September 1998

F1:- Jordan have denied reports that they have released Ralf Schumacher. It would have him free to join Williams but, in a statement, Jordan said: "We will vigorously defend the writ issued by Ralf Schumacher in the High Court." The court hearing is set to take place within 10 days but Schumacher's agent Willi Weber had said: "Ralf is free. Jordan are no longer in talks with him. Negotiations with Williams are underway but, apart from that, I do not wish to say any more."

DRIVER STANDINGS (after 22 rnds):
1 R Rydell   Swe Volvo S40     223 pts
2 A Reid     GB  Nissan        190
3 A Menu     Swi Renault Lag   175
4 J Thompson GB  Honda Accord  164
5 J Plato    GB  Renault Lag   133

1 Nissan               246 pts
2 Renault              231
3 Volvo                228
4 Honda                191
5 Vauxhall             155

1 T Rustad    224 pts
2 R Gravett   192
3 M Neal      184

Driver ratings (September 1)     Points
 1 M Schumacher  Ger Formula One  1041
 2 A Zanardi     It  Champ Car    1033
 3 J Gordon      US  NASCAR       1008
 4 M Hakkinen    Fin Formula One   986
 5 M Martin      US  NASCAR        840
 6 D Coulthard   GB  Formula One   802
 7 D Jarrett     US  NASCAR        775
 8 B Schneider   Ger GTs           691
 9 J Villeneuve  Can Formula One   684
10 E Irvine      GB  Formula One   673

02.09.98 - F1
Ferrari's fanatical fans vented their fury at David Coulthard as he tested at Monza ahead of the Italian Grand Prix on September 13. After Sunday's collision in Belgium with the Tifosi's idol Michael Schumacher, Coulthard was booed every time he went on to the circuit. The fans also put up banners, although track officials removed them. He allegedly had beer cans thrown at him at Spa and the race reception could be worse at Ferrari's home track.

McLaren have hit back at Ferrari over Sunday's incident in Belgium between David Coulthard and Michael Schumacher. In a statement, they said: "It is our regret that it occurred and that its interpretation by Ferrari challenged the integrity of our team and driver. It is clear that the incident was accidental and a consequence of the actions of both drivers involved, who were competing in appalling conditions. "At no time did David Coulthard apply the brakes or lift from the throttle."

Ferrari have refused to let the row die down over Michael Schumacher's crash with McLaren's David Coulthard in Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix. The Italian team claimed Coulthard was at fault and the Scotsman's action made the accident inevitable. Ferrari said Coulthard ignored blue flags and never allowed Schumacher to go by as required by regulations. A statement said they would make no further comment on what happened and considered the incident closed.

Wednesday's times:            min secs
 1 D Coulthard   GB  McLaren  1:23.527
 2 G Fisichella  It  Benetton 1:24.736
 3 M Hakkinen    Fin McLaren  1:24.773
 4 A Wurz        Aut Benetton 1:25.081
 5 M Schumacher  Ger Ferrari  1:25.234
 6 J Villeneuve  Can Williams 1:25.305
 7 JP Montoya    Col Williams 1:25.564
 8 J Trulli      It  Prost    1:25.619
 9 E Irvine      GB  Ferrari  1:25.714
10 R Schumacher  Ger Jordan   1:25.833
16 J Herbert     GB  Sauber   1:27.568

MANX INTERNATIONAL RALLY:- Martin Rowe hopes home advantage will work in his favour when he aims to become the British Rally Champion at next week's Manx International Rally. Rowe, who hails from the Isle of Man, is currently tied on points with Gwyndaf Evans, having led the title race since round one back in March. The 27-year-old said: "I have not come all this way to have the title snatched from my grasp at the end. Whoever finishes ahead wins the title and I aim to do it with a victory."

SCOTTISH RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP:- The outcome of this year's championship will be decided this weekend in Saturday's Little the Jewellers Speyside Stages Rally. The event will see Jim Carty and Jimmy Paterson resuming their year-long duel for the title, but both will be wary of the challenge by Andy Horne. The event is being organised by Horne's home club, 63 Car Club, and the driver is in determined mood. Horne warned: "I am ready now as I have ever been."

RALLYING:- Richard Burns has signed a three-year contract with Subaru. He has been with Mitsubishi for the last three years.

F1:- Formula One chief Max Mosley has urged Michael Schumacher and David Coulthard to end their feud after colliding in the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa. The FIA president told a German newspaper that Schumacher was not beyond criticism and that he had been punished several times in the past. Mosley said: "I hope the two drivers are going to meet and talk it out. They should shake hands. I have been told the telemetrics show it was a normal racing accident."

CHAMP CARS:- Scotland's Dario Franchitti claimed his fifth pole position of his career on Saturday for the Vancouver Indy. Franchitti won the fourth pole of the season with his best lap of 1 minute 4.130 seconds on the 2.899-kilometer temporary street circuit. Alex Zanardi, closing in on his second consecutive CART FedEx championship title, started Saturday's final round on provisional pole. But the Italian ended the day a disappointing third.

Qualifying (Sat):           min secs
 1 D Franchitti   Honda     1:04:130
 2 B Herta        Ford      1:04.218
 3 A Zanardi      Honda     1:04:420
 4 G Moore        Mercedes  1:04:620
 5 T Kanaan       Honda     1:04:624
 6 M Andretti     Ford      1:04:651
 7 P Tracy        Honda     1:04:679
 8 S Pruett       Ford      1:04:680
 9 H C-Neves      Mercedes  1:04:699
10 R Hearn        Ford      1:04:781

F1:- Johnny Herbert is to join Stewart Ford next season in a two-year deal. The 34-year-old Briton currently races for Sauber but has only managed to earn one point so far in a season beset by ill-fortune and car problems. Rubens Barrichello and Jos Verstappen are Stewart's 1998 drivers, Verstappen replacing Jan Magnussen halfway through the season. It would appear likely that Barrichello will stay with the team, although Stewart have not confirmed that.

Johnny Herbert is delighted after making the decision to leave Sauber for Stewart Ford next year. He said. "The team, though still in its infancy, has already made a big impression in Formula One. "I believe that with the chassis improvements and with Ford pushing ahead with their engine programme, I can help the team to the top." Stewart chairman Jackie Stewart said: "It is nice to have a British driver who has so much experience."

CHAMP CARS (Vancouver):- Scotland's Dario Franchitti won his second consecutive CART race while Alex Zanardi's fourth place was enough to clinch his second straight PPG Cup. Franchitti passed American Michael Andretti on the 80th lap for the lead and six laps later he finished 3.437 seconds ahead of the American. By winning from the pole, Franchitti collected an additional $330,000 bonus. Despite winning his title, Zanardi, who has won six races this year, apologised afterwards for a "bad performance".

Molson Indy Vancouver result (Sun):
 1 D Franchitti   Honda         86
 2 M Andretti     Ford          86
 3 S Pruett       Ford          86
 4 A Zanardi      Honda         86
 5 Al Unser Jnr   Mercedes      86
 6 M Gugelmin     Mercedes      86
 7 A Ribeiro      Mercedes      86
 8 JJ Lehto       Mercedes      86
 9 M Papis        Toyota        86
10 M Jourdain Jnr Ford          86
12 M Blundell     Mercedes      86                

DRIVER STANDINGS:            Points
1 A Zanardi    It  Honda       218
2 J Vasser     US  Honda       126
3 A Fernandez  Mex Ford        120
4 G Moore      Can Merc-Benz   118
5 M Andretti   US  Ford        109

F1:- Jordan have released German driver Ralf Schumacher from his contract so that he can join another Formula One team for the 1999 season. Schumacher, brother of two times world champion Michael, was anxious to leave Jordan and is reportedly keen to join the Williams team. He had been due in the High Court where a contract wrangle was due to be heard. All parties have agreed to keep the terms of the settlement confidential, according to a Jordan press release.

Damon Hill clinched his 22nd victory and the first for Jordan at Spa and will be targeting a repeat on a circuit he knows well. The 1996 world champion won at Monza in 1994 and 1995 while driving for the Williams team. Jordan were fourth in the Italian Grand Prix last season, with Giancarlo Fisichella securing the points. They lost him to Benetton after legal battles and, ironically, now have a similar situation with Ralf Schumacher.

F3 (Thruxton):- With just three races left in the championship, the leading contenders will be fighting for valuable points in Round 14 on Sunday. Title leader Mario Haberfield of Paul Stewart Racing will be looking for his fourth win of the season. He said: "I am confident I will do well and I will be pushing as hard as possible because the championship is not won yet." Enrique Bernoldi, lying just five points behind him, will hope he fails.

David Coulthard and Michael Schumacher have shaken hands after clear-the-air talks aimed at settling their row over their clash at the Belgian Grand Prix. Both drivers discussed the incidents in the neutral territory of the Williams motorhome on the eve of this weekend's Italian Grand Prix. Neither admitted whether either man had apologised or used the word 'sorry' during their discussions. Coulthard would only go so far as to say the incidents were "regretful".

Heinz-Harald Frentzen has said his move to Jordan is a swap deal which will see Ralf Schumacher join Williams. Frentzen confirmed he will leave Williams at the end of the season to link up with Damon Hill. He said: "Basically we have swapped. Ralf wants to drive for Williams and I want to drive for Jordan - so as you can see it is a swap. But it remains to be seen who will get the better end of the deal. I believe Jordan is the team of the future."

Tensions will be running high on Sunday following the dramatic events in the last grand prix in Belgium. The Tifosi will be eager for Michael Schumacher to put one over McLaren after the collision between the German and David Coulthard at Spa. McLaren star Mika Hakkinen leads Schumacher by seven points with just three rounds left. Coulthard won at Monza last year but Schumacher sent his supporters wild in 1996 with a win for Ferrari.

After the infamous Spa incident with Michael Schumacher, David Coulthard was booed during testing at Monza in preparation for Sunday's race. The Scot insisted he was unaffected by the reaction from the Ferrari fans. Meanwhile, Ferrari are hoping a new version of its F300 car will make a wining debut on its home track. Schumacher said: "We will not recapture a full second but it will boost confidence. There is no reason why we should not be competitive."

Jacques Villeneuve has no chance of regaining his title but will be eager to get back on to the points trail. In the three races before Belgium, he had finished in the top six and had been on the podium twice, with third places in Germany and Hungary. He said: "They have destroyed the track a bit at Monza and it is not as much fun as it was to drive. It is a track where everybody expects plenty of overtaking but last year there was none, which was surprising."

Williams driver Heinz-Harald Frentzen loves the challenge that the Monza circuit presents. "The spectators always get a good show at Monza because it is a true high- speed racetrack," said the German, who was third in Italy last year. "We drivers have to give our best as we run the cars with so little wing it takes all of our strength and skill to control them through corners." The Williams team are still searching for their first win of 1998.

Damon Hill clinched his 22nd victory and the first for Jordan at Spa and will be targeting a repeat on a circuit he knows well. The 1996 world champion won at Monza in 1994 and 1995 while driving for the Williams team. Jordan were fourth in the Italian Grand Prix last season, with Giancarlo Fisichella securing the points. They lost him to Benetton after legal battles and, ironically, now have a similar situation with Ralf Schumacher.

Arrows star Mika Salo is still recovering from the crash at Spa but is looking forward to Sunday's race. "I am still recuperating from a stiff neck and shoulders from the crash but am feeling much better," he said. "I was more injured mentally as I felt bad about myself and the team not being able to compete in the race after all the work and effort. Monza is a good track with lots of straights and some useful corners. The atmosphere is always great."

Sunday's race is scheduled to last for 53 laps or 305.772km (189.998 miles). Jean Alesi started on pole for Benetton last year, eventually finishing second. Monza was the setting for one of the closest finishes in Formula One history in 1969 when just 0.19 seconds covered the top four finishers. Jackie Stewart, who will be running a team on Sunday, won the race. Ferrari have had just one Monza victory since Gerhard Berger won in 1988.

Monza is a very low dowforce circuit and low wing level makes grip poor in the low speed turns. A number of teams are expected to confirm oe decide on their driver line- ups for the 1999 campaign over the Italian Grand Prix weekend. Sunday's race will be the 69th to carry the Italian Grand Prix title. Monza first held the race in 1922 and apart from a few visits to Torino, Milan and Livomo, the event has been held at the circuit since.

1997 result:
1 D Coulthard  GB  McLaren
2 J Alesi      Fr  Benetton
3 H-H Frentzen Ger Williams
4 G Fisichella It  Jordan
5 J Villeneuve Can Williams
6 M Schumacher GB  Ferrari
Fastest race lap: M Hakkinen 1:24.808 (record)

Previous winners:
1997 D Coulthard  GB  McLaren
1996 M Schumacher Ger Ferrari
1995 J Herbert    GB  Benetton
1994 D Hill       GB  Williams
1993 D Hill       GB  Williams
1992 A Senna      Brz McLaren
1991 N Mansell    GB  Williams
1990 A Senna      Brz McLaren
1989 A Prost      Fr  McLaren
1988 G Berger     Aut Ferrari
1987 N Piquet     Brz Williams

TOURING CARS (Oulton Park):- Rickard Rydell and Anthony Reid go into Sunday's rounds 23 and 24 targeting victories that could take either driver closer to the title. After this weekend, only the twin-race showdown at Silverstone remains. Rydell has a 33-point lead over Reid but the Scot said: "Rickard and the whole Volvo team are rattled. "Their behaviour at Brands Hatch showed that. They are under intense pressure, having tried and failed to win the title on four previous occasions."

Renault have won seven out of eight of the last races at Oulton Park and Alain Menu and Jason Plato will be aiming to keep up that record. They are still in with a chance of the manufacturers' crown, lying 15 points behind leaders Nissan. Meanwhile, the Autosport Cup for Independents' title could be decided in Sunday's rounds. Tommy Rustad could take the crown from incumbent Robb Gravett with a class victory in one of the races.

Vauxhall's John Cleland and Derek Warwick are looking to consolidate their top 10 positions on Sunday. Both have tasted victory this year and recent testing at Oulton park suggests they could savour success again. "It is a difficult circuit to get right every time," said Cleland. "Lap times are under one minute and everybody is so close round there. If we can be in the top 10 after qualifying we have a good chance of being on the podium."

Leading testing times (Thu):     secs
 1 J Thompson    GB  Honda      59:230
 2 A Menu        Swi Renault    59:432
 3 P Kox         Hol Honda      59:473
 4 A Reid        GB  Nissan     59:550
 5 R Rydell      Swe Volvo      59:668
 6 W Hoy         GB  Ford       59:748
 7 J Plato       GB  Renault    59:763
 8 J Cleland     GB  Vauxhall   59:805
 9 D Warwick     GB  Vauxhall   59:814
10 G Morbidelli  It  Volvo      59:888

LEADERBOARD after 4 of 24 stages
(interim)                         min sec
 1 Rowe/Ringer        Renault      12:34
 2 Higgins/Mills      Nissan       12:47
 3 McRae/Senior       Volkswagen   12:50
 4 Evans/Davies       SEAT         12:55
 5 Armstrong/Richrdsn SEAT         13:18
 6 Laukkanen/Lindst'm Renault      13:19
 7 Kytolehto/Kapanen  Vauxhall     13:21
 8 Mann/Cook          Proton       13:27
 9 Higgins/Kennedy    Subaru       13:28
10 O'Callaghan/Harris Ford         13:32
SEAT driver Gwyndaf Evans is making a steady start to his Championship title bid as his rival Martin Rowe takes the lead on Leg 1 of the Sony Manx Rally. "I'm finding conditions difficult and having trouble getting traction in the sand and water. "We've changed the springs to lower and soften the suspension", he added. Team-mate Barbara Armstrong says "I'm trying to build up a buffer between myself and Stephanie I'm not taking risks but I'm driving as hard as I can.

Drama started early in the Ladies battle for the Mobi1 1 Championship as Stephanie Simmonite suffered brake trouble on the first stage. This allowed SEAT driver Barbara Armstong to take a 30 second lead from the Ford driver after two stages. The Ford team hope to be able to sort this at service as the Simmontes need to win the Ladies event to retain their Championship title for the fourth year. The Rally returns to Douglas overnight and restarts at 09.05 on Friday.

RALLYING:- Didier Auriol will drive for Toyota in the World Rally Championship for the next two seasons. The Frenchman won the 1994 title with the team and has driven for Toyota in five of the last six seasons. He is fifth in the current campaign and will continue to partner Carlos Sainz in the 1999 and 2000 seasons. "I am pleased that it is possible to continue with Toyota," said Auriol. "It is well known that there were some other teams interested in me."

F.FORD (Oulton Park):-
Testing times (Thu):   mins secs
1 J Button              1:09.750
2 T Sisley              1:10.371
3 D Hayes               1:10.475
4 J Pickford            1:11.106
5 J Bleekemolen         1:11.499
6 M McKenna             1:11.627

F.VAUXHALL JUNIOR:- Antonio Pizzonia could win the Formula Vauxhall Junior title at Oulton Park this weekend. The Brazilian needs to score four more points than closest rival Richard Lyons on Sunday.

SKODA TROPHY:- Steve Head, James Slack and Tim Green head to Belgium this weekend, hoping to establish an advantage in the Skoda Trophy rally series. Green has a one-point lead over Slack ahead of the penultimate round. Head is currently in third place.

Eddie Irvine set the fastest time in Friday's practice session as he upstaged Michael Schumacher and David Coulthard at Monza. The Ulsterman was the only driver under 85 seconds, clocking 1:24.987, with Schumacher managing only one lap in the afternoon session. Coulthard suffered a spin as heavy rain brought an early halt to the action. Jacques Villeneuve was fourth quickest with Mika Hakkinen fifth and Damon Hill back in eighth.

Friday's free practice times:
 1 E Irvine      GB  Ferrari  1:24.987
 2 M Schumacher  Ger Ferrari  1:25.246
 3 D Coulthard   GB  McLaren  1:25.690
 4 J Villeneuve  Can Williams 1:26.053
 5 M Hakkinen    Fin McLaren  1:26.159
 6 H-H Frentzen  Ger Williams 1:26.528
 7 J Trulli      It  Prost    1:26.748
 8 D Hill        GB  Jordan   1:26.838
 9 G Fisichella  It  Benetton 1:26.885
10 A Wurz        Aut Benetton 1:26.886
11 R Schumacher  Ger Jordan   1:27.709
12 J Herbert     GB  Sauber   1:27.541
13 O Panis       Fr  Prost    1:27.676
14 R Barrichello Brz Stewart  1:28.066
15 R Rosset      Brz Tyrrell  1:28.098
16 T Takagi      Jpn Tyrrell  1:28.135
17 J Verstappen  Hol Stewart  1:28.606
18 E Tuero       Arg Minardi  1:28.847
19 S Nakano      Jpn Minardi  1:28.849
20 M Salo        Fin Arrows   1:29.603
21 P Diniz       Brz Arrows   1:53.671
did not compete: J Alesi

LEADERBOARD after 17 of 24 stages
(interim)                       hr min sec
 1 Rowe/Ringer         Renault   2:07:33
 2 Laukkanen/Lindstrom Renault   2:07:55
 3 Kytolehto/Kapanen   Vauxhall  2:12:45
 4 Higgins/Kennedy     Subaru    2:14:06
 5 Mann/Cook           Proton    2:14:46
 6 O'Callaghan/Harris  Ford      2:17:18
 7 Armstrong/Richard'n SEAT      2:18:01
 8 Simmonite/Simmonite Ford      2:18:38
 9 McShea/Cassidy      Mitsubi'i 2:18:40
10 McGarrity/Carroth's Mitsubi'i 2:19:50
Gwyndaf Evans has retired his SEAT Ibiza on stage 16 with engine failure, after suffering problems through the previous two stages. This crowns Manxman Martin Rowe as the Mobil 1 British Rally Champion for 1998 even if he does not finish the event. This is the first time in 41 years that Renault have won the Championship. SEAT Teammate Barbara Armstrong has backed off and is now taking it steady to maintain her lead over the Simmonites in their Ford.

Michael Schumacher claimed pole position for Sunday's race after timing his run perfectly in a rain-hit qualifying session. The drivers made a late appearance because of the conditions - and it paid off for some. Jacques Villeneuve was second quickest, while championship leader Mika Hakkinen was only third. David Coulthard was fourth, Eddie Irvine fifth, Damon Hill 14th and Johnny Herbert 15th.

Michael Schumacher was pleased after clinching Ferrari's first pole position of the 1998 season. Schumacher said: "It was time for us to have our first pole position. I'm happy it came at Monza. Hopefully I can keep Jacques (Villeneuve) in second place. He will be my back-up plan. I don't think that's what he wants, but I'm confident I can deal with it. I'm feeling pretty confident, certainly nowhere near as bad as I have done going into other races."

Mika Hakkinen admitted that he could be hampered by having to get past Jacques Villeneuve at Monza on Sunday. Villeneuve finished second fastest in final qualifying behind Michael Schumacher and third placed Hakkinen is concerned about the possibilities. "Jacques holds one of the keys to this race, but we will have to wait and see for definite tomorrow," said Hakkinen. "To be third is a big surprise but it's not dented my confidence. The race will hopefully be a different story."

Jacques Villeneuve is relishing the prospect of throwing a spanner in the works of the title outcome at Monza. The reigning champion finished between Mika Hakkinen and Michael Schumacher in qualifying and he said: "It's certainly going to be an interesting race. "I can assure them (Schumacher and Hakkinen) that I will be going for it. The only way I can win the race is if I am ahead going into the first chicane, which will give Michael and Mika other things to worry about."

Damon Hill failed to recapture his Spa form and could only manage the 14th best time in qualifying. "This qualifying result is very disappointing as the car is very good here," he said. "The possibility was there to have been in the top six. Our strategy was perfect but I just never managed to get a clear lap because of traffic." Team-mate Ralf Schumacher was sixth quickest and added: "Our timing and strategy were pretty much perfect."

Saturday's qualifying times:  min secs
 1 M Schumacher  Ger Ferrari  1:25.289
 2 J Villeneuve  Can Williams 1:25.561
 3 M Hakkinen    Fin McLaren  1:25.679
 4 D Coulthard   GB  McLaren  1:25.987
 5 E Irvine      GB  Ferrari  1:26.159
 6 R Schumacher  Ger Jordan   1:26.309
 7 A Wurz        Aus Benetton 1:26.567
 8 J Alesi       Fr  Sauber   1:26.637
 9 O Panis       Fr  Prost    1:26.681
10 J Trulli      It  Prost    1:26.794
11 G Fisichella  It  Benetton 1:26.817
12 H-H Frentzen  Ger Williams 1:26.836
13 R Barrichello Brz Stewart  1:27.247
14 D Hill        GB  Jordan   1:27.362
15 J Herbert     GB  Sauber   1:27.510
16 M Salo        Fin Arrows   1:27.744
17 J Verstappen  Hol Stewart  1:28.212
18 R Rosset      Brz Tyrrell  1:28.286
19 T Takagi      Jpn Tyrrell  1:28.346
20 P Diniz       Brz Arrows   1:28.387
21 S Nakano      Jpn Minardi  1:29.101
22 E Tuero       Arg Minardi  1:29.417

TOURING CARS (Oulton Park):- Anthony Reid boosted his chances of the drivers' title with a double pole positions for rounds 23 and 24. Reid dominated qualifying for the feature race, making the most of damp conditions to head off Nissan teammate David Leslie and Rickard Rydell. The Scotsman repeated the feat on a slightly drier track, recording his 11th pole of the year. With four rounds left, 33 points separate Reid and current leader Rydell and it looks likely to go to the wire.

Qualifying times for round 23 (Sat):
 1 A Reid        GB  Nissan     59:032
 2 J Thompson    GB  Honda      59:200
 3 A Menu        Swi Renault    59:235
 4 D Leslie      GB  Nissan     59:289
 5 Y Muller      GB  Audi       59:457
 6 J Plato       GB  Renault    59:574
 7 P Kox         Hol Honda      59:601
 8 G Morbidelli  It  Volvo      59:695
 9 M Neal        GB  Nissan     59:889
10 J Cleland     GB  Vauxhall 1:00:075

Qualifying times for round 24 (Sat):
                             mins secs
 1 A Reid        GB  Nissan   1:05.982
 2 D Leslie      GB  Nissan   1:06.193
 3 R Rydell      Swe Volvo    1:06.442
 4 Y Muller      Fr  Audi     1:06.541
 5 D Warwick     GB  Vauxhall 1:06.680
 6 J Thompson    GB  Honda    1:06.698
 7 J Cleland     GB  Vauxhall 1:06.746
 8 J Plato       GB  Renault  1:06.798
 9 A Menu        Swi Renault  1:06.885
10 R Gravett     GB  Honda    1:06.927

MANX INTERNATIONAL RALLY:- Martin Rowe has given Renault the best finish possible to this year's rallying by winning the Sony Manx International Rally. This gives Renault the Driver's and Manufacturer's titles as well as the outright win for the second year in a row. This is the first time Renault and Rowe have won the Championship. Team mate Tapio Laukkanen, brought his Renault home in second place in spite of gearbox problems throughout the day.

On winning the Sony Manx Rally and Mobil 1 Rally Championship Martin Rowe commented: "It's finally sinking in and it's a great feeling. It means a great deal to my career." "A major reason that we were successful is that the team has gelled together and we've had good support from Michelin. Yesterday Gwyndaf came over and said he was pleased for me. That's one of the good things about rallying."

Barbara Armstrong has taken the Ladies Title for the first time, leaving the Simmonite sisters four minutes adrift. This is the first time SEAT and Barbara have taken the Ladies title and is even more outstanding when Barbara revealed that she is carrying a shoulder injury. Barbara had dislocated her shoulder when out training and has since been undergoing physio at every service. Co driver John Richardson has been working the handbrake and helping as much as possible.

Jarmo Kytolehto managed to stuggle through last minute gearbox problems to give the Vauxhall team their best equal finish this year. "It was very difficult and especially slippery under the trees, just a small mistake could put us out" said the Fin. Alister McRae took six fastest stage times out of the seven stages today in his bid to regain lost time. "Losing so much time so early was very disappointing, but we've certainly hard some fun getting it back" he said.

The Egglestone brothers, having found that it was quicker if co-driver Steve worked the handbrake managed to stay ahead of Manxman Rob Watson. This has given them the British Junior Championship in their CFM Vauxhall Astra. "I have never driven such an intensely competitive rally. I had to really turn the wick up to win the Junior. I'm really chuffed that with Steve's help on the handbrake we did it" said Stuart Egglestone.

LEADERBOARD after 24 stages
(interim)                      hr min sec
 1 Rowe/Ringer        Renault    3:13:01
 2 Laukkanen/Lindst'm Renault    3:16:57
 3 Higgins/Kennedy    Subaru     3:21:39
 4 Kytolehto/Kapanen  Vauxhall   3:22:53
 5 O'Callaghan/Harris Ford       3:24:45
 6 McRae/Senior       Volkswagen 3:26:05
 7 Armstrong/Richar'n SEAT       3:26:34
 8 McGarrity/Carrot's Mitsubishi 3:29:22
 9 Simmonite/Simmon'e Ford       3:30:34
10 Woodside/Harryman  Mitsubishi 3:30:45

1 Rowe       164
2 Evans      153
3 McRae      133
4 Laukkanen  127
5 Wearden    102

1 Renault    190.5
2 SEAT       188
3 Volkswagen 165.5
4 Ford       144
5 Vauxhall   141

Round 13 qualifying times:mins secs
1 F Figueiredo          1:13.766
2 M Blair               1:13.795
3 S Graves              1:13.817
4 J Yeomans             1:14.557
5 M Nichol              1:14.753
6 P Sears               1:15.513

Round 15 qualifying times:mins secs
1 R Lyons     GB        1:10.967
2 A Pizzonia  Brz       1:11.213
3 J Fourie    SA        1:11.375
4 T Scheckter SA        1:11.500
5 L Walker    GB        1:11.749
6 G Parfett   GB        1:11.762

F.RENAULT (Oulton Park):- Aluizio Coelho was quickest in the wet qualifying session and was over a second ahead of his nearest rival. He could be crowned champion on Sunday. Star Cup rivals Robbie Kerr and Gavin Jones were third and fifth.

Round 14 qualifying times (Sat):
                       mins secs
1 A Coelho       Brz    1:07.469
2 D Bell         GB     1:08.582
3 R Kerr         GB     1:08.617
4 T Mullen       GB     1:08.899
5 G Jones        GB     1:09.065
6 JJ Font        Ven    1:09.089

F.FORD (Oulton Park):- Jenson Button coped best with the frequent showers that made qualifying a difficult task. The Slick 50 Championship leader did not completely dominate the conditions, and spun off at Druids and Lodge.

Qualifying times (Sat):     mins secs
1 J Button   Mygale          1:11.588
2 N Kiesa    Van Diemen      1:11.664
3 D Hayes    Mygale          1:12.068
4 C Murray   Van Diemen      1:12.230
5 M Ambrose  Van Diemen      1:12.238
6 T Sisley   Van Diemen      1:12.469

FORD FIESTA'S (Oulton Park):- Less than a tenth of a second split championship contenders Alan Morrison and Simon Clarke. Neal Gordon, equal second in the title standings, crashed into the Lodge corner gravel trap and finished 20th.

Qualifying times (Sat): mins secs
1 A Morrison            1:16.181
2 S Clarke              1:16.234
3 P Cate                1:16.449
4 M Cullen              1:16.569
5 D Gibson              1:16.622
6 R Claydon             1:16.711

RALLYING:- Juha Kankkunen has been released from his contract to drive for the Ford World Rally team on the 1999 FIA World Rally Championship. Kankkunen's two-year deal, which started at the beginning of the 1998 season, will now end after the final round of this year's championship. Ford World Rally Team director Malcolm Wilson said: "We have enjoyed a wonderful relationship with Juha. We are grateful for his help and wish him all the best for the future."

Michael Schumacher jointly leads the championship with Mika Hakkinen after putting a poor start behind him to win the race. He and team-mate Eddie Irvine sent the Tifosi wild as they gave Ferrari a one-two on home soil. Hakkinen had looked set for second place but spun out and, despite retaining his place, eventually slipped down to fourth with a brake problem. Ralf Schumacher was third, Damon Hill sixth, while Johnny Herbert retired.

Michael Schumacher was delighted with his race win after nearly blowing his title chances at the start of the race. The German began on pole but slipped behind the McLarens and team-mate Eddie Irvine as the grand prix began. "It felt like I was walking rather than racing," he said. "It was a terrible start. Everything that could have gone wrong went wrong. I lost a lot of positions but thankfully Eddie let me pass to get back in the race."

Eddie Irvine's second place behind Ferrari team-mate Michael Schumacher ensured there will be parties in Italy. The Ulsterman has not been on the podium since the British Grand Prix in July but Silverstone marked his sixth top-three placing of 1998. He joked: "It had been getting quite boring being on the podium but not as boring as not being up there." Irvine admitted the car gave him problems and added: "I was not happy with it. It was very stiff to drive."

A brake problem cost Mika Hakkinen a clear lead in the title race as he and Michael Schumacher now both head the standings with 80 points. Hakkinen, who finished fourth, said: "It led to my high-speed spin late in the race and I was lucky to come out of that without stalling. "While I was spinning I was thinking 'this will mean zero points' but fortunately I managed to keep going. I am still very positive and will fight to win the championship."

David Coulthard's race ended on lap 16 when his engine gave out while he was leading the race. The Scot's exit coincided with Michael Schumacher edging out Mika Hakkinen to head Ferrari's home grand prix. Coulthard looked to be on a different race strategy to team-mate Hakkinen because he had been allowed to surge past the Finn. Hakkinen and Coulthard had made perfect starts to sweep past Schumacher, who initially slipped down to fourth.

David Coulthard believed he could have beaten Michael Schumacher - if he had not been hit by a car problem and been forced to retire. His engine failed and Coulthard admitted: "It was very disappointing. There was no warning. I lost power and then the engine just blew. I was on a one-stop strategy and was going well and felt I demonstrated it was possible to beat Michael. Now the title race is going to the wire, which is what the public wants."

Damon Hill produced a superb drive to finish sixth in Italy. The Jordan star, who gave the team their first ever win at Spa this year, started way down in 14th on the grid after disappointing qualifying session. However, he soon moved up to sixth and, despite his two-stop strategy was able to retain that positon. Ralf Schumacher was third and Jordan are now in with a good chance of finishing third in the battle for the constructors' placings.

World champion Jacques Villeneuve's race ended after 37 laps. The Canadian said: "During the whole of my race I was locking front wheels and in the end I locked my rear wheels, causing me to spin. We were running too little downforce to keep up down the straights and not enough through the corners." Team-mate Heinz-Harald Frentzen was seventh and added: "I missed my pit signals and board so ran out of fuel just after Ascari but reached my pit."

Benetton finished pointless in the quest to clinch third place in the constructors' championship. They are battling with Williams and Jordan but suffered a setback when Alex Wurz failed to finish and Giancarlo Fisichella was only eighth. Wurz revealed: "I had a problem with my gearbox for nearly the whole of the race and in the end it blew up." Chief executive David Richards added: "Clearly the work that we have to do in the next few weeks is critical."

Stewart star Rubens Barrichello finished 10th but was denied a better placing by a troublesome fuel flap at his two pit stops. Managing director Paul Stewart said: "The race was a mixed bag for us. "Rubens clearly had a chance to finish eighth but the first pit stop cost us about 30 seconds when the fuel cap would not open. Jos Verstappen had driven a competitive race until we retired him with a gearbox problem."

Tyrrell achieved their best overall result of the year, with Toranosuke Takagi finishing ninth and Richardo Rosset taking 12th place. Takagi revealed: "The Monza Grand Prix is totally different from any event I have ever experienced before. Four times I overtook drivers but they then cut across the chicanes and re-passed me. It was annoying but a lesson for me. For some reason, my second set of tyres caused the car to oversteer."

Race result after 53 laps:   hr min sec
 1 M Schumacher  Ger Ferrari  1:17.09.6
 2 E Irvine      GB  Ferrari      @37.9
 3 R Schumacher  Ger Jordan       @41.1
 4 M Hakkinen    Fin McLaren      @55.6
 5 J Alesi       Fr  Sauber       @61.8
 6 D Hill        GB  Jordan       @66.6
 7 H-H Frentzen  Ger Williams   one lap
 8 G Fisichella  It  Benetton   one lap
 9 T Takagi      Jpn Tyrrell    one lap
10 R Barrichello Brz Stewart    one lap
11 E Tuero       Arg Minardi   two laps
12 R Rosset      Brz Tyrrell   two laps
13 J Trulli      It  Prost   three laps
Not classified/did not finish:
14 J Verstappen  Hol Stewart    39 laps
15 J Villeneuve  Can Williams   37 laps
16 M Salo        Fin Arrows     32 laps
17 A Wurz        Aut Benetton   24 laps
18 D Coulthard   GB  McLaren    16 laps
19 O Panis       Fr  Prost      15 laps
20 S Nakano      Jpn Minardi    13 laps
21 J Herbert     GB  Sauber     12 laps
22 P Diniz       Brz Arrows     10 laps

 1 M Hakkinen    Fin  McLaren   80 pts
 2 M Schumacher  Ger  Ferrari   80
 3 D Coulthard   GB   McLaren   48
 4 E Irvine      GB   Ferrari   38
 5 J Villeneuve  Can  Williams  20
 6 A Wurz        Aut  Benetton  17
 = D Hill        GB   Jordan    17
 8 G Fisichella  It   Benetton  15
 9 R Schumacher  Ger  Jordan    14
10 H-H Frentzen  Ger  Williams  13
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

1 McLaren-Mercedes     128 pts
2 Ferrari              118
3 Williams-Mecachrome   33
4 Benetton              32
5 Jordan                31
6 Sauber-Petronas       10
7 Arrows                 6
8 Stewart                5
9 Prost                  1

TOURING CARS:- Anthony Reid won round 24 of the BTCC championship at Oulton and secured the constructors' title for Nissan, having earlier finished second in the sprint. Reid also cut Rickard Rydell's lead at the top of the drivers' championship to 11 points, but the Swede can claim the crown at Silverstone next Sunday. "I would have liked to win twice, but I can't complain. It's going to be an exciting climax," Reid said. Tommy Rustad clinched the Autosport Cup for Independents for DC Cook.

Round 23 result (Sun):        mins secs
 1 J Thompson    GB  Honda    20:21.174
 2 A Reid        GB  Nissan   20:21.686
 3 A Menu        Swi Renault  20:22.519
 4 D Leslie      GB  Nissan   20:23.431
 5 Y Muller      GB  Audi     20:24.346
 6 J Plato       GB  Renault  20:29.147
 7 P Kox         Hol Honda    20:31.756
 8 W Hoy         GB  Ford     20:32.402
 9 J Cleland     GB  Vauxhall 20:32.714
10 D Warwick     GB  Vauxhall 20:35.350
11 R Rydell      Swe Volvo    20:35.920

Round 24 result (Sun):        mins secs
 1 A Reid        GB  Nissan   45:25.368
 2 J Plato       GB  Renault  45:33.114
 3 Y Muller      Fr  Audi     45:35.037
 4 R Rydell      Swe Volvo    45:39.576
 5 D Warwick     GB  Vauxhall 45:42.940
 6 W Hoy         GB  Mondeo   45:49.890
 7 M Neal        GB  Nissan   45:56.918
 8 T Rustad      Nor Renault  45:59.190
 9 G Morbidelli  It  Volvo    46:10.774
10 T Harvey      GB  Peugeot  46:16.135

DRIVER STANDINGS (after 24 rnds):
1 R Rydell   Swe Volvo S40     231 pts
2 A Reid     GB  Nissan        220
3 A Menu     Swi Renault Lag   185
4 J Thompson GB  Honda Accord  179
5 J Plato    GB  Renault Lag   150

1 Nissan               264 pts
2 Renault              244
3 Volvo                233
4 Honda                203
5 Vauxhall             162

1 T Rustad    251 pts
2 R Gravett   212
3 M Neal      211

VAUXHALL VECTRA SRi CHALLENGE (Oulton Park):- Mark Blair was crowned 1998 champion with one round left to go, even though rival Simon Graves won Sunday's race. Several hours after Graves came in ahead of Blair, race officials excluded the winner from the race results. They had objected to contact made when Graves battled past Blair on the very first lap. Afterwards Blair said: "It is not really the way I would really want to win but the officials have made their decision and that is that."

(after 13 of 14 rounds)Pts
 1 M Blair *          150
 2 S Graves           125
 3 F Figueiredo       113
 4 J Yeomans           72
 5 D Pinkney           58
 6 G Coomes            54
 = P Sears             54
 8 M Ticehurst         45
 9 M Nicol             42
10 C Boon              28
* 1998 Champion

F.VAUXHALL JUNIOR (Thruxton):- Teenage Brazilian Antonio Pizzonia clinched the title after taking second place in the penultimate round. "I'm very happy to be champion," he exclaimed. "I've had a very good year and have learnt a lot about racing. I knew what I had to do today." Leighton Walker won the race after moving into the lead on the second lap in a burst that took him past two cars. He survived a challenge from Pizzonia after the safety car was used for two laps which narrowed his advantage.

Round 15 result (Sun): mins secs
1 L Walker    GB       20:40.958
2 A Pizzonia  Brz      20:41.260
3 T Scheckter SA       20:42.248
4 J Hanson    GB       20:43.241
5 R Lyons     GB       20:44.950
6 G Pyper     GB       20:45.000

Championship standings (after 15 rds)
1 A Pizzonia  Brz      195 points
2 R Lyons     GB       156
3 T Scheckter SA        97
4 J Fourie    SA        74
5 R Bell      GB        69

F.RENAULT (Oulton Park):- The title fight is going down to the wire after Doug Bell clinched victory when Aluizio Coelho, who could have taken the crown, slid wide. Robbie Kerr won the Star Cup with eighth spot, despite a jammed throttle.

Round 14 result (Sun):  mins secs
1 D Bell         GB     19:39.252
2 A Coelho       Brz    19:39.820
3 V Meira        Brz    19:53.130
4 C Clark        GB     19:55.181
5 JJ Font        Ven    20:01.713
6 G Brusatin     It     20:18.219
8 R Kerr         GB     20:40.064

RENAULT SPIDER CUP (Oulton Park):- Half a second separated the top seven in qualifying for the 14th round. Points leader Nick Hart was fourth behind Dan Eaves, while James Aspinall was a career-best eighth fastest.

Qualifying times (Sun):mins secs
1 D Eaves               1:05.539
2 J Hunter              1:05.630
3 A Priaulx             1:05.646
4 N Hart                1:05.771
5 D Vercoe              1:05.939
6 T Masini              1:05.982

CHAMP CARS:- Scotland's Dario Franchitti will make his seventh front row start of the season in the Grand Prix of Monterey at Laguna Seca. He held provisional pole going into the final qualifying session but was pipped for the top spot by Bryan Herta, who clocked one minute, 08.146 seconds. "I gave it everything out there," admitted Franchitti. "We are struggling with the balance of the car but are not too far away from the ideal set-up." Fellow Briton Mark Blundell was 15th fastest in qualifying.

Grand Prix of Monterey qualifying (Sat)
                              min secs
 1 B Herta        Ford        1:08.146
 2 D Franchitti   Honda       1:08.354
 3 J Vasser       Honda       1:08.452
 4 G Moore        Mercedes    1:08.482
 5 A Zanardi      Honda       1:08.524
 6 A Fernandez    Ford        1:08.530
 7 A Unser Jnr    Mercedes    1:08.579
 8 S Pruett       Ford        1:08.589
 9 M Gugelmin     Mercedes    1:08.685
10 G de Ferran    Honda       1:08.690
15 M Blundell     Mercedes    1:08.845

F1:- Ferrari chief Jean Todt was delighted by his team's one-two in the home grand prix at Monza but knows it is too early to start celebrating. The Italian team are within reach of their first drivers' title in 19 years after Michael Schumacher and Eddie Irvine were first and second on Sunday. Todt admitted: "I am a superstitious man. Things do not work out how you think so I am not saying anything. "No guessing about the future from me. Things are equal now."

RALLYING:- Britain's Richard Burns will be joined by Juha Kankkunen and Bruno Thiry as part of a Subaru three-pronged attack on the World Championship next year. Subaru have snapped up Ford duo Kankkunen and Thiry to replace Piero Liatti in a surprise move. Colin McRae started the driver merry-go-round when he decided to leave Subaru for Ford. Kankkunen said: "I want to be in the best car in the world and, for me, Subaru has the best."

CHAMP CARS:- Bryan Herta beat off champion Alex Zanardi to record his first ever race victory on Sunday. The 83-lap race had only one caution through the first 67 laps but suffered numerous yellows therafter. At the end Herta, in his 71st career start, managed to hold off Zanardi in a two-lap sprint to the finish. Scotland's Dario Franchitti, who had started on the front row, came in fourth, while Mark Blundell withdrew after 31 laps due to throttle problems.

Grand Prix of Monterey results (Sun):
                           hr min secs
 1 B Herta        Ford     1:55:13.472
 2 A Zanardi      Honda       @ 00.343
 3 T Kanaan       Honda       @ 03.779
 4 D Franchitti   Honda       @ 04.402
 5 J Vasser       Honda       @ 07.174
 6 A Unser Jnr    Mercedes    @ 07.863
 7 A Fernandez    Ford        @ 09.129
 8 P Tracy        Honda       @ 09.278
 9 C Fittipaldi   Ford        @ 09.666
10 M Andretti     Ford        @ 10.193
25 M Blundell     Mercedes    31 laps

F1:- Ford have completed the purchase of British-based racing engine specialist Cosworth Racing from Audi AG.

Driver ratings (September 15)    Points
 1 M Schumacher  Ger Formula One  1081
 2 J Gordon      US  NASCAR       1063
 3 A Zanardi     It  Champ Car    1035
 4 M Hakkinen    Fin Formula One  1016
 5 M Martin      US  NASCAR        850
 6 D Jarrett     US  NASCAR        781
 7 D Coulthard   GB  Formula One   769
 8 J Montoya     Col F3000         744
 9 N Heidfeld    Ger F3000         736
10 E Irvine      GB  Formula One   726

F1:- Alex Zanardi appears set to return to Formula One next season despite refusing to confirm his future plans. Zanardi clinched his second consecutive CART title and said he had decided if he would accept an offer from Williams but could not reveal his decision yet. However he said: "I'm in a position to take advantage of an extraordinary situation and I would be a fool not to. "More time is needed to put things right. It will be up to my employer to decide any official announcement."

TOURING CARS:- The championship will be decided in the final race for the first time since 1993 as Rickard Rydell and Anthony Reid both have a chance of victory. Rydell holds an 11 point advantage, and Reid knows he must win both Sprint and Feature races on Sunday to become the first British title winner since 1995. "The car has been working really well," he said. "We have to go there with the aim of winning both races." Reid's Nissan team have already won the manufacturers' championship.

Volvo's Championship leader Rickard Rydell is fully aware of what he needs to do to win the title on Sunday. A top three finish in both races would be enough, but the last time the event came to the Silverstone track, Rydell could only manage a fifth place. "We've got to make our car quicker for Silverstone," he admitted. "It's not one of the tracks best suited to us. We just have to qualify as well as we can and then race as well as we can. All we can do is our best - it's close."

Last time at Silverstone it was the Ford team who upset the formbook during a wet afternoon in Northamptonshire. Will Hoy took a memorable win in a rain hit Feature Race. The 1991 champion will doubtless hope for bad weather. The Vauxhall team of John Cleland and Derek Warwick have three wins between them and improving Audi and Peugeot teams will also bid to finish well. Victory for Matt Neal will earn him &156;100,000 as the first Independent to win a race outright.

Nigel Mansell's involvement in the event for the third time this season has seen a huge rise in ticket sales. Circuit bosses at Silverstone are predicting a record crowd to witness the deciding final rounds on Sunday. The Formula Ford and Formula Renault Sport titles are also going to be decided, and there is action in the Renault Spider and Ford Fiesta events. Spectators are promised a party at the end of the meetings that will include a display by the famous Red Arrows team.

RALLYING:- The SEAT team have confirmed that Gwyndaf Evans and co-driver Howard Davies will contest Rally Australia. The Welsh duo, who have won three rounds of this year's British Rally Championship, will undergo their second race in a SEAT Ibiza Evo 2 Kit car. "I've never been to Australia before and it's a fantastic opportunity for me to go there and compete with a top team like SEAT," said Evans. "Ohter drivers have told me it's a difficult rally due to the surface."

F1:- Australia have been urged to keep in step with the proposed ban of tobacco sponsorship in 2006. It comes after reports claimed tobacco advertising would take effect after the 2000 Melbourne race, in a deal between state and federal governments. Victorian state Premier Jeff Kennett said: "You are not going to be able to run this event with different continents having different rules." The FIA has agreed to look for other forms of sponsorship after 2006.

TOURING CARS (Silverstone):- Rickard Rydell got the better of Championship rival Anthony Reid in the final official testing session ahead of Sunday's finale. He lapped the circuit in one minute, 23.224 seconds and was just inside the lap record as he topped the times. He admitted: "It is certainly a better position than last week at Oulton Park and the car feels better than it ever has at Silverstone." Reid was fourth fastest and is 11 points behind Rydell.

Leading testing times (Fri): mins secs
 1 R Rydell      Swe Volvo    1:23.224
 2 J Plato       GB  Renault  1:23.296
 3 P Kox         Hol Honda    1:23.382
 4 A Reid        GB  Nissan   1:23.506
 5 A Menu        Swi Renault  1:23.670
 6 Y Muller      Fr  Audi     1:23.743
 7 D Warwick     GB  Vauxhall 1:23.751
 8 J Thompson    GB  Honda    1:23.752
 9 W Hoy         GB  Ford     1:23.782
10 D Leslie      GB  Nissan   1:23.835

NATIONAL MACADAM RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP:- The Championship reaches its climax with the Wexford Stages Rally in Ireland this weekend. John Price has already been confirmed as champion but the battle is still on for second and third places. Steve Scott, Terry Rooke and Chris Griffiths are all in with a chance of claiming the runner-up spot. The Championship regulars will be joined by three-times former champion Pete Doughty, who will be giving his Ford Escort world rally car an outing.

STANDINGS (after round 11):
(three rounds dropped)  Pts
 1 R Tarling     GB     147
 2 D Turner      GB     146
 3 J Wilson      GB     144
 4 P Clarke      GB     131
 5 T Serjala     Fin    124
 6 D Faulkner    Ire    122
 7 F Maluhy      Brz    110
 8 J Keen        GB      99
 9 S White       Aus     91
10 S Nakazawa    Jpn     89

TOURING CARS:- Rickard Rydell gave his hopes of becoming Sweden's first champion a huge boost with pole for the sprint race. The Volvo driver outpaced his arch rival Anthony Reid by more than two tenths of a second, leaving the Scot third behind James Thompson. Reid and Rydell will line-up fourth and fifth respectively in the feature race, David Leslie taking pole for the newly crowned championship team Nissan. Weather conditions were tricky, with the track drying rapidly at the end.

Round 25 qualifying times (Sat):mins secs
 1 R Rydell      Swe Volvo    1:23.364
 2 J Thompson    GB  Honda    1:23.421
 3 A Reid        GB  Nissan   1:23.579
 4 Y Muller      Fr  Audi     1:23.592
 5 A Menu        Swi Renault  1:23.671
 6 P Kox         Hol Honda    1:23.814
 7 D Leslie      GB  Nissan   1:23.983
 8 W Hoy         GB  Ford     1:24.176
 9 G Morbidelli  It  Volvo    1:24.272
10 D Warwick     GB  Vauxhall 1:24.340

Round 26 qualifying times (Sat):mins secs
 1 D Leslie      GB  Nissan   1:23.628
 2 Y Muller      Fr  Audi     1:23.804
 3 J Thompson    GB  Honda    1:23.955
 4 A Reid        GB  Nissan   1:24.069
 5 R Rydell      Swe Volvo    1:24.089
 6 P Kox         Hol Honda    1:24.186
 7 A Menu        Swi Renault  1:24.286
 8 J Plato       GB  Renault  1:24.292
 9 G Morbidelli  It  Volvo    1:24.347
10 P Radisich    NZ  Peugeot  1:24.401

NATIONAL MACADAM CHAMPIONSHIP:- Eamonn Boland leads the Wexford Stages Rally after day one. The Wexford-based driver, who won the event last year, was three-quarters of a minute ahead of John Price. Paul Harris crashed out on the third stage and Steve Hendy also retired.

1 E Boland     Ford Escort    38:58
2 J Price      MG Metro       39:44
3 D O'Donovan  Ford Sierra    39:58
4 P Doughty    Ford Escort    40:12
5 B Fowden     Ford Escort    40:43
6 C Griffiths  Subaru Impreza 41:08

RENAULT SPIDER CUP (Silverstone):- Dan Eaves took pole position for the title-decider on Sunday and picked up two bonus points in the process. His rivals for the championship Jamie Hunter and Nick Hart were second and fourth fastest.

Round 15 qualifying times (Sat):
                 min secs
1 D Eaves        1:32.133
2 J Hunter       1:32.477
3 A Priaulx      1:32.576
4 N Hart         1:32.648
5 L Adams        1:32.884
6 D Vercoe       1:33.050

F.RENAULT (Oulton Park):- Juan Font took his maiden pole position as an incorrect tyre gamble on a damp track left Doug Bell and Al Coelho in ninth and 10th on the grid. Coelho needs to finish in only 11th place to win the championship while Bell must win to stand any chance.

Round 15 qualifying times (Sat):mins secs
1 J J-Font    Ven  Tatuus    1:30.986
2 V Meira     Brz  V-Diemen  1:31.606
3 T Mullen    GB   V-Diemen  1:31.644
4 G Jones     GB   Tatuus    1:31.704
5 R Kerr      GB   Tatuus    1:31.875
6 T Sri'vanon Cz   Tatuus    1:31.907

FORD FIESTA'S (Silverstone):- Just five points separate tilte rivals Simon Clarke, Alan Morrison and Neal Gordon heading into Sunday's climax. David Gibson swept to his second victory in Saturday's race as a crash at the start ended Morrison's hopes.

Round 14 result (Sat):      mins secs
1 D Gibson    Ford Fiesta   12:43.480
2 C Stancombe Ford Fiesta   12:44.086
3 N Gordon    Ford Fiesta   12:44.241
4 M Cullen    Ford Fiesta   12:44.373
5 H Taylor    Ford Fiesta   12:51.031
6 D Buxton    Ford Fiesta   12:54.106

F.FORD (Silverstone):- A late race charge to second place was enough to make Jenson Button the 1998 Slick 50 Formula Ford champion. He survived a collision with teammate Derek Hayes as Daniel Wheldon clinched his fourth win of the season.

Round 14 result (Sat):      mins secs
1 D Wheldon   V-Diemen      17:22.970
2 J Button    Mygale        17:28.569
3 M McKenna   Mygale        17:33.233
4 N Kiesa     V-Diemen      17:33.640
5 J Ble'molen Swift         17:34.069
6 M Ambrose   V-Diemen      17:40.116

F.VAUXHALL JUNIOR (Silverstone):- 
Round 16 qualifying times (Sat):min secs
 1 A Pizzonia   Brz       1:25.190
 2 L Walker     GB        1:25.321
 3 T Scheckter  SA        1:25.344
 4 R Lyons      GB        1:25.412
 5 J Fourie     SA        1:25.936
 6 T Sato       Jpn       1:26.037
 7 R Bell       GB        1:26.307
 8 J Hanson     GB        1:26.322
 9 G Pyper      GB        1:26.407
10 J Dalziel    GB        1:26.417

VAUXHALL VECTRA SRi V6 (Silverstone):-
Round 14 qualifying times (Sat):mins secs
 1 S Graves     Vaux Vectra   1:35.305
 2 M Blair      Vaux Vectra   1:35.354
 3 J Yeomans    Vaux Vectra   1:35.451
 4 F Figueiredo Vaux Vectra   1:35.650
 5 J Rhodes     Vaux Vectra   1:36.049
 6 G Coomes     Vaux Vectra   1:36.334
 7 P Sears      Vaux Vectra   1:36.385
 8 D Pinkney    Vaux Vectra   1:36.410
 9 M Ticehurst  Vaux Vectra   1:36.814
10 P Cate       Vaux Vectra   1:36.899                          

FIA GTs (A1-Ring):-
Round 8 qualifying times (Sat):mins secs
1 Ludwig/Zonta     Mercedes  1:22.166
2 Sch'der/Webber   Mercedes  1:22.419
3 Lagorce/Tinseau  Mercedes  1:23.592
4 Mayl'der/Bouchut Mercedes  1:23.771
5 Tiemann/Gounon   Mercedes  1:23.824
6 Bartels/Ange'lli Porsche   1:24.042

GERMAN TOURING CARS:- Wolfgang Scholz was killed when he lost control of his car in a touring car event at the Nurburgring on Saturday and spun into a wall. The 40-year-old German died in an ambulance taking him to a helicopter. The Nurburgring is hosting next Sunday's Luxembourg F1 Grand Prix.

TOURING CARS:- Rickard Rydell took the title after finishing second in the Sprint Race, while Anthony Reid's hopes disappeared in a clash with James Thompson. Thompson was in second place on the third lap and rebuffed Reid's efforts to pass and in the confusion the Honda star slipped to sixth. Reid rejoined the track in eighth and Thompson went on to win the race. However, Reid did claim the consolation prize of winning the Feature Race ahead of David Leslie for a Nissan one-two.

Championship runner-up Anthony Reid admitted afterwards: "The title was not won or lost this weekend. The foundations were laid much earlier in the year and I have always been playing catch-up. I would like to congratulate Rickard. He has done a great job, even if he did get a little hot under the collar at Brands Hatch." James Thompson, who won round 25, said: "I got a good start but was marvelling at how good Rickard's was."

After clinching the drivers' title with measured performances at Silverstone, Rickard Rydell revealed that he could not quite believe it. "It has not really sunk in yet because there has been so much tension. We tried our best at Oulton Park and it did not work so all week we have been focused. It is an enormous relief to win the Championship in the first race. It meant I was able to enjoy myself in the Feature Race."

Ex-Formula One world champion Nigel Mansell jovially reflected on his last weekend of driving in the BTCC. Mansell was at the wheel of a new Ford Mondeo which was built specifically for his appearance at the season finale. "I finished!" joked Mansell after taking the chequered flag in both of his races on the Silverstone track. "It's been a terrific experience to come to the championship and have this opportunity. It's been a great learning experience and a lot of fun."

Round 25 result (Sun):        mins secs
 1 J Thompson    GB  Honda    26:16.080
 2 R Rydell      Swe Volvo      @ 2.193
 3 Y Muller      Fr  Audi       @ 3.842
 4 J Plato       GB  Renault    @ 4.024
 5 A Reid        GB  Nissan     @ 8.488
 6 P Radisich    NZ  Peugeot    @13.508
 7 D Warwick     GB  Vauxhall   @16.211
 8 J Cleland     GB  Vauxhall   @20.043
 9 A Menu        Swi Renault    @21.944
10 W Hoy         GB  Ford       @22.768
14 N Mansell     GB  Ford     26:43.184

Round 26 result (Sun):        mins secs
 1 A Reid        GB  Nissan   43:30.180
 2 D Leslie      GB  Nissan     @ 2.310
 3 R Rydell      Swe Volvo      @ 2.842
 4 J Thompson    GB  Honda      @ 8.359
 5 Y Muller      Fr  Audi       @11.482
 6 J Plato       GB  Renault    @13.347
 7 P Kox         Hol Honda      @19.899
 8 W Hoy         GB  Ford       @31.368
 9 T Rustad      Nor Renault    @43.678
10 D Warwick     GB  Vauxhall   @53.746
11 N Mansell     GB  Ford     44:27.272

1 R Rydell   Swe Volvo S40     254 pts
2 A Reid     GB  Nissan        239
3 J Thompson GB  Honda Accord  203
4 A Menu     Swi Renault Lag   187
5 J Plato    GB  Renault Lag   163

1 Nissan               273 pts
2 Volvo                245
3 Renault              244
4 Honda                222
5 Vauxhall             162

1 T Rustad    251 pts
2 R Gravett   212
3 M Neal      211

NATIONAL MACADAM CHAMPIONSHIP:- Eamonn Boland triumphed for the second consecutive year after completing the 17-stage Wexford Stages Rally nearly two minutes ahead of Donal O'Donovan. Championship winner John Price had a rare retirement when his Metro left the road late in the race.

                             hr min sec
1 E Boland     Ford Escort    1:39.40
2 D O'Donovan  Ford Sierra    1:41.30
3 P Doughty    Ford Escort    1:42.04
4 B Fowden     Ford Escort    1:44.06
5 C Griffiths  Subaru Impreza 1:45.28
6 G Midwinter  Ford Escort    1:46.28

F.RENAULT (Oulton Park):- Doug Bell stormed from ninth on the grid to win the final round but sixth place was enough for Al Coelho to clinch the title. The duo ended the series with seven wins a piece and Coelho wins the chance to test a Williams Formula One car.

Round 15 result (Sun):
1 D Bell      GB   Tatuus    16:51.031
2 V Meira     Brz  V-Diemen  16:55.596
3 JJ Font     Ven  Tatuus    16:57.206
4 T Mullen    GB   V-Diemen  16:57.818
5 R Austin    GB   Tatuus    16:58.234
6 A Coelho    Brz  Tatuus    16:59.076

FORD FIESTA'S (Silverstone):- Peter Cate became the ninth different winner of the season as Alan Morrison won a three-way battle to clinch the Championship by two points. Cate was never headed during the race and Neal Gordon was second.

Round 15 result (Sun):mins secs
1 P Cate            18:01.571
2 N Gordon          18:01.763
3 M Engledew        18:03.005
4 S Clarke          18:03.663
5 R Claydon         18:09.457
6 A Morrison        18:09.465

F.FORD (Silverstone):- hampion Jenson Button secured his sixth victory of the season as the series drew to a close. Oliver Smith took the First Division crown but could not prevent Andy Charsley repeating his Saturday win.

Round 15 result (Sun):      mins secs
1 J Button    Mygale        17:21.685
2 N Kiesa     V-Diemen      17:24.918
3 D Wheldon   V-Diemen      17:26.247
4 D Hayes     Mygale        17:30.738
5 M Ambrose   V-Diemen      17:31.120
5 T Sisley    V-Diemen      17:35.069

F.VAUXHALL JUNIOR (Silverstone):-
Round 16 result (Sun):    mins secs
 1 A Pizzonia   Brz       17:20.919
 2 R Lyons      GB        17:25.462
 3 L Walker     GB        17:25.483
 4 T Scheckter  SA        17:25.826
 5 G Paffett    GB        17:37.275
 6 G Pyper      GB        17:37.479
 7 J Dalziel    GB        17:37.940
 8 T Sato       Jpn       17:38.824
 9 R Bell       GB        17:39.526
10 M Taylor     GB        17:41.400

1 A Pizzonia     210 pts
2 R Lyons        178
3 T Scheckter    113

VAUXHALL VECTRA SRi V6 (Silverstone):-
Round 14 result (Sun):mins secs
1 F Figueiredo        19:28.454
2 J Yeomans           19:33.621
3 P Sears             19:38.350
4 G Coomes            19:39.895
5 M Ticehurst         19:42.883
6 P Cate              19:46.646
7 M Nichol            19:50.294
8 S Deeks             19:55.128

1 M Blair       150 pts
2 F Figueiredo  128
3 S Graves      125

RENAULT SPIDER CUP (Silverstone):- Dan Eaves took pole position for the title-decider on Sunday and picked up two bonus points in the process. His rivals for the championship Jamie Hunter and Nick Hart were second and fourth fastest.

Round 15 qualifying times (Sat):
                 min secs
1 D Eaves        1:32.133
2 J Hunter       1:32.477
3 A Priaulx      1:32.576
4 N Hart         1:32.648
5 L Adams        1:32.884
6 D Vercoe       1:33.050

FIA GTs (A1 Ring):- Mercedes driver Klaus Ludwig, who is retiring at the end of the season, won his last European sportscar race. He turned the tables on series leaders Bernd Schneider and Mark Webber and narrowed their lead to three points.

Round 8 result - 116 laps (Sun):hr min sec
1 Ludwig/Zonta     Mercedes 2:47.34.9
2 Sch'der/Webber   Mercedes    @ 32.0
3 McNish/Dalmas    Porsche   115 laps
4 Bartels/A'lelli  Porsche   115 laps
5 Tiemann/Gounon   Mercedes  115 laps
6 Bscher/Lees      McLaren   112 laps

F1:- Jerry Forsythe has joined the board of British American Racing as a director and limited partner. Forsythe is chairman of the Indeck group of companies and is founder and owner of Forsythe Racing. He has been successful in North America - with the Player's-Forsythe team of Greg Moore and Patrick Carpentier in the Fedex Championship. BAR bought out Tyrrell and Jacques Villeneuve will be driving for them in their debut season in 1999.

Driver ratings (September 21)    Points
 1 M Schumacher  Ger Formula One  1081
 2 J Gordon      US  NASCAR       1073
 3 A Zanardi     It  Champ Car    1052
 4 M Hakkinen    Fin Formula One  1016
 5 M Martin      US  NASCAR        918
 6 D Coulthard   GB  Formula One   769
 7 D Jarrett     US  NASCAR        744
 = J Montoya     Col F3000         744
 9 N Heidfeld    Ger F3000         736
10 E Irvine      GB  Formula One   726

22.09.98 - F1
Alex Zanardi is to return to the Formula One circuit next season to lead Williams' challenge for honours. Zanardi will be joined at Williams by Ralf Schumacher. Italian driver Zanardi's return to Formula One after a three-year absence ends a remarkable stint in CART racing in America. Driving for the Target/Chip Ganassi team, Zanardi won the Rookie of the Year title in 1996 and followed that up by winning consecutive drivers' titles.

Twice world champion Michael Schumacher has estimated his chances of taking the title this year as "50-50." The Ferrari driver, who shares the lead with McLaren's Mika Hakkinen with two races left, told a German newspaper: "We have reliability on our side. "We have made progress with Goodyear, McLaren have a slightly better car, but they are under pressure after seeing their lead cut from 22 points to zero." Both racers are on 80 points going into Sunday's penultimate GP in Nurburgring.

Points finishes for Jordan on Sunday would take the team a step nearer their target of third place in the constructors' championship this season. They are challenging Benetton and Williams for that honour and it follows a remarkable turnaround in fortunes. Before their home race at Silverstone in July, Damon Hill and Ralf Schumacher had failed to win a single point. Since then they have hit form and the efforts of the backroom staff and Honda culminated in the win by Hill at Spa.

Tyrrell race engineer David Brown admits that The Nurburgring is not a popular circuit with some drivers. "It is a new circuit and many people tend not to like it, partly, I suspect, because of the track it sits next to," he revealed. "If it was situated somewhere like Spain it might be more highly regarded. After the high-speed challenges of Spa and Monza it seems tame by comparison. There are no really fast corners, just one reasonably quick S bend."

Sunday's race is scheduled to last for 67 laps or 305.235km (189.664 miles). The inaugural Luxembourg Grand Prix was staged last year and was won by Williams' Jacques Villeneuve, with Benetton's Jean Alesi finishing second. Michael Schumacher collided with brother Ralf on the first corner of last year's race and did not finish what was his 100th grand prix. The Nurburgring has also staged the German Grand Prix as well as the Grand Prix of Europe.

The old Nurburgring circuit was built around 70 years ago and was about 30km in length. Accidents on the old track ensured that it was replaced in 1984 by the modern, purpose-built circuit, which was built alongside the old one. Mika Hakkinen took pole in last year's Luxembourg Grand prix with a time of one minute, 16.602 seconds. The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg has yet to stage a Formula One grand prix on its own territory.

1997 result:
1 J Villeneuve Can Williams
2 J Alesi      Fr  Benetton
3 H-H Frentzen Ger Williams
4 G Berger     Aut Benetton
5 P Diniz      Brz Arrows
6 O Panis      Fr  Prost
Fastest race lap: H-H Frentzen 1:18.805 (record)

Previous winners at The Nurburgring:
1997 J Villeneuve Can Williams
1996 J Villeneuve Can Williams (Grand Prix of Europe)
1995 M Schumacher Ger Benetton (Grand Prix of Europe)
1985 M Alboreto   It  Ferrari  (German Grand Prix)
1984 A Prost      Fr  McLaren  (Grand Prix of Europe)
Formula One has been labelled 'boring' by critics in recent years but whatever happens in the last two races, the 1998 campaign cannot be given that tag. Germany hosts the penultimate grand prix of the season on Sunday with Mika Hakkinen and Michael Schumacher both leading the drivers' race on 80 points. The constructors' title has also yet to be decided, with McLaren heading Ferrari by 10 points. On top of that, Williams, Benetton and Jordan are all chasing third place.

McLaren chief Ron Dennis is banking on his team to show their strength of character to clinch the driver and constructor crowns. The Woking-based outfit last won the titles in 1991 but Dennis knows two wins in the last two races will bring about a return to the glory days. After McLaren's Monza misery, Dennis said: "It could have been a lot worse. We are still in there. We will fight all the way. This is motor racing, which is not a sport for faint hearts."

Michael Schumacher will once again have the public behind him in Sunday's race. He had the Tifosi cheering him on in the previous race as Ferrari secured a one-two on their own patch at Monza. This weekend it is the turn of the Germans to will him home to a win in the country of his birth. Schumacher won at The Nurburgring for Benetton in 1995. The track hosted that race under the banner of the Grand Prix of Europe.

Jacques Villeneuve goes into his penultimate race with Williams looking for a podium spot at his lucky circuit. "I always go there with great memories because I secured my first Formula One victory there in 1996," he said. "Last year I went into Michael Schumacher's land with confidence to win the race again, which put me right back in the championship fight. However, all the walls and grandstands are far away from the track. It is difficult to get a feel of the speed."

F1:- The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has denied reports suggesting it could host a Formula One Grand Prix as early as September 2000. An Indianapolis newspaper had reported that Speedway president Tony George and Bernie Ecclestone reached an agreement for F1's return to the States. Speedway spokesman Fred Nation revealed though: "The story that we have reached an agreement is simply not true. There has not been anything new on our efforts to bring Formula One here."

FOREST STAGES RALLY:- The biggest field for years is set to contest the event as the Mintex National Rally Championship reaches its penultimate round in Yorkshire. Around 122 cars are expected to do battle over seven stages in or around North York Moors on Saturday with 60 others contesting the Trackrod Rally. Reigning Mintex National and Scottish Champion Brian Lyall in a Ford Escort leads the opening mixed surface stage. Current leader Roger Duckworth and Murray Grierson follow behind.

The Mintex National Rally Championship is approaching its climax with a huge field of competitors taking part on Saturday around the North York Moors. Over three hours of spectacular action includes the main event for the Mintex Championship as well as a tense tussle for the Group N title. The 1996 Mobil 1/RAC British champion Gwyndaf Evans makes a special guest appearance in the SEAT Championship. The Trackrod Clubmans Rally follows the main event over the first five stages.

F.PALMER AUDI (Oulton Park):- Formula Palmer Audi returns to Oulton Park on Saturday for rounds 12 and 13 of the championship. The first half of the season produced six different winners from the first nine races and with just five to go the FPA title will see a close finish. Series leader Richard Tarling heads the championship by just one point from Darren Turner with Justin Wilson third. Other contenders for the title include Peter Clarke, Finland's Topi Serjala and Ireland's Damien Faulkner.

Thursday's leading testing times:
                       mins secs
1 D Faulkner   Ire      1:35.436
2 J Wilson     GB       1:35.891
3 R Tarling    GB       1:36.039
4 P Clarke     GB       1:36.299
5 F Maluhy     Brz      1:36.365
6 S Hancock    GB       1:36.412

BRITISH GTs (Spa):- The seventh and penultimate round of the 1998 Championship takes place in Belgium this weekend. The 4.33-mile long circuit is situated in the Ardennes forest and is a favourite of many drivers. Alex Portman has experienced the circuit before and said: "I love it and am looking forward to taking round the Harrier. It's nimble and handles well." John Greasley said: "The competition at the front is so intense that fractions of a second can mean first or second."

Mika Hakkinen took the opening plaudits in his title battle with Michael Schumacher as he was quickest in the first day's practice. Schumacher had been fastest in the first session but the Finn produced a superb lap in the closing seconds to move from fourth and snatch top spot. Schumacher came fourth behind Giancarlo Fisichella and Jacques Villeneuve. Hakkinen could clinch the title on Sunday on countback if he wins and Schumacher fails to score a point.

David Coulthard waded into the scrap for the World Championship by telling Michael Schumacher he was getting too old for the heat of battle. Coulthard believes there are cracks in 29-year-old Schumacher's armour, big enough for McLaren team-mate Mika Hakkinen to exploit in the title race. Coulthard said: "Michael has made a couple more mistakes this year than in the past. It could mean he is getting older or just driving too close to the edge."

Friday's free practice times:
 1 M Hakkinen    Fin McLaren  1:19.689
 2 G Fisichella  It  Benetton 1:20.325
 3 J Villeneuve  Can Williams 1:20.326
 4 M Schumacher  Ger Ferrari  1:20.461
 5 D Coulthard   GB  McLaren  1:20.577
 6 E Irvine      GB  Ferrari  1:20.841
 7 A Wurz        Aut Benetton 1:21.014
 8 H Frentzen    Ger Williams 1:21.174
 9 R Schumacher  Ger Jordan   1:21.351
10 O Panis       Fr  Prost    1:21.391
11 R Barrichello Brz Stewart  1:21.538
12 D Hill        GB  Jordan   1:21.738
13 J Trulli      It  Prost    1:21.764
14 J Alesi       Fr  Sauber   1:21.952
15 P Diniz       Brz Arrows   1:22.485
16 J Verstappen  Hol Stewart  1:22.566
17 J Herbert     GB  Sauber   1:22.603
18 T Takagi      Jap Tyrrell  1:22.792
19 S Nakano      Jap Minardi  1:22.967
20 E Tuero       Arg Minardi  1:22.331
21 R Rosset      Brz Tyrrell  1:23.644
22 M Salo        Fin Arrows   1:24.004
Rubens Barrichello will be staying with the Stewart-Ford team for next season and will be partnered there by Britain's Johnny Herbert. The Brazilian has been with the team since they started in 1997. Team chief Jackie Stewart said: "Rubens re-signing and the arrival of Johnny Herbert is an important development for our team." Barrichello said: "I am confident and very motivated for next year. We have learned a lot in the first two years."

RALLYING:- Vauxhall have signed Neil Wearden, one of the hottest prospects in rallying, to join their two-car assault on next year's Mobil 1 British Championship. Wearden, 26, from Blackpool, convincingly won the Ferodo Super 1600 Cup category in a Honda Civic this season. He will partner Jarmo Kytolehto, who has produced some respectable drives in the Vauxhall Astre stage. Wearden said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for me."

Michael Schumacher boosted his world championship hopes as he seized pole for Sunday's race. Schumacher shrugged off an early spin to see off the challenge of title rival Mika Hakkinen as Ferrari dominated. The 29-year-old will be joined on the front row by teammate Eddie Irvine with Hakkinen forced into third place for McLaren nearly half-a-second adrift. Hakkinen is tied on 80 points but could still take the title if he wins and Schumacher is out of the points.

Michael Schumacher secured the 19th pole of his career as fellow title contender Mika Hakkinen was forced to settle for third place on the grid. Schumacher said: "It all went according to plan. It was very good. I was a bit too quick on my first run and had to make some adjustments but after that it was good. It was very exciting for the team." Meanwhile, Hakkinen added: "It is a disappointment. It is not what we expected. We wanted to do better."

Qualifying times:            mins secs
 1 M Schumacher Ger  Ferrari  1:18.561
 2 E Irvine     Ire  Ferrari  1:18.907
 3 M Hakkinen   Fin  McLaren  1:18.940
 4 G Fisichella It   Benetton 1:19.048
 5 D Coulthard  GB   McLaren  1:19.169
 6 R Schumacher Ger  Jordan   1:19.455
 7 H-H Frentzen Ger  Williams 1:19.522
 8 A Wurz       Aut  Benetton 1:19.569
 9 J Villeneuve Can  Williams 1:19.631
10 D Hill       GB   Jordan   1:19.807
11 J Alesi      Fr   Sauber   1:20.493
12 R Bar'chello Brz  Stewart  1:20.530
13 J Herbert    GB   Sauber   1:20.650
14 J Trulli     It   Prost    1:20.709
15 O Panis      Fr   Prost    1:21.048
16 M Salo       Fin  Arrows   1:21.120
17 P Diniz      Brz  Arrows   1:21.258
18 J Verstappen Hol  Stewart  1:21.501
19 T Takagi     Jpn  Tyrrell  1:21.525
20 S Nakano     Jpn  Minardi  1:22.078
21 E Tuero      Arg  Minardi  1:22.146
22 R Rosset     Brz  Tyrrell  1:22.822

FOREST STAGES RALLY:- Marcus Dodd won a second successive victory in the Mintex National Rally Championship when he easily beat Martyn Harrison by almost 90 seconds. Dodd, in a Ford Escort World Rally Car, was quickest on six of the seven stages but his success was far from smooth. He hit a fellow competitor on the opening stage then had another coming together with Steve Petch at Oliver's Mount race track in Scarborough. Warren Philliskirk claimed a fine third and Steve Petch finished fourth.

Result after 7 stages         mins secs
 1 Dodd/Bennie       Ford       67:07
 2 Harrison/Jenkins  Metro      68:26
 3 Philliskirk/Evans Metro      68:32
 4 Petch/Croft       Ford       68:40
 5 Duckworth/B'field Subaru     69:06
 6 Grierson/Merry    Subaru     69:06
 7 Hill/Rabbett      Mitsubishi 69:38
 8 Jones/Lewis       Subaru     69:43
 9 Wetton/Haigh      Mitsubishi 71:26
10 Holfeld/Grindrod  Mitsubishi 71:40

F.PALMER AUDI (Oulton Park):-
Result of Round 12 (Sat):mins secs
 1 J Wilson    GB      15:59.992
 2 D Faulkner  Ire     16:06.627
 3 P Clarke    GB      16:10.812
 4 T Serjala   Fin     16:11.366
 5 A Booth     NZ      16:13.382
 6 J Keen      GB      16:14.078
 7 D Turner    GB      16:17.461
 8 S White     Aus     16:17.544
 9 F Maluhy    Brz     16:19.129
10 R Tarling   GB      16:23.690

Result of Round 13 (Sat):mins secs
1 J Wilson    GB     16:03.030
2 A Booth     NZ     16:07.353
3 T Serjala   Fin    16:07.732
4 D Faulkner  Ire    16:08.004
5 F Maluhy    Brz    16:09.102
6 J Keen      GB     16:12.374

F3000 (Nurburgring):-
Result after 45 laps (Sat):
                    hr mins secs
1 G Rodriguez Uru    1:12:37.085
2 J Watt      Den    1:13:02.665
3 J Montoya   Col    1:13:07.378
4 K Mollekens Bel    1:13:15.870
5 A Couto     Por    1:13:16.787
6 T Enge      Cze    1:13:19.408

BRITISH F3 (Spa-Francorchamps):-
Saturday's final qualifying times:
                            mins secs
 1 L Burti        Dallara    2:15.448
 2 M Haberfield   Dallara    2:15.478
 3 D Saelens      Dallara    2:15.722
 4 F Montagny     Martini    2:15.988
 5 D Manning      Dallara    2:16.042
 6 M Karthikeyan  Dallara    2:16.061
 7 R Mauricio     Dallara    2:16.125
 8 K Kolby        Dallara    2:16.224
 9 A Pavicevic    Dallara    2:16.324
10 E Bernoldi     Dallara    2:16.355

Mika Hakkinen regained the initiative in the championship race after his McLaren team got their tactics spot on to hand victory to the Finn. Michael Schumacher was second and is now four points behind his rival going into the final race of the season at Suzuka on November 1. David Coulthard was third and was followed home by Eddie Irvine. Damon Hill was ninth, Johnny Herbert retired with an engine problem and Ralf Schumacher also failed to finish.

Ferrari had a perfect start to the race, with Eddie Irvine briefly taking the lead from Michael Schumacher, who had been on pole position. However, the Ulsterman allowed Schumacher to go ahead before the end of the first lap. Schumacher was the first of the leaders to make a pitstop and it allowed Mika Hakkinen to head the race. The Finn then recorded some sensational lap times to build up an advantage and was still ahead after his lap 28 stop.

A superb effort by McLaren enabled Mika Hakkinen to retain his lead after his second pitstop. His rival Michael Schumacher looked set to usurp him after Hakkinen was held up by Rubens Barrichello and other traffic before diving into the pits. The stop was perfect though and he was out after a 6.9-second standstill. After a disappointing qualifying session, Hakkinen's car seemed to be handling the circuit better than the Ferrari when it mattered most.

Mika Hakkinen can afford to finish second behind Michael Schumacher in the final race in Japan and still claim his first Formula One crown. If the pair are tied on points at the end of the season the greater number of second-place finishes decides it. Obviously, the number of wins would normally be the criteria but if Schumacher wins in Suzuka he and the Finn will have seven each for 1998. If Hakkinen is second in Suzuka, he would have more runner-up places.

Modest Mika Hakkinen refused to get carried away after his victory put him ahead of rival Michael Schumacher in the drivers' standings. When asked if he was delighted with the triumph he took a while to answer before stating "Yes" and is obviously taking nothing for granted. "The situation is certainly different to what it was a couple of hours ago," said the McLaren star. "It keeps the team motivated for the final grand prix."

Ferrari star Michael Schumacher was disappointed after seeing Mika Hakkinen regain the advantage in the title race. The German admitted he was surprised to lose the lead after he and his rival had both had their first pitstops. "I knew it would be tight but I thought I could still be ahead," said Schumacher. "I am disappointed. After the first pitstop we had no chance. We have to accept we were not fast enough in the race. We are four points behind but it is not lost."

Britain's Johnny Herbert looks set to put this season down to experience after another retirement. Herbert is leaving Sauber for Stewart at the end of this campaign and admitted: "It was going quite well. "It was difficult at the beginning because of the understeer but I was working my way back up and looked set for a race with Jean Alesi. Then I was hit by a big engine problem, which was quite sudden, and that was it."

Jordan's hopes of taking third place in the constructors' race suffered a setback with Damon Hill and Ralf Schumacher failing to win any points. Schumacher retired with a brake disc failure, while Hill could only finish in ninth place. "The weekend started badly for me here and I suffered as a consequence," said Hill. "I never really got a balance I was happy with. I gave it everything I had but could not make up the places."

Heinz-Harald Frentzen was happy to be able to keep Williams in with a chance of finishing third in the constructors' championship after a poor campaign. The German was fifth and said: "I was catching Eddie Irvine and it appeared he had a problem. When I was right on his tail, a Benetton caught up again and I lost a place to Giancarlo Fisichella. I think he went off because of some oil someone dropped, enabling me to fight back for my position."

Prost driver Olivier Panis believed there were encouraging signs for his team, even though he could only finish in 12th spot. "The team did its best and worked hard all weekend to prepare the car for a good race," he said. "It is encouraging because when we have a competitive car, on this kind of weekend, we will score points and may even get to the podium. I was just not able to pass the cars on a one-stop strategy."

Race result after 67 laps:   hr min sec
 1 M Hakkinen    Fin McLaren  1:32.14.7
 2 M Schumacher  Ger Ferrari     @ 02.2
 3 D Coulthard   GB  McLaren     @ 34.1
 4 E Irvine      GB  Ferrari     @ 58.1
 5 H-H Frentzen  Ger Williams  @01.00.2
 6 G Fisichella  It  Benetton  @01.01.3
 7 A Wurz        Aut Benetton  @01.04.7
 8 J Villeneuve  Can Williams   one lap
 9 D Hill        GB  Jordan     one lap
10 J Alesi       Fr  Sauber     one lap
11 R Barrichello Brz Stewart   two laps
12 O Panis       Fr  Prost     two laps
13 J Verstappen  Hol Stewart   two laps
14 M Salo        Fin Arrows    two laps
15 S Nakano      Jpn Minardi   two laps
16 T Takagi      Jpn Tyrrell   two laps
Did not finish (not classified):
17 E Tuero       Arg Minardi    56 laps completed
18 R Schumacher  Ger Jordan     53 laps
19 J Herbert     GB  Sauber     37 laps
20 R Rosset      Brz Tyrrell    36 laps
21 J Trulli      It  Prost       6 laps
22 P Diniz       Brz Arrows      6 laps

 1 M Hakkinen    Fin  McLaren   90 pts
 2 M Schumacher  Ger  Ferrari   86
 3 D Coulthard   GB   McLaren   52
 4 E Irvine      GB   Ferrari   41
 5 J Villeneuve  Can  Williams  20
 6 A Wurz        Aut  Benetton  17
 = D Hill        GB   Jordan    17
 8 G Fisichella  It   Benetton  16
 9 H-H Frentzen  Ger  Williams  15
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

1 McLaren-Mercedes     142 pts
2 Ferrari              127
3 Williams-Mecachrome   35
4 Benetton              33
5 Jordan                31
6 Sauber-Petronas       10
7 Arrows                 6
8 Stewart                5
9 Prost                  1

RALLYING:- The Proton works team will take part in the final round of the BTRDA National Rally Championship - the Cambrian Rally - on October 3. York's Jenny Davies and Sweden's Mats Andersson will be joining regular series contender Martin Meadows, who drives a similar Proton Compact SRi.


Sunday's result:             min secs
 1 O'Rourke/S'gdn McLaren      51:43
 2 Batley/Reid    Lister       52:55
 3 McKellar/Flux  Lister       52:57
 4 Hewland/Evans  Lister       53:02
 5 Purvis/Erdos   Marcos       54:08
 6 Dean/Luby      Chrysler     51:53
 7 Warnock/Sch'le Porsche      52:51
 8 Wall'r/Lister  Porsche      52:56
 9 Welz           Porsche      53:56
10 Barrett/L'kie  Porsche      51:55

F3:- Mario Haberfeld became the British Formula Three champion with one race to go after winning in Belgium. The 22-year-old was briefly overtaken on the the first lap but took control after that and saluted his teammates as he crossed the finishing line. He is the eighth Brazilian to win the title and said: "I'm really pleased to take it. This title means a lot in Brazil due to the drivers who have won before and it is not an easy championship to win."

Sunday's result:            mins secs
 1 M Haberfield   Dallara   32:11.900
 2 D Manning      Dallara   32:19.808
 3 M Karthikeyan  Dallara   32:23.702
 4 E Bernoldi     Dallara   32:24.514
 5 K Kolby        Dallara   32:25.688
 6 A Yoong        Dallara   32:28.427
 7 M Fassler      Mertini   32:28.869
 8 B Collins      Dallara   32:31.578
 9 W Hughes       Dallara   32:33.407
10 M Bentwood     Dallara   32:39.055

F.FORD EUROCUP (Spa):- Derek Hayes dominated the second round to move into the lead in the series. The Ulsterman powered past Slick 50 Formula Ford champion Jenson Button on lap five and was not threatened again. The series resumes at Hockenheim on October 11.

Second round result (Sun):
1 D Hayes          21:08.425
2 D Wheldon        21:14.112
3 J-C Ravier       21:14.195
4 J Svensson       21:17.984
5 J Button         21:18.111


Driver ratings (September 28)    Points
 1 M Schumacher  Ger Formula One  1098
 2 M Hakkinen    Fin Formula One  1085
 3 J Gordon      US  NASCAR       1082
 4 A Zanardi     It  Champ Car    1052
 5 M Martin      US  NASCAR        928
 6 D Coulthard   GB  Formula One   805
 7 E Irvine      GB  Formula One   758
 8 J Montoya     Col F3000         756
 9 D Jarrett     US  NASCAR        744
10 B Schneider   Ger FIA GT        715