01.01.99 - GRANADA-DAKAR RALLY Car first leg results (Fri): min sec 1 M Prieto Sp Mitsubishi 5:47 2 K Shinozuka Jpn Mitsubishi @0:03 3 JP Fontenay Fr Mitsubishi @0:07 4 J Kl'nschmidt Ger Mitsubishi @0:10 5 JM Servia Sp Schlesser @0:12 6 H Masuoka Jpn Mitsubishi @0:14 7 G de Mevius Bel Nissan @0:15 8 S Peterhansel Fr Nissan @0:15 9 C Souza Por Mitsubishi @0:21 10 S Servia Sp Nissan @0:22 115km stage replaced by 5km stage because of bad weather 02.01.99 - GRANADA-DAKAR RALLY Car second stage results (Sat):min sec 1 JP Fontenay Fr Mit'bishi 1:13.22 2 K Shinozuka Jpn Mit'bishi @1.49 3 M Prieto Sp Mit'bishi @3.02 4 H Masuoka Jpn Mit'bishi @3.05 5 JM Servia Sp Schlesser @3.08 6 J Kl'nschmidt Ger Mit'bishi @3.32 7 T De Lavergne Fr Nissan @3.49 8 S Peterhansel Fr Nissan @4.40 9 JL Schlesser Fr Schlesser @4.44 10 G de Mevius Bel Nissan @5:07 03.01.99 - GRANADA-DAKAR RALLYJutta Kleinschmidt took the overall lead in the third car stage between Agadir and Tan Tan. The German driver in a Mitsubishi took advantage of mishaps to her team leaders to win the 230km stage. Kleinschmidt, paired with compatriot Tina Thorner in a women's team, beat Mitsubishi team mate Hiroshi Masuoka by two minutes and 18 seconds.
Car second stage results (Sun):min secs 1 J Kl'nschmidt Ger Mit'bishi 2:20.26 2 H Masuoka Jpn Mit'bishi @2.18 3 JL Schlesser Fr Schlesser @4.07 4 M Prieto Sp Mit'bishi @7.47 5 S Servia Sp Nissan @8.40 6 JM Servia Sp Schlesser @9.47 7 JP Fontenay Fr Mit'bishi @11.56 8 T De Lavergne Fr Nissan @14.32 9 G de Mevius Bel Nissan @16:59 10 K Shinozuka Jpn Mit'bishi @19.40 OVERALL STANDINGS CARS min secs 1 J Kl'nschmidt Ger Mit'bishi 3:43.17 2 H Masuoka Jpn Mit'bishi @1.55 3 JL Schlesser Fr Schlesser @6.00 4 M Prieto Sp Mit'bishi @7.07 5 JP Fontenay Fr Mit'bishi @8.21 04.01.99GRANADA-DAKAR RALLY:- Jose Maria Servia claimed his first stage win in the 451km fourth section between Morocco and Mauritania. He clocked a time of four hours, 18 minutes, 11 seconds, over three minutes ahead of Jutta Kleinschmidt who retained the overall lead. Defending champion Jean-Pierre Fontenay lost ground after three punctures and slipped to 10th place overall. Spain's Oscar Gallardo gave BMW their first motorcycle win since returning to the rally last year.
Car fourth stage results (Mon):min secs 1 JM Servia Sp Schlesser 4:18.11 2 J Kl'nschmidt Ger Mit'bishi @3.19 3 JL Schlesser Fr Schlesser @5.47 4 H Masuoka Jpn Mit'bishi @12.21 5 K Shinozuka Jpn Mit'bishi @16.36 6 T De Lavergne Fr Nissan @23.21 7 S Servia Sp Nissan @26.14 8 G de Mevius Bel Nissan @26:59 9 G Grammet Bel Mit'bishi @36.19 10 JP Fontenay Fr Mit'bishi @40.01 OVERALL STANDINGS CARS min secs 1 J Kl'nschmidt Ger Mit'bishi 8:04.47 4 JM Servia Sp Schlesser @6.06 3 JL Schlesser Fr Schlesser @8.28 4 H Masuoka Jpn Mit'bishi @10.57 5 K Shinozuka Jpn Mit'bishi @31.07F1:- Teleglobe Inc have announced that they have signed a multi-year agreement with British American Racing as a sponsor of the new Formula one team.
05.01.99GRANADA-DAKAR RALLY:- Kenjiro Shinozuka of Japan won the fifth and longest stage of the rally, a 624km timed section between Bir Mogrein and Atar in Mauritania. The Mitsubishi driver, who won the Rally in 1997, overcame a puncture to maintain an average speed of 100kph and record a time of 6:14:32. His teammate Jutta Kleinschmidt finished third to maintain his overall lead ahead of Jose Maria Servia.
Car fifth stage results (Tue):hr min sec 1 K Shinozuka Jpn Mit'bishi 6:14:32 2 M Prieto Sp Mit'bishi @14:54 3 J Kl'nschmidt Ger Mit'bishi @16:19 4 JL Schlesser Fr Schlesser @19:50 5 JM Servia Sp Schlesser @20:26 6 T De Lavergne Fr Nissan @23.20 7 H Masuoka Jpn Mit'bishi @38:12 8 S Servia Sp Nissan @48:09 OVERALL STANDINGS (after five stages) CARS hr min sec 1 J Kl'nschmidt Ger Mi'bishi 14:35:38 2 JM Servia Sp Schlesser @10:13 3 JL Schlesser Fr Schlesser @11:59 4 K Shinozuka Jpn Mit'bishi @14:48 5 H Masuoka Jpn Mit'bishi @32:50 06.01.99 - GRANADA-DAKAR RALLY Sixth stage car results (Wed):hr min sec 1 JM Servia Sp Schlesser 6:58.58 2 JL Schlesser Fr Schlesser @ 4.43 3 M Prieto Sp Mit'bishi @ 5.55 4 J Kl'schmidt Ger Mit'bishi @24.32 5 H Masuoka Jpn Mit'bishi @43.29 6 S P'hansel Fr Nissan @1:00:55 7 K Shinozuka Jpn Mit'bishi @1:06:32 8 T De Lav'gne Fr Nissan @1:07:03 Overall car standings: 1 JM Servia Sp Schlesser 21:44.49 2 JL Schlesser Fr Schlesser @ 6.29 3 J Kl'schmidt Ger Mit'bishi @ 14.19 07.01.99F1:- Jackie Stewart claims his team will be ready to challenge Ferrari, McLaren and Williams in the coming 1999 season. Stewart-Ford Racing unveiled their new car and, with Britain's Johnny Herbert joining Rubens Barrichello in the team, Stewart hopes for a strong challenge. He said: "We have a brand new car. It is lighter, smaller, has a lower centre of gravity and more horsepower. Now we are looking to be on the borderline of competing with Ferrari, McLaren and Williams."
Formula One supremo Sir Frank Williams has conceded that his team has virtually no chance of winning the world championship in 1999. "We will be seeking to always be on the podium and snatch a race or two when others make mistakes," he said. "We won't have the best equipment for 1999 but we never adopt a holding pattern because if you stand still in racing you are going backwards." Williams will have two new drivers this year; Ralf Schumacher and Alex Zanardi.
Pedro de la Rosa of Spain is negotiating a deal to drive for Arrows next season but denied that a deal had already been reached. De la Rosa admitted: "Conversations are going on that could be described as serious negotiations between me, the team and other interested parties. But there is nothing concrete yet. Arrows won't make a decision on drivers until February." Benetton have signed Frenchman Laurent Redon as a test driver.
Jacques Villeneuve has insisted he can regain the world championship title with British American Racing. The former world champion spearheads the newcomers' challenge in 1999 after a disappointing season with Williams last year. He said: "I am more confident than ever because I have seen what the beast is capable of. I have seen it is going to be very good. We can definitely be up there challenging for race wins."
GRANADA-DAKAR RALLY Seventh stage results (Thu):hr min sec 1 M Prieto Sp Mit'bishi 6:40.28 2 JL Schlesser Fr Schlesser @ 12.46 3 J Kl'schmidt Ger Mit'bishi @ 20.03 4 H Masuoka Jpn Mit'bishi @ 26.37 5 S P'hansel Fr Nissan @ 36.40 6 K Shinozuka Jpn Mit'bishi @1:00:48 Overall car standings: 1 JL Schlesser Fr Schlesser 28:44.32 2 J Kl'schmidt Ger Mit'bishi @ 15.07 3 M Preito Sp Mit'bishi @ 20.03RALLYING:- Ford have announced a major partnership with Martini Racing to support its FIA World Rally Championship. The all-new Ford Focus World Rally Car was unveiled with its new livery by former World Champion Colin McRae at the Autosport International Show.
08.01.99F1:- New Williams driver Alessandro Zanardi has insisted "I have nothing to prove" as he prepares for a second attempt to claim Formula One glory. The Italian will spearhead Williams' challenge for the 1999 grand prix season after his stunning displays in the Champ Car series in America. He said: "I don't have a point to prove or see it as unfinished business. I see it as a great opportunity. Every lap I drive teaches me something new. I know I can do well."
GRANADA-DAKAR RALLY Eighth stage car results (Fri):hr min sec 1 M Prieto Sp Mit'bishi 4:56.34 2 T De Lav'gne Fr Nissan @ 0.37 3 JP Fontenay Fr Mit'bishi @ 2.09 4 J Kl'schmidt Ger Mit'bishi @ 8.26 5 S P'hansel Fr Nissan @ 11.15 6 D Housieaux Fr Nissan @ 17.28 Overall car standings: 1 JL Schlesser Fr Schlesser 33:58.59 2 M Preito Sp Mit'bishi @ 2.10 3 J Kl'schmidt Ger Mit'bishi @ 5.40RALLYING:- The forest roads of Dumfries and Galloway will again host this year's RSAC Scottish Rally on June 11-12. For the third year running the event, contested by top Brit and continental crews, will be based in Dumfries.
09.01.99 - GRANADA-DAKAR RALLY Eighth stage car results (Fri):hr min sec 1 M Prieto Sp Mit'bishi 4:56.34 2 T De Lav'gne Fr Nissan @ 0.37 3 JP Fontenay Fr Mit'bishi @ 2.09 4 J Kl'schmidt Ger Mit'bishi @ 8.26 5 S P'hansel Fr Nissan @ 11.15 6 D Housieaux Fr Nissan @ 17.28 Overall car standings: 1 JL Schlesser Fr Schlesser 33:58.59 2 M Preito Sp Mit'bishi @ 2.10 3 J Kl'schmidt Ger Mit'bishi @ 5.40 10.01.99GRANADA-DAKAR RALLY:- The event claimed its 40th victim in 20 years when a policeman was killed after a collision between a rally car and a Burkino Faso police vehicle. Frenchman Henri De Roissard's Nissan hit the police vehicle on Friday and the driver died several hours later. Race organiser Hubert Auriol confirmed: "We will apologise to the Burkino Faso government." Five Mauritanian spectators were killed last year and motorcyclist Jean-Pierre Leduc died in 1997.
Ninth stage car results (Sun):hr min sec 1 JL Schlesser Fr Nissan 3:43.08 2 K Shinozuka Jpn Mit'bishi @ 7.04 3 M Prieto Sp Mit'bishi @ 7.15 4 H Masuoka Jpn Mit'bishi @ 7.36 5 S P'hansel Fr Nissan @ 7.49 6 JP Fontenay Fr Mit'bishi @ 8.14 Overall car standings: 1 JL Schlesser Fr Nissan 37:42.07 2 M Preito Sp Mit'bishi @ 9.25 3 J Kl'schmidt Ger Mit'bishi @ 21.36RALLYING:- Skoda are to enter two new cars in the Monte Carlo Rally later this month. Germans Armin Schwarz and Manfred Hiemer will drive one Octavia WRC and Czechs Pavel Sibera and Peter Gross will drive the other.
11.01.99 GRANADA-DAKAR RALLY 10th stage car results (Mon):hr min sec 1 JP Fontenay Fr Mit'bishi 4:17.11 2 M Prieto Sp Mit'bishi @ 04.15 3 JL Schlesser Fr Nissan @ 05.15 4 K Shinozuka Jpn Mit'bishi @ 07.16 5 H Masuoka Jpn Mit'bishi @ 21.01 6 C Souza Por Mit'bishi @ 24.15 Overall car standings: 1 JL Schlesser Fr Nissan 42:04.33 2 M Preito Sp Mit'bishi @ 08.25 3 J Kl'schmidt Ger Mit'bishi @ 45.17CHAMP CARS:- JJ Lehto was delighted with the first test session in his Hogan-prepared Lola B99/00 Champ Car, in which he will contend the 1999 campaign. The ex-Formula One driver was fastest on two of the three days of testing at the Homestead complex in Florida, with an average speed of 211.2mph. Huntingdon-based company Lola provide the chassis for the Finn's car.
MALLORY PARK:- Britain's most successful rally driver of the 1960s and 1970s Roger Clark has been honoured at the Mallory Park track with the unveiling of a memorial. January 11 is the anniversary of his death and a life-sized bronze statue was unveiled by Clark's widow Judith at the Leicestershire circuit.
13.01.99F1:- Arrows have joined up with a Nigerian prince in a bid to capture world championship glory. Tom Walkinshaw's team has been restructured into an operation now worth œ110m. Prince Malik Ado Ibrahim, who recently brokered the sale of Lotus to Proton, and the Morgan Grenfell Private Equity Group have joined Walkinshaw. Walkinshaw said: "We felt we had the infrastructure to seek a major financial partner."
GRANADA-DAKAR RALLY 12th stage car results (Wed):hr min sec 1 JL Schlesser Fr Nissan 7:09.00 2 JM Servia Sp Schlesser @ 03.56 3 K Shinozuka Jpn Mit'bishi @ 07.29 4 M Prieto Sp Mit'bishi @ 11.30 5 T De Lav'gne Fr Nissan @ 19.59 6 H Masuoka Jpn Mit'bishi @ 39.12 Overall car standings: 1 JL Schlesser Fr Nissan 55:27.34 2 M Preito Sp Mit'bishi @ 20.27 3 J Kl'schmidt Ger Mit'bishi @ 1:31.40 14.01.99FORMULA PALMER AUDI:- The grid for the 1999 Formula Palmer Audi season is over half full. Meanwhile, Euro Formula Palmer Audi was launched last week - a 20-race series at European grand prix circuits.
1999 drivers: F Maluhy Brz R Tarling GB M Smith GB T Serjala Fin D Hayes NI P Munn GB M McLoughlin GB S Hancock GB E Redfern GB J Keen GB D Watts GB B Wirdheim SweMONTE-CARLO RALLY:- Monte Carlo stages the opening round of the 1999 World Rally Championship on Sunday and champion Tommi Makinen will be aiming to set new standards. The Mitsubishi driver has won the title for the last three years and his home rally in Finland five times in a row. He is the title favourite but has never triumphed in the Monte Carlo Rally. Makinen is one of just three top drivers who have stayed with their 1998 teams. Toyota's Carlos Sainz and Didier Auriol are the others.
Mitsubishi star Tommi Makinen led the Monte Carlo Rally last year before crashing out and is determined to win an event that has eluded him so far. "Last year we were leading by quite a lot, so this year I will concentrate more. Winning Monte Carlo is one of my big ambitions," he admitted. "I do not know how much the other cars have changed but our car is very good and we have a good team." Makinen's new team-mate is rising Belgian star Freddy Loix.
Colin McRae is set to begin his first event with Ford this weekend but it is possible he may not be allowed to keep any points he claims in Monte Carlo. The event begins on Sunday and ends on Wednesday but the problems concerning rule irregularities with the Ford Focus have not yet been ironed out. Sunday's opening leg contains no special stages and the first competitive action will be on Monday. The 14 stages total over 420km - giving an average stage length of 30km.
Former world champion Colin McRae believes the Ford Focus could eventually be a top rally car. The Scot said: "We need more testing but it is clear that the Focus has the potential to be an excellent rally car. "For Monte Carlo we have to accept that we are not going to win. To finish is our first target. There is nothing too difficult about the special stages but it is the inconsistency of the weather that makes the event so hard."
Subaru's new recruit Richard Burns will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of predecessor Colin McRae and give the team a title. Briton Burns has been joined at Subaru by Finalnd's Juha Kankkunen and Belgium's Bruno Thiry. Team chairman David Richards said: "1999 marks a change in many respects. However, one consistent virtue - teamwork - is the key to the Subaru world rally team's commitment to remain at the forefront of the series."
Skoda's Octavia rally car will be making its Championship debut on Sunday but the team are not expecting immediate success. Head of Skoda Motorsport Pavel Janeba confirmed: "We still have a lot to learn at this level. We are entering seven rounds this year and it is our aim to bank as much information as possible in preparation for a complete series in 2000. We must use 1999 as a stepping stone to future success."
SEAT have won the world Formula Two rally title for the last three years and are gearing up for their first full FIA World Championship campaign. Harri Rovanpera and Piero Liatti are the driving force behind the team's bid and Italian Liatti won in Monte Carlo in 1997 - on only his second attempt. "I am very happy with the progress we have made with the SEAT WRC over the winter months," he revealed. "It is a new car and there is work to do but the basic package is fantastic."
MITSUBISHI: Won driver and manufacturer titles in 1998. Drivers: World champion Tommi Makinen (co-driver Rist Mannisenmaki) and Freddy Loix (co-driver Sven Smeets). Car: Lancer Evolution.
TOYOTA: The only team line-up unchanged from last season. Drivers: Carlos Sainz (co-driver Luis Moya) & Didier Auriol (Denis Giraudet). Car: Corolla WRC.
SUBARU: Colin McRae has left and they have a mix of veterans and youngsters. Drivers: Richard Burns (co-driver Robert Reid), Juha Kankkunen (Juha Repo), Bruno Thiry (Stephane Prevot). Car: Impreza WRC99
FORD: Britain's former world champion Colin McRae has a new team and new car. Drivers: Colin McRae (co-driver Nicky Grist), Thomas Radstrom (Fred Gallagher). Simon Jean-Joseph will race four tarmac events (Fred Gallagher). Car: Focus WRC
SEAT: Their first full season in the World Championship. Drivers: Harri Rovanpera (co-driver Risto Pletilainen) and Piero Liatti (co-driver Carlo Cassina). Car: Cordoba WRC.
SKODA: Will compete in seven events in debut season prior to full bid in 2000. Drivers: Armin Schwarz (co-driver Manfred Hiemer), Pavel Sibera (co-driver Petr Gross), Emil Triner (co-driver Milos Hulka). Car: Octavia WRC.
PEUGEOT: Are returning for six races after a 10-year break from series. Drivers: Francois Delecour, Gilles Panizzi and Marcus Gronholm. Co-drivers to be confirmed. Car: 206 WRC.
HYUNDAI: Competing in 10 rounds - mostly Formula Two until late season. Drivers: Kenneth Eriksson (co-driver Steffan Parmander), Alister McRae (co-driver David Senior). Car: F2 Coupe.
GRANADA-DAKAR RALLY:- Organisers have revealed that around 50 competitors in the event were held up and robbed at gunpoint on Wednesday. About 20 armed men stopped the drivers 50km from the end of the 12th stage in Tichit, Mauritania. The men stole four cars, three trucks a motorcycle and sums of money and all the other vehicles had their fuel tanks emptied. However, it was decided by event organisers that the 13th stage would go ahead as planned.
13th stage car results (Thu):hr min sec 1 J Kleins'dt Ger Mit'bishi 8:43.56 2 JL Schlesser Fr Nissan @ 01.22 3 M Prieto Sp Mit'bishi @ 07.27 4 K Shinozuka Jpn Mit'bishi @ 10.45 5 JM Servia Sp Schlesser @ 13.28 6 JP Fontenay Fr Mit'bishi @ 19.21 Overall car standings: 1 JL Schlesser Fr Nissan 64:12.52 2 M Prieto Sp Mit'bishi @ 26.32 3 J Kl'schmidt Ger Mit'bishi @ 1:30.18 15.01.99F1:-Jacques Villeneuve was fastest in testing for the second day in a row at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya. The Canadian clocked one minute, 23.89 seconds for his British American Racing team. He was followed closely by Italian Alessandro Zanardi, who has been signed up by Williams for 1999. Zanardi said: "Overall this was an encouraging test. Our speed was good and we got a lot of homework done for the FW21."
GRANADA-DAKAR RALLY 14th stage car results (Fri):hr min sec 1 JM Servia Sp Schlesser 4:37.29 2 JP Fontenay Fr Mit'bishi @ 04.14 3 JL Schlesser Fr Schlesser @ 05.10 4 T d Lavergne Fr Nissan @ 05.45 5 M Prieto Sp Mit'bishi @ 06.24 6 K Shinozuka Jpn Mit'bishi @ 06.37 Overall car standings: 1 JL Schlesser Fr Schlesser 68:55.31 2 M Prieto Sp Mit'bishi @ 27.46 3 J Kl'schmidt Ger Mit'bishi @ 1:38.58 16.01.99F1:- Benetton are aiming to challenge McLaren and Ferrari for the title this season and put their disappointing 1998 campaign behind them. After unveiling their new B199 car, team chief Rocco Benetton confirmed: "We are aiming to win the championship but we know it will be difficult. Our target is clear. We want to be back on top. However, we know we must be humble and realistic and that may mean we have to settle for a place in the top three."
GRANADA-DAKAR RALLY 15th stage car results (Sat):hr min sec 1 JP Fontenay Fr Mit'bishi 1:07.06 2 S Peterhan'l Fr Nissan @ 01.16 3 JL Schlesser Fr Schlesser @ 02.29 4 D Housieaux Fr Nissan @ 02.39 5 S Servia Sp Nissan @ 02.57 6 T d Lavergne Fr Nissan @ 02.59 Overall car standings: 1 JL Schlesser Fr Schlesser 70:05.06 2 M Prieto Sp Mit'bishi @ 31.52 3 J Kl'schmidt Ger Mit'bishi @ 1:39.59 17.01.99F1:- Brands Hatch race track could once again stage the British Grand Prix from 2002, according to an Autosport report. Silverstone has staged the event since 1987 and has a contract until 2001. Brands hatch owners Brands Hatch Leisure are currently trying to buy Silverstone and, if successful, will continue to hold the race there. But if the group fails in its bid then it will bid for the right to stage the Grand Prix at Brands Hatch when the deal with Silverstone runs out in 2001.
MONTE CARLO RALLY:- Colin McRae will begin his first event with Ford today ` but only after his team appealed against a decision to exclude his car. The Scotsman's new Ford Focus failed scrutineering following questions over the legality of the car's water pump. Although the appeal allows McRae to take part, he risks losing any points he might score. The International Automobile Federation (FIA) will make a decision over the water pump after the rally.
Colin McRae called for an end to the controversy surrounding his new Ford Focus car as he made his debut for the team in Monte Carlo. McRae is racing under appeal and could lose any points he may win in the race. "For the good of the team and the sport I hope the matter is sorted out soon," he said. "I'll leave the appeal to the team management. It's better to start than not start the rally and I just want to concentrate on the race now."
Skoda have decided to withdraw their two new Octavia WRC's from the race before the competitive stages start on Monday morning. They took the action as a result of engine software problems which could not be completely resolved in time. "We are here to learn and these experiences are to be expected at this phase of the car's development programme," said Skoda's Pavel Janeba. "I feel for all the Skoda fans who did not get to see the car in action."
GRANADA-DAKAR RALLY:- Jean-Louis Schlesser won the car race, while Richard Sainct was first in the bike class at the end of the event. Schlesser drove his own design Schlesser-Renault buggy to its first win in the 20-year-old classic, also a first for a two-wheel drive vehicle. Sainct's victory was the fifth in the Dakar Rally for BMW motorcycles after four wins between 1981 and 1985. Only a third of the entrants who began the race in Granada over two weeks ago managed to finish the event.
Final stage car results (Sun): min sec 1 S Servia Sp Nissan 20:06 2 T d Lavergne Fr Nissan @ 0:16 3 JM Servia Sp Schlesser @ 1:14 4 JL Schlesser Fr Schlesser @ 1:23 5 M Prieto Sp Mitsubishi @ 3:09 6 K Shinozuka Jpn Mitsubishi @ 3:20 Final overall car standings: hr min sec 1 JL Schlesser Fr Schlesser 70:26:35 2 M Prieto Sp Mit'bishi @0:33:38 3 J Kl'schmidt Ger Mit'bishi @1:42:02 4 K Shinozuka Jpn Mitsubishi @2:25:34 5 JM Servia Sp Schlesser @3:39:28 6 H Masuoka Jpn Mitsubishi @5:16:28 18.01.99F1:- Pearl Assurance Plc have extended their sponsorship of Jordan Grand Prix for a further two years.
MONTE CARLO RALLY:- Colin McRae made a superb start to his Ford career by winning the fourth and fifth stages and ending the first day of the race in sixth place overall. Although McRae is racing under appeal and could lose any points he initially wins, he ignored the problems to turn in a superb display of driving. McRae and Richard Burns survived early problems but Carlos Sainz crashed out at the first corner. Gilles Panizzi took the first day lead after a 30-second penalty was cancelled.
BRITISH RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP:- Former British Rally Championship winners Mark Higgins and co-driver Bryan Thomas will lead Volkswagen's 1999 series bid in a Golf GTi.
19.01.99F1:- Jean Alesi has warned followers of his Sauber team to be realistic over their ambitions for 1999. At the unveiling of the new Ferrari- powered Sauber C18, he said: "Everyone is full of hope and everyone talks of improvements but we must be realistic. "The big names will remain the big names, thanks to their resources. If we keep our position in the championship that would be a fantastic performance. If we can improve that would be amazing."
MONTE CARLO RALLY:- World champion Tommi Makinen leads going into the final day, but Colin McRae is making a determined bid for a podium finish. McRae is fourth overnight, but the fastest time on the final stage took him to within 42 seconds of third. However, McRae is racing under appeal as the water pump on his Ford Focus was deemed illegal just before the start of the rally on Sunday. Fellow British driver Richard Burns is in tenth position.
Leading times after stage 10 (Tue): End of Day 3 hr min secs 1 T Makinen Fin Mit'bishi 3:48.56.5 2 G Panizzi Fr Subaru 3:50.42.1 3 J Ka'kunen Fin Subaru 3:51.02.3 4 C McRae GB Ford 3:51.44.2 5 F Delecour Fr Ford 3:53.06.4 6 B Thiry Bel Subaru 3:53.33.4 7 D Auriol Fr Toyota 3:53.50.2 8 H Rovanpera Fin SEAT 3:55.57.2 9 P Liatti It SEAT 3:55.59.9 10 R Burns GB Subaru 3:58.31.9 20.01.99 - MONTE CARLO RALLYColin McRae marked his debut for Ford with an impressive third place finish. McRae lost time on the first stage of the day after driveshaft problems but hauled himself back superbly. The Scotsman though will lose the four championship points if the team's appeal over their illegal water pump fails at next month's hearing. World champion Tommi Makinen launched his bid for a fourth title in a row with a commanding victory over fellow Finn Juha Kankkunen.
Colin McRae was delighted with third place on his debut with Ford. "I am really satisfied - this has been a great rally," he said. "The car was better than we could have hoped. "We've experienced some mechanical trouble, but nothing surprising for such a new car. I think we will improve in the future." Race winner Tommi Makinen described the event as "one of the most difficult events I have ever won because the conditions were extreme."
Result after 14 stages: hr min secs 1 T Makinen Fin Mit'bishi 5:16.50.6 2 J Ka'kunen Fin Subaru 5:18.35.3 3 C McRae GB Ford 5:20.07.4 4 D Auriol Fr Toyota 5:20.43.4 5 F Delecour Fr Ford 5:20.51.8 6 B Thiry Bel Subaru 5:20.53.1 7 P Liatti It SEAT 5:23.48.7 8 H Rovanpera Fin SEAT 5:23.52.9 9 R Burns GB Subaru 5:26.15.2 10 H Lundgaard Den Toyota 5:30.56.8 21.01.99F1:- The Toyota Motor Corporation are joining rivals Honda in making a return to Formula One racing. Toyota President Hiroshi Okuda said team Formula Toyota hopes to enter the Formula One circuit by 2003. "We have decided to take the challenge of the summit of auto racing," he told reporters in Tokyo. He added that the creation of Toyota's Formula One team will take place at Cologne, Germany-based subsidiary Toyota Motorsport GmbH.
RALLYING:- Volkswagen is set to make British Rally Championship history when they field a diesel-engined Golf in the 1999 series. Rising star Neil Simpson will drive the 190 brakehorsepower Golf TDI as part of a three-pronged championship attack. Former British Champion Mark Higgins and Austrian ace Raimund Baumschlager will drive conventional Golf GTIs. Volkswagen Motorsport UK team director Nick Berry said: "It's time a top-class diesel showed what it can do against the cream of the 2-litre petrol cars."
F.PALMER AUDI:- British Kart Champion John Ingram has signed up for the 1999 Formula Palmer Audi Championship. The 20-year-old moves up from Formula Three Class B and previously competed in the Caterham 1400s in 1996 and Caterham Two Litres in 1997.
22.01.99 F1:- Esteban Tuero has quit the Minardi team and Formula One racing, citing "irrevocable personal reasons." The move leaves Minardi as the only team without a driver under contract.
F3000:- Justin Wilson will be driving for the Astromega team in the 1999 F3000 Championship as his prize for winning the Formula Palmer Audi Championship. Jonathan Palmer said: "I am very excited about Justin's prospects. "Anyone who can emerge as the best from a field of 26 identical cars has to be an exceptional driver." Wilson added: "Formula Palmer Audi offered me a career lifeline and now I've got one of the best drives in international F3000."
24.01.99 - DAYTONA 24 HRSBritain's Allan McNish, winner of last year's Le Mans, will race for Ferrari in this month's Daytona 24 Hours. McNish is a contracted factory Porsche driver and raced in the Daytona classic for the first time last year when he and his co-drivers won the GT category.
25.01.99 - F1The FIA have announced that the proposed Argentine Grand Prix has been officially withdrawn from the 1999 world championship calender. In a statement, the FIA said: "An agreement between the commercial rights holder and the local promoter could not be reached." Last week officials in Buenos Aires had indicated talks had stalled over the cost of track rental and car transport. The FIA have not announced any replacement race.
Ferrari's Michael Schumacher has been tipped to win this year's world title - by his brother Ralf. Schumacher junior said: "Michael can win the title. If everything is okay for him then he is going to be very difficult to beat. "If Ferrari do their job and bring the car in competitive straightaway then Michael will do his job. But there is also Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard in the McLaren, so it is going to be very tough."
Arrows GP international have announced that Mike Coughlan has signed a three- year extension to his contract as technical director.
Williams have unveiled their new FW21 at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain. The FW21 is a completely new design and painted with a red, white and blue livery for title sponsors Winfield.
Alain Prost also unveiled his latest Peugeot-powered APO2.
26.01.99F3:- The 1999 British Formula Three Championship has already attracted one of the strongest fields in the 21-year history of the single-seater series. The top two teams from last year have now announced their line-ups. Champions Stewart Racing are pairing 1998 race-winner Luciano Burti with Scot Andrew Kirkaldy. Rivals Promatecme-Renault have signed Jenson Button to partner Brazilian Aluizio Coelho. Other top teams are expected to name their drivers soon.
F1:- The Stewart-Ford team have completed a successful three days of testing at Jerez in Spain. Rubens Barrichello and Johnny Herbert ran their cars simultaneously for the first time in preparation for the opening race in Melbourne on March 7. It was the first time the SF3 chassis and the new Ford-Cosworth CR1 engine had run in dry conditions. Herbert said: "I am very happy with the number of laps I was able to cover. Things are looking very bright."
World champion Mika Hakkinen has warned his McLaren team-mate David Coulthard not to expect any favours during the 1999 campaign. Coulthard h nded victory to the Finn in last season's opening race in Australia and then played a support role for the rest of the year. However, Hakkinen said: "We start this season with a clean slate. The team will give David and I the same possibility to win. I am hungrier than ever to win races."
NEWS:- Finland's former world rally champion Ari Vatanen is planning to run for the European Parliament. He wants to stand as a Conservative and will not retire from the sport if he is elected.
F3000:- Marcelo Battistuzzi has confirmed he will compete in the UK 3000 Championship for Redman and Bright. He raced in European F3000 last year and believes a season in the UK Championship will best prepare him for a serious attack in Europe in 2000.
28.01.99F1:- Britain's David Coulthard has warned his rivals that his new McLaren car is better than last year's championship- winning machine. He and world champion Mika Hakkinen topped testing at the Circit de Catalunya in Spain. Coulthard said: "The feedback I've been getting is the new McLaren is a big improvement over last year. "I know I have a great opportunity to win the title this year and I intend to go out there focused on the job."
FORMULA PALMER-AUDI:- James Pickford has confirmed that he will move up to Formula Palmer Audi for 1999, having won the F600 championship for the last two seasons. Pickford's move leaves just seven places in the FPA series.
29.01.99 - F3Fortec Motorsport have named Kristian Kolby and Matt Davies as their line-up for the 1999 Autosport British Formula Three Championship. Kolby was with the team in 1998, while Davies makes his F3 debut. He has French Formula Ford and Formula Renault France titles to his credit.
30.01.99F1:- Michael Schumacher has said he is happy to stay with Ferrari and try to win the world title again. Schumacher said other offers have not tempted him and added: "Winning a third championship is not as important as winning the championship for Ferrari. "I've got a 50% chance this year of winning the title but this is a sport and you cannot predict anything." His teammate Eddie Irvine said: "I have to improve my results this year and try to get seconds and firsts."
FORMULA PALMER AUDI:- Irishman Richard Lyons is to drive in the Formula Palmer Audi Series for the forthcoming campaign. The highly-rated 19-year-old won the only winter series round he contested last year and also competed in the Formula Opel winter series.
31.01.99 - DAYTONA 24 HRSA Riley and Scott Ford had a narrow lead over a Ferrari after 21 hours of the Rolex 24-hour race at Daytona International Speedway. Rain ensured the field spent time behind a pace car and Andy Wallace, Elliott Forbes-Robinson, Rob Dyson and Butch Leitzinger built a two-lap lead. Allan McNish, Max Angelelli, Didier de Radiques and Wayne Taylor were in second place.