August 1999 Motorsport News


Eddie Irvine clinched his second win in a row to take over at the top of the driver standings. His team-mate Mika Salo made it a Ferrari one-two after McLaren had a nightmare race. Mika Hakkinen crashed out while leading and David Coulthard was fifth after having to make additional stops. Heinz-Harald Frentzen was third, Ralf Schumacher fourth and Olivier Panis sixth. Damon Hill and Johnny Herbert, who was running fifth, had to retire.

Triumphant Eddie Irvine has pledged to give his winner's trophy to Ferrai team-mate Mika Salo. Irvine, who has been used to giving up race positions to injured team-mate Michael Schumacher, had the favour returned to him by Salo. After Mika Hakkinen went out, the Finn allowed Irvine to take the lead. The Irishman said: "I never gave the call for the move. It is his trophy. I would feel bad if that was sitting on my mantelpiece."

Eddie Irvine's Hockenheim victory has given him an eight-point lead over Mika Hakkinen in the championship. Mika Salo's second place means Ferrari have also opened up a 16-point lead over McLaren in the Constructors' list. "Mika was a star," insisted Irvine. "He did a fantastic job ` the boy wonder. He was incredible. I just thought the McLarens would be too quick today. I just went to get a few points and live to fight another day but the race came to us."

Mika Salo's second place was the Finn's first spot on the podium in 72 grand prix starts. He could have secured first place because he was left leading the race after Mika Hakkinen spun out. However, Salo, who is standing in for the injured Michael Schumacher, let Eddie Irvine go ahead. "I did not have any second thoughts when I got the call to move over, " revealed the ex-Tyrrell driver. "It was sort of decided before the race."

Mika Hakkinen's hopes of retaining his world title suffered a severe setback when he crashed out of the race after slamming into a tyre barrier. The race leader had earlier been stuck in the pits for 24 seconds because of a problem with a fuel nozzle. Then on lap 26 the rear of his car locked up and he went off and replays showed a tyre had shredded. The Finn was unhurt but it enabled Eddie Irvine and Mika Salo to take over the top two placings.

Michael Schumacher's stand-in at Ferrari Mika Salo made a superb start, moving from fourth on the grid to second place behind Mika Hakkinen. However, his team-mate Eddie Irvine was sixth after five laps. Jacques Villeneuve's hopes of finishing his first race this year ended on the first lap when he collided with Pedro Diniz and both went off and out. Stewart's Rubens Barrichello, who was up to fourth after five laps, had to retire with hydraulic problems.

David Coulthard had to visit the pits after clipping the back of Mika Salo's car when trying to take second place. Coulthard's front wing was damaged and when he returned to the action was down in 10th place. He quickly made up a couple of places and after 22 laps had moved his McLaren up to seventh. Mika Hakkinen, meanwhile, had established a six-second lead over Ferrari rival Salo after 16 circuits of the 45-lap race.

Heinz-Harald Frentzen consolidated Jordan's third place in the Constructors' Championship after picking up another four points. The German has regained the form that deserted him during his spell at Williams and is now very much the unofficial number one with the team. He and fourth-placed Ralf Schumacher gave the home fans a boost. Frentzen has now moved ahead of compatriot Michael Schumacher in the driver standings and is third overall.

Former world champion Damon Hill's race ended on lap 12 because of a problem with the brakes. The Jordan driver admitted: "I could not use the brakes, which is a bit of a problem around this circuit." Fellow Briton David Coulthard suffered another setback in the race when he was given a 10-second penalty. It came after he went off the circuit to overtake Prost's Olivier Panis and moved him down to sixth place after 29 laps in Germany.

Mika Hakkinen was lucky to escape unhurt after crashing into a tyre barrier on the 26th lap. He was about to enter the Sachs curve when he spun several times and a McLaren official later confirmed the tread had come off a rear tyre. Hakkinen said: "When you are doing 210mph, 340kph, when you spin off like that you know you do get some more grey hair, I tell you." His team-mate David Coulthard was hit by tyre problems in qualifying.

David Coulthard remained philosophical after only managing to finish fifth in Germany after looking on course for a podium place early on. The Scot admitted: "It was not the perfect grand prix." He had to visit the pits when lying third after touching Mika Salo's car and added: "I was sucked into that and had not planned to overtake him. McLaren have picked up two points out of a possible 16 so you would have to say it has been a bad day."

Boss Eddie Jordan will be meeting with Damon Hill to find out why the Briton retired from the race when the team had urged him to go on. Hill insisted he had a brake problem but his crew claimed the car was fit to drive. "The team wanted me to continue but I am in the cockpit and I took the decision that it was not safe for me to carry on," said Hill. "There was a good chance of me not being able to stop the car."

Johnny Herbert looked on course to finish fifth when he was once again hit by bad luck. The Briton had battled through the field after starting down in 17th place and had just five laps left when he was hit by a gearbox problem. "It is very frustrating," he conceded. "We should not be having mechanical problems at this stage of the season. I must have done something bad to someone up there. It gets you down but, rest assured, I will keep on fighting."

Rubens Barrichello managed to complete just six laps before he had to retire with hydraulic failure. "It was great while it lasted," said the Brazilian. "I enjoyed the overtaking and felt like I had enough power to challenge for third place. I have been running in the points in the British, Austrian and now the German Grands Prix and have nothing to show for it. We cannot afford to hand over points with silly things like this."

Ralf Schumacher continued his single-handed quest to give success to Williams by taking fourth spot. His team-mate Alex Zanardi has yet to score a point and Schumacher said: "I am very pleased with the result. I had a good start, gaining four positions. Then I had a clear race from then on, which is pretty good for us. We have got through a lot of work this weekend. It was a great achievement for the whole team. I am aware that the team is getting better in each race."

Benetton's Alexander Wurz finished just out of the points in seventh spot. "I did get a good start and then I had to defend my position against Damon Hill quite hard at the beginning," said the Austrian." His team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella retired after seven laps and admitted: "I was fighting with Alexander and while trying to overtake him went off. I had to stop in the pits to change the nose. Later my front suspension broke, probably because I went off."

Benetton's Alexander Wurz finished just out of the points in seventh spot. "I did get a good start and then I had to defend my position against Damon Hill quite hard at the beginning," said the Austrian." His team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella retired after seven laps and admitted: "I was fighting with Alexander and while trying to overtake him went off. I had to stop in the pits to change the nose. Later my front suspension broke, probably because I went off."

Jacques Villeneuve has still not finished a race in 1999 and he did not complete a single lap in Hockenheim. Marc Gene touched his car from behind on the first turn of the first lap and the Canadian went off and took Sauber's Pedro Diniz with him. "It was quite chaotic at the first turn," said Villeneuve. "I am very disappointed because this morning the car was quick on full tanks and I was quite confident. It was through no fault of our own this time."

Injured Ferrari star Michael Schumacher has said he does not know when he will be fit to return to the sport. The German, who broke a leg in last month's British Grand Prix, said: "At the moment I am not able to predict when things will be right. I only wish that things would go faster than planned but I am only human. You always hope for a miracle." His agent Willi Weber had said on Saturday that Schumacher might be fit for the last two races of 1999.

Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard have signed new McLaren deals for next year. Hakkinen is believed to have been given a 10m package, while Coulthard is thought to be on around £3m. Coulthard admitted: "I am ecstatic that I am continuing with the team. I very much appreciate the confidence that they have shown in me." World champion Hakkinen added: "I can hardly imagine life in any other team. I now feel a long established member of the family."

Ron Dennis is delighted to have signed up Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard for another year, following a 1999 season of much speculation. The McLaren chief said: "Mika's contract now sees him entering his eighth season with the team. It will be the longest period of association between a team and a driver in terms of grands prix contested. David has shown great commitment and loyalty over the last four seasons and we are delighted this is continuing."

Result after 45 laps:        hr min sec
 1 E Irvine      GB  Ferrari  1:21.58.5
 2 M Salo        Fin Ferrari  1:21.59.6
 3 H-H Frentzen  Ger Jordan   1:22.03.7
 4 R Schumacher  Ger Williams 1:22.11.4
 5 D Coulthard   GB  McLaren  1:22.15.4
 6 O Panis       Fr  Prost    1:22.28.4
 7 A Wurz        Aut Benetton 1:22.31.9
 8 J Alesi       Fr  Sauber   1:23.09.8
 9 M Gene        Sp  Minardi    44 laps
10 L Badoer      It  Minardi    44 laps
11 J Herbert     GB  Stewart    40 laps

12 P de la Rosa  Sp  Arrows     37 laps
13 M Hakkinen    Fin McLaren    25 laps
14 A Zanardi     It  Williams   21 laps
15 R Zonta       Brz BAR        20 laps
16 T Takagi      Jpn Arrows     15 laps
17 D Hill        GB  Jordan     13 laps
18 J Trulli      It  Prost      10 laps
19 G Fisichella  It  Benetton    7 laps
20 R Barrichello Brz Stewart     6 laps
21 J Villeneuve  Can BAR         0 laps
22 P Diniz       Brz Sauber      0 laps

 1 E Irvine      GB   Ferrari   52 pts
 2 M Hakkinen    Fin  McLaren   44
 3 H-H Frentzen  Ger  Jordan    33
 4 M Schumacher  Ger  Ferrari   32
 5 D Coulthard   GB   McLaren   30
 6 R Schumacher  Ger  Williams  22
 7 G Fisichella  Ita  Benetton  13
 8 R Barrichello Brz  Stewart   10
 9 M Salo        Fin  Ferrari    6
10 D Hill        GB   Jordan     5
11 P Diniz       Brz  Sauber     3
 = A Wurz        Aut  Benetton   3
13 J Herbert     GB   Stewart    2
 = O Panis       Fr   Prost      2
15 P de la Rosa  Sp   Arrows     1
 = J Alesi       Fr   Sauber     1
 = J Trulli      It   Prost      1

1 Ferrari       90 pts
2 McLaren       74
3 Jordan        38
4 Williams      22
5 Benetton      16
6 Stewart       12
7 Sauber         4
8 Prost          3
9 Arrows         1

BTCC (Thruxton):- Championship leader Laurent Aiello took the spoils in round 17. He stormed past pole-sitter Rickard Rydell at the start as the Swede suffered from wheelspin on the dirtier inside of the circuit. David Leslie held third place but found himself under pressure from James Thompson, who eventually went past. Vincent Radermecker moved Leslie down another place but the Scot eventually finished fourth behind the Belgian as Thompson slipped down the field.

Round 17 result (Sun):        mins:secs
 1 L Aiello      Fr  Nissan   20:47.191
 2 R Rydell      Swe Volvo    20:50.296
 3 V Radermecker Bel Volvo    20:58.611
 4 D Leslie      GB  Nissan   20:59.280
 5 J Plato       GB  Williams 21:09.796
 6 M Neal        GB  Nissan   21:10.388
 7 J Thompson    GB  Honda    21:11.638
 8 Y Muller      Fr  Vauxhall 21:13.098
 9 P Kox         Hol Honda    21:14.549
10 W Hoy         GB  Renault  21:19.872

David Leslie made sure that Nissan came away from Thruxton with a double triumph after he won round 18. Rickard Rydell made a good start but his hopes of victory ended because of an engine problem. Laurent Aiello then headed the field but incurred a drive-through penalty after cutting across Vincent Radermecker when leaving the garage. He was also caught speeding in the pit-lane, leaving the way open for Leslie to win.

Double British Touring Car champion John Cleland has announced that he will quit the series at the end of the year. The 47-year-old from Galashiels, who took the title in 1989 and 1995, was forced to retire from Round 18 at Thruxton due to an electrical fire. He said: "I want to keep going and look at different things. I'd like to do sportscar racing as I know I can still race with the best of them.

Round 18 result (Sun):        mins secs
 1 D Leslie      GB  Nissan   46:05.796
 2 V Radermecker Bel Volvo    46:21.853
 3 A Menu        Swi Ford     46:25.399
 4 J Plato       GB  Williams 46:25.604
 5 L Aiello      Fr  Nissan   46:31.955
 6 Y Muller      Fr  Vauxhall 46:36.657
 7 A Reid        GB  Ford     46:44.225
 8 W Hoy         GB  Renault  46:44.949
 9 P Kox         Hol Honda    46:46.798
10 M Blair *     GB  Vauxhall 46:09.922
* one lap down

1 L Aiello   Fr  Nissan Prim  169 pts
2 D Leslie   GB  Nissan       159
3 J Thompson GB  Honda Accord 124
4 J Plato    GB  Renault Lag  109
5 R Rydell   Swe Volvo S40    107
6 Y Muller   Fr  Vauxhall Vec  90

1 Nissan              356 pts
2 Honda               208
3 Volvo               189

1 M Neal     GB  Nissan Prim  254 pts
2 M Blair    GB  Vauxhall Vec 120
3 L Brookes  GB  Honda         78

FORD FIESTA'S (Thruxton):-
Round 9 result:
1 N Padley               19:46.705
2 M Burton               19:46.715
3 G Shedden              19:49.349
4 N Gordon               19:49.616
5 D Buxton               19:52.600
6 G Howell               19:53.087

Round 10 result:
1 P Rivett                8:16.881
2 M Burton                8:18.007
3 D Buxton                8:19.732
4 G Howell                8:20.104
5 D Gibson                8:21.393
6 S Clarke                8:21.812

RENAULT SPIDER CUP (Thruxton):- Andy Priaulx overcame race long pressure from Mark Cole to take victory and break Jsaon Plato's series record of eight straight wins. But Cole ended Priaulx's own 100 per cent points record by claiming the race's fastest lap.

Result (Sun):
1 A Priaulx              13:02.038
2 M Cole                 13:02.692
3 T Masini               13:03.066
4 P Bennett              13:08.684
6 A Hildebrand           13:18.379
5 R Meaden               13:18.837

F.RENAULT (Thruxton):- Antonio Pizzonia won in blistering heat to take his seventh victory in nine races and extend his points lead. An opportunist Leighton Walker slipped by Rob Austin on lap one to take second. Walker's teammate Tom Ferrier was the top Star Cup runner in fifth.

Result (Sun):
1 A Pizzonia Brz         17:44.820
3 L Walker   GB          17:56.245
2 R Austin   GB          17:58.780
4 M Boost    GB          18:03.011
5 T Ferrier  GB          18:05.808
6 C Breeze   GB          18:06.663

F.FORD (Thruxton):-
Round 10 result (Sun):
1 R van der Ende          16:02.490
2 J Courtney              16:09.330
3 J Carlsen               16:12.179
4 N Kiesa                 16:12.429
5 T Sisley                16:12.751
6 C Murray                16:26.295

Round 9 result (Sun):
1 A Morrison              17:43.777
2 M Ticehurst             17:44.272
3 J Rhodes                17:56.573
4 G Coomes                17:57.979
5 G Pyper                 17:58.796
6 P Cate                  18:04.517

F.VAUXHALL (Thruxton):- Round 10 result (Sun):
1 S Hodgetts              16:11.664
2 R Dalziel               16:12.045
3 G Paffett               16:15.663
4 R Bell                  16:16.005
5 V Apple                 16:31.424
6 S Hignett               16:32.057

F.NIPPON (Sugo):- Scotland's Peter Dumbreck was thwarted in his latest bid to win a race in the championship after he was forced out with a broken pushrod in the 18th lap. Dumbreck had been challenging at the time and said: "The car's performance wasn't particularly good. We were thrown by the high temperatures."

Result after 60 laps (Sun):  hr mn sec
1 T Coronel    Hol Nakajima   1:15:13
2 S Motoyama   Jpn Unlimited  1:15:21
3 T Kurosawa   Jpn TMS        1:16:00
4 M Krumm      Ger 5Zigen     1:16:01
5 J Wakisaka   Jpn Arta       1:16:02
6 R Firman     GB  Shionogi   1:16:11


F1:- It has been confirmed that next year the Australian Grand Prix will again be the first race of the season. The FIA had initially awarded the 2000 opener to Malaysia but that will now be the venue for the final race of the season in October. March 12 is the likely date for the Australian race. Australian Corporation chairman Ron Walker said: "Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone knows that we do things very well here."

McLaren and tyre manufacturer Bridgestone will bid to find out why the team suffered two big blow-outs during the German Grand Prix weekend. Tyre-shredding incidents hit David Coulthard in qualifying and Mika Hakkinen in the race itself, denting the Finn's title hopes. In a statement, Bridgestone said: "Our engineers, with McLaren, are examining videos and physical evidence. For now it would be unwise to speculate on the cause."

SPORTSCARS:- Reynard Motorsport is to expand into Sportscars, with a revolutionary new car set to compete at Le Mans and other major races around the world. Technical manager Kieron Salter said: "We have drawn on all our experience to develop a Sportscar that combines the best aerodynamics with durability."


F1:- Michael Schumacher has played down his chances of returning to the cockpit in a test session at the weekend ` just four weeks after breaking a leg. His manager Willi Weber had suggested that the German would test his Ferrari at Fiorano on Saturday if he had clearance from his doctor. Weber also hinted that a return at the August 15 Hungarian race was possible. Schumacher said: "I do not think it is likely that I will be testing. I think my chances are about five per cent."

Damon Hill will not be dropped by Jordan following his controversial withdrawal from the German GP because of concerns about his car's brakes. Jordan's commercial director Ian Phillips said: "Damon has never liked the feel of the brake system used for safety reasons during the German race. "It was very disappointing but that's the end to it. He has stated that he is going to drive through to the end of the season and that's what he is going to do."

CHAMP CARS:- Christian Fittipaldi has been ruled out of this weekend's CART race in Detroit after being taken to hospital following a crash in testing. The nephew of ex-Formula One champion Emerson Fittipaldi was unconscious for around 10 minutes. He was airlifted to St Louis University Hospital, where he was admitted to the neurological unit for tests. Fittipaldi, who won his first CART race last month, was reported to be in a serious but stable condition.

04.08.99 - CHAMP CARS

Christian Fittipaldi has had his chances of winning the CART drivers' title ruined after being ruled out of action for at least eight weeks. The Brazilian is still in hospital after a crash during testing which knocked him unconscious. Fittipaldi, who gained his first win on the circuit in July, is fourth in the standings behind leader Juan Montoya. A CART statement said preliminary tests revealed Fittipaldi suffered a subdural hematoma - bruised blood in his brain.


F1:- Eddie Irvine and Ford have rubbished reports that the Ferrari star has signed up for Jaguar next year. A source close to Irvine said he denied that he had signed a deal for Ford, who who are renaming their Stewart team after their Jaguar brand in 2000. A Ford spokesperson said the team were looking at all options but added: "No deal has been done yet." It has been reported that Fiat chief Gianni Agnelli, whose parent company control Ferrari wants Irvine to stay.

Bernie Ecclestone has hinted that two-day qualifying could return to Formula One. The Formula One chief told Autosport that aggregate times over two sessions could decide grid placings but added: "I do not know whether it will happen." An official timed period on Fridays was discontinued in 1995 and now there is only a session on Saturdays. It is thought that Ecclestone and the Formula One Constructors' Association may discuss the issue.

BRITISH GT'S (Donington Park):- The seven-litre Newcastle United Lister Storm of Julian Bailey and Jamie Campbell-Walter is likely to be the car to beat on Sunday. The pair have won three races so far this season and have surged clear in the title stakes. The Blue Coral Porsche of Geoff Lister and Magnus Wallinder, who won the recent grand-prix supporting round at Silverstone, will push the pair hard. John Greasley and John Mortimer's Porsche could also be a front-runner.

Richard Dean and Kurt Luby set the best lap in hour-long test sessions before rain curtailed proceedings.

Top GT1 testing times (Thu): mins:secs
1 Dean/Luby      Sintura      1:03.967
2 Bailey/C'l-W   Lister       1:04.462
3 Sugden/O'R'ke  McLaren      1:04.509
4 Wall'r/Lister  Porsche      1:05.384

Top GT2 testing times (Thu): mins:secs
1 Warn'k/Schirle Lister       1:09.224
2 C'ham/Konig    Chrysler     1:10.550
3 Fuller/F'gill  Porsche      1:11.550
4 Phillips/Lucas Porsche      1:14.415

MGF CUP (Donington Park):- The Championship moves on to round 10 this weekend, with Warren Hughes keen to stretch his advantage in the series. He started the last race in last place but showed his class by battling through to fourth spot by the end of the 20-lap event. Hughes' main rivals are likely to be Nick Carr and Jamie Hunter. Carr won at Knockhill a fortnight ago, despite finishing third, when Matt Kelly had a 10-second penalty and David Mason was omitted on technical grounds.

NATIONAL SALOON CUP (Donington Park):- Mark Lemmer set the pace in pre-race testing for the ninth and 10th rounds of the Silverstone Insurance Services National Saloon Cup this weekend. His Honda Integra R set the best lap in the two hour-long test sessions before ending his day by spinning into gravel.

Leading times (Thu):     mins:secs
1 M Lemmer     Honda      1:19.951
2 T Ruokonen   Peugeot    1:19.983
3 D Eaves      Peugeot    1:20.149
4 S Harrison   Honda      1:20.282
5 R Moen       Honda      1:20.820
6 B Ward       Honda      1:22.673

SCOTTISH RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP:- Brian Lyall heads a group of champions who are appearing in the McRae Forest Stages Rally on Saturday ` the seventh round of this year's Championship. The 1997 winner Brian Lyall has confirmed his appearance in a Mellors Motorsport prepared Ford Escort. Former Scottish champions Murray Grierson and Andrew Wood are also taking part. Neale Dougan makes a welcome return to his home event while Jim Carty, Neil Buckley and Jon Burn are also involved.

Colin McRae will be the star attraction at the McRae Forest Stages Rally this Saturday but he will not be competing in the event. McRae will take on Course car duties in his Ford Focus World Rally car and he and the team are taking it seriously. The event provides 60 miles of testing stages over some of the fastest forest roads in Scotland. Clerk of the Course Jim Brown said: "Colin has always supported our event just like the whole McRae family."

BTCC:- Former champion Gabriele Tarquini will drive a third Honda Accord for Team Honda Sport in rounds 19 and 20 of the championship at Knockhill this month. The Italian is currently racing in the STW German Championship but with no clashing fixture on August 14-15 he joins James Thompson and Peter Kox. "We are delighted to give Gabriele this opportunity," said a Honda spokesman. "I can't wait. Knockhill is a great circuit and I love BTCC racing where the competition is high," said Tarquini.

06.08.99 - F1

Michael Schumacher will be out for the next few weeks after doctors decided he needed surgery on his broken leg. The two-times world champion was hoping to make a rapid comeback from the injury he sustained at Silverstone and had hoped to test-drive this weekend. But those hopes were dashed after he underwent a medical in Switzerland. He is now targeting a comeback at Monza on September 12 and a Ferrari statement said: "The clinical evaluation is very good but it's too early to return now."

Eddie Irvine has refused to rule out reports that he has signed to drive for the Jaguar Formula One team next year. He has been increasingly been linked with a move away from Ferrari and he is keeping his cards close to his chest. "I've told my manager what I want to do and it's up to him to do it but he's on holiday for a month," said Irvine. "So I guess it's not going to happen in the next month. I'm just concentrating on the next race. The championship is my number one priority."


F1:- Eddie Irvine has refused to rule out reports that he has signed to drive for the Jaguar Formula One team next year. He has been increasingly been linked with a move away from Ferrari and he is keeping his cards close to his chest. "I've told my manager what I want to do and it's up to him to do it but he's on holiday for a month," said Irvine. "So I guess it's not going to happen in the next month. I'm just concentrating on the next race. The championship is my number one priority."

BRITISH GT'S (Donington Park):- Jamie Campbell-Walter and Julian Bailey claimed their fourth win of the season in the Newcastle United Lister-Storm in a thrilling sixth round race. The result was in doubt until the final lap as the Blue Coral Slick 50 Racing Porsche 911 GT1 of Magnus Wallinder and Geoff Lister kept on their tails. Wallinder's bid to try and catch Campbell-Walter on the final lap ended when he clipped a car and had a spin. Rob Schirle and David Warnock drove a storming race to win the GT2 category.

GT1 category:                mins:secs
1 Bailey/C'l-W   Lister      50:48.656
2 Wall'r/Lister  Porsche     50:54.532
3 Dean/Luby      Sintura     50:57.344
4 Sugden/O'R'ke  McLaren     51:35.016

GT2 category:                  laps
1 Warnock/S'rle  Lister         42
2 Astley/Youles  Lotus          41
3 B'brook/St'ton Porsche        41
4 Fuller/F'gill  Porsche        41

MGF CUP (Donington Park):- Alastair Lyall put in a series of storming laps to take pole position in wet conditions for Sunday's round 10. He said: "The car was running well and I am confident that I can hold the lead into the first corner. Once I am at the front there will be no way past." Jamie Hunter, favourite for this year's title, delivered a stunning drive claiming second place. Hunter's main championship rivals Matt Kelly, Warren Hughes and Nick Carr followed the front two respectively.

Qualifying times (Sat):     mins:secs
 1 A Lyall                   1:21.057
 2 J Hunter                  1:21.196
 3 M Kelly                   1:21.204
 4 W Hughes                  1:21.240
 5 N Carr                    1:21.318
 6 M Nordon                  1:21.590
 7 M Hazell                  1:21.625
 8 D Loudoun                 1:21.641
 9 B Benham                  1:21.679
10 M Humphrey                1:21.916

NATIONAL SALOON CUP (Donington Park):- Championship leader Simon Harrison left it late before claiming pole position for the ninth round of the series. Harrison's fine drive on a wet and slippery track also earned him the Mintex Qualifying award.

Leading times (Sat):     mins:secs
1 S Harrison   Honda      1:25.896
2 T Ruokonen   Peugeot    1:25.903
3 D Eaves      Peugeot    1:26.132
4 D Shaw       Nissan     1:26.343
5 M Lemmer     Honda      1:26.400
6 R Moen       Honda      1:27.701

SCOTTISH RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP:- Neale Dougan and Doug Redpath won the McRae Forest Stages Rally, beating former British champion Brian Lyall into second by just over 30 seconds. Murray Grierson led after the first stage but broke his gearbox on the second and Dougan took control after he was fastest on the next four stages. But Dougan and Redpath powered through to claim victory. Colin McRae drove the Course car at the head of the field and tens of thousands of fans turned up to see him.

McRae Forest Stages Rally:   mins:secs
 1 Dougan/Repath  Escort Cos   57:09
 2 Lyall/Cook     Escort Cos   57:41
 3 Wood/Waterfall Subaru Imp   58:43
 4 Littler/M'bank Escort Cos   58:46
 5 J McRae/Pat'sn Porsche 911  59:06
 6 Burn/Quirk     MG Metro     59:12
 7 Wood/Parker    Vauxhall A   60:36
 8 Rogers/Clark   Ford Escort  60:50
 9 McQueen/Greenx Mitsubishi   60:54
10 Hogg/Hanna     Mitsubishi   60:55


F1:- Michael Schumacher's comeback moved closer after a second operation on his broken leg went smoothly this weekend. The double world champion will start his rehabilitation programme on Monday and is now back at his Swiss home. He had hoped to be test driving now but doctors told him he needed his latest operation to improve bone healing. Ferrari said the German might be fit to race at the Italian Grand prix in September, two months after breaking his leg at Silverstone.

BRITISH GT'S (Donington Park):- Jamie Campbell-Walter and Julian Bailey secured a Donington double in the seventh round of the series by winning their second race in two days. The pair mastered the slippery conditions in the 50-minute race and Bailey admitted: "Jamie did a fantastic job. It was very tricky out there." Magnus Wallinder and Geoff Lister finished second and Tim Sugden and Steve O'Rourke were third. Rob Schirle and David Warnock again won the GT2 category.

GT1 category:                mins secs
1 Bailey/Campbell-W Lister   50:03.434
2 Wallinder/Lister  Porsche  50:13.631
3 Sugden/O'Rourke   McLaren  50:59.991

GT2 category:                   laps
1 Warnock/Schirle   Lister      37
2 Astley/Youles     Lotus       37
3 Erdos/Purvis      Marcos      37
4 Cox/Baker         Porsche     36

MGF CUP (Donington Park):- Jamie Hunter won the race at Donington after gaining the lead in the first lap which he never surrendered. Second on the grid Hunter was too fast out of the blocks for Alastair Lyall on pole position, who finished third. There was plenty of spills with championship leader Warren Hughes losing control before recovering to seriously push for the lead. But Hunter held out for his second win of the season.

Sunday race result:         mins:secs
 1 J Hunter                 16:33.694
 2 W Hughes                 16:36.768
 3 A Lyall                  16:36.824
 4 D Mason                  16:41.749
 5 M Humphrey               16:48.290
 6 P Johnson                16:48.803
 7 S King                   16:53.905
 8 M Hazell                 16:54.038
 9 R Armes                  16:55.088
10 J Barker                 16:55.795

NATIONAL SALOON CUP (Donington Park):- David Shaw mastered the wet conditions to claim victory in the ninth round. Shaw abttled ahead of Toni Ruokonen's Peugeot for his first win since April. Dan Eaves clinched an impressive third starting from the back of the grid.

Round 9 result: (Sun)  mins secs
1 D Shaw      Nissan   17:28.282
2 T Ruokonen  Peugeot  17:28.712
3 D Eaves     Peugeot  17:36.617
4 R Moen      Honda    17:47.848
5 M Lemmer    Honda    17:48.186

TVR TUSCAN'S (Donington Park)
Round 9 results (Sun):
Race one:              mins secs
1 M Jordan             14:30.053
2 M Caine              14:32.330
3 S Guglielmi          14:39.547
4 I McKellar Junior    14:43.286
5 M Short              14:43.511

Race two:
1 M Jordan             14:34.862
2 S Guglielmi          14:35.242
3 M Caine              14:39.469
4 I McKellar Junior    14:39.469
5 P Hindley            14:42.495

1 I McKellar Jnr    794 pts
2 M Caine           777
3 P Hindley         711

NATIONAL TARMAC CHAMPIONSHIP (Otterburn):- Chris Wood won the Tyneside Stages Rally in his Metro 6R4 and is now set to make the championship one of the closest fought for years. Defending champion John Price finished second and Chris Griffiths was third in the Northumberland event.

                             hr min sec
1 C Wood       MG Metro 6R4   1:10.38
2 J Price      MG Metro 6R4   1:11.02
3 C Griffiths  Subaru Impreza 1:12.33
4 J Mercer     MG Metro 6R4   1:14.52
5 C Guy        Vauxhall Astra 1:16.52
6 J Baird      Mitsubishi L   1:17.21

Qualifying times (Sat):      min secs
 1 J Montoya    Col Honda    1:13.585
 2 P Tracy      Can Honda    1:13.611
 3 G de Ferran  Brz Honda    1:13.789
 4 D Franchitti GB  Honda    1:13.792
 5 R Moreno     Brz Ford     1:13.865
 6 T Kanaan     Brz Honda    1:13.958
 7 G Moore      Can Mercedes 1:14.020
 8 M Andretti   US  Ford     1:14.039
 9 P Carpentier Can Mercedes 1:14.090
10 M Papis      It  Ford     1:14.215
15 M Blundell   GB  Mercedes 1:14.877

MALRBORO MASTERS OF F3 (Zandvoort):- Marc Hynes beat the best of Europe with a superb display of driving in the continent's most prestigious Formula Three race in Holland. Hynes - the top Briton in the British Formula Three Championship - added the Masters crown to his win in the British Grand Prix support race back in July. The 21-year-old enthused: "This was the biggest race we could win this year and it is a fantastic feeling." Hynes qualified third but took the lead on the first corner of the 20-lap race.

Race result after 20 laps (Sun):mins secs
 1 M Hynes        GB  Honda   32:11.879
 2 T Mutsch       Ger Opel    32:13.788
 3 E Van de Linde SA  Opel    32:14.419
 4 C Albers       Hol Opel    32:15.298
 5 J Button       GB  Renault 32:16.160
 6 W Van Lent     Hol Opel    32:28.329
 7 K Kolby        Den Honda   32:28.368
 8 M Spoldi       It  Honda   32:30.342
 9 T Scheckter    SA  Honda   32:30.711
10 S Bourdais     Fr  Opel    32:32.779


F1:- Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo has confirmed that Michael Schumacher will be at the service of the team if he resumes driving this season. "The day Schumacher gets back it will be to help Ferrari," he said. "What we care about is Ferrari's victory." If Schumacher recovers from his broken leg it means he will have to bend to the needs of team-mate Eddie Irvine. "Schumacher has said it and will do it," added di Montezemolo. "He will be at Ferrari's service."

LOTUS ELISE'S:- Lotus Motorsport's new one-make series will make its track debut next year as support to the Auto Trader British Touring Car Championship. The Lotus Sport Elise series fills the vacancy created by Vauxhall Motorsport's withdrawal from the support package. It joins the Formula Ford, Ford Fiesta, a revised Renault Sport series and the new Renault Clio Cup as support events. Other series will have a chance to guest at certain rounds of the BTCC.

CART:- Dario Franchitti cruised to victory in the Grand Prix of Detroit to take over at the top of the driver standings. The Scot's second win of the season lifts him five points clear of Juan Montoya, who lost the lead because of a late pit stop. Franchitti's team-mate Paul Tracy was second and Greg Moore was third. Numerous crashes caused 23 laps of the scheduled 75-lap race to be run under the caution flag and so it was reduced to two hours, with 71 laps completed.

Mark Blundell was satisfied despite finishing tenth on Sunday's race. It was Blundell's return to the championship after being sidelined for twelve weeks with a neck injury. He said: "Overall, for the fact we've just come back, the weekend wasn't bad. We just caught a bit of bad luck in the race. Physically it was reasonably tough for me because I've just got back into it. But it's done me a world of good."

Grand Prix of Detroit result (Sun):
 1 D Franchitti GB  Honda       71
 2 P Tracy      Can Honda       71
 3 G Moore      Can Mercedes    71
 4 M Andretti   US  Ford        71
 5 J Vasser     US  Honda       71
 6 T Kanaan     Brz Honda       71
 7 H Castro-N   Brz Mercedes    71
 8 S Pruett     US  Toyota      71
 9 B Herta      US  Ford        71
10 M Blundell   GB  Mercedes    71

Driver standings             Points
1 D Franchitti GB  Honda       136
2 J Montoya    Col Honda       131
3 M Andretti   US  Ford        119
4 P Tracy      Can Honda       106
5 C Fittipaldi Brz Ford        101

Driver ratings (August 9)        Points
 1 J Gordon      US  NASCAR        959
 2 M Hakkinen    Fin Formula One   953
 3 D Jarrett     US  NASCAR        866
 4 E Irvine      GB  Formula One   834
 5 M Schumacher  Ger Formula One   808
 6 J Burton      US  NASCAR        777
 7 N Heidfeld    Ger F3000         749
 8 D Coulthard   GB  Formula One   736
 9 M Martin      US  NASCAR        727
10 JP Montoya    Col Champ Cars    711

RALLYING:- Skoda Motorsport had an encouraging peformance in the Mantta Rally in Finland in preparation for the forthcoming Rally of Finland. Armin Schwarz drove his Octavia WRC into fourth place. Stephen Stokoe claimed his second win of the season in the Proton Coupe Cup. He finished ahead of Robert Ross and Nick Wall in what was the closest race so far in the series.


Eddie Irvine is chasing his third straight win in Sunday's race after triumphing in Austria and Germany. Since being promoted to Ferrari's top driver in the absence of the injured Michael Schumacher, the Irishman has risen to the challenge. He is eight points clear in the driver standings and this next showdown with McLaren is likely to depend more than ever on pit-stop strategies. On a slow track having the potentially- fastest car is unlikely to be an issue.

Ferrari star Eddie Irvine insists he will be riding above the rumours about his future with the team and will just be concentrating on the race. Irvine has been linked with a 2000 switch to Jaguar, the team currently racing as Stewart-Ford. "Honestly, I am just concentrating on the race," he confirmed. "The championship is my number one priority. This is my best chance of the championship for one or two years, that is for sure."

With six races left, world champion Mika Hakkinen will be keen to claim a victory or, at worst, a points finish on Sunday. The Finn has not won a race since the Canadian Grand Prix in early June and has failed to finish in four of the 10 races so far. That has left him trailing Eddie Irvine in the title race and the Ferrari star has retired just once - in San Marino. He has also finished in the top six in every other race in 1999.

McLaren's decision to reveal that David Coulthard will be staying on with Mika Hakkinen for 2000 could reap dividends in the constructors championship. The constant press speculation about Coulthard's future could not have helped the Scot. Now he can get on with the bid to help the Woking-based team retain the constructors' prize. He is fifth, 14 points behind Hakkinen, and is just three points behind third- placed Heinz-Harald Frentzen.

Hungary is a circuit where former world champion Damon Hill could again make a mark and prove a point to his critics. Hill chalked up his first grand prix victory in Budapest in 1993 and secured another win at the Hungaroring in 1995. He was also second at the circuit in 1994, 1996 and 1997, when he was denied a triumph for Arrows because of a car problem late in the race. Last year he qualified in fourth place, his second best display of the season, and was also fourth in the race.

Damon Hill has admitted that he has not always been enjoying his driving this year but he is relishing the chance to drive in Hungary on Sunday. "I really like Hungary," he commented. "All the corners are really good. Turn one is particularly tricky because there is a big drop from the straight in the braking area. You are braking downhill and turning into a corner which drops away from you, making the car lighter. In some ways the circuit is similar to Monaco."

In-form Jordan driver Heinz-Harald Frentzen believes the Hungarian Grand Prix will present him with a tough challenge on Sunday. "It will be difficult as the circuit is very similar to Austria where we struggled to keep up with McLaren and Ferrari," he revealed. "However, the car has improved since then so I am optimistic. I had the fastest Hungary lap in 1997 and came fifth last year despite having a high fever caused by food poisoning."

Williams star Ralf Schumacher is targeting his first place on the Budapest podium on Sunday. Schumacher was fifth in 1997 and he was ninth last year after his Jordan was hit by gearbox problems. "The Hungaroring is one of the slowest tracks in our calendar, with regards to the average speed," said the German. "Just like Monaco, the engineers must try to get as much aerodynamical downforce as possible, although mechanical grip is also important."

Alex Zanardi's bid for points could be helped by the fact that the Hungaroring is one of the slowest circuits in Formula One. The Williams driver has competed at the track three times and admitted: "It is a very mixed circuit and also demanding because overtaking is difficult. Everyone looks forward to qualifying because that is where the battle is but I cannot say the same for the race. The track is tiny and short, making it difficult to have a real race on."

Stewart driver Johnny Herbert will be hoping for a change of luck on a circuit where he has had some good results in the past. Herbert has been hit by poor fortune all year but said: "I was third in Hungary in 1997 and fourth in 1995 so I have had some good results here. I feel comfortable on circuits that have a lot of low speed corners. I am more comfortable with the car than I was at the start of the season. I just need some luck in the race."

Rubens Barrichello knows that a good performance in qualifying could make all the difference in the race itself. "Qualifying is everything in Hungary because there are very few overtaking opportunities. The only chance you have is on the pit straight," he confirmed. "Strategy, particularly tyre choice, will be a big factor - a choice between consistency and performance. At the Silverstone test we improved the car's mechanical grip, which should put us in good shape."

Jacques Villeneuve has savoured victory twice at the Hungaroring but would just relish a finish in Sunday's race after enduring a somewhat trying year so far. "It has been a really good track for me as I won there twice, in 1996 and 1997, and finished third last year," said the BAR driver. "The Hungaroring is a fun track to drive on and it also has a good layout and rhythm. Maybe the chicanes should not be there but it is an interesting circuit."

Arrows had a successful test session with all three cars and driver Tora Takagi before the team departed for the Budapest race. Technical director Mike Coughlan said: "After the challenging Hockenheim circuit I believe the Hungaroring should allow us to be more competitive. Work on the design of the year 2000 challenger is progressing well back at our Leafield facility. The team is looking forward to its first test with the Supertec engine."

Arrows had a successful test session with all three cars and driver Tora Takagi before the team departed for the Budapest race. Technical director Mike Coughlan said: "After the challenging Hockenheim circuit I believe the Hungaroring should allow us to be more competitive. "Work on the design of the year 2000 challenger is progressing well back at our Leafield facility. The team is looking forward to its first test with the Supertec engine."

Sunday's race is scheduled to last for 77 laps or 305.844km. Michael Schumacher set the fastest lap time last year, clocking one minute, 19.286 seconds on lap 60. The Hungarian Grand Prix was the first race to be staged behind the Iron Curtain back in 1986. The Hungaroring has a low grip surface and is notoriously dirty. There are no fast corners and few overtaking opportunities.

BTCC (Knockhill):- The Championship makes its annual trip north of the border this weekend for legs 19 and 20 of the 26-round event. Atop the Clelsh Hills, the Scottish meeting regularly provides close-fought racing with its tight, twisty circuit. Despite the unique beauty of the location, the weather can be extremely fickle and this will be a major factor. Home fans are likely to be encouraged by three Scots in the event, and current leader Laurent Aiello will find a strong challenge in his points quest.

The Nissan Primera has been the car of the season and looks good to retain the manufacturer and team titles. Scotsman David Leslie has eight years' experience of racing at Knockhill, but dismissed talk of any vital advantage. "At this level, the drivers are so confident and competent that they can learn a new circuit quickly," he said. "Although it has lots of little quirks, it is quite a short track, so I can't see Laurent having too many problems. We'd like to think it's between us."

Galashiels driver John Cleland will hope for a memorable performance in front of his home followers for what has become his final season. His 11-year Vauxhall career, featuring 17 wins and two drivers' titles is to come to an end after a recent decision. "It was difficult," he said. "I have had a great time with Vauxhall but this has been my worst year for a long time. I have a special relationship with Knockhill. It gives me a chance to say bye to the fantastic Scottish fans."

Honda's championship challenge will be bolstered by the return of 1994 champion Gabriele Tarquini. He has a free weekend from his STW German touring cars commitments and will join regulars James Thompson and Peter Knox in a third Accord. "I can't wait to rejoin the BTCC," said the Italian, who left two years ago. "I love racing in Britain. Knockhill is a great little circuit, and hopefully I can score some valuable extra points for the Honda team," he added.

Scotland's third representative in the series is last year's Knockhill winner, Anthony Reid, now with Ford. Despite a difficult season with the Mondeo, Alain Menu's podium finish last time out suggests that better fortune is on the way for the team. Renault's Jason Plato still has an outside chance of taking the title in the team's final championship year. Plato is currently 60 points behind Laurent Aiello and will be keen to impress potential new employers.

Reigning champion Rickard Rydell has refused to dismiss his title chances, despite being 62 points off the pace. The Volvo S40 has demonstrated its undoubted pace in recent months and the Swede captured a series of pole positions at Thruxton last time. "I suppose it's not out of the question that I could win the title," he said. "But my priority is to score as many points as I can and finish well. The car is fantastic but a poor start has hurt our defence of the title."

F.RENAULT SPORT (Knockhill):- Points leader Antonio Pizzonia and team-mate Rob Austin continue their title fight this weekend. Both set times close to the lap record in recent testing and a test drive in a Williams F1 car awaits the champion. Tests with Renault's F3 team will also go to the top three overall and the winner of the Star Cup division. Carl Breeze is currently in third place but close behind is Leighton Walker whose team-mate Tom Ferrier is fifth as the highest-placed Star Cup runner.

RENAULT SPIDER CUP (Knockhill):- Andy Priaulx can clinch the title on Sunday if he manages to pull off a 10th straight win. Priaulx, who broke Jason Plato's series record of eight wins in a row, currently leads team-mate Tobia Masini by 113 points. An 108-point lead after Knockhill would assure him of the drivers' crown. Phil Bennett lies third, six points behind Masini, but the man currently on form is fourth-placed Mark Cole, second in three of the last four rounds.


F1:- Eddie Irvine has reportedly said that he will leave Ferrari rather than st y as number two to Michael Schumacher in the 2000 season. Irvine told Famiglia Cristiana magazine: "If Schumacher does not come back in the same role, then maybe I will stay. However, if he is the number one driver I am leaving." The Irishman has been linked with a switch to Jaguar, who currently race as Stewart-Ford.

Michael Schumacher has resumed gym work four days after a second operation on his broken leg in Switzerland. The two-times world champion broke his right leg in two places at Silverstone last month. His manager Wili Weber said the German was going to "work very hard" for three or four hours a day in his bid to resume training later this month. Schumacher is hoping to make his comeback at the Italian Grand Prix at Monza on September 12.

F3000 (Hungaroring):- Kid Jensen Racing go into Saturday's race confident of success. Driver Nicolas Minassian confirmed: "I am confident that we have a good set-up for this circuit. Last year I achieved my best result of the season in Hungary. I believe that we are ready for another great result and I am aiming for a podium finish. The emphasis is to qualify well. There is a high level of grip and you can destroy your tyres quickly if you are chasing for position from the back."

MINTEX NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP - THE CENTURION RALLY:- Kenny McKinstry has the championship in his sights as the series moves into the penultimate round. Marcus Dodd had seemed to be storming to the title after winning three of the first four rounds and with only five of the seven possible scores counting. However, McKinstry has yet to finish outside the top three, while Dodd crashed out of last month's Enterprise Printing Rally, which McKinstry won. He can virtually take the crown if he wins and Dodd is lower than fourth.

Top 10 seeds:
 1 M Dodd/J Bennie       Ford Escort
 2 K McKinstry/N Orr     Subaru Impreza
 3 S Petch/P Croft       Ford Escort
 4 I Gwynne/S O'Gorman   Subaru Impreza
 5 R D'ckwrth/M Br'mfld  Subaru Impreza
 6 W Philliskirk/E Evans MG Metro
 7 E Boland/D Morrissey  Ford Escort
 8 V Wetton/J Haigh      Mitsubishi L
 9 B Ceen/A Douglas      Ford Escort
10 R Holfeld/I Grindrod  Mitsubishi L

F.PALMER AUDI (Silverstone):-
Testing times:   mins secs
 1 D Hill         1:19.994
 2 D Faulkner     1:20.062
 3 D Hayes        1:20.116
 4 T Serjala      1:20.185
 5 S Hancock      1:20.205
 6 J Bleekemolen  1:20.213
 7 R Kerr         1:20.217
 8 R Lyons        1:20.276
 9 D Watts        1:20.363
10 J Pickford     1:20.372

PROTON COUPE CUP:- James Whitham, the 500cc Grand Prix motorcycle rider, will be joining the ranks of the Proton Coupe Cup at Cadwell Park on Sunday. Whitham will drive the Proton Motorspor guest car but first raced a saloon car last year at Knockhill.

CATERHAMS:- Gerry Taylor leads the Caterham Roadsport Challenge after seven rounds, although Rob Barff is now just two points behind after a win on Sunday. Bart Hayden has a 33-point lead in the PTP Caterham Superlight Challenge.


F1:- Tyre-makers Bridgestone insist a faulty construction of the compound was not to blame for Mike Hakkinen's spinning out of the German Grand Prix on August 1. Bridgestone and McLaren are continuing an investigation into the cause of the tyre failure which caused the crash. But they said other possibilities remain to explain why the Finn's car hurtled out of the race. They include high temperatures in the tyre, air pressures problems, a cut or a blister.

BTCC:- The Nissan Primera has been the car of the season and looks good to retain the manufacturer and team titles. Scotsman David Leslie has eight years' experience of racing at Knockhill, but dismissed talk of any vital advantage. "At this level, the drivers are so confident and competent that they can learn a new circuit quickly," he said. "Although it has lots of little quirks, it is quite a short track, so I can't see Laurent having too many problems. We'd like to think it's between us."

Galashiels driver John Cleland will hope for a memorable performance in front of his home followers for what has become his final season. His 11-year Vauxhall career, featuring 17 wins and two drivers' titles is to come to an end after a recent decision. "It was difficult," he said. "I have had a great time with Vauxhall but this has been my worst year for a long time. "I have a special relationship with Knockhill. It gives me a chance to say bye to the fantastic Scottish fans."


Eddie Irvine boosted his hopes of a third successive win by recording the quickest time in Friday's practice. Irvine clocked a fastest lap of one minute, 19.476 seconds on the twisty circuit to beat Mika Hakkinen by three- tenths of a second. Hakkinen spun twice in the first session and sat out the second one but Irvine only pipped him at the end. David Coulthard was just half a second adrift in third while Damon Hill was back in 16th spot.

Damon Hill's track return ended in a crash during first practice for Sunday's race. The former world champion, in action for the first time since conroversially quitting in Germany a fortnight ago, slid into a tyre barrier. Hill, who will retire at the end of the season, was unhurt in the crash. The 39-year-old was 2.7 seconds off the pace set by Ferrari's championship leader Eddie Irvine who is looking for his third win on the trot.

Former world champion Jacques Villeneuve will drive for the BAR team next season. The team's Scottish boss Craig Pollock said Friday: "Jacques Villeneuve is confirmed for next season." Villeneuve is yet to finish a race for his new team but Pollock's announcement confirms he will stay with the struggling outfit. The fate of the French Canadian's Brazilian team-mate Ricardo Zonta will be decided "this week", said Pollock.

Friday's practice times:
 1 E Irvine      GB  Ferrari  1:19.476
 2 M Hakkinen    Fin McLaren  1:19.722
 3 D Coulthard   GB  McLaren  1:20.117
 4 R Barrichello Bra Stewart  1:20.547
 5 M Salo        Fin Ferrari  1:20.989
 6 H-H Frentzen  Ger Jordan   1:21.185
 7 A Zanardi     It  Williams 1:21.251
 8 A Wurz        Aut Benetton 1:21.456
 9 R Schumacher  Ger Williams 1:21.481
10 J Herbert     GB  Stewart  1:21.486
11 J Villeneuve  Can BAR      1:21.504
12 O Panis       Fr  Prost    1:21.525
13 L Badoer      It  Minardi  1:21.635
14 G Fisichella  It  Benetton 1:21.673
15 J Alesi       Fr  Sauber   1:22.009
16 D Hill        GB  Jordan   1:22.182
17 R Zonta       Bra BAR      1:22.290
18 J Trulli      It  Prost    1:22.360
19 M Gene        Sp  Minardi  1:22.380
20 P Diniz       Bra Sauber   1:23.096
21 T Takagi      Jpn Arrows   1:23.216
20 P de la Rosa  Sp  Arrows   1:24.064

F3000 (Hungaroring):- Britain's Jamie Davies scraped into Saturday's race by taking the 26th and last qualifying place. His time of one minute, 31.242 seconds just edged out compatriot and team-mate Oliver Gavin. "I'm so relieved to be racing," said Davies. "The back of the grid is far from ideal but points have been scored from such positions before." Gavin said: "I found it incredibly hard to find a clear track that would enable me to set a decent time."

Qualifying positions (Sat):  mins:secs
 1 F Walfisch    Fr           1:29.261
 2 S Sarrazan    Fr           1:30.017
 3 N Heidfeld    Ger          1:29.569
 4 G Rodriguez   Uru          1:30.138
 5 A Couto       Por          1:29.689
 6 M Goosens     Bel          1:30.391
 7 F Montagny    Fr           1:29.750
 8 S Ayari       Fr           1:30.391
 9 J Wilson      GB           1:29.847
10 J V Hooydonk  Bel          1:30.403


Mika Hakkinen secured pole position for Sunday's race but will be joined on the front row by championship leader Eddie Irvine, who has won the last two races. David Coulthard was third quickest and Giancarlo Fisichella was fourth. Heinz-Harald Frentzen finished fifth fastest, just ahead of Damon Hill, who is on a favoured circuit. Johnny Herbert was 10th after losing the front wing of his Stewart in a late incident but Ferrari new boy Mika Salo struggled home in 18th.

Mika Hakkinen was delighted with his ninth pole position in 11 races. He edged out Eddie Irvine by one 10th of a second and said: "There are some negative memories from the last race but I am confident for tomorrow. I think they have put on something like 23 extra flights from Finland to Hungary this weekend and it is great to see so many of my fans." Irvine added: "If there was one track where we could get pole I thought it would be here."

Jean Alesi escaped with a minor ankle injury after a crash in the penultimate practice session. The Frenchman was just coming out of the first curve when he seemed to touch the rear of an Arrows and then swerved into a barrier. Alesi limped away from the wreck but was later flown to hospital. He returned before the end of the final practice session with his ankle heavily strapped and was declared fit to take part in the qualifying session.

Michael Schumacher is set to return to the cockpit in the Italian Grand Prix on September 12. Ferrari owner Gianni Agnelli admitted: "The doctors have told us that he will be well and will be able to race again at Monza." Schumacher broke a leg at the British Grand Prix in July, leaving team-mate Eddie Irvine to shoulder the Italian team's title hopes. Irvine has risen to the challenge, winning the last two races.

Saturday's qualifying times: mins secs
 1 M Hakkinen    Fin McLaren  1:18.156
 2 E Irvine      GB  Ferrari  1:18.263
 3 D Coulthard   GB  McLaren  1:18.384
 4 G Fisichella  It  Benetton 1:18.515
 5 H-H Frentzen  Ger Jordan   1:18.664
 6 D Hill        GB  Jordan   1:18.667
 7 A Wurz        Aut Benetton 1:18.733
 8 R Barrichello Brz Stewart  1:19.095
 9 J Villeneuve  Can BAR      1:19.127
10 J Herbert     GB  Stewart  1:19.389
11 J Alesi       Fr  Sauber   1:19.390
12 P Diniz       Brz Sauber   1:19.782
13 J Trulli      It  Prost    1:19.788
14 O Panis       Fr  Prost    1:19.841
15 A Zanardi     It  Williams 1:19.924
16 R Schumacher  Ger Williams 1:19.945
17 R Zonta       Brz BAR      1:20.060
18 M Salo        Fin Ferrari  1:20.369
19 L Badoer      It  Minardi  1:20.961
20 P de la Rosa  Sp  Arrows   1:21.328
21 T Takagi      Jpn Arrows   1:21.675
22 M Gene        Sp  Minardi  1:21.867

BTCC (Knockhill):- Frenchman Laurent Aiello is well placed to consolidate his championship standing as he took pole position in a thrilling first qualifying session. With his nearest rivals David Leslie and James Thompson well adrift in the midfield, Aiello will be keen to make his advantage on the grid really count. A resurgent Ford Team Mondeo celebrated with Anthony Reid also on the front row And Alain Menu took centre stage in the afternoon session and will start on pole for the longer Feature race.

Round 19 qualifying times:     secs
 1 L Aiello      Fr  Nissan   53.039
 2 A Reid        GB  Ford     53.103
 3 G Tarquini    It  Honda    53.186
 4 R Rydell      Sp  Volvo    53.190
 5 P Kox         Hol Honda    53.192
 6 A Menu        Swi Ford     53.200
 7 D Leslie      GB  Nissan   53.202
 8 J Thompson    GB  Honda    53.293
 9 JC Boullion   Fr  Renault  53.370
10 J Plato       GB  Renault  53.397

Round 20 qualifying times:     secs
 1 A Menu        Swi Mondeo   57.774
 2 J Plato       GB  Laguna   57.851
 3 L Aiello      Fr  Nissan   57.866
 4 JC Boullion   Fr  Laguna   58.007
 5 A Reid        Fr  Mondeo   58.065
 6 D Leslie      GB  Nissan   58.154
 7 M Neal        GB  Nissan   58.197
 8 G Tarquini    It  Honda    58.260
 9 J Thompson    GB  Honda    58.283
10 R Rydell      Swe Volvo    58.316

F3000 (Hungaroring):- Nick Heidfeld took the title after finishing second behind Stephane Sarrazin in the 52-lap race. The German now has an unbeatable 28-point lead in the series with two races still to go. Heidfeld, who has tested extensively for McLaren and who has also been linked to Jordan, is being tipped to make the move into Formula One. Meanwhile, Kid Jensen Racing secured a point with Nicolas Minassian finishing in sixth spot.

Round 8 result (Sat):        mins:secs
 1 S Sarrazin    Fr           1:30.017
 2 N Heidfeld    Ger           @ 0.792
 3 M Goosens     Bel           @12.447
 4 F Montagny    Fr            @12.813
 5 S Ayari       Fr            @14.318
 6 S Minassian   Fr            @15.666
 7 J Watt        Den           @17.373
 8 J Wilson      GB            @17.810
 9 E Bernoldi    Brz           @43.570
10 R Mauricio    Brz           @56.101

MINTEX NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP:- Kenny McKinstry was crowned champion with one round left after close rival Marcus Dodd was left parked in a ditch on stage four of the Centurion Rally. McKinstry failed to finish because of engine failure lees than halfway through the event but he has an unassailable lead. Roger Duckworth, who won the Mintex National title in 1998, emerged victorious in the rally. Andrea Hall clinched the Mintex Formula Two title.

(after six stages):              Pens
 1 R D'ckwrth/M Br'mfld  Subaru 0:59.25
 2 I Gwynne/S O'Gorman   Subaru 1:00.23
 3 B Ceen/A Douglas      Ford   1:00.44
 4 K Stevens/S Foley     M'bshi 1:03.07
 5 R Davies/R Skinner    Ford   1:03.18
 6 R Holfeld/I Grindrod  M'bshi 1:03.20
 7 N Foster/B Coate-B    M'bshi 1:03.35
 8 M Winkles/S Winkles   M'bshi 1:04.09
 9 M I'Anson/G Walker    M'bshi 1:04.38
10 E McAleenan/C Bruton  Subaru 1:05.26

FORD FIESTA'S (Knockhill):- Simon Clarke became the seventh driver of the season to claim pole position by setting a blistering pace on the opening day of the Scottish skirmish.

F.FORD:- A well-timed change on to dry weather tyres helped Gary Catt take his first ever Slick 50 pole position. Mark Taylor claimed a season-best third place after a slightly hesistant start.

Qualifing times:            min secs
1 G Catt                    1:06.434
2 N Kiesa                   1:06.811
3 M Taylor                  1:06.934
4 J Courtney                1:06.969
5 T Sisley                  1:06.999
6 R van der Ende            1:07.011

F.RENAULT SPORT (Knockhill):- Points leader Antonio Pizzonia shrugged off car problems and a spin to claim his ninth pole position in 10 rounds. Rob Austin's late hopes of grabbing top spot ended when he spun off the track.

Qualifying times:              secs
1 A Pizzonia                  52.380
2 R Austin                    52.695
3 L Walker                    53.067
4 C Clark                     53.187
5 C Breeze                    53.283
6 P Nilsson                   53.453

RENAULT SPIDER CUP (Knockhill):- Andy Priaulx took his 10th straight pole position and victory on Sunday would see him crowned as champion.

Qualifying times:           min secs
1 A Priaulx                 0:58.442
2 T Masini                  0:58.829
3 A Hildebrand              0:59.787
4 N Greensall               0:59.889
5 J Dance                   0:59.946
6 M Nippers                 1:00.036

Round 10 qualifying times:   min secs
 1 A Pizzonia                0:59.733
 2 R Austin                  1:00.063
 3 L Walker                  1:00.146
 4 C Clark                   1:00.162
 5 C Breeze                  1:00.223
 6 P Nilsson                 1:00.275
 7 A Pizzonia                1:00.279
 8 R Austin                  1:00.314
 9 L Walker                  1:00.449
10 C Clark                   1:00.554

F.VAUXHALL (Knockhill)
Round 11 qualifying times:   min secs
 1 S Hodgetts                0:54.368
 2 I Brown                   0:54.484
 3 G Paffett                 0:54.506
 4 R Dalziel                 0:54.525
 5 R Bell                    0:54.591
 6 G Turkington              0:54.644
 7 H Mutoh                   0:54.880
 8 M Pavlovic                0:54.964
 9 D Scandian                0:55.017
10 S Marsh                   0:55.092

CHAMP CARS (Lexington):- Dario Franchitti boosted his title hopes by clocking the fastest time in provisional qualifying for Sunday's race in Ohio. The Scot heads the driver standings ahead of round 14. Fellow Briton Mark Blundell qualified in third position but his Motorola Mercedes-Benz did not pass the post- qualifying technical inspection. The car did not have the required two- inch clearance but Blundell said: "We will give it another go tomorrow."

Starting grid & qualifying for Sunday:
                              min secs
 1 D Franchitti GB  Honda     1:05.347
 2 B Herta      US  Ford      1:05.824
 3 P Tracy      Can Honda     1:05.908
 4 T Kanaan     Brz Honda     1:05.986
 5 J Vasser     US  Honda     1:06.091
 6 G de Ferran  Brz Honda     1:06.133
 7 H Castro-N   Brz Mercedes  1:06.137
 8 J Montoya    Col Honda     1:06.174
 9 M Papis      It  Ford      1:06.316
10 R Gordon     US  Toyota    1:06.352
26 M Blundell   GB  Mercedes   No time


Hungaroring Mika Hakkinen coasted to victory by a commanding 10 seconds, denying Eddie Irvine a hat-trick of wins and reducing the championship gap to a mere two. Hakkinen led from start to finish after a smooth start from pole, which allowed him to stay ahead after both pit-stops. Irvine held second spot for the majority of the race, but was pursued constantly by David Coulthard. With 14 laps remaining, he slid off at a corner to hand the Scotsman an extra two points and seal a McLaren one-two.

Finland's Mika Hakkinen was delighted with his polished display. "It's a great feeling to be back on the winners podium once again," he said. "This race is a tough one, it takes a lot out of the car and the driver! By the time we had only ten laps left, I thought if anything is going to go wrong it is going to be now, so I was almost holding my breath. But it was fine. Over the weekend the team found a great package for David and I. To win is a fantastic finish."

David Coulthard recovered from a poor start to complete a McLaren one-two. Coulthard dropped two places at the start having begun third on the grid. "I was a bit surprised that I was passed into turn one and two," he said. "I thought my reaction to the lights had been quite good, but clearly I didn't pick up speed quickly enough. I had to wait for the first stop to pass the two slower cars in front of me. I put pressure on Eddie and was glad to take advantage of his mistake."

McLaren supremo Ron Dennis paid tribute to his entire team after their comprehensive victory in Hungary. "The results speak for themselves but behind them lies a particularly satisfying weekend that saw the team perform perfectly," he enthused. "Mika's race was faultless, whilst David's was satisfying as the team gave him a good strategy. His memorable drive forced Irvine into a mistake. There is still a long way to go in the championship but we will enjoy this."

Jean Alesi has said he will be leaving Sauber at the end of the season. The Frenchman was challenging in fourth in Hungary before problems at a pit-stop destroyed his hopes of a points finish. Alesi, finally classified 16th, did not say who he would drive for next season but he has been linked with Prost. He said: "Next year I will drive in another country in another team. I don't know yet, I am not certain but my life with Sauber is finished."

Result after 77 laps:     hr mins secs
 1 M Hakkinen    Fin McLaren  1:46.23
 2 D Coulthard   GB  McLaren    @ .09
 3 E Irvine      GB  Ferrari      .27
 4 H-H Frentzen  Ger Jordan       .31
 5 R Barrichello Brz Benetton     .43
 6 D Hill        GB  Jordan       .55
 7 A Wurz        Aut Benetton     .61
 8 J Trulli      It  Prost      1 lap
 9 R Schumacher  Ger Williams   1 lap
10 O Panis       Fr  Prost      1 lap
11 J Herbert     GB  Stewart    1 lap
12 M Salo        Fin Ferrari    2 laps
13 R Zonta       Brz BAR        2 laps
14 L Badder      It  Minardi    2 laps
15 P De La Rosa  Sp  Arrows     2 laps
16 J Alesi       Fr  Jordan     DNF
17 M Gene        Sp  Minardi    3 laps
Retirements: Zanardi, Diniz, Takagi, Fisichella, Villeneuve, Alesi

 1 E Irvine      GB   Ferrari   56 pts
 2 M Hakkinen    Fin  McLaren   54
 3 H-H Frentzen  Ger  Jordan    36
 = D Coulthard   GB   McLaren   36
 5 M Schumacher  Ger  Ferrari   32
 6 R Schumacher  Ger  Williams  22
 7 G Fisichella  Ita  Benetton  13
 8 R Barrichello Brz  Stewart   12
 9 M Salo        Fin  Ferrari    6
 = D Hill        GB   Jordan     6
11 P Diniz       Brz  Sauber     3
 = A Wurz        Aut  Benetton   3
13 J Herbert     GB   Stewart    2
 = O Panis       Fr   Prost      2
15 P de la Rosa  Sp   Arrows     1
 = J Alesi       Fr   Sauber     1
 = J Trulli      It   Prost      1

1 Ferrari       94 pts
2 McLaren       90
3 Jordan        42
4 Williams      22
5 Benetton      16
6 Stewart       14
7 Sauber         4
8 Prost          3
9 Arrows         1

BTCC (Knockhill):- Alain Menu claimed his first win of the series in the feature race, while Laurent Aiello's victory in the opener extends his lead at the top to 19. Aiello's triumph was never in doubt after he made a perfect start from pole and he took the flag six seconds ahead. Menu was also on pole for round 20, and held on despite a strong early challenge from Jason Plato. He was more than 20 seconds in front at the finish, the main battle being for second, won eventually by Peter Kox.

Round 19 result:              mins secs
 1 L Aiello      Fr  Nissan   17:51.336
 2 G Tarquini    It  Honda    17:57.697
 3 A Menu        Swi Ford     18:00.780
 4 A Reid        GB  Ford     18:04.052
 5 JC Boullion   Fr  Renault  18:09.686
 6 R Rydell      Sp  Volvo    18:16.457
 7 M Neal        GB  Nissan   18:17.701
 8 J Cleland     GB  Vauxhall 18:18.458
 9 D Leslie      GB  Nissan   18:22.700
10 Y Muller      Fr  Vauxhall 18:27.181

Round 20 result:              mins secs
 1 A Menu        Swi Ford     39:00.056
 2 P Knox        Hol Honda    39:22.499
 3 D Leslie      GB  Nissan   39:24.867
 4 JC Boullion   Fr  Renault  39:27.989
 5 R Rydell      Sp  Volvo    39:28.131
 6 L Aiello      Fr  Nissan   39:30.296
 7 G Tarquini    It  Honda    39:33.467
 8 Y Muller      Fr  Vauxhall 39:42.182
 9 V Radermecker Bel Volvo    39:42.906
10 J Cleland     GB  Vauxhall 39:43.876

Drivers standings after 20 of 26 rounds
 1 L Aiello      Fr   190 points
 2 D leslie      GB   171
 3 J Thompson    GB   124
 4 R Rydell      Swe  118
 5 J Plato       GB   109
 6 Y Muller      Fr    94
 7 P Kox         Hol   92
 8 M Neal        GB    91
 9 V Radermecker Bel   91
10 A Menu        Swi   82

1 Nissan              390
2 Honda               236
3 Volvo               203

F3 (Pembrey)
Round 11 result (Sun)        mins secs
 1 K Kolby                   17:19.874
 2 J Button                  17:27.524
 3 L Burti                   17:29.083
 4 M Bentwood                17:34.091
 5 M Davies                  17:34.835
 6 M Hynes                   17:35.894
 7 T Sriachavanon            17:39.066
 8 A Kirkaldy                17:41.702
 9 M O'Connell               17:42.827
10 T Scheckter               17:43.245

Round 12 result (Sun)        mins secs
 1 J Button                  19:52.321
 2 M Davies                  19:54.534
 3 K Kolby                   19:54.976
 4 M Hynes                   19:58.753
 5 M Bentwood                20:01.121
 6 T Spouge                  20:01.368
 7 N Karthikeyan             20:02.628
 8 L Burtildy                20:04.931
 9 T Sriachavanon            20:08.443
10 M O'Connell               20:09.785

SEAT LURGAN PARK RALLY:- Gwyndaf Evans came home over 11 seconds last year's winner Patrick Snijers to win the rally this time round. Evans and co-driver Howard Davies set the fastest times on the opening six stages and were always in control.

Result                       mins:secs
1 G Evans/H Davies     Seat   13:62.20
2 P Snijers/W McKee    Escort 14:03.80
3 D Biggers/R McC'less Metro  14:09.60
4 D McG'ity/V C'thers  Subaru 14:14.10
5 B Fisher/R Kennedy   Subaru 14:18.80
6 F Meagher/M Maher    Escort 14:28.40

F.RENAULT SPORT (Knockhill):-
Sunday result:
1 A Pizzonia                20.12.155
2 C Clark                   20.44.070
3 P Nilsson                 20.54.223
4 C Breeze                  20.54.784
5 M Boost                   20.54.784
6 D Barrett                 21.06.354

Sunday's round 10 result:   min secs
1 A Priaulx                16:41.751
2 T Masini                 16:59.356
3 N Greensall              17:01.888
4 A Hildebrand             17:02.164
5 J Dance                  17:03.723
6 O Mildenhall             17:06.235

VECTRA SRI V6 CHALLENGE (Knockhill):- Two weeks after walking away from a massive accident, Rob Collard returned to the winners podium for the first time since the opening round. Collard scored an impressive lights-to- flag victory in a brand new car after his previous won was destroyed against the crash barriers at Thruxton.

Round 10 result:           mins secs
1 R Collard                18:14.197
2 D Pinkney                18:16.670
3 G Pyper                  18:22.897
4 P Cate                   18:31.033
5 A Morrison               18:31.858
6 G Coomes                 18:33.030

F.VAUXHALL (Knockhill):- Gary Paffett stormed to his third win of the season and therefore put himself within striking distance of the championship leader Ryan Dalziel. The 18-year-old took advantage of a spectacular incident on the first lap where Dalziel removed compatriot Iain Brown. Neither driver made the restart.

Round 11 result:           mins secs
1 G Paffett                17:27.541
2 R Bell                   17:27.977
3 G Turkington             17:28.095
4 M Pavlovic               17:28.267
5 D Scandian               17:28.404
6 J Dalziel                17:30.715

FORD FIESTA'S (Knockhill):- Neal Gordon claimed his third win of the season as he and Paul Rivett, who came second, closed to within five points of series leader Dave Gibson. Early leader Simon Clarke was delayed following a clash with pursuer Gordon Shedden. Gibson limped home fifteenth due to a collision on the final lap.

Round 11 result:           mins secs
1 N Gordon                 19:04.522
2 P Rivett                 19:04.919
3 H Taylor                 19:10.376
4 M Cullen                 19:10.848
5 N Padleyon               19:11.202
6 C Stancombe              19:13.332

F.FORD (Knockhill):- Nicolas Kiesa moved closer to the title with his sixth win of the campaign.  The Dane overtook pole man Gary Catt on lap two and was never threatened for the rest of the race, despite a defiant charge from Mark Taylor.

Result after 22 laps:  mins secs
1 N Kiesa        Den    20:11.763
2 M Taylor       Eng    20:12.851
3 T Sisley       Eng    20:15.950
4 R Dahigron     Swe    20:20.258
5 M Ambrose      Aus    20:20.344
6 R van der Ende Hol    20:22.159


F1:- Eddie Irvine insists he is still on course to become Ferrari's first drivers' champion in 20 years. He leads by just two points after finishing third in Hungary. He said: "I can still win the title. I was pushing like hell because I didn't want David in my gearbox for the remaining laps. It's a disappointing result. There were a couple of things we did not do particularly well this weekend and we will have to talk about that."

CHAMP CARS (Mid-Ohio):- Juan Montoya rediscovered the winning habit by beating Canadian Paul Tracy for his fifth victory of the season. The Colombian rookie took the lead from Tracy on the 57th lap and pulled away to win by over ten seconds. Montoya had recently relinquished his lead in the drivers standings to Scotland's Dario Franchitti. And Franchitti finished the race third behind Montoya and Tracy with America's Jimmy Vasser and Max Papis of Italy fourth and fifth respectively.

Sunday's result:            hr min secs
 1 J Montoya    Col Honda   1:42:03.808
 2 P Tracy      Can Honda      @ 10.927
 3 D Franchitti GB  Honda      @ 12.313
 4 J Vasser     US  Honda      @ 14.728
 5 M Papis      It  Ford       @ 19.899
 6 G de Ferran  Brz Honda      @ 23.662
 7 H Castro-N   Brz Mercedes   @ 25.097
 8 M Andretti   US  Ford       @ 31.299
 9 C da Matta   Brz Toyota     @ 32.822
10 R Gordon     US  Toyota     @ 33.262
13 M Blundell   GB  Mercedes   @ 35.317

Driver standings              Points
1 D Franchitti GB  Honda       152
2 J Montoya    Col Honda       151
3 M Andretti   US  Ford        124
4 P Tracy      Can Honda       122
5 C Fittipaldi Brz Ford        101

Driver ratings (August 16)       Points
 1 M Hakkinen    Fin Formula One   981
 2 J Gordon      US  NASCAR        973
 3 D Jarrett     US  NASCAR        873
 4 E Irvine      GB  Formula One   853
 5 N Heidfeld    Ger F3000         766
 6 D Coulthard   GB  Formula One   763
 7 J Burton      US  NASCAR        760
 8 M Schumacher  Ger Formula One   744
 9 JP Montoya    Col Champ Cars    711
10 D Franchitti  GB  Champ Cars    704


F1:- Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher will have a fitness test on Thursday to see how his broken leg is healing. In a statement, the Italian team said: "Schumacher will undergo another medical examination to check on the course of his condition." The German injured his leg in a crash at the British Grand Prix and needed a second operation earlier this month. It is hoped that Schumacher might be fit take part in next month's Italian Grand Prix.

RALLY FINLAND:- Tommi Makinen is on the verge of making history in his home rally, which runs from Friday to Sunday. The Finn is aiming to become the first driver to win a round of the World Championship six years running. He is hot favourite to do just that and revealed: "Of course I always drive to win but this is a very special rally for me. It is always nice to be driving at home and I hope that I will make it six years in a row."

Colin McRae has something to prove in Finland after failing to pick up a point in the last three rounds. He had always stated that this was a bedding in season for the Ford Focus but early results suggested the car was already a serious title contender. The Scot secured victories in Kenya and Portugal but recent showings have been somewhat disappointing. Certainly, with a little more luck and reliability, McRae would have been closer to leader Tommi Makinen.

Carlos Sainz and Luis Moya were the first non-Scandinavian crew to win the Rally Finland, previously known as the 1000 Lakes Rally, back in 1990. The Spanish duo finished second last year and were third in 1989 and 1994. "Taking victory here in 1990 ranks as one of the most important wins in my career," admitted Toyota star Sainz. "It is a tough event to learn, especially because of the high speeds. If you make any mistakes they are usually big ones."

Carlos Sainz and Didier Auriol are the only non-Scandinavian drivers to have won Rally Finland. Auriol has contested the event nine times and tasted victory in 1992. The Frenchman, who is second in the driver standings, was also second twice and third twice so his experience could reap rewards this weekend. "I have good pace notes and because there is little change in the route that will help. There is no substitute for experience in this event," he said.

Freddy Loix and Sven Smeets have less experience of the Finnish stages than most top drivers but believe reliability will work in their favour. The Belgian crew think the Carisma GT will be suited to the event. Loix said: "This is a really difficult rally because of all the jumps and the high speeds but it is a fantastic rally for a driver. You must have confidence to achieve the times and we believe that the Mitsubishi will work well."

Mark Higgins will be hoping to repeat Volkswagen's two-litre World Cup success of last year, when Alister McRae drove to victory. "This will be my third time on the Rally Finland," said Higgins. "I have led my class on both my previous visits so I am hopeful of a good result. However, Alister was the first-ever Briton to win F2 in Finland. It is a rally that really suits the locals so I would expect them to be making the pace."

Adam Kent has the backing of Peugeot Sport to run the Esso Ultron test and development car in the event. The 1998 BTRDA champion is a former class winner in Finland, having won Class N1 and A5 in his 1300 Peugeot 106 in 1994 and 1996. Kent was also a front-runner in A7 in 1997 but he failed to finish because of an accident. If he can win class A6, Kent and the Peugeot 106 will have won three different categories in the rally.

Rising British star Neil Wearden steps up to the world stage in his first race since winning the British Championship at the Ulster Rally last month. The 27-year-old Lancastrian teams up with Irishman Trevor Agnew in the chase for Formula 2 two-litre honours. Vauxhall teammate Jarmo Kytolehto has twice finished third overall on hishome event and is again expected to do well. "I'm expecting him to be along way ahead with his experience," Wearden said. "I'm just going to enjoy it."


F1:- Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher has been told he is fit enough to resume driving after his broken leg. Team officials however could not confirm if the two-time world champion would start the next Grand Prix in Belgium on August 29. Schumacher will begin fitness tests on Friday at the wheel of his red Ferrari at the private circuit of Mugello. His right leg was fractured in two places when his car crashed into a tyre wall at the British GP on July 11.

BRITISH GT'S (Silverstone):- The championship continues this weekend with round eight of the series. The 50-minute two-driver race on Sunday will herald next stage in thebattle for the GT1 category between Julian Bailey and Jamie Campbell-Walter. In the GT2 category, the leading Lister Storm will be raced by David Warnock and Rob Schirle. Other GT2 cars include Porsches and six litre Marcos. Adding further flavour is Dutchman Cor Euser, who will share his Marcos Mantara with Calum Lockie.


F1:- Michael Schumacher has driven a Formula One car for the first time since breaking his leg in the British Grand Prix in July. "It was like coming home after a too long holiday," the 30-year-old two-time world champion said after finishing 65 laps, far exceeding expectations. Spinning his red F399 round the 5.250km Mugello circuit, Schumacher averaged 1:28.379 and edged out Eddie Irvine. "It was great to have the whole group together," team manager Jean Todt said.

RALLY FINLAND:- Marcus Gronholm made the most of his local knowledge to power his Peugeot into the lead after the first day. The Finn moved to the front of the field with a string of fast times to stay ahead of the chasing Subaru of fellow countryman Juha Kankkunen. Earlier in the day, Richard Burns had become the first Briton in the event's history to actually lead the rally. He eventually settled for third place ahead of Swede Thomas Radstrom and Carlos Sainz of Spain.

Leading positions after 7 stages:mins:secs
 1 M Gronholm  Fin Peugeot     42:01.5
 2 J K'kkunen  Fin Subaru      42:05.3
 3 R Burns     GB  Subaru      42:07.5
 4 T Radstrom  Swe Ford        42:11.1
 5 C Sainz     Sp  Toyota      42:15.1
 6 T Makinen   Fin Mitsubishi  42:19.8
 7 D Auriol    Fr  Toyota      42:24.9
 8 H R'pera    Fin SEAT        42:25.0
 9 C McRae     GB  Ford        42:34.6
10 M Martin    GB  Toyota      43:03.5

BRITISH GT'S (Silverstone):-
GT1 testing times (Fri):    min secs
1 O'Rourke/S'gdn McLaren    1:16.389
2 Bailey/C-W'ltr Lister     1:16.389
3 Wall'r/Lister  Porsche    1:16.943
4 Dean/Luby      Sintura    1.17.572

GT2 testing times (Fri):    min secs
1 Schirle/W'nock Lister     1:21.332
2 Erdos/Purvis   Marcos     1:21.744
3 Astley/Youles  Lotus      1:22.615
4 Lockie/Euser   Marcos     1:22.723

F.VAUXHALL (Croft):- Gary Turkington was quickest in testing for round twelve this weekend ahead of team-mate Milos Pavlovic. Series leader Ryan Dalziel, driving a new car after a crash at Knockhill last weekend, could only claim ninth spot.

Round 12 testing times:          secs
1 G Turkington   GB  Tim Sugden 48.041
2 M Pavlovic     Yug Tim Sugden 48.059
3 R Bell         GB  Team JLR   48.105
4 S Hodgetts     GB  Paston     48.293
5 D Scandion     Brz Team JLR   48.314
6 J Dalziel      GB  Team JLR   48.336


RALLY FINLAND:- World championship leader Tommi Makinen pulled out with gearbox trouble as fellow Finn Juha Kankkunen took the overall lead after the second day. Makinen was in fifth when he was forced to withdraw, allowing Britain's Colin McRae to move up a position and end the day fourth in his Ford Focus. Kankkunen holds a ten second advantage over Spaniard Carlos Sainz with Richard Burns a further six seconds behind. Overnight leader Marcus Gronholm fell back to fifth in his Peugeot.

Leading positions after 17 stages:
 1 J K'kkunen  Fin Subaru   2:23.13.7
 2 C Sainz     Sp  Toyota    @   10.0
 3 R Burns     GB  Subaru    @   16.0
 4 C McRae     GB  Ford      @   57.3
 5 M Gronholm  Fin Peugeot   @ 1.17.2
 6 H R'pera    Fin SEAT      @ 1.46.8
 7 S Lindholm  Fin Ford      @ 3.02.3
 8 T G'meister Fin Ford      @ 3.04.8
 9 D Auriol    Fr  Toyota    @ 3.14.3
10 J Tuohino   Fin Ford      @ 6.09.6

DRIVER STANDINGS               Pts
1 T Makinen    Fin  Mitsubishi  46
2 D Auriol     Fr   Toyota      35
3 C Sainz      Sp   Toyota      30
4 J Kankkunen  Fin  Subaru      24
5 C McRae      GB   Ford        23
= R Burns      GB   Subaru      23

1 Toyota         78 pts
2 Mitsubishi     59
3 Subaru         52
4 Ford           35
5 SEAT           12
6 Skoda           3

BRITISH GT'S (Silverstone):- Richard Dean and Kurt Luby claimed pole for Sunday's eighth round race. Dean set a scorching pace in the new Sintura 99, lapping in one minute 15.483 seconds. That was two-hundreths of a second faster than the McLaren F1 of Tim Sugden and Steve O'Rourke. In GT2, the Marcos of Thomas Erdos and Andy Purvis set the pace. That, despite having its engine rebuilt overnight after problems in testing.

GT1 qualifying times (Sat): min secs
1 Dean/Luby      Sintura    1.15.483
2 O'Rourke/S'gdn McLaren    1:15.511
3 Wall'r/Lister  Porsche    1:16.001
4 Bailey/C-W'ltr Lister     1:16.085

GT2 qualifying times (Sat): min secs
1 Erdos/Purvis   Marcos     1:21.145
2 Astley/Youles  Lotus      1:21.448
3 Schirle/W'nock Lister     1:22.275
4 Lockie/Euser   Marcos     1:22.293

VAUXHALL VECTRA CHALLENGE (Brands Hatch):- Gavin Pyper was quickest in testing for round 11 of the Vauxhall Vectra Challenge at Brands Hatch. James Rhodes was second with the unique liquid petroleum gas powered car of Mark Ticehurst third quickest.

Leading SRi V6 testing times (Fri):
1 G Pyper                      53.027
2 J Rhodes                     53.152
3 M Ticehurst                  53.265
4 R Collard                    53.309
5 P Cate                       53.401
6 A Morrison                   53.528

F.PALMER AUDI (Silverstone):- Dutchman Jeroen Bleekemolen took his first FPA pole position at Silverstone, Damien Faulkner is alongside him on the front row with title leader Richard Lyons a menacing third.

Leading qualifying times (Sat):
                       min secs
1 J Bleekemolen        1:19.016
2 D Faulkner           1:19.118
3 R Lyons              1:19.267
4 S Hancock            1:19.286
5 R Tarling            1:19.382
6 T Mullen             1:19.426


RALLY FINLAND:- Local favourite Juha Kankkunen won the race to become the most successful rally driver ever. The Finn had previously shared the record with Carlos Sainz but claimed his 23rd win ahead of Subaru team-mate Richard Burns. Spaniard Sainz was third but Tommi Makinen retained the lead in the world championship despite being forced to pull out of the event on Saturday. Makinen is 10 points clear of Didier Auriol with three races remaining.

Final placings:           hrs:mins.secs
 1 J K'kkunen  Fin Subaru   3:08.54.5
 2 R Burns     GB  Subaru   @     9.7
 3 C Sainz     Sp  Toyota   @    18.0
 4 M Gronholm  Fin Peugeot  @  1.32.2
 5 H R'pera    Fin SEAT     @  2.10.1
 6 T G'meister Fin Ford     @  3.09.5
 7 S Lindholm  Fin Ford     @  4.04.7
 8 J Tuohino   Fin Ford     @  9.05.0
 9 F Delecour  Fr  Peugeot  @  9.54.4
10 F Loix      Bel M'bishi  @ 10.49.0

DRIVER STANDINGS               Pts
1 T Makinen    Fin  Mitsubishi  48
2 D Auriol     Fr   Toyota      38
3 C Sainz      Sp   Toyota      34
= J Kankkunen  Fin  Subaru      34
5 R Burns      GB   Subaru      29
6 C McRae      GB   Ford        23

1 Toyota         85 pts
2 Subaru         68
3 Mitsubishi     61
4 Ford           35
5 SEAT           16
6 Skoda           3
= Peugeot         3

BRITISH GT'S (Silverstone):- Richard Dean and Kurt Luby gave the Sintura S99 its' first-ever race win at the conclusion of a thrilling eighth round of the Championships. They took the chequered flag just two- and-a-half seconds ahead of the Blue Coral Slick 50 Racing Porsche 911 GT1 of Magnus Wallinder and Geoff Lister. In GT2 Rob Schirle and David Warnock won again in their Lister Storm. They had to work very hard to fend off the Lotus Esprit V8 of Ian Astley and Mike Youles.

GT1 result (Sun):         mins:secs
1 Dean/Luby      Sintura  51.03.173
2 Wall'r/Lister  Porsche  51:05.715
3 O'Rourke/S'gdn McLaren  51:10.002
4 Bailey/C-W'ltr Lister   51:25.808

GT2 result (Sun):       laps
1 Schirle/W'nock Lister   36
2 Astley/Youles  Lotus    36
3 Lockie/Euser   Marcos   36
4 Phil'ps/L'dell Porsche  35

F.PALMER AUDI (Silverstone):- Damien Faulkner became the sixth winner of the season after snatching the lead at the first corner and holding off championship leader Richard Lyons. Lyons crashed out letting Richard Tarling into second to close the gap in the title race. Robbie Kerr was third.

Result (Sun):    mins:secs
1 D Faulkner     21:37.331
2 R Tarling      21:39.122
3 R Kerr         21:43.029
4 T Serjala      21:43.248
5 J Bleekemolen  21:44.299
6 S Hancock      21:44.542

PIRELLI PORSCHE CUP (Brands Hatch):- Adam Simmons scored his first Porsche Cup victory. Simmons had to battle ahead of David Jones to take the lead and passed his rival with a fine move at Paddock Wood. Earlier, Peter Chambers pulled clear but went out after engine trouble.

Result (Sun):   mins secs
1 A Simmons      27:15.47
2 D Jones        27:21.12
3 R True         27:22.44
4 M Sumpter      27:22.47

Qualifying times (Sat):
 1 M Papis      It  Ford     162.559mph
 2 M Blundell   GB  Mercedes 162.381
 3 J Vasser     US  Honda    162.331
 4 D Franchitti GB  Honda    162.296
 5 H Castro-N   Brz Mercedes 162.246
 6 P Carpentier Can Mercedes 161.884
 7 B Herta      US  Ford     161.842
 8 R Moreno     Brz Ford     161.222
 9 C da Matta   Brz Toyota   161.019
10 J Montoya    Col Honda    160.357


F1:- Michael Schumacher, who broke his leg during the British Grand Prix in July, has taken to his mountain bike in Saint Tropez in a bid to recover fitness. The two-times former champion has been mountain bike training in the French Riviera resort since Saturday. Schumacher made a successful return to the Formula One track on the Mugello circuit in his Ferrari F399 on Friday. No date is set for Schumacher's return to competition, but he hopes to be back for the Italian GP on September 12.

F.FORD (Brands Hatch):- Ricardo van der Ende gave his championship hopes a boost when he set the fastest time in testing. Arch title rival Nicolas Kiesa was seventh fastest as nine-tenths of a second separated the first 22 cars.

Round 12 testing times:(Mon)
1 R van der Ende      47.879
2 C Murray            47.937
3 P Gray              48.027
4 M Taylor            48.035
5 T Sisley            48.105
6 J Courtney          48.108

CART (Chicago):- Mark Blundell has signed a new two-year deal with the PacWest Racing team. The Englishman first joined the FedEx CART Championship team in 1996 and has won three races in their car. "I'm very happy to continue with PacWest," he said. "I have the utmost respect for team owner Bruce McCaw and the package he has constructed. "Missing eight races put us out of contention this season but I'm looking forward to being part of a championship winning team into the new millennium."

Scotland's Dario Franchitti was knocked off the top of the CART drivers standings after being beaten by Juan Montoya at the Target Grand Prix. Colombia's Montoya broke former Formula One champion Nigel Mansell's six-year record for rookie victories in the series with his sixth of the season. Montoya finished 0.783sec ahead of the Scot to regain the lead by four points in the race for the title. A disappointed Franchitti said: "The car was alright, but not perfect."

Result (Sun):               hr:min:sec
 1 J Montoya    Col Honda    1:53:38.7
 2 D Franchitti GB  Honda         @0.7
 3 J Vasser     US  Honda     225 laps
 4 M Papis      It  Ford      225
 5 H Castro-N   Brz Mercedes  225
 6 P Carpentier Can Mercedes  225
 7 PJ Jones     US  Ford      225
 8 B Herta      US  Ford      224
 9 R Moreno     Brz Ford      223
10 R Gordon     US  Toyota    223
21 M Blundell   GB  Mercedes  142


F1:- Michael Schumacher, who broke his leg at the British Grand Prix in July, will not be fit in time to return at the Belgian Grand Prix next week. Ferrari have confirmed that Schumacher is expected to make his comeback at the Italian Grand Prix on September 12. Schumacher will test at Monza early next month to assess his situation. A Ferrari spokesman said. "He will carry out a race distance simulation as preparation for a possible participation in the Italian GP."

Frenchman Jean Alesi will move to the Prost Formula One team after quitting Sauber at the end of the season. Alesi is likely to replace Jarno Trulli and team up with compatriot Olivier Panis in the French team. He has won one Grand Prix in a career spanning 11 years which has seen him also drive for Tyrrell and Ferrari. Sauber signed him from Benetton at the beginning of last season but he has been frustrated by the car's poor performance and lack of reliability.

BTCC:- The championship returns to Brands Hatch over the Bank Holiday this weekend for rounds 21 and 22. The 1999 BTCC has produced nine different winners, equalling the all- time record of successful drivers. Alain Menu was the latest to triumph, taking the chequered flag in Knockhill two weeks ago. Laurent Aiello and David Leslie are well clear at the top of the driver's championship while reigning champion Rickard Rydell also features.

With Laurent Aiello and David Leslie locked in battle for the drivers championship, there is little doubt the Primera has been the car of the season. Now that the pair have all but secured the manufacturers' title for Nissan, they can concentrate on fighting it out for the individual honours. "Now that our rivals cannot catch us, the pressure is off a little bit," said Aiello, who won at Brands Hatch in May. "Now I have to continue to score good points for myself," he added.

Frenchman Laurent Aiello may hold a 14-point lead over his Nissan teammate but David Leslie is ready to fight all the way for the drivers title. "We have almost achieved all our pre- season targets, especially to bring home some silverware for Nissan," Leslie explained. "But once that is secure, we'll be able to get on with racing for the title. It should be really exciting for the fans and could go all the way to the last round," he added.

James Thompson has conceded defeat in his quest for the title after a run of bad luck that has brought him just six points from the last six races. The London-based Yorkshireman admitted: "Three meetings ago, I was right up there but since Snetterton, nothing has gone right for me. "It looks like we'll have to settle for third place again this year." Former champion Gabriele Tarquini will be racing for Honda at Brands Hatch after impressing at Knockhill.

Alain Menu triumphed at Brands Hatch back in May and will hope to continue the good form that saw him win the last round at Knockhill. "Of course there are still areas we need to work on but there is much more potential there," he confirmed. "I really wasn't surprised by our performance in Scotland - the car has been competitive all year. And Brands Hatch suits the car as we saw in May so there is no reason why we cannot be at the front again."

A late season run of good form has seen reigning champion Rickard Rydell move into contention for third place. But the Swede has resigned himself to failing in his bid to become the first driver of the modern era to retain the successfully defend the BTCC crown. "We have had the pace all year but are paying for a poor start," he conceded. "We have set six fastest laps and taken four pole positions. Without the non-finishes, we could have put pressure on the Nissans."

CHAMPION SPARK PLUG WORLD RANKING:- The rankings are in their third year and are a way of determining the world's best drivers. The roll-on format means the drivers start with the previous season's points total and they lose a proportion of these each time they race. Points are awarded to the top 10 finishers in each race and the amount depends on the rating of that championship and the number of rounds. Formula One, for example, is rated 10 and NASCAR and Champ Cars 9.5.

Driver ratings (August 24)       Points
 1 M Hakkinen    Fin Formula One   981
 2 J Gordon      US  NASCAR        978
 3 D Jarrett     US  NASCAR        880
 4 E Irvine      GB  Formula One   853
 5 JP Montoya    Col Champ Cars    791
 6 N Heidfeld    Ger F3000         766
 7 D Coulthard   GB  Formula One   763
 8 D Franchitti  GB  Champ Cars    758
 9 M Schumacher  Ger Formula One   744
10 J Burton      US  NASCAR        742


Heinz Harald Frentzen has been testing at Silverstone this week with his Jordan set for Spa specifications. "Spa is very exciting for different reasons," he explained. "I like it because it is a very natural track with very interesting turns into the forest. "The fast corners are challenging, and Eau Rouge is the most exciting corner of the F1 season. It is a challenge to make it flat through the turn at around 250km and the weather is so unpredictable."

Jordan chiefs are confident of a good finish at the Spa circuit on Sunday. "Everyone in the team is looking forward to it," said chief executive Eddie Jordan. "We have to keep pressing to secure third in the Championship." Managing director Trevor Foster added: "All the drivers love the Spa circuit and gain real satisfaction from racing. I think the combination of high speed corners and the undulating nature of the track is what makes it so special. We hope to get the perfect car set up."

Jordan engineer Mike Gascoyne revealed that the Spa circuit was also favoured with the back-up teams. "This circuit has so much history, and from an engineering point of view it is the most enjoyable weekend of the year because the track is so good," he said. "We run medium to low downforce but the challenge is to find the right balance to cope with the quick corners. Last year we performed well in wet and dry in Spa. We should be very bullish, we have everything to play for."

Young pretender Ralf Schumacher was one of only a few drivers to have a good race at Spa last year. He stayed out of trouble in appalling conditions and was able to challenge Damon Hill for the lead at the end when team orders were issued by Jordan. "I have good memories of Spa because that's my best result so far," he said. "Spa is not an easy track for the drivers or the teams. Eau Rouge is one of the most amazing corners. I expect a good performance from my car."

During practice for the race six years ago, Alex Zanardi had a major accident at the famous Eau Rouge corner. The active suspension on his Lotus failed at approximately 180mph but he is not fazed by the incident. "Despite the fact that in Spa I have probably the worst memories of my career with that accident I still like the place, I love it really," he said. "The length is superior but what makes it really special is the variety of turns. It's a beautiful circuit."

Jacques Villeneuve will be hoping that a return to one of his favourite circuits will signal a change of luck for the British American Racing team. "Spa is an amazing track and I just really like racing on it. It is a pleasure to drive the circuit," he said "When you complete a lap, you feel like you've travelled somewhere, like you've really achieved something. Eau Rouge is a brilliant corner that you can take flat out. Hopefully, I'll be able to do that this year too."

The Stewart team will be hoping to translate fast testing times into more championship points. Chief operating officer Paul Stewart said: "In testing, there was improved stability in the faster corners which bodes well for Spa." Stewart's British driver Johnny Herbert explained why Spa is such a popular circuit with the drivers. "It's so demanding and presents such a challenge. Every aspect of a driver's expertise is tested."

The Arrows team spent two days testing at Silverstone in preparation for Spa. Tora Takagi spent the first day testing developments for the new car, while the next day saw Pedro De La Rosa working on active differential. Final touches will be added at Santa Pod when De La Rosa will shake down al three cars before they go to Belgium. Technical director Mike Coughlan said: "With the introduction of Eghbal Hamidy to the team, we are looking to make some significant improvements."

Utilising public roads, Spa is the longest circuit on this year's circuit. It has a demanding, medium-downforce track, where man and machinery are tested to the limit, on its long and sweeping curves up and down hill. As well as the daunting Eau Rouge, Spa boasts the fastest corner in F1, Blanchimont, the long left hander just before the tight Bus Stop chicane. Spa has held the event annually since 1985. Rain has been known to flood the track one end, with sunshine elsewhere.

RALLYING:- Second place in the Rally of Finland was enough to keep Richard Burns at the top of the Sony/Volkswagen British Rally Driver rankings. The Subaru star is the highest ranked driver for the third month in a row. Ford driver Colin McRae stays in second ahead of his younger brother Alister who remains in third. Gwyndaf Evans moves up one position to fourth as Martin Rowe slips back while Neil Wearden climbs eight places to tenth place.

Leading drivers
 1 R Burns
 2 C McRae
 3 A McRae
 4 G Evans
 5 M Rowe
 6 M Dodd
 7 J Price
 8 M Higgins
 9 D Higgins
10 N Wearden

F.RENAULT:- Antonio Pizzonia will be crowned Formula Renault Sport Champion if he finishes ahead of teammate Rob Austin at Brands Hatch on Bank Holiday Monday.

RENAULT SPIDER CUP:- Andy Priaulx may already be Renault Spider Cup champion, but he will also be bidding for an 11th straight victory at Brands Hatch this weekend. TVR Tuscans will head to Snetterton this weekend to compete for the Archie Scott Brown Trophy.

26.08.99 - F1

Jordan have signed Italian driver Jarno Trulli to replace retiring former world champion Damon Hill next season. Jordan boss Eddie Jordan said the 25-year-old Prost driver was one of the most exciting prospects on the Formula One circuit. Jordan said: "I believe Jarno has great potential and will find the right environment in our team to develop his true talent. I am quite certain he will develop with Jordan into a winning driver."

Finnish driver Mika Salo, who has been deputising for the injured Michael Schumacher at Ferrari, will drive for the Sauber team next season. Sauber announced the signing of Salo on a two-year contract ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa this weekend. Salo, 32, replaces Jean Alesi who will be driving for Prost next season.


David Coulthard outpaced McLaren team mate Mika Hakkinen to record the fastest lap in free practice. Coulthard set a searing pace in overcast conditions, finishing with a best lap of 1:53.577. Heinz-Harald Frentzen finished in fourth position behind Giancarlo Fisichella in a Benetton. Frentzen crashed his Jordan heavily into the barriers with 35 minutes to go. He was uninjured but was unable to carry on.

Free practice was stopped when the right front wheel on Jacques Villeneuve's car came off on the fastest part of the circuit. Approaching the Les Combes straight the wheel came adrift, forcing Villeneuve to lock his brakes and slide along the safety barriers. He emerged from the car unharmed but was unable to take any further part in the session. Practice resumed after Villeneuve's car was cleared from the track.

Friday free practice times:   mins secs
 1 D Coulthard   GB  McLaren   1:53.577
 2 M Hakkinen    Fin McLaren   1:54.021
 3 G Fisichella  It  Benetton  1:54.066
 4 H-H Frentzen  Ger Jordan    1:54.678
 5 D Hill        GB  Jordan    1:54.892
 6 R Schumacher  Ger Williams  1:54.899
 7 J Herbert     GB  Stewart   1:54.975
 8 M Salo        Fin Ferrari   1:55.032
 9 E Irvine      GB  Ferrari   1:55.242
10 J Alesi       Fr  Sauber    1:55.271
11 R Barrichello Brz Stewart   1:55.484
12 A Wurz        Aut Benetton  1:55.486
13 O Panis       Fr  Prost     1:55.541
14 A Zanardi     It  Williams  1:55.743
15 L Badoer      It  Minardi   1:56.090
16 T Takagi      Jpn Arrows    1:56.263
17 P Paolo Diniz Brz Sauber    1:56.310
18 J Villeneuve  Can BAR-S'tec 1:56.429
19 P de la Rosa  Sp  Arrows    1:56.749
20 J Trulli      It  Prost     1:56.765
21 M Gene        Sp  Minardi   1:56.855
22 R Zonta       Brz BAR-S'tec 1:57.717

Giancarlo Fisichella and Alexander Wurz will continue to drive for Benetton next season. The team also have an option on both drivers for the 2001 campaign. Prost have signed 22-year-old German driver Nick Heidfeld for next season. He teams up with Jean Alesi.

F3000 (Spa-Francorchamps):- Oliver Gavin and Jamie Davies both turned in solid performances to qualify for the ninth round of the Championship on Saturday. Gavin will start the race from the sixth row and Davies from the tenth. Gavin said: "We made big adjustments after Hungary and it has paid off. My car responded well particularly in the mid-point of the session." Formula Racing team owner Paul Stoddart said: "I'm happy to have both cars in the race."

Qualifying times (Fri):      mins:secs
 1 J Watt        Den Super N  2:08.829
 2 F Walfisch    Fr  Draco    2:14.194
 3 B Junqueira   Brz Potr'ras 2:09.066
 4 N Minassian   Fr  K Jensen 2:14.353
 5 S Sarrazin    Fr  Gaul'ses 2:09.344
 6 F Montagny    Fr  DAMS     2:14.954
 7 S Ayari       Fr  Cica     2:09.460
 8 D Saelens     Bel Super N  2:14.697
 9 G Rodriguez   Uru Ast'mega 2:09.594
10 N Heidfeld    Ger WEST     2:14.787
12 O Gavin       GB  F Racing 2:15.509
19 J Davies      GB  F Racing 2:10.283

F3 (Donington Park):-
Round 13 - testing times (Fri):
1 M Hynes            1:30.111
2 N Karthikeyan      1:30.312
3 M Davies           1:30.468
4 L Burti            1:30.593
5 K Kolby            1:30.617
6 M Bentwood         1:30.682

MEWLA NATIONAL RALLY:- Chris Wood has won the last four rounds of the Safety Devices National Macadam Rally Championship but still trails defending champion John Price. If Wood scores maximum points in this weekend's penultimate round in Wales then he will clinch the title. If he fails then the championship will go down to the final event of the season in Wexford in three weeks time. Chris Griffiths and Melvyn Evans are both looking to upset the front two on a course where they normally prosper.

F.PALMER AUDI:- Tim Mullen was fastest in Formula Palmer Audi testing at Brands Hatch on Thursday. The Northern Ireland driver finished just 29/1000ths of a second ahead of Jeroen Bleekemolen.


Mika Hakkinen will be on pole for the 10th time this season after setting the pace in an interrupted session. Two crashes saw the session stopped but Hakkinen kept his concentration to set a time of one minute, 50.329 seconds. David Coulthard was just 0.155 of a second behind him with Heinz-Harald Frentzen in third. Damon Hill, who won this race last year, was a creditable fourth but Eddie Irvine came in a disappointing sixth to leave him on the third row of the grid.

Jacques Villeneuve's troubles continued at Spa after a spectacular crash in qualifying. The Canadian had a wheel come off his car during Friday's session ` but this time it was a lot worse. Villeneuve, aiming to give British American Racing a boost, spun backwards into a safety wall and werecked his car at Eau Rouge but amazingly was unhurt. Teammate Ricardo Zonta also had an escape when his car went flying off and disintegrated - but again he was okay.

Final qualifying positions(Sat):mins:secs
 1 M Hakkinen    Fin McLaren   1:50.329
 2 D Coulthard   GB  McLaren   1:50.484
 3 H-H Frentzen  Ger Jordan    1:51.332
 4 D Hill        GB  Jordan    1:51.372
 5 R Schumacher  Ger Williams  1:51.414
 6 E Irvine      GB  Ferrari   1:51.895
 7 R Barrichello Brz Stewart   1:51.974
 8 A Zanardi     It  Williams  1:52.014
 9 M Salo        Fin Ferrari   1:52.124
10 J Herbert     GB  Stewart   1:52.164
11 J Villeneuve  Can BAR-S'tec 1:52.235
12 J Trulli      It  Prost     1:52.644
13 G Fisichella  It  Benetton  1:52.762
14 R Zonta       Brz BAR-S'tec 1:52.840
15 A Wurz        Aut Benetton  1:52.847
16 J Alesi       Fr  Sauber    1:52.921
17 O Panis       Fr  Prost     1:53.148
18 P Diniz       Brz Sauber    1:53.778
19 T Takagi      Jpn Arrows    1:54.099
20 L Badoer      It  Minardi   1:54.197
21 M Gene        Sp  Minardi   1:54.557
22 P de la Rosa  Sp  Arrows    1:54.579

Bernie Ecclestone has decided to take the Belgian Grand Prix off next year's Formula One calendar. His declaration follows the move by Belgian authorities to ban tobacco advertising during the race. Serge Kubla, the Minister of the Economy of Belgium's French-speaking region, confirmed the news after a two-hour meeting with Ecclestone. Most Formula One teams are heavily backed by numerous sponsors from the tobacco industry.


David Coulthard stormed to victory at Spa with a superb drive to finish ahead of team-mate Mika Hakkinen. Coulthard and Hakkinen made contact at the first corner but the Scot soon pulled away and finally won by a massive 15 seconds. Heinz-Harald Frentzen took third place in a Jordan but British drivers took two of the remaining top six places. Eddie Irvine finished fourth in his Ferrari while last year's winner Damon Hill ended the race in sixth place.

David Coulthard was delighted after clinching an emphatic victory to record McLaren's first win at Spa since the late Ayrton Senna triumphed in 1991. "This has always been my favourite track and I'm delighted to win here," said Coulthard afterwards. "But I'm not thinking about the title. I'm only thinking about the next race. I'm looking forward to Monza and we will prepare the car in the best way we can," he added, after his win put him 14 points behind leader Hakkinen.

David Coulthard was unconcerned after his brush with Mika Hakkinen at the start of the race which he won easily. Coulthard and team-mate Hakkinen made contact on the first bend but it did not hamper the McLaren pair unduly. "Obviously the start was important. When the red lights went out, Mika moved and then I made the better start. He came over to defend and I realised it was going to be close. There was a little bit of contact, we did touch, but fortunately there was no damage."

Mika Hakkinen was disappointed with his second place as David Coulthard won the race by a comfortable margin. Hakkinen and team-mate Coulthard made contact at the first bend before the Scot surged away to take command. "It was an experience again. I'm not very pleased and I don't wish to comment further. I admit I did have a clutch problem but I still think I made a reasonable start and you don't expect somebody to overtake you there."

Eddie Irvine was content to finish in fourth place after a dismal weekend in practice and qualifying. "Considering our situation today I am happy that I am only one point behind Hakkinen in the championship. I thought it could be a bigger gap," said Irvine. "We have not been fast enough all weekend and it was very hard to do good lap times, so it was good result. But we have to continue to fight for points and not give up until the end of the season."

Heinz-Harald Frentzen felt sympathy for the crowd after David Coulthard won the race in convincing style. The German eventually finished third with championship leader Mika Hakkinen second, well behind the flying Scot. "I felt sorry for the spectators as they were not able to see a closer race," said the Jordan driver. "But I'm quite happy I was able to avoid the confusion at the start of the race. I had to follow David and Mika and they were just too fast today."

Johnny Herbert once again had to endure a retirement after spinning out of the race which was won by David Coulthard. It was the sixth time in 12 outings that the Stewart driver has not managed to finish as his brakes failed. "I went off the grass at Pouhon because of a brake problem. I pumped the pedal and it seemed fine," said Herbert. "But at the next corner Fagnes, it felt like I lost the brakes and I went straight onto the gravel trap and hit the barrier backwards."

Result after 44 laps:       hr:min:secs
 1 D Coulthard  GB  McLaren 1:25.43.057
 2 M Hakkinen   Fin McLaren   @  10.4
 3 H-H Frentzen Ger Jordan    @  33.4
 4 E Irvine     GB  Ferrari   @  44.9
 5 R Schumacher Ger Williams  @  48.0
 6 D Hill       GB  Jordan    @  54.9
 7 M Salo       It  Ferrari   @  56.2
 8 A Zanardi    It  Williams  @1:07.0
 9 J Alesi      Fr  Sauber    @1:13.8
10 R Bar'chello Brz Stewart   @1:20.7
11 G Fisichella It  Benetton  @1:32.1
12 J Trulli     It  Prost     @1:36.1
13 O Panis      Fr  Prost     @1:41.5
14 A Wurz       Aut Benetton  @1:57.7
15 J Villeneuve Can BAR-S     @one lap
16 M Gene       Sp  Minardi   @one lap

   T Tagaki     Jpn Arrows
   P Diniz      Brz Sauber
   J Herbert    GB  Stewart
   R Zonta      Brz BAR-S
   L Badoer     It  Minardi

 1 M Hakkinen    Fin  McLaren   60 pts
 2 E Irvine      GB   Ferrari   59
 3 D Coulthard   GB   McLaren   46
 4 H-H Frentzen  Ger  Jordan    40
 5 M Schumacher  Ger  Ferrari   32
 6 R Schumacher  Ger  Williams  24
 7 G Fisichella  Ita  Benetton  13
 8 R Barrichello Brz  Stewart   12
 9 D Hill        GB   Jordan     7
10 M Salo        Fin  Ferrari    6
11 P Diniz       Brz  Sauber     3
 = A Wurz        Aut  Benetton   3
13 J Herbert     GB   Stewart    2 pts
 = O Panis       Fr   Prost      2
15 P de la Rosa  Sp   Arrows     1
 = J Alesi       Fr   Sauber     1
 = J Trulli      It   Prost      1

1 McLaren      106 pts
2 Ferrari       97
3 Jordan        47
4 Williams      24
5 Benetton      16
6 Stewart       14
7 Sauber         4
8 Prost          3
9 Arrows         1

BTCC (Brands Hatch):- Series leader Laurent Aiello and reigning champion Rickard Rydell each claimed a pole positions in qualifying for rounds 21 and 22. Frenchman Aiello was in line for both poles at one point until Rydell sneaked ahead with just minutes left in the earlier of the two sessions. "It is a tight, narrow circuit so to start on the front of the grid should be a great advantage," he said. Aiello's teammate and rival for the title David Lesie is on the second row.

Round 21:                       secs
 1 L Aiello    Fr    Nissan    46.400
 2 R Rydell    Swe   Volvo     46.562
 3 J Thompson  GB    Honda     46.641
 4 D Leslie    GB    Nissan    46.694
 5 M Neal      GB    Nissan    46.719
 6 J Boullion  Fr    Renault   46.728
 7 J Plato     GB    Renault   46.832
 8 P Kox       Hol   Honda     46.902
 9 A Reid      GB    Ford      46.975
10 V Radermeck Bel   Volvo     47.013

Round 22:                       secs
 1 R Rydell    Swe   Volvo     46.522
 2 L Aiello    Fr    Nissan    46.629
 3 D Leslie    GB    Nissan    46.675
 4 J Thompson  GB    Honda     46.694
 5 P Kox       Hol   Honda     46.777
 6 J Boullion  Fr    Renault   46.815
 7 V Radermeck Bel   Volvo     46.890
 8 M Neal      GB    Nissan    46.920
 9 A Menu      Swi   Ford      46.921
10 A Reid      GB    Ford      46.965

F3000 (Spa-Francorchamps):- Oliver Gavin won the battle of the Brits, finishing two places ahead of Jamie Davies in a creditable ninth. Gavin made a good start but suffered later on following a rear wheel collision as Spa upheld its reputation for a high level of attrition. "I managed to hold my position and avoid any trouble on the track early on but suffered on the penultimate lap," Gavin explained. Watt in his Super Nova came out on top in the dramatic 30-lap race.

 1 J Watt      Den Super Nova  1:13.57
 2 G Rodriguez Uru Astromega   1:14.00
 3 N Minassian Fr  Kid Jensen  1:14.01
 4 N Heidfeld  Ger WEST COMP   1:14.04
 5 D Saelens   Bel Super Nova  1:14.10
 6 R Mauricio  Bra Red Bull    1:14.14
 7 A Couto     Por Gauloises   1:14.16
 8 D Terrien   Fr  DAMS        1:14.24
 9 O Gavin     GB  European    1:14.24
10 D Morelli   GB  Coloni      1:14.26

RENAULT SPIDER CUP (Brands Hatch):- New champion Andy Priaulx maintained his 100% pole position record with the fastest time ahead of team-mates Toba Masini and Phil Bennett. Priaulx also remains unbeaten this season and could mark his 11th straight win in Monday's race.

Qualifying times (Sun):
1 A Priaulx            51.387 secs
2 T Masini             51.687
3 P Bennett            51.779
4 M Cole               51.839
5 S Hill               51.917
6 A Hildebrand         52.048

VECTRA CHALLENGE (Brands Hatch):- Gavin Pyper has become the youngest racer in the series to claim pole position for Monday's round 11. Championship contender Rob Collard lines up alongside 20-year-old Pyper with Matt Turner in third spot.

Qualifying times (Sun):
1 G Pyper              52.745 secs
2 R Collard            52.761
3 M Turner             52.990
4 P Cate               53.027
5 M Ticehurst          53.033
6 J Rhodes             53.093

F.RENAULT:- Antonio Pizzonia took pole position for the race in which he could clinch the championship. To win it Pizzonia must beat team-mate Rob Austin who qualified third behind Leighton Walker. Dan Barrett was the top Star Cup runner in fifth.

Qualifying times (Sun):
1 A Pizzonia     Brz   45.871 secs
2 L Walker       GB    46.077
3 R Austin       GB    46.099
4 P Nilsson      GB    46.741
5 D Barett       GB    46.809
6 C Breeze       GB    46.831

F.VAUXHALL:- Yugoslav Milos Pavlovic was fastest in qualifying for Monday's 12th round of the championship at Brands Hatch. His team-mate Gary Turkington was second while title challenger Gary Paffett, winner at Knockhill two weeks ago, was third.

Qualifying times (Sun):
1 M Pavlovic           47.913 secs
2 G Turkington         47.964
3 G Paffett            48.034
4 J Dalziel            48.076
5 R Dalziel            48.198
6 D Scandian           48.276

MEWLA NATIONAL RALLY:- Chris Wood and Melvyn Evans were the joint leaders at the end of the first day, having raced through the first six stages in identical times. Jon Mercer is third with local driver Eian Pritchard and Chris Griffiths following close behind. Crews completed two stages in the Royal Welsh Showground at Builth Wells and then two stages on the Epynt Rangers before returning to the Showground. John Price went out after damaging his Metro's suspension on the first stage.


F1:- Ferrari chief Luca di Montezemolo has rapped the knuckles of his team's engineers after the weekend's bitterly disappointing Belgian Grand Prix. Eddie Irvine was behind during qualifying and only finished fourth in Sunday's race, describing the car as "the worst of the year." "If the drivers don't have the car, they can't win, and at Spa they didn't have the car," said Montezemolo. "I'm calling for the fullest possible technical support for the drivers."

Jaguar are set to make their debut on the Formula One stage next season, according to The Times. The report says that the Formula One Commission, which represents the 11 teams in the sport, should agree to the Stewart Ford team being called Jaguar. They are also targeting Eddie Irvine and Johnny Herbert as their drivers. The Times says orders have been placed for new lorries painted in Jaguar's British racing green while the 60 Stewart Ford staff will be retained.

BTCC (Brands Hatch):- Frenchman Laurent Aiello won the feature race and came second in the sprint to tighten his grip on the drivers championship. Out-dragged by Rickard Rydell in the shorter race - the Swede eventually went on to win it - Aiello was always in control of the longer battle. Storming away after a perfect start, he finished ten seconds clear of teammate and championship rival David Leslie. Aiello is now 22 points clear of Leslie with just four rounds remaining.

Round 21 result (Mon):       mins:secs
 1 R Rydell    Swe   Volvo   19:56.743
 2 L Aiello    Fr    Nissan  19:57.167
 3 J Thompson  GB    Honda   19:59.487
 4 D Leslie    GB    Nissan  20:02.353
 5 M Neal      GB    Nissan  20:02.754
 6 J Plato     GB    Renault 20:03.569
 7 J Boullion  Fr    Renault 20:04.101
 8 A Reid      GB    Ford    20:05.541
 9 P Kox       Hol   Honda   20:06.757
10 V Rad'ecker Bel   Volvo   20:08.681

Round 22 result (Mon):       mins:secs
 1 L Aiello    Fr    Nissan  46:34.375
 2 D Leslie    GB    Nissan  46:43.529
 3 J Thompson  GB    Honda   46:43.869
 4 P Kox       Hol   Honda   46:45.157
 5 R Rydell    Swe   Volvo   46:47.502
 6 J Boullion  Fr    Renault 46:53.429
 7 V Rad'ecker Bel   Volvo   46:53.634
 8 J Plato     GB    Renault 47:01.150
 9 J Cleland   GB    V'hall  47:02.848
10 M Neal      GB    Nissan  47:04.010

1 L Aiello   Fr  Nissan Prim  214 pts
2 D Leslie   GB  Nissan       192
3 J Thompson GB  Honda Accord 144
4 R Rydell   Swe Volvo S40    141
5 J Plato    GB  Renault Lag  117
6 P Kox      Hol Honda Accord 103

1 Nissan              432 pts
2 Honda               268
3 Volvo               231

1 M Neal     GB  Nissan Prim  306 pts
2 M Blair    GB  Vauxhall Vec 158
3 W Hoy      GB  Renault       84

RENAULT SPIDER CUP (Brands Hatch):- Andy Priaulx won his 11th race in a row but Simon Hill was the driver of the day as he came though the field to finish second with the fastest lap. Mark Cole took third after Phil Benntt crashed out. Tobia Masini was sixth after spinning off early on.

Result (Mon):          mins secs
1 A Priaulx            21:41.820
2 S Hill               21:45.173
3 M Cole               21:52.795
4 A Hildebrand         22:04.665
5 J Dance              22:04.931
6 T Masini             22:09.958

VAUXHALL VECTRA CHALLENGE (Brands Hatch):- Gavin Pyper became the youngest-ever race winner in the Challenge, the series which prepares drivers for the British Touring Car Championship. The 20-year-old was in superb form, starting from pole position and leading through the entire race.

Result (Mon):       mins:secs
1 G Pyper           22:28.335
2 R Collard         22:32.772
3 M Ticehurst       22:33.430
4 P Cate            22:41.274
5 J Rhodes          22:42.614
6 D Pinkney         22:43.815

F.RENAULT (Brands Hatch):- Antonio Pizzonia became champion with his ninth victory in 11 races to win a Formula One test with Williams. Title rival Rob Austin hit engine problems while in third place and fell to eighth. Dan Barrett took the Star Cup as he finished sixth.

Result (Mon):          mins secs
1 A Pizzonia     Brz   19:29.612
2 L Walker       GB    19:34.421
3 P Nilsson      GB    19:52.972
4 C Breeze       GB    19:55.900
5 M Boost        GB    19:57.833
6 D Barett       GB    19:57.897

F.FORD (Brands Hatch):- Craig Murray claimed his first win since Donington's season opener as team-mate Nicolas Kiesa clinched the title with two rounds remaining. Mark Taylor closed to within three tenths of Murray but had to settle for second place.

Result (Mon):        mins:secs
1 C Murray      Sco  19:21.287
2 M Taylor      Eng  19:23.212
3 J Courtney    Aus  19:26.987
4 N Kiesa       Den  19:27.364
5 J Carlsen     Den  19:28.684
6 R Dahlgren    Swe  19:30.032

FORD FIESTA'S (Brands Hatch):- Colin Stancombe converted pole position into his second victory of the season with Daniel Buxton taking second spot. David Gibson finished third as he increased his title advantage to 15 points while Andrew Howarth claimed a season-best fifth place.

Result (Mon):          mins secs
1 C Stancombe          22.49:377
2 D Buxton             22.49:586
3 D Gibson             22.49:767
4 M Burton             22.50:039
5 A Howarth            22.50:650
6 G Howell             22.50:925

NATIONAL SALOON CUP (Castle Combe):- Dan Eaves sped to an impressive victory at the Wiltshire track circuit ahead of Honda's Simon Harrison. Mark Lemmer got away well at the start but Eaves chased him down and ran out a comfortable winner.

Race result (Mon):       mins:secs
1 D Eaves                18:46.244
2 S Harrison             18:48.378
3 M Lemmer               18:49.427
4 T Ruokonen             18:50.187
5 R Moen                 19:03.153
6 S Clarke               19:10.682

MGF CUP (Castle Combe):- Championship leader Warren Hughes, who only started the race from sixth place, eased to victory. Pole position man Alastair Lyall led for a time but slipped back to eventually finish fourth.

Race result (Mon):       mins:secs
1 W Hughes               19:26.441
2 M Kelly                19:29.624
3 N Carr                 19:29.886
4 A Lyall                19:31.863
5 J Hunter               19:34.344
6 M Hazell               19:38.089