinen in the championship standings after the Finn retired on day one. His Toyota caught fire within sight of the end of the final stage though and co-driver Luis Moya was left banging his crash helmet in frustration. Sainz said: "The engine blew. It could not have been a worse end."

Rally winner Richard Burns was thrilled after claiming the title with a three minute 46 second winning margin over second-placed Finn Juha Kankkunen. He said: "It's gone superbly today. We had a couple of little problems but nothing that gave us any major heartaches or cause for concern. We had a big gap and it is fantastic to get through. Tommi must be so happy. It is a just reward for what happened to him on the first day, which was very unfair."

The Mitsubishi team were in jubilant mood after Richard Burns and Tommi Makinen both claimed victories. "I feel a mixture of relief and happiness," said British Rally winner Burns, who gave the team their seventh success in this year's championship. "I first did this rally in 1990 and never dreamed I would get to here." Championship winner Makinen commented: "I was about to leave for the airport when my brother phoned. It's hard for Carlos but we won five rallies."

Alister McRae followed brother Colin McRae as he retired on the final day. McRae went off about one and a half miles from the end of the 8.54-mile 22nd leg at St Gwynno after his fog lights failed. His Subaru was in fifth gear when the rear of the car went into a ditch and, although neither driver was injured, their car was unable to continue. It completed a double misery for the McRae's and Subaru after Colin retired with mechanical problems having led.

Alister McRae was understandably upset after crashing out on the final day and revealed what exactly had happened. He said: "It was dark, and the fog was really thick. We were running with limited lights and because visibility was poor we got caught out. The radiator was damaged, and it just wasn't realistic to continue. It is such a disappointing end - we could have had a good result. It's some consolation to know we were right up there with the top drivers."

Hyundai Motor Sport's challenge ended when Australian Wayne Bell suffered a gearbox differential failure. The team's Swedish driver Kenneth Eriksson was forced to retire after suffering a similar problem on day two. This year saw the final appearance of the Ford Escort in the rally after 30 years. Next season, Colin McRae joins the Ford team, driving the Ford Focus. SEAT won its third consecutive F2 world title after Toni Gardemeister's second and Salvador Canellas' third placings.

Britain's David Higgins was the leading amateur after finishing 11th overall in his Group N Subaru Impreza. Sweden's Pernilla Walfridsson won the ladies title, ending 21st overall in her Mitsubishi Lancer. Vauxhall recorded its best ever result with Finland's Jarmo Kytolehto driving his Astra into second place in F2.


F2 CATEGORY FINAL STANDINGS hr min sec
1 T Laukkenen Fin Renault   4:11:36.1
2 J Kytolehto Fin Vauxhall  4:13.07.8
3 T G'meister Fin SEAT      4:14:32.9
4 S Canellas  Sp  SEAT      4:22.01.0
5 S Egg'stone GB  Ford      4:24:33.2
6 J Habig     SA  Vol'wagen 4:36.34.9

GROUP N CATEGORY FINAL STANDINGS
                           hr min sec
1 M Stohl     Aut Mit'bishi 4:09:37.8
2 D Higgins   GB  Subaru    4:10.42.8
3 H Al-Wah'bi Om  Mit'bishi 4:15:04.5
4 P Walf'sson Swe Mit'bishi 4:21.33.5
5 J Kangas    Fin Subaru    4:24:26.3
6 V Wetton    GB  Mit'bishi 4:28.09.2


FINAL DRIVER STANDINGS
1 T Makinen    Fin  Mitsubishi  58 Pts
2 C Sainz      Sp   Toyota      56
3 C McRae      GB   Subaru      45
4 J Kankkunen  Fin  Ford        39
5 D Auriol     Fr   Toyota      34
6 R Burns      GB   Mitsubishi  33

FINAL MANUFACTURER STANDINGS:
1 Mitsubishi     91 pts
2 Toyota         85
3 Subaru         65
4 Ford           53


List of retirements:
Stage 3  M Ipatti     Fin    Ford
Stage 4  D Hutchinson GB     Peugeot
Stage 4  G Middleton  GB     Nissan
Stage 4  J Vickers    GB     Vauxhall
Stage 4  R Duckworth  GB     Subaru
Stage 5  P Sibera     Cz     Skoda
Stage 5  Y Sakurai    Jpn    Subaru
Stage 5  M Higgins    GB     Nissan
Stage 6  L Parish     GB     Peugeot
Stage 6  B Bean       GB     Vauxhall
Stage 6  S Weir       GB     Skoda
Stage 6  T Makinen    Fin    Mitsubishi
Stage 8  R Sperrer    Aut    Mitsubishi
Stage 8  S Redhead    GB     Subaru
Stage 8  P Cuthbert   GB     Skoda
Stage 8  M Plant      GB     Rover
Stage 10 E Wynne      GB     Suzuki
Stage 11 M Gronholm   Fin    Toyota
Stage 11 G Cooper     GB     Subaru
Stage 12 P Thomas     GB     Vauxhall
Stage 13 M Limbach    Ger    Nissan
Stage 13 R Roberts    GB     Vauxhall
Stage 13 M Worley     GB     Mitsubishi
Stage 14 A Vatanen    Fin    Subaru
Stage 14 T Arai       Jpn    Subaru
Stage 14 M Fisher     GB     SEAT
Stage 14 R Worts      GB     Vauxhall
Stage 14 T Godwin     GB     Rover
Stage 14 A Jeloudov   Rus    Ford
Stage 15 H Lundgaard  Den    Toyota
Stage 15 P Solberg    Nor    Toyota
Stage 15 C Gabb       GB     Ford
Stage 15 M Rowe       GB     Renault
Stage 15 C Mellors    GB     Ford
Stage 15 E Roberts    GB     Ford
Stage 15 N Griffiths  GB     Citroen
Stage 16 K Eriksson   Swe    Hyundai
Stage 16 D Buckley    GB     Subaru
Stage 16 I Marlow     GB     Ford
Stage 17 J Pykallsto  Fin    Mitsubishi
Stage 17 L Allfrey    GB     Ford
Stage 18 G Evans      GB     SEAT
Stage 19 M Winkles    GB     Vauxhall
Stage 19 C McRae      GB     Subaru
Stage 19 S Petch      GB     Ford
Stage 19 M Perrott    GB     Mitsubishi
Stage 20 G Fielding   GB     Mitsubishi
Stage 20 A Grundstrom Swe    Mitsubishi
Stage 20 A Tait       GB     Ford
Stage 20 D Auriol     Fr     Toyota
Stage 20 A Jiganov    Rus    Mitsubishi
Stage 21 R B'schlager Aut    Volk'wagen
Stage 21 M Naryshkin  Rus    Mitsubishi
Stage 21 R Sykes      GB     Peugeot
Stage 21 J Easson     GB     Mitsubishi
Stage 21 T Bengry     GB     Mitsubishi
Stage 21 W Armitage   GB     Peugeot
Stage 21 D Humphreys  GB     Ford
Stage 21 Y Kawashima  Jpn    Subaru
Stage 21 S Shiomiya   Jpn    Nissan
Stage 21 A Gwynne     GB     Vauxhall
Stage 21 W Bell       Aus    Hyundai
Stage 21 P Watts      GB     Suzuki
Stage 22 A McRae      GB     Subaru
Stage 22 G Panizzi    Fr     Subaru
Stage 23 R Champion   GB     Mitsubishi
Stage 24 D Wood       GB     Saab
Stage 24 R Simpson    GB     Ford
Stage 24 A Collins    GB     Subaru
Stage 24 D Pattrick   GB     Peugeot
Stage 25 M Ramanen    Fin    Honda
Stage 25 W Utting     GB     Subaru
Stage 25 S Chamb'lain GB     Honda
Stage 25 P Kirtley    GB     Ford
Stage 26 G Cox        GB     Mitsubishi
Stage 26 S Hymas      GB     Mitsubishi
Stage 26 S French     GB     Ford
Stage 26 N Wearden    GB     Vauxhall
Stage 28 C Sainz      Sp     Toyota






25.11.98
Colin McRae will be partnered by Thomas Radstrom, Simon Jean-Joseph and Peter Solberg in the Ford rally team in 1999. Radstrom will contest the nine gravel rallies while Jean-Joseph will race the four tarmac events. Solbert is driving a privately-run Escort for at least five events as part of the Ford junior team. Ford have also unveiled their new Focus car which replaces the Escort after 30 years in rallying. Next year they are chasing their first title since 1981.







30.11.98
F1:- Damon Hill's former team, Arrows, could be sold off in a 40m deal, according to speculation. German motorsport company Zakspeed, which was involved in Formula One in the 1980's, are understood to have had talks with Arrows boss Tom Walkinshaw. An Arrows team spokesman said: "We are unable to comment on speculation. We hope to make an announcement in due course which will put rumours to rest." If the deal goes through it could mean the team moving its base to Germany.



CHAMPION SPARK PLUG WORLD RANKING
Driver ratings (November 30)    Points
1 M Hakkinen    Fin Formula One  1154
2 A Zanardi     It  Champ Car    1112
3 J Gordon      US  NASCAR       1054
4 M Schumacher  Ger Formula One  1036
5 M Martin      US  NASCAR        880
6 D Coulthard   GB  Formula One   842
7 U Alzen       Ger GTCC          817
8 E Irvine      GB  Formula One   810
9 R Zonta       Brz FIA GT        773
= K Ludwig      Ger FIA GT        773