May 1999 Motorsport News



01.05.99 - F1: SAN MARINO GRAND PRIX
Qualifying results (Sat):    min secs
 1 M Hakkinen    Fin McLaren  1:26.362
 2 D Coulthard   GB  McLaren  1:26.384
 3 M Schumacher  Ger Ferrari  1:26.538
 4 E Irvine      GB  Ferrari  1:26.993
 5 J Villeneuve  Can BAR      1:27.313
 6 R Barrichello Brz Stewart  1:27.409
 7 H-H Frentzen  Ger Jordan   1:27.613
 8 D Hill        GB  Jordan   1:27.708
 9 R Schumacher  Ger Williams 1:27.770
10 A Zanardi     It  Williams 1:28.142
11 O Panis       Fr  Prost    1:28.205
12 J Herbert     GB  Stewart  1:28.246
13 J Alesi       Fr  Sauber   1:28.253
14 J Trulli      It  Prost    1:28.403
15 P Diniz       Br  Sauber   1:28.599
16 G Fisichella  GB  Benetton 1:28.750
17 A Wurz        Aut Benetton 1:28.765
18 P de la Rosa  Sp  Arrows   1:29.293
19 M Salo        Fin BAR      1:29.451
20 T Takagi      Jpn Arrows   1:29.656
21 M Gene        Sp  Minardi  1:30.035
22 L Badoer      It  Minardi  1:30.945

CHAMP CARS (Nazareth):- Helio Castro-Neves set the pace ahead of Sunday's race by clocking the fastest time in practice. His 19.759 seconds relegated Mark Blundell to second quickest but the Briton was pleased with the session. Blundell said: "We had a good day. It is a reflection of our progress in testing and the improvement we have made in our short oval set-up." Greg Moore was third fastest, Juan Montoya fourth, while Scotland's Dario Franchitti was 14th.



Bosch Spark Plug GP practice (Fri):
                                secs
 1 H Castro-N   Brz Mercedes   19.759
 2 M Blundell   GB  Mercedes   20.134
 3 G Moore      Can Mercedes   20.142
 4 J Montoya    Col Honda      20.172
 5 P Tracy      Can Honda      20.188
 6 A Fernandez  Mex Ford Cos   20.225
 7 C Fittipaldi Brz Ford Cos   20.226
 8 P Carpentier Can Mercedes   20.228
 9 M Gugelmin   Brz Mercedes   20.294
10 M Andretti   US  Ford Cos   20.318
14 D Franchitti GB  Honda      20.387




02.05.99
F1: THE SAN MARINO GP
Britain's David Coulthard said back markers had refused to let him pass and had cost him a chance of winning. He said: "It was very hard to get past these lapped drivers who weren't being particularly helpful." Coulthard was in second place for most of the race. He led briefly after Mika Hakkinen crashed out and but Michael Schumacher went past at a pit stop. Coulthard's McLaren team boss Ron Dennis said: "The back markers cost us 10-15 seconds. It is not sporting."

Damon Hill said he was delighted with his first world championship points of the season after finishing fourth. The Jordan driver said: "That is the first race I have finished this season. I had a reasonably good start but was soon squeezed out. "I was closing on Rubens Barrichello in third place at the end and thought I could have caught him. But we had some trouble with back markers so I lost a bit of ground, but overall it was a good race."

World champion Mika Hakkinen admitted that crashing out of the race on lap 18 had been his own fault. The Mercedes-McLaren driver lost control of the rear of his car on the start-finish straight, over-corrected and slammed into a wall. He was leading his team-mate David Coulthard at the time by more than 13 seconds and seemed set for a win. Hakkinen said: "Drivers never say it was their fault, but I think this time this is what happened."

Jacques Villeneuve stalled on the starting grid and was forced to retire from the race. His British American Racing team said his Supertec car had developed a gear selection problem, but the Canadian former world champion was dumbfounded. He said: "I have no idea what happened. All I know is that I could not go anywhere at all. It is very frustrating because things had gone very well in practice and I did not get a chance to race at all."

Ferrari were denied a possible one-two in front of their partisan home fans when Northern Ireland's Eddie Irvine went out with engine failure. Irvine was in third place and closing on McLaren's David Coulthard as the race entered its 48th lap. Irvine, who loses his lead at the top of the championship to winner Michael Schumacher, was furious after his exit. Jordan driver Heinz-Harald Frentzen was forced out of the race after slipping on oil spilt from Irvine's car.

Britain's Johnny Herbert was robbed of two championship points when the engine on his Stewart blew just three laps from the end. He had been set to claim fifth place but Giancarlo Fisichelli of Italy overtook as Herbert limped home. He said: "I had a bit of a vibration early on, but it went suddenly. But my team-mate Rubens Barrichello's third place is very good for the team and we are on the way, even if we are not quite there yet."

Brazil's Rubens Barrichello dedicated his third place to countryman Ayrton Senna, who was killed at Imola in 1994. He said: "It is very emotional for me to do well at this track. I want to dedicate this to my friend Ayrton Senna. This has been a great effort from the team and the Stewart is now a competitive car. We are not as good as McLaren and Ferrari, but the best of the rest."

Ferrari's Michael Schumacher won his first race of 1999 with a tremendous tactical performance and goes top of the world championship. The German took advantage of early exits from Eddie Irvine, Mika Hakkinen and Jacques Villeneuve. Schumacher won by 4.2 seconds from the Mercedes-McLaren of David Coulthard, who was in second position throughout. Ferrari had not won at Imola since 1983 and it was Schumacher's 34th win of his Formula One career.

Michael Schumacher took the plaudits for a tactically brilliant race after completing his win at Imola. He said: "We could have one or two pit stops, but during the race we decided to go for two and it worked. It was a team victory because we have all worked very hard over the last couple of weeks. We knew we were lacking something in the first two races, but this time we did well in qualifying and in the race, and that is a huge credit to the team."


Final positions:
 1 M Schumacher  Ger  Ferrari  1h33m44s
 2 D Coulthard   GB   Mercedes @4.6secs
 3 R Barrich'lo  Brz  Stewart  @1 lap
 4 D Hill        GB   Jordan   @1 lap
 5 R Fisichella  Ita  Benetton @1 lap
 6 J Alesi       Fra  Sauber   @1 lap
 7 M Salo        Fin  BAR      @1 lap
 8 L Badoer      Ita  Minardi  @3 laps
 9 M Gene        Sp   Minardi  @3 laps
10 J Herbert     GB   Stewart  @4 laps
11 A Zanardi     Ita  Williams @4 laps

Not Classified:                laps completed
   J Villeneuve    Can  BAR           0
   J Trulli        Fra  Prost         0
   A Wurz          Aut  Benneton      5
   P de la Rosa    Sp   Arrows        5
   M Hakkinen      Fin  Mercedes     17
   R Schumacher    Ger  Williams     28
   T Takargi       Jpn  Arrows       29
   HH Frentzen     Ger  Jordan       46
   E Irvine        GB   Ferrari      46
   O Panis         Fr   Prost        48
   P Diniz         Brz  Sauber       49

DRIVER STANDINGS
 1 M Schumacher  Ger  Ferrari   16 pts
 2 E Irvine      GB   Ferrari   12
 3 M Hakkinen    Fin  McLaren   10
 = HH Frentzen   Ger  Jordan    10
 5 R Schumacher  Ger  Williams   7
 6 R Barrichello Brz  Stewart    6
 = D Coulthard   GB   Benetton   6
 8 G Fisichella  Ita  Benetton   5
 9 D Hill        GB   Jordan     3
10 P de la Rosa  Sp   Arrows     1
 = O Panis       Fr   Prost      1
 = J Alesi       Fr   Sauber     1

CONSTRUCTOR STANDINGS
1 Ferrari       28 pts
2 McLaren       16
3 Jordan        13
4 Williams       7
5 Stewart        6
6 Benetton       5
7 Arrows         1
= Prost          1
= Sauber         1

TOURING CARS (Thruxton):- Reigning champion Rickard Rydell enjoyed the warm sunshine to take pole position for both rounds on Monday. Rydell, without a victory this year, commented: "I'm very happy with two out of two but it's the races that count." Nissan could not take their recent form from testing into top spot, but duo David Leslie and Laurent Aielo will start second and third in both races. Championship leader James Thompson finished tenth and eigth and remarked: "There was oil in the One Shot."


Provisional Round 5 qualifying times:
                            mins secs
 1 R Rydell    Swe  Volvo    1:16.105
 2 D Leslie    GB   Nissan   1:16.206
 3 L Aiello    Fr   Nissan   1:16.239
 4 J Plato     GB   Renault  1:16.893
 5 A Menu           Ford     1:16.984
 6 M Neal      GB   Nissan   1:17.050
 7 V R'mecker  Bel  Volvo    1:17.230
 8 J Thompson  GB   Honda    1:17.436
 9 A Reid      GB   Ford     1:17.463
10 Y Muller    Fr   Vauxhall 1:17.655

Provisional Round 6 qualifying times:
                            mins secs
 1 R Rydell    Swe  Volvo    1:15.798
 2 D Leslie    GB   Nissan   1:16.042
 3 L Aiello    Fr   Nissan   1:16.046
 4 J Plato     GB   Renault  1:16.539
 5 A Menu           Ford     1:16.579
 6 V R'mecker  Bel  Volvo    1:16.783
 7 A Reid      GB   Ford     1:16.896
 8 M Neal      GB   Nissan   1:17.003
 9 JC Boullion Fr   Renault  1:17.089
10 J Thompson  GB   Honda    1:17.346


CHAMP CARS (Nazareth):- Colombia's Juan Pablo Montoya captured pole position for Sunday's race after narrowly beating Helio Castro-Neves. Montoya, driving the Honda Reynard for Target Ganassi Racing, circled the one-mile oval at 173.755mph with a lap time of 19.6 seconds. The Mercedes-Benz Lola of Brazilian Castro-Neves managed 173.746mph, or 19.601 seconds for the .946-mile track. Scotland's Dario Franchitti is on row two and England's Mark Blundell will start from the third row.


Bosch Spark Plug GP q'fying (Sat):secs
 1 J Montoya    Col Honda      19.600
 2 H Castro-N   Brz Mercedes   19.601
 3 D Franchitti GB  Honda      19.688
 4 P Tracy      Can Honda      19.693
 5 M Blundell   GB  Mercedes   19.775
 6 P Carpentier Can Mercedes   19.842
 7 M Papis      It  Ford Cos   19.859
 8 P Jones      US  Ford Cos   19.938
 9 A Fernandez  Mex Ford Cos   19.959
10 G Moore      Can Mercedes   20.005

F3000 (Imola):- Germany's Nicholas Heidfield won the opening race of the season by a 21.990- second margin. Andrea Piccini of the Kid Jensen Racing team impressed in the opening round of the season. The young Italian was fourth overall with 12 laps to go when his car stopped and was forced to retire. Meanwhile, Jamie Davies and Oliver Gavin of European Edenbridge Racing completed the 42 laps, claiming 7th and 12th places respectively.


First round results (Sat): hr mins secs
 1 N Heidfeld   Ger  W Comp 1:11:29.842
 2 K McGarrity  GB   Nordic 1:11.51.922
 3 F Walfisch   Fra  Drace  1:11.53.345
 4 S Sarrazin   Fra  G'oise 1:12.04.542
 5 G Rodriguez  URG  A'mega 1:12:13.382
 6 J Wilson     GB   A'mega 1:12:20.996
 7 J Davies     GB   Euro   1:12.26.433
 8 B Smith      ARG  Monaco 1:12:33.526
 9 E Bernoldi   GB   R Bull 1:12:34.359
10 F Montagny   Fra  DAMS   1:12:34.950


MGF CUP (Oulton Park):- When the lights turn green for the third round of the MGF Cup on Monday ex-Formula Three driver Warren Hughes will hope to be leading the pack. Hughes, having picked up more grass than points at the previous race, will be aiming to be first home of the 190bhp MGFs. Project Motorsport driver Matt Kelly is also desperate to record his first victory of the season. But both drivers face stiff competition from Nick Carr, who won at Thruxton.




F.VAUXHALL (Thruxton):-
Provisional round 3 qualifying times:
                     mins secs
1 R Bell             1:19.029
2 G Paffet           1:19.632
3 R Dalziel          1:19.740
4 M Pavlovic         1:19.990
5 J Dalziel          1:20.008
6 J Hanson           1:20.204


VAUXHALL VECTRA CHALLENGE (Thruxton)
Leading qualifiers for Monday's race:
 1 A Morrison      1:27.222
 2 J Yeomans       1:27.316
 3 M Ticehurst     1:27.587
 4 R Collard       1:27.748
 5 J Rhodes        1:27.819
 6 D Pinkney       1:27.838
 7 P Cate          1.27.890
 8 D Goode         1:27.937
 9 A Deighton      1:28.081
10 G Coomes        1:28.192


F.RENAULT (Thruxton):- Britain's Leighton Walker saw his attempt for pole position ended in a crash, and had to settle for third. Tom Ferrier headed the Star Cup runners but Finnish favourite Kimi Raikkonen failed to complete a lap and will start from last on the grid.


Qualifying positions: mins secs
1 A Pizzonia            1:14.222
2 R Austin              1:15.210
3 L Walker              1:15.426
4 P Nilsson             1:15.927
5 J de Pourtales        1:15.978
6 T Ferrier             1:16.245

RENAULT SPIDER CUP (Thruxton):- Andy Priaulx is on course to land a hat-trick of wins after claiming pole position for the Bank Holiday race. The lap record holder finished ahead of last year's winner Duncan Vercoe who was third, as a group of seven cars were covered by a second.


Qualifying positions: mins secs
1 A Priaulx             1:24.983
2 T Masini              1:25.882
3 B McLoughlin          1:26.012
4 S Hill                1:26.122
5 D Vercoe              1:26.172
6 C Buncombe            1:26.359


BRITISH GTs (Oulton Park):- Chris Goodwin flew round the circuit to clock the fastest time in testing as the teams prepared for the second round of the British GT Championships. Goodwin and James Munroe were fastest in their Racing McLaren F1-GTR with a best lap of the demanding Cheshire track in a time of 1m30.811s. The McLaren of Tim Sugden and Stephen O'Rourke was only half a second slower. Third fastest was the Lister Storm GTL of Julian Bailey and Jamie Campbell-Walker.



BRITISH F3 (Oulton Park):-
Sixth round qualifying times:
                         mins secs
1 L Burti    Stewart      1:30.101
2 J Button   Promatecme   1:30.353
3 K Kolby    Fortec       1:30.381
4 A Kirkaldy Stewart      1:30.444
5 M Hynes    Manor        1:30.489
6 A Coelho   Promatecme   1:30.690




03.05.99
F1:- McLaren star David Coulthard is still confident he can challenge for the title, despite missing out on the chance of a win on Sunday. Coulthard was second in the San Marino Grand Prix but back-markers prevented him from going for victory and Michael Schumacher took the honours. The Scot insisted: "This does not really change anything. We still have the most competitive car. That will not change for the next race. We are in good shape."



BTCC (Thruxton):- French ace Laurent Aiello celebrated a winning double in the Auto Trader British Touring Car Championship. The Nissan man won the sprint race - and the feature race. Aiello's sprint race victory was a masterly display as he battled his Nissan team-mate David Leslie and reigning champion Rickard Rydell. The Frenchman finished ahead of Rydell, with Matt Neal managing to hold off the Volvo of Vincent Radermecker for third place.


Round five result (Mon):      mins secs
 1 L Aiello      Fr  Nissan   21:09.493
 2 R Rydell      Swe Volvo    21:15.692
 3 M Neal        GB  Nissan   21:17.802
 4 V Radermecker Bel Volvo    21:18.182
 5 J Thompson    GB  Honda    21:24.704
 6 P Kox         Hol Honda    21:25.192
 7 J Cleland     GB  Vauxhall 21:35.688
 8 A Reid        GB  Ford     21:36.317
 9 JC Boullion   Fr  Renault  21:36.723
10 L Brookes     GB  Honda    21:37.471

Round six result (Mon):       mins secs
 1 L Aiello      Fr  Nissan   42:51.245
 2 R Rydell      Swe Volvo      @5.765
 3 V Radermecker Bel Volvo      @6.177
 4 J Plato       GB  Renault    @7.112
 5 P Kox         Hol Honda      @15.115
 6 A Menu        Swi Ford       @21.352
 7 JC Boullion   Fr  Renault    @23.727
 8 J Thompson    GB  Honda      @32.689
 9 J Cleland     GB  Vauxhall   @39.582
10 L Brookes     GB  Honda      @41.107

Standings:
1 Aiello   52 pts
2 Thompson 52
3 Plato    68


BRITISH F3 (Oulton Park):- Britain's Marc Hynes saw his race lead disappear in a cloud of dust when he spun onto the grass on the first lap. In contrast, Hynes' close rival Luciano Burti took from the day a maximum 21 points starting from pole position. This was his second win of the season and turns his 16-point deficit into a four point advantage. Burti said: "The championship is looking much better for me now. The team have worked hard and now the car is very good."


Round six result (Mon):      mins secs
 1 L Burti      Brz Honda    27:34.347
 2 K Kolby      Den Honda    27:36.520
 3 M Davies     GB  Honda    27:37.522
 4 A Kirkaldy   GB  Honda    27:38.895
 5 J Button     GB  Renault  27:39.242
 6 A Yoong      Mal Honda    27:43.833
 7 A Coelho     Brz Renault  27:49.106
 8 M Bentwood   GB  Honda    27:55.559
 9 T Spouge     GB  Opel     27:56.058
10 M Hynes      GB  Honda    27:56.909

STANDINGS (after 6 rounds)
1 L Burti    78 pts
2 M Hynes    74
3 J Button   61
4 K Kolby    61


BRITISH GTs (Oulton Park):- The meeting finished with a thrilling finish as the two leading cars crossed the line with just half-a-second between them. The Newcastle United Lister Storm of Julian Bailey/Jamie Campbell-Walter fended off the challenge of Magnus Wallinder/Geoff Lister.


GT1 result: (Mon)  32 Laps
1 Bailey/C-Walker  Lister
2 Wallinder/Lister Porsche
3 C Goodwin        McLaren
4 Sugden/O'Rourke  McLaren

MGF CUP (Oulton Park):- Ex-Formula Three driver Warren Hughes took his second flag in the MFG Cup. Hughes was second on the grid and was soon in contention. The next round takes place at Silverstone in June.


Round three result:
1 W Hughes       19:26.604
2 N Carr         19:32.295
3 D Loudon       19:43.345
4 M Hazell       19:46.979
5 B Benham       19:48.694

F.VAUXHALL (Thruxton):- Robert Bell lived up to his reputation as pre-season favourite by taking his first win. Bell led for the whole of the 12-lap race despite close pressure from Ryan Dalziel and Milos Pavlovic.


Round 3 result (Mon):mins secs
1 R Bell            16:14.760
2 R Dalziel         16:16.435
3 M Pavlovic        16:16.583
4 G Paffet          16:17.176
5 J Dalziel         16:30.620
6 G Turkington      16:31.348

F.RENAULT (Thruxton):- Antonio Pizzonia dominated round three of the series. Rob Austin hung on to his points lead, despite a late spin that relegated him to third place while giving Leighton Walker the runner-up spot.


Round three result (Mon):
1 A Pizzonia        Brz   17:39.021
2 L Walker          GB    17:59.729
3 R Austin          GB    18:02.414
4 J de Pourtales    Fr    18:06.295
5 M Boost           GB    18:06.811
6 C Breeze          GB    18:14.147

F.FIESTA's (Thruxton):- David Gibson celebrated his 21st birthday by securing a start-to-finish victory in round three. Gibson had to battle it out with Neal Gordon before taking the honours, while Maclain Engeldew was third after starting the race in 15th.


Round three result (Mon):
1 D Gibson          GB    18:07.619
2 N Gordon          GB    18:08.133
3 M Engeldew        GB    18:16.655
4 P Rivett          GB    18:15.961
5 M Cullen          Ire   18:16.189
6 M Burton          GB    18:20.803

RENAULT SPIDER CUP (Thruxton):- Andy Priaulx survived pressure from Duncan Vercoe to completed a hat-trick of wins. Simon Hill took fifth place despite two spins while Tony Slade, who finished eighth, was voted 'driver of the day'.




MILLBROOK NATIONAL STAGES RALLY
Leading positions after 12 stages:
                              mins secs
 1 C Wood      MG Metro 6R4     51:49
 2 J Price     MG Metro 6R4     52:50
 3 P Henderson Escort Cosworth  53:08
 4 C Griffiths Subaru Impreza   53:25
 5 T Ball      Darrian T90      53:34
 6 M Evans     Escort Cosworth  53:40
 7 S Hendy     Escort Cosworth  53:59
 8 S Fleck     Escort RS        54:39
 9 M Welch     Escort Cosworth  54:44
10 S Scott     Escort Cosworth  54:50


CHAMP CARS (Nazareth):- Juan Montoya of Colombia captured his second straight CART victory in only his fourth start. Montoya started from the pole for the first time and led nearly the entire race in a flawless performance in a Reynard-Honda. PJ Jones was runner-up in a Reynard- Ford, while Canadian Paul Tracy finished third in his Reynard-Honda. Scotland's Dario Franchitti claimed ninth place and England's Mark Blundell finished 17th.


Bosch Spark Plug GP results (Sun):
                            hr mins sec
 1 J Montoya    Col Honda     1:46.13
 2 P Jones      US  Ford Cos  @ 5.103
 3 P Tracy      Can Honda       5.880
 4 C da Matta   Br  Toyota      6.305
 5 A Fernandez  Mex Ford       16.401
 6 M Andretti   US  Ford       16.719
 7 C Fittipaldi Br  Ford       20.624
 8 D Franchitti GB  Honda      21.836
 9 A Barron     US  Toyota     -1 lap
10 S Pruett     US  Toyota     -1 lap
17 M Blundell   GB  Mercedes  -2 laps

DRIVER STANDINGS              Points
1 J Montoya    Col Honda        45
2 A Fernandez  US  Ford         43
3 G Moore      Can Mercedes     40
4 M Andretti   Mex Ford         40
5 D Franchitti GB  Honda        35




04.05.99 - TOUR DE CORSE
History will be made in the Tour of Corsica because separate Championship points will be awarded to the fastest three drivers over the final stage. The first, second and third fastest drivers on this stage will collect three, two and one point respectively. The top 10 crews will start the stage in reverse order and even manufacturer- entered cars that have retired from the main event will be able to compete. Based in Ajaccio, the 375.47km-event runs from Friday to Sunday.

Marlboro Mitsubishi Ralliart are aiming for their first win at the event, which is round six of the World Championship. Corsica is one of the toughest rallies in the world but series leader Tommi Makinen wants to become one of the few Finns to win it. He has not had much luck there before and said: "Competition is so hard now that sometimes it does not look good. However, we found out some useful things in Catalonia and I believe that we should be very competitive."

Freddy Loix and co-driver Sven Smeets have little experience of the event. Loix has contested it just once, in 1995, but the Belgian crew are a formidable combination on asphalt. Mitsubishi driver Loix believes that he can improve on his showing in Catalunya as he regains his fitness after his Safari accident. "The Catalunya Rally helped me a lot in preparing for Corsica," he confirmed. "If I can do a good shakedown test we could go well there."

Colin McRae's performance in April's Catalunya Rally means Ford know they can compete well on asphalt ` even though the Scot had to retire in Spain. The retirement did enable the team to try out a number of suspension settings and tyre selections in the heat of competition on asphalt. McRae said: "Even though it was disappointing not to be challenging for a win, the test session was worthwhile. The car ran very well before we had the problems."

Ford star Colin McRae will be bidding to get his title ambitions back on track after failing to finish in the last round. The Ford Focus has exceeded all expectations this season and McRae said: "I am happy that we now have a good, dry asphalt set-up for the car. The main factor in Corsica is tyres. It is very twisty and the surface is quite abrasive. We must work closely with Michelin to make sure we choose the right tyres."

Subaru won this event last year and Britain's Richard Burns would love to provide the team with a repeat triumph. Burns said: "I have only competed here once before and on that occasion I did not finish, so the knowledge bank is not particularly full. However, my confidence account is brimming, so on the basis that everything runs to plan I am looking forward to a good rally." The Tour of Corsica is the second successive asphalt event.

Bruno Thiry believes he has a good chance of victory on Sunday. The Subaru man missed out on a win on the Mediterranean island in 1995 because of a broken driveshaft on his Ford Escort. However, the Belgian believes he can capitalise on his experiences in 1998 and said: "I set a number of fastest times here last year. In 1995, of course, I was so close to winning. I feel that this time it should really be my rally."

Didier Auriol has achieved more Corsica wins than any of his 1999 rivals and will be aiming to increase Toyota's lead in the manufacturer standings. The 40-year-old Frenchman is also second in the driver list and wants to celebrate his 100th World Championship rally with a seventh Corsica triumph. He said: "The roads have changed a lot. Now there is too much nice tarmac. Before there were many different surfaces with some gravel sections. Now the stages are shorter and smoother."

Carlos Sainz and co-driver Luis Moya have 11 Corsican outings to their credit and the Spaniards have rarely finished outside the top four. Sainz said: "The weather conditions in Corsica can be very tricky. At the start of one stage it can be sunny but then there could be a big storm in the middle of the stage while the end is still dry. Tyres are critical, like Monte Carlo, but you have to go for the risky choice because you can pick up more time."

SEAT driver Piero Liatti will be celebrating his 37th bithday on the first day of the event, which runs from Friday to Sunday. It is the Italian's favourite rally and he has finished it on all four of his previous attempts and recorded a career-best third place last year. He admitted: "Corsica is my best rally. The stages are narrow, the asphalt has a lot of grip and I like it very much. The twisty stages should suit the car, which has a good engine and chassis."

The rally has been won by only five non-French drivers in over 40 years. It includes 17 special stages totalling 373km and the first leg is arguably the toughest section. There are just six stages but it means 139km of flat-out driving. The second leg takes crews into the mountains of central and northern Corsica and includes the longest stage. Leg three is like leg one and is centred around Propriano and Aullene.






05.05.99 - F1
Finland's Mika Salo will continue to deputise for Ricardo Zonta in the BAR team for the Monaco Grand Prix. Zonta has been advised to give the damaged tendons in his left foot more time to heal following his crash in his home race in Brazil last month. Salo was seventh for BAR at San Marino last week, while he finished fourth for Arrows at Monaco last year. "We're sorry Ricardo won't be fit, but I'm sure it's the right decision," said BAR managing director Craig Pollock.






07.05.99

BRITISH F3 (Croft):-
Testing for round seven on June 6:
                             min secs
 1 M Hynes       GB  Manor   1:14.042
 2 J Button      GB  Pr'tcme 1:14.384
 3 M Davies      GB  Fortec  1:14.387
 4 A Kirkaldy    GB  Stewart 1:14.515
 5 K Kolby       Den Fortec  1:14.616
 6 A Yoong       Mal Docking 1:14.698
 7 L Burti       Brz Stewart 1:14.698
 8 N Karthikeyan Ind Carlin  1:14.726
 9 T Spouge      GB  SSS     1:14.840
10 Y Igarashi    Jpn Docking 1:14.993

TOUR DE CORSE:- Colin McRae's hopes of taking over at the top of the World Championship standings were dented on day one. The Scot is in sixth place as the lighter Formula Two cars made use of their weight advantage on the dry asphalt roads. He was 30 seconds behind leader Philippe Bugalski, who had an historic win in last month's Catalunya Rally. McRae was fastest in his Ford Focus on the opening timed section but slipped down the field after that.

Ford driver Colin McRae is still confident he can become the first non- Frenchman to win three times on the Mediterranean island. McRae has won the event for the past two years and insisted: "The gap between ourselves and the leaders is not that big. "We are still well in contention for the top. We must do a bit of work overnight and tyre choice will always be a compromise because of the abrasive road surface."


Positions after day one (six stages):
                              mins secs
 1 P Bugalski  Fr  Citroen    1:13.41.7
 2 F Delecour  Fr  Peugeot    1:13.53.0
 3 J Puras     Sp  Citroen    1:13.54.0
 4 C Sainz     Sp  Toyota     1:14.02.8
 5 G Panizzi   Fr  Peugeot    1:14.13.2
 6 C McRae     GB  Ford       1:14.20.9
 7 D Auriol    Fr  Toyota     1:14.34.0
 8 R Burns     GB  Subaru     1:14.39.5
 9 T Makinen   Fin Mitsubishi 1:14.52.5
10 B Thiry     Bel Subaru     1:15.07.4
Stage 5 was cancelled because of safety reasons

STEYR-PUCH MANX NATIONAL RALLY:- The Mintex National Rally Championship competitors move on to the Isle of Man for round three on Saturday. Marcus Dodd (overall), Kevin Stephens (Group N) and Peter Thornton (Formula 2) lead the three main categories. Dodd has two victories behind him but Ulsterman Kenny McKinstry is likely to be a strong challenger. McKinstry has twice finished runner-up in the Manx International Rally, which uses many of the same or similar stages as the national event.

SEAT are sending Gwyndaf Evans and Barbara Armstrong to the Isle of Man to test a new asphalt specification engine on the Ibiza Evo 2 Kit car. Evans competed in the event last year to test for the two final asphalt rounds of the 1998 Mobil 1 British Rally Championship. Co-driven by Howard Davies, he set fastest times on seven of the eight stages attempted. Armstrong won the Pirelli Women's Cup on her last visit to the Isle of Man.






08.05.99
TOUR DE CORSE:- Colin McRae suffered in the late rain but is still handily placed in fourth. McRae, like all the drivers, was caught on slick tyres when rain finally fell but despite sliding over the slippery asphalt took chunks of time off most. He lost some of that on the last stage but is less than 10 seconds behind third-placed Carlos Sainz having started the penultimate day in sixth. Philippe Bugalski lost half a second on the final stage in his bid for a second successive win, but is still in front.


Positions after stage 12:    Hr min sec
 1 P Bugalski  Fr  Citroen    2:35.07.0
 2 J Puras     Sp  Citroen    2:35.13.3
 3 C Sainz     Sp  Toyota     2:35.34.8
 4 C McRae     GB  Ford       2:35.44.3
 5 D Auriol    Fr  Toyota     2:36.28.3
 6 R Burns     GB  Subaru     2:37.17.9
 7 F Delecour  Fr  Peugeot    2:37.23.6
 8 T Makinen   Fin Mitsubishi 2:37.24.8
 9 B Thiry     Bel Subaru     2:38.20.2
10 F Loix      Bel Mitsubishi 2:39.08.6


STEYR PUCH MANX RALLY:- Kenny McKinistry led from start to finish to deny former British champion Gwyndaf Evans. Despite easing off towards the end, McKinistry was fastest in his Subaru through eight of the 14 stages. He also takes the lead in the overall series after three rounds, following Marcus Dodd's retirement through rear suspension near the start of stage six. Another Escort driver, Steve Petch, was third and also climbs above Dodd into second place in the points table.


Final positions after 14 stages:Penalty
 1 K McKinstry/N Orr  Subaru   1:45.47
 2 G Evans/H Davies   SEAT Ib  1:46.18
 3 S Petch/P Croft    Ford Es  1:50.44
 4 B Gwynne/A Cook    Subaru   1:53.00
 5 M H'rison/J Kitson MG Metro 1:53.29
 6 B A'mstng/J R'chsn SEAT Ib  1:53.47
 7 R Holfeld/I Gr'rod M'tbishi 1:54.35
 8 K Stevens/S Foley  M'tbishi 1:54.44
 9 W Ph'skirk/E Evans MG Metro 1:58.34
10 S Fox/V Howland    Vauxhall 1:58.41





09.05.99
ZETEC CUP (Brands Hatch):- Sweden's Robert Dahlgren won the inaugural Motoring News Zetec Cup after a thrilling battle with Mark Taylor. Tom Sisley finished third after passing Mark Marchant with two laps left.


Final result after 16 laps (Sun):
                           mins secs
1 R Dahigren   Van Diemen   12:15.21
2 M Taylor     Mygale-Ford  12:15.49
3 T Sisley     Ray-Ford     12:16.45
4 G Caton      Van-Diemen   12:16.88
5 J Jones      Mygale-Ford  12:18.00
6 M Marchant   Jamun-Ford   12:18.40

TOUR DE CORSE:- Philippe Bugalski of France won the event in a Citroen Xsara. Bugalski's F2 Citroen was almost 35 seconds ahead of teammate Jesus Puras and another Spaniard, Carlos Sainz, was third in a Toyota. Colin McRae had gone into the final stage in third, holding a 0.2 second lead over Sainz. The Scot suffered a puncture midway through the eight mile mountain section though which ended his podium chances, while Richard Burns ended seventh.

Colin McRae missed out on third place when he suddenly lost the gears in his Ford Focus and was sent spinning out of control on the final stage. To add to McRae's misery, his two chief title rivals, Didier Auriol and Tommi Makinen, both picked up extra points on offer to the fastest cars. "It's very disappointing seeing Didier and Tommi get the extra points, but it's the rules," said McRae. "But I'm more disappointed at missing third place."


Positions after stage 16:    hr min sec
 1 P Bugalski  Fr  Citroen    3:44.35.7
 2 J Puras     Sp  Citroen    3:45.10.4
 3 C Sainz     Sp  Toyota     3:45.45.0
 4 C McRae     GB  Ford       3:45.53.8
 5 D Auriol    Fr  Toyota     3:46.08.3
 6 T Makinen   Fin Mitsubishi 3:47.26.1
 7 R Burns     GB  Subaru     3:47.42.6
 8 F Loix      Bel Mitsubishi 3:50.27.3
 9 P Liatti    It  SEAT       3:51.41.6
10 T Laukkanen Fin Renault    3:54.32.8

DRIVER STANDINGS                Pts
1 T Makinen    Fin  Mitsubishi  29
2 D Auriol     Fr   Toyota      28
3 C McRae      GB   Ford        23
4 C Sainz      Sp   Toyota      21
5 P Bugalski   Fr   Subaru      20
6 J Kankkunen  Fin  Subaru       8

MANUFACTURER STANDINGS:
1 Toyota         61 pts
2 Mitsubishi     38
3 Ford           34
4 Subaru         20
5 SEAT           18





10.05.99
F1:- Indianapolis will host the US Grand Prix next season when Formula One returns to the country for the first time since 1991. Organisers have said that the race will take place on September 24, 2000. A 2.61 mile circuit is being built in the city, which is synonymous with Indycar racing. Indianapolis Motor Speedway president Tony George said it was "an important step in the return of Formula One racing to the United States."



VAUXHALL VECTRA CHALLENGE (Brands Hatch):- James Rhodes set the fastest time for round four of the 1999 Vauxhall Vectra SRi V6 challenge on Monday. Rhodes finished over a second clear of Ulsterman Alan Morrison, who came second, with Rob Collard taking third.


Leading testing times (Mon):
1 J Rhodes    Barwell      53.293secs
2 A Morrison  Tim Sugden   53.434
3 R Collard   RJC Racing   53.437
4 D Pinkney   Stealth      53.487
5 A Deighton  Triple Eight 53.597
6 J Yeomans   Barwell      53.659





12.05.99
F1: THE MONACO GP
Frenchman Olivier Panis claimed his only Formula One win in Monaco and would relish a repeat show. The Prost star triumphed in 1996 and here he looks ahead to Sunday's race.

Q: Only five drivers have won the Monaco Grand Prix over the last 15 years. Does Monaco reward the talents of the driver or the qualities of the car?
A: In Formula One, the quality of the car is always predominant but at Monaco the car's performance qualities have less of an impact than at other circuits.

Q: Some drivers say you have to love Monaco to go fast on the circuit. Do you agree with them?
A: Yes but I would put it differently. To go fast at Monaco you need to be totally confident. A driver who is happy on arriving in Monaco because he has achieved some good performances in the past will opt for an agressive driving style. Whereas another driver, who has been less successful at Monaco, will be concerned about making a mistake.

Q: Is Monaco a completely atypical circuit or are there similarities with other winding circuits in the world championship, such as the Hungaroring?
A: The Hungaroring is effectively considered to be a winding track but in Hungary we do manage laps of 185km/h, which is 35km/h more than in Monaco. Monaco, despite its extremely slow lap time, has the fastest bend in F1. We go at 290km/h in the tunnel during practice, flat out in sixth, and a bit slower in the race.

Q: Does the closeness of the barriers and the absence of run-offs mean that the drivers have to maintain a margin of safety at Monaco?
A: During the race, yes. It is difficult for a driver to do 78 laps at 100 per cent of his capabilities, brushing the rails at each bend. As the margin of error is zero you have to know how to manage the race, find your rhythm, attack in sequences. During a qualifying lap, though, you have to go beyond your limits.

Q: Monaco is the only grand prix in the championship to last nearly two hours. Does this unusual length pose problems of a physical nature for the driver?
A: No, because the average lap time is slow. The fatigue is not physical but mental. We are flung from one bend to another with no time to recover.

Q: Is it possible to overtake at Monaco?
A: Only when the driver in front makes a mistake or when it is raining. It is a strategic race. The timing of the pitstops is important.

Q: Is it in the teams' interests to spend even more time setting up the car for qualifying than for other circuits?
A: Yes. There is no point in starting straight off on Thursday on qualifying adjustments. The track is still dirty, the grip is too low.

Q:Do the qualities of the Prost-Peugeot AP02 correspond to the circuit?
A: The car has shown no signs of weakness on the first three circuits of the championship. I cannot imagine starting lower than 10th on the grid.

Q: Has the Prost-Peugeot team carried out any special tests to prepare for the Monaco Grand Prix?
A: We spent a day at Magny-Cours working on two themes - the Peugeot engine's progressive rise in power delivery and the new rear spoiler.

Q: In 1996 you broke with Monaco Grand Prix tradition by not wearing a dinner jacket to the evening ceremony. Will you bring a dinner jacket this time?
A: No. I will take a tie and jacket, out of superstition and to tease a little.



BTCC (Brands Hatch):- Brands Hatch plays host to rounds seven and eight of the Championship on Sunday, with Laurent Aiello targeting a 250,000 jackpot. After two wins at Thruxton, he is halfway to claiming the payout offered by series organiser TOCA to the first driver to win four consecutive rounds. Aiello said: "I think we will be very strong again at Brands Hatch. We were right on the pace in testing there and it is one of the circuits I know best in the country."

Matt Neal knows the pressure Laurent Aiello is under as he chases a &156;250,000 bonus. Neal banked the same amount by becoming the first privately-funded driver to win a round of the Championship. Midlander Neal became an overnight celebrity after his feat and revealed: "If Laurent manages to win the dosh I suggest he buys some dark glasses. It is a hell of a lot of a lot of money - more than Stephen Hendry won for the snooker World Championship."

Rickard Rydell won three of the four Brands Hatch races on his way to clinching the 1998 crown. He goes into Sunday's rounds seven and eight on the back of two second places at Thruxton. The Swedish star said: "The Volvo S40 was much better suited to the fast sweeps of Thruxton. To win the title we really need to get ahead of the Nissans. Brands Hatch was good for me last year and I hope we can repeat that kind of performance."

Honda's James Thompson currently shares the overall lead with Laurent Aiello but is aiming to break clear after Sunday's races. Thompson won the first race of 1999 and consistency has been the key to his success this season. "Thruxton was pretty much a damage limitation exercise but Brands will be a different matter," he admitted. "We were fastest on both days of testing in March and at the very least I expect to be back on the podium."

Jason Plato is two points off the lead but could have been heading the series but for an incident in round five. He was trying to avoid Laurent Aiello's swerving Nissan when his Renault became caught up with Alain Menu's Mondeo and both drivers went out. Plato said: "It is just one of those things. I knew Laurent would make a mistake, it was just a bit bigger than I expected. However, we are way ahead of schedule so now is the time to push on."

John Cleland is set to chalk up his 200th BTCC event in the Feature Race. In over 11 years he has earned two driver titles and 17 race wins. The Vauxhall star believes the series has changed dramatically over the last 10 years. "The buzz is still the same as ever but there has been a massive increase in professionalism of everyone involved. The drivers now speak languages that I do not understand," he said.

The 1998 runner-up Anthony Reid is hopeful about his chances on Sunday. "I won at least one race there and, depending on who you talk to, it should have been two," said the Scot. "I was later disqualified for having roughed up Rickard a bit but it was not anything serious. I still think I was hard done by. The Mondeo has shown very well this year. I think we have surprised a few people. We have had a bit of bad luck but I hold the lap record at Brands."

Matt Neal heads the Michelin Cup for Independents standings but Lee Brookes has edged his Honda Accord into contention for the crown. A win and a second place have put him 23 points behind Neal. Mark Blair leads the Michelin Racer of the Year, despite struggling to come to terms with a difficult-handling Vauxhall Vectra. Meanwhile, Paula Cook won the class at Silverstone and will be hoping for a repeat this weekend.



F3000 (Monaco):- Kid Jenson Racing are targeting a good performance in Saturday's 50-lap race after a strong showing in San Marino a fortnight ago. Driver Andrea Piccini said: "I have never raced in Monaco before so this weekend is going to be a challenge. After Imola I am confident that I can qualify and drive a strong race. Nevertheless I will need a bit of luck. If you lose your concentration you hit the wall and then it is all over. I normally prefer circuits like Spa."

Nicolas Minassian is relishing the chance to race in Monte Carlo. The Kid Jenson Racing driver admitted: "I love Monaco and I am really looking forward to racing there again. As I am originally from Marseilles in the south of France, Monaco's sea and sunshine makes me feel at home. It is the hardest circuit of the calendar. The circuit is very physical because there are a lot of bumps and corners and you cannot afford to relax anywhere. Qualifying is crucial."



BRITISH F3 (Silverstone):- Jenson Button was delighted with his times after two days of testing in preparation for future rounds. He set the fastest time after the first day and was fourth quickest on the second day. The reigning British Formula Ford champion said: "Moving up to Formula Three has not been easy but now at least I can see my times improving." Button is in only his second season of car racing and is currently third in the British series.






13.05.99
F1: THE MONACO GP
Michael Schumacher conjured up a blistering last lap to head practice for Sunday's race. The Ferrari star clocked a time of one minute, 22.718 seconds and world champion Mika Hakkinen was second quickest for McLaren. Olivier Panis, winner here in 1996, was third quickest for Prost and Eddie Irvine was fourth fastest. David Coulthard was sixth, Johnny Herbert 10th and Damon Hill, who was third in the first session, was 11th.

Ferrari star Michael Schumacher bounced back from a setback in practice to clock the fastest time. Damaged steering caused the German to hit a safety barrier and he confirmed: "I hit a barrier after a track rod broke in the chicane. That was frightening as I only had one wheel steering. Otherwise it was good fun. We have done a good job and I think the order gives us a fairly accurate picture of what we can expect in qualifying."


Thursday's practice times:
 1 M Schumacher  Ger Ferrari  1:22.718
 2 M Hakkinen    Fin McLaren  1:22.854
 3 O Panis       Fr  Prost    1:23.318
 4 E Irvine      GB  Ferrari  1:23.396
 5 G Fisichella  It  Benetton 1:23.458
 6 D Coulthard   GB  McLaren  1:23.503
 7 R Barrichello Brz Stewart  1:23.545
 8 M Salo        Fin BAR      1:23.793
 9 J Villeneuve  Can BAR      1:23.862
10 J Herbert     GB  Stewart  1:23.865
11 D Hill        GB  Jordan   1:23.874
12 J Trulli      It  Prost    1:23.958
13 A Zanardi     It  Williams 1:24.065
14 A Wurz        Aut Benetton 1:24.263
15 J Alesi       Fr  Sauber   1:24.492
16 R Schumacher  Ger Williams 1:24.906
17 P Diniz       Brz Sauber   1:25.094
18 P de la Rosa  Sp  Arrows   1:26.148
19 H-H Frentzen  Ger Jordan   1:26.336
20 T Takagi      Jpn Arrows   1:27.667
21 M Gene        Sp  Minardi  1:28.316
Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone has hinted that Brands Hatch could be set to replace Silverstone as the venue for the British Grand Prix. Silverstone's present contract expires in 2001 - and Brands Hatch bosses have called a press conference for Friday. Ecclestone told Autosport: "It can happen, no doubt about it. There's no reason why the GP can't be at Brands. Most people I've floated the idea past have thought such a move would be magic."

Michael Schumacher could make Formula One history this weekend as well as laying claim to the world crown. His next win will be his 16th for Ferrari ` one more than the record of 15 he shares with Niki Lauda. The German equalled the record in the last race and admitted: "Winning in Imola, in the San Marino Grand Prix, was a great moment for me. It was the first win there by Ferrari for 16 years. It felt very special. I could see what it meant to the tifosi."

Former world champion Michael Schumacher is optimistic that he can give Ferrari their first drivers' crown for 20 years this season. The German goes into Sunday's race having won at Monaco three times in the past five years. He insisted: "I am very confident about Monaco. It is a drivers' circuit and everyone knows how well I go there. It has always been a special place for me and with the car I have at the moment I can win that race."

Mika Hakkinen won last year's Monaco Grand Prix and will be eager for a repeat show to double his points tally to 20. The 1998 victory was McLaren's first triumph in Monaco since 1993, when the late, great Ayrton Senna secured his sixth win on the street circuit. Qualifying will be crucial and if the two McLarens can occupy the front row, it will make it difficult for Ferrari. David Coulthard will also be keen to steal the show from team-mate Hakkinen.

Jordan had their worst weekend in the sport in Monaco last year but it turned out to be a catalyst for success. Damon Hill and Ralf Schumacher qualified in 15th and 16th in 1998 and the former world champion was eighth, while the German did not finish. Team boss Eddie Jordan admitted: "It was a dreadful weekend but it was ultimately fantastic because it kicked me into action. I realised that unless we made radical changes we would simply plod along."

Monaco holds many memories for Damon Hill because his late father Graham won five times at the circuit. Hill said: "My first recollection of the Monaco Grand Prix was watching it on television in 1969. "I was eight years old, the same age as my second son. I was playing in the garden when my mum called out: 'Come and watch Daddy winning the race'. That was in fact his fifth victory but the first one that I can remember," added the Jordan driver.

Heinz-Harald Frentzen is one of the many drivers in Formula One who have made Monaco their home. The German is relishing the prospect of being able to improve on his 1999 points tally of 10 points on the unique Monte Carlo circuit. He confirmed: "You need a huge amount of concentration to race in Monaco. It is a very demanding circuit. It is risky but that is what makes it so enjoyable. Monaco is definitely the highlight of the Formula One calendar."

After going close to taking his first points in Imola, Williams driver Alex Zanardi will be aiming to make a bigger impression in Monte Carlo. He said: "After the first few races it is important for me to have a good race in Monaco. I am still trying and at least in Imola I almost got there. The car was running well and I am encouraged. If you had to win just win race all season you would say Monaco. It is a pleasure for the driver in front."

Ralf Schumacher lives in Monaco so sees the race as his second home grand prix after Germany. "It is good because I do not have to travel, can sleep in my own bed and go to work on my scooter," he confirmed. "That is not my only reason for liking Monaco though. Year-by-year Monaco offers a great challenge to drivers. Generally it is difficult to overtake in Formula One but here it is impossible if the driver in front of you does not want to be passed."

Stewart star Johnny Herbert is optimistic of success after some positive test sessions. "The circuit is the biggest challenge in Formula One because you are racing between barriers on a street layout with little room for error," he said. "There is always an extra buzz in qualifying because you are striving to get the best out of your car in a short space of time on a tricky circuit. I am looking forward to it after some valuable test work in Nogaro." Rubens Barrichello would love to celebrate his 100th grand prix on Sunday with a victory. The Brazilian enthused: "Obviously Brazil would be my first choice for my 100th grand prix but Monaco is not a bad second choice at all. I am delighted that I have a car which I really believe will give me the best chance of winning I have had in the six years I have been in Formula One. It is nice to know we are going into races knowing we will be competitive."

British American Racing are hoping to build on their best-ever qualifying position - achieved in the last race - on their first visit to Monaco. Jacques Villeneuve started in fifth place on the grid in San Marino. "Securing a good grid position at Monaco is even more important than normal since overtaking is difficult," said team manager Greg Field. "With fuel consumption and tyre wear not really issues, most teams are set to opt for a single-stop strategy."

Jacques Villeneuve and Mika Salo have been using test sessions at Nogaro in France to prepare for Sunday's race. Salo will once again stand in for Ricardo Zonta, who is still suffering from foot injuries sustained in a practice crash in Brazil. British American Racing managing director Craig Pollock revealed: "Reliability is not quite there. If sustained hard work equates to performance we will get the sort of results we want before long."

Benetton Formula One have announced an agreement with ex-grand prix driver Jonathan Palmer to support Formula Palmer Audi winner Justin Wilson. The deal includes sponsorship of Wilson, who is now competing in the F3000 series with Team Astromega. Wilson's car, and that of team-mate Gonzalo Rodriguez, will now run in new, Benetton-style livery. Rocco Benetton said: "The team is eager to identify drivers with the potential to reach Formula One."

Formula One team boss Eddie Jordan has been appointed a touring sporting ambassador for Ireland. Dublin-born Jordan will use his international profile to help promote tourism and sport in the Republic.



FORMULA PALMER AUDI
Testing from Mondello Park, Ireland:
1 D Hays                    1:40.330
2 R Lyons                   1:40.380
3 T Serjala                 1:41.040
4 J Bleekemolen             1:41.130
5 R Dumas                   1:41.140




14.05.99
F1:- Brands Hatch will stage the British Grand Prix from 2002 to 2007. The Kent circuit, which last held a Formula One grand prix in 1986, takes over from Silverstone and around 20m will be spent on upgrading Brands. The British Racing Drivers' Club, which runs Silverstone, turned down the chance to renew their contract. Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone said: "I offered the BRDC the chance to renew their contract but they felt they were not in a position to do so."

Former world champion Damon Hill has said he would relish the chance to compete at Brands Hatch in a British Grand Prix. Brands is replacing Silverstone as the venue for the British race in 2002 and Hill said: "I am a former champion at Brands Hatch on motorcycles."

"We always used to have British Grands Prix at Brands Hatch one year and Silverstone the next. That seemed to work out quite well," added the Jordan driver.

Damon Hill is confident he can be competitive in Sunday's race but is playing down his victory chances. The Jordan star has the traditional rest day to reflect on his 11th-placed practice time. Hill was just over a second off the pace set by Michael Schumacher but said: "We know the reason why we ended up down in 11th place. "I feel optimistic but it is not going to be easy to win here. We are certainly not the favourites."



BTCC (Brands Hatch):-
Friday testing times:          secs
 1 L Aiello      Fr  Nissan   46.252
 2 D Leslie      GB  Nissan   46.446
 3 J Plato       GB  Williams 46.451
 4 J Thompson    GB  Honda    46.629
 5 A Menu        Swi Ford     46.661
 6 P Kox         Hol Honda    46.669
 7 M Neal        GB  Nissan   46.714
 8 V Radermecker Bel Volvo    46.752
 9 Y Muller      Fr  Vauxhall 46.762
10 JC Bouillion  Fr  Williams 46.782


F3000 (Monaco):-
Practice results:              min secs
 1 N Heidfeld    Ger West Comp 1:31.318
 2 A Couto       Por Gauloises 1:31.778
 3 J Wilson      GB  Astromega 1:32.312
 4 N Fontana     Arg Fortec    1:32.316
 5 B Leinders    Bel Witmeur   1:32.418
 6 M Wilson      Brz Petrobras 1:32.602
 7 F Montagny    Fr  DAMS      1:32.615
 8 B Dericheborg Fr  Portman   1:32.729
 9 O Gavin       GB  European  1:33.024
10 T Enge        Cz  WRT       1:33.263





15.05.99
F1: THE MONACO GP
Mika Hakkinen stole pole position from Michael Schumacher on his very last lap, posting a time of 1:20.547 to just pip his German rival. David Coulthard completed a great late show for McLaren by moving into third, ahead of Eddie Irvine. However, it was a disappointing session for Damon Hill, who never managed to shake off the effects of a crash in the morning and qualified 17th. Johnny Herbert was just ahead, posting the 13th fastest time.

Mika Hakkinen took pole position amid controversy, as yellow flags were out because the engine in Damon Hill's Jordan had blown up. "I saw the yellow flag and that's why I put my my arm up and slowed down," Hakkinen admitted. "I know it doesn't look like that because I'm sitting here with pole position. Normally whenever you have yellow flags you have to be careful." Ferrari appealed against Hakkinen's time, but it was rejected.

Michael Schumacher led most of the qualifying session but was angry to be held up when trying to post a faster time, allowing Mika Hakkinen in. "I should have been faster on my third run but Panis was in my way," Schumacher said. "It was nonsense really as he had space to move over. Diniz was in my way four times. Drivers have to respect the blue flags and, if not, they should get penalties. There was no action taken at Imola but hopefully action will be taken here."

David Coulthard was happy to qualify third after crashing in practice on Saturday morning. "I could look for excuses but people wouldn't believe me," he said. "I just ran out of road. It lost me time on the cirtuit and I paid the price for it. But at the end of the day I am not disappointed about being third." Damon Hill, who also crashed in morning practice, qualified in 17th and said it "was not what I wanted - there is not much more I want to say."


Saturday's qualifying times:
 1 M Hakkinen    Fin McLaren  1:20.547
 2 M Schumacher  Ger Ferrari  1:20.611
 3 D Coulthard   GB  McLaren  1:20.956
 4 E Irvine      GB  Ferrari  1:21.011
 5 R Barrichello Brz Stewart  1:21.530
 6 H-H Frentzen  Ger Jordan   1:21.556
 7 J Trulli      It  Prost    1:21.769
 8 J Villeneuve  Can BAR      1:21.827
 9 G Fisichella  It  Benetton 1:21.938
10 A Wurz        Aut Benetton 1:21.968
11 A Zanardi     It  Williams 1:22.152
12 M Salo        Fin BAR      1:22.241
13 J Herbert     GB  Stewart  1:22.248
14 J Alesi       Fr  Sauber   1:22.354
15 P Diniz       Brz Sauber   1:22.659
16 R Schumacher  Ger Williams 1:22.719
17 D Hill        GB  Jordan   1:22.832
18 O Panis       Fr  Prost    1:22.916
19 T Takagi      Jpn Arrows   1:23.290
20 L Badoer      It  Minardi  1:23.765
21 P de la Rosa  Sp  Arrows   1:24.260
22 M Gene        Sp  Minardi  1:24.914


BTCC (Brands Hatch):- Laurent Aiello built on his two victories at Thruxton a ortnight ago to take pole for Sunday's feature race. However, he was unable to post the fastest time for the sprint, with Alain Menu quickest closely followed by Ford teammate Anthony Reid. Rickard Rydell and Jason Plato were both hit in the sprint by the Paddock Bend being covered with gravel after an incident involving Matt Neal. However, Rydell took second and Plato third for the feature race.


Round 7 provisional qualifying times:
                               secs
 1 A Menu        Swi Ford     46.812
 2 A Reid        GB  Ford     46.875
 3 L Aiello      Fr  Nissan   46.956
 4 Y Muller      Fr  Vauxhall 46.995
 5 J Thompson    GB  Honda    47.093
 6 R Rydell      Swe Volvo    47.121
 7 P Kox         Hol Honda    47.154
 8 V Radermecker Bel Volvo    47.157
 9 JC Boullion   Fr  Renault  47.215
10 J Plato       GB  Renault  47.383


Round 8 provisional qualifying times:
                               secs
 1 L Aiello      Fr  Nissan   46.403
 2 R Rydell      Swe Volvo    46.482
 3 J Plato       GB  Renault  46.547
 4 D Leslie      GB  Nissan   46.550
 5 M Neal        GB  Nissan   46.627
 6 A Menu        Swi Ford     46.671
 7 JC Boullion   Fr  Renault  46.674
 8 A Reid        GB  Ford     46.714
 9 V Radermecker Bel Volvo    46.855
10 J Thompson    GB  Honda    46.912


CHAMP CARS (Rio de Janeiro):- Juan Montoya edged out Dario Franchitti and Christian Fittipaldi to become the first rookie to ever win three consecutive races in the series. The 23-year-old overtook pole sitter Fittipaldi right at the start, edging inside to pass him on the first turn. Fittipaldi kept close behind the Colombian, closing the difference by about a tenth of a second every lap, until he pitted in the 31st lap. Franchitti almost hit the wall coming out of the first turn.


Race result (Sat):             secs
 1 J Montoya    Col Honda    1:36.32
 2 D Franchitti GB  Honda    @ 1.736s
 3 C Fittipaldi Brz Ford     same lap
 4 M Papis      It  Reynard  same lap
 5 T Kanaan     Brz Honda    same lap
 6 P Carpentier Can Mercedes same lap
 7 PJ Jones     US  Reynard  same lap
 8 G Moore      Can Mercedes same lap
 9 T Marques    Brz Mercedes same lap
10 G de Ferran  Brz Honda    same lap



F3000 (Monaco):-
Race result after 50 laps:  hr min secs
 1 G Rodriguez   Uru Astr'mga 1:18.22
 2 J Watt        Den S Nova   1:19.02
 3 M Wilson      Brz Petr'brs 1:19.05
 4 O Gavin       GB  European 1:19.10
 5 N Fontana     Arg Fortec   1:19.18
 6 B Junqueira   Brz Petr'brs 1:19.17
 7 N Heidfeld    Ger W Comp   1:19.18
 8 D Terrien     Fr  DAMS     1:19.44
 9 F Montagny    Fr  DAMS     1:19.45
10 J V Hooydonk  Bel Witmeur  1:19.45


F.PALMER AUDI (Mondello Park):-
Round 4 qualifying times (Sat)
                 mins secs
1 R Tarling       1:38.23
2 T Mullen        1:38.74
3 D Hayes         1:38.80
4 A Wilcox        1:38.84
5 J Keen          1:39.01

Round 5 qualifying times:
1 J Keen          1:38.40
2 R Tarling       1:38.45
3 S Hancock       1:38.64
4 D Hayes         1:38.68
5 A Wilcox        1:38.71


F.VAUXHALL (Brands Hatch):-
Round 4 result (Sat):mins secs
 1 G Paffett       21:48.480
 2 R Bell          21:57.093
 3 M Pavlovic      21:57.824
 4 R Dalziel       21:57.945
 5 J Dalziel       22:58.363
 6 D Scandian      22:01.081
 7 G Turkington    22:01.905
 8 H Mutch         22:06.708
 9 D Patrick       22:06.750
10 J Hanson        22:14.863


VAUXHALL VECTRA CHALLENGE (Brands Hatch)
Round 4 qualifying times (Sat)
                     secs
 1 R Collard        52.914
 2 J Yeomans        53.014
 3 A Deighton       53.041
 4 A Morrison       53.085
 5 D Pinkey         53.098
 6 J Rhodes         53.103
 7 M Ticehurst      53.227
 8 P Gate           53.267
 9 G Coomes         53.348
10 D Goode          53.357



FORD FIESTA'S (Brands Hatch)
Round 4 qualifying times (Sat)
                     secs
 1 D Gibson         58.292
 2 S Clarke         58.350
 3 I Churchill      58.469
 4 C Stancombe      58.520
 5 M Burton         58.567
 6 D Buxton         58.571
 7 P Rivett         58.577
 8 M Cullen         58.628
 9 N Gordon         58.686
10 M Engledew       58.699

RENAULT SPIDER CUP (Brands Hatch):- A dramatic qualifying session saw Andy Priaulx pip Simon Hill to pole position by just 9/1000ths of a second. Tobia Masini was third, 7/1000ths behind Priauix with Phil Bennett taking fourth spot after a huge testing shunt.


Round 4 qualifying times (Sat)
1 A Priaulx        51.476 secs
2 S Hill           51.485
3 T Masini         51.551
4 P Bennett        51.704
5 C Buncombe       51.747
6 M Cole           51.982

F.RENAULT (Brands Hatch):- Antonio Pizzonia took pole position, closely followed by Rob Austin. Leighton Walker came in fourth. Kimi Raikkonen produced a strong effort to come fifth despite being restricted to ten minutes running time.


Round 4 qualifying times (Sat)
1 A Pizzonia       45.688 secs
2 R Austin         46.047
3 N Stelandre      46.073
4 L Walker         46.091
5 K Raikkonen      46.429
6 C Breeze         46.495

SLICK 50 CHAMPIONSHIP (Brands Hatch):- Nicolas Kiesa claimed his second pole of the season, but Greg Caton sprung a major surprise by taking second place. Dan Hazlewood was quickest of the First Division runners, with Neil Fowler clinching the final place on the grid.


Round 4 qualifying times (Sat)
1 N Kiesa        Den    47.697 secs
2 G Caton        Eng    47.715
3 R van der Ende Hol    47.783
4 M Taylor       Eng    47.822
5 F Diefenbacher Ger    47.852
6 T Sisley       Eng    47.925

ZETEC CHAMPIONSHIP (Brands Hatch):- Dave Gibson kept up the pressure at the head of the championship table by claiming his first pole of the season. The points leader edged out team-mate Simon Clarke by 0.056 seconds with Ian Churchill taking third place.


Round 4 qualifying times (Sat)
1 D Gibson         58.292 secs
2 S Clarke         58.350
3 I Churchill      58.489
4 C Stancombe      58.520
5 M Burton         58.567
6 D Buxton         58.571





16.05.99
F1: THE MONACO GP
Michael Schumacher cruised to his fourth Monaco Grand Prix victory, overtaking Mikka Hakkinen right at the start and never being challenged. Eddie Irvine held off a determined challenge from Hakkinen to make it a Ferrari one-two. Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Giancarlo Fisichella and Alexander Wurz completed the scoring. But it was a bad day for David Coulthard, Johnny Herbert and Damon Hill, who all had to retire.

Michael Schumacher was delighted with his 16th victory for Ferrari, a record total for the team. He was particularly pleased with his start, when he edged out Mika Hakkinen, who had taken pole position. "I was lucky at the start because Hakkinen didn't seem to get a great start," Schumacher said. "Although I saw him try and edge over on me I was too quick for him, luckily because otherwise we would have crashed on the first corner".

Eddie Irvine took over second spot from Mika Hakkinen when he was in the pits, and he was able to build enough of an advantage to hold on. "Mika slowed up considerably when he came into contact with the backmarkers allowing me to creep up on him," Irvine commented afterwards. "Once he was in the pits I knew that I had enough left to hold him off despite going into the pits for a second time." It was the first time Ferrari had ever taken the top two places at Monaco.

Third-placed Mikka Hakkinen accepted that Michael Schumacher's start had been crucial in the German eventually securing victory. "My tyres just didn't grip when we started and it gave Michael the chance to take the lead. I knew then the race was over," he said. Hakkinen later went off at Mirabeau and lost time due to oil left by Toranusuke Takagi's engine exploding. "There was oil on the track and I lost my backend," Hakkinen reflected.

David Coulthard's race came to an end on lap 36 when a gearbox problem forced him to retire. He lost 21 seconds in two laps shortly before going out to continue his disappointing start to the season. The Scot had been running in fourth spot, having been overtaken by Eddie Irvine on the first corner. "I was losing oil from the gearbox, the first time I've experienced it," Coulthard said. "Three retirements in four races isn't too good."

Damon Hill's miserable weekend came to a sorry conclusion on the third lap when he collided with Ralf Schumacher as he tried to overtake. The gap was too small for Hill to make the move and his race was over. Hill had qualified 17th for the race after a crash on Saturday morning, and said he had therefore needed to take risks in order to move up. Johnny Herbert's race came to an end when his right rear wheel came loose on the 32nd lap.

Damon Hill was naturally disappointed with his early departure from the race as he tried to make up for his poor qualifying session. "I was too ambitious," he said. "I tried to dive down the inside, but Ralf was defending his line and I had nowhere else to go. I don't blame him. It has not gone right for me since Saturday. After two laps it was obvious I was going to be stuffed unless I started overtaking. Now I am stuffed anyway."

The Stewart team saw both its drivers fail to finish, with Rubens Barrichello suffering a suspension problem just five laps from home when he lay fifth. "It's a pity my race ended like it did," the Brazilian said. "The car ran reasonably well though I wasn't able to find consistencey after my pit stop." Johnny Herbert went out when his suspension broke after 32 laps. "There was no warning at all," he said. "I just need to get some more mileage under my belt in the test next week."


Result after 78 laps:        Hr min sec
 1 M Schumacher  Ger Ferrari  1:49.31.8
 2 E Irvine      GB  Ferrari      @30.5
 3 M Hakkinen    Fin McLaren      @37.5
 4 H-H Frentzen  Ger Jordan       @54.0
 5 G Fisichella  It  Benetton   one lap
 6 A Wurz        Aut Benetton   one lap
 7 J Trulli      It  Prost      one lap
 8 A Zanardi     It  Williams  two laps

DID NOT FINISH:              Laps completed 
 9 R Barrichello Brz Stewart      71
10 R Schumacher  Ger Williams     54
11 J Alesi       Fr  Sauber       50
12 P Diniz       Brz Sauber       49
13 O Panis       Fr  Prost        40
14 D Coulthard   GB  McLaren      36
15 M Salo        Fin BAR          36
16 T Takagi      Jpn Arrows       36
17 J Villeneuve  Can BAR          32
18 J Herbert     GB  Stewart      32
19 P De La Rosa  Sp  Arrows       30
20 M Gene        Sp  Minardi      24
21 L Badoer      It  Minardi      10
22 D Hill        GB  Jordan        3


DRIVER STANDINGS
 1 M Schumacher  Ger  Ferrari   26 pts
 2 E Irvine      GB   Ferrari   18
 3 M Hakkinen    Fin  McLaren   14
 4 H-H Frentzen  Ger  Jordan    13
 5 R Schumacher  Ger  Williams   7
 = G Fisichella  Ita  Benetton   7
 7 R Barrichello Brz  Stewart    6
 = D Coulthard   GB   McLaren    6
 9 D Hill        GB   Jordan     3
10 P de la Rosa  Sp   Arrows     1
 = O Panis       Fr   Prost      1
 = J Alesi       Fr   Sauber     1
 = A Wurz        Aus  Benetton   1

CONSTRUCTOR STANDINGS
1 Ferrari       44 pts
2 McLaren       20
3 Jordan        16
4 Benetton       8
5 Williams       7
6 Stewart        6
7 Arrows         1
= Prost          1
= Sauber         1


BTCC (Brands Hatch):-
Round 7 result:               mins secs
 1 Y Muller      Fr  Vauxhall 24:31.508
 2 A Reid        GB  Ford     24:33.489
 3 L Aiello      Fr  Nissan   24:33.994
 4 J Plato       GB  Renault  24:34.829
 5 JC Boullion   Fr  Renault  24:35.336
 6 D Leslie      GB  Nissan   24:35.512
 7 J Thompson    GB  Honda    24:35.910
 8 J Cleland     GB  Vauxhall 24:38.007
 9 M Blair       GB  Vauxhall 24:44.987
10 P Cook        GB  Honda    24:46.704

Round 8 result:               mins secs
 1 L Aiello      Fr  Nissan   43:54.147
 2 D Leslie      GB  Nissan   43:56.853
 3 M Neal        GB  Nissan   43:57.586
 4 P Kox         Hol Honda    43:58.489
 5 Y Muller      Fr  Vauxhall 43:59.876
 6 J Thompson    GB  Honda    44:00.113
 7 JC Boullion   Fr  Renault  44:01.193
 8 A Reid        GB  Ford     44:03.207
 9 J Cleland     GB  Vauxhall 44:03.614
10 M Blair       GB  Vauxhall 44:12.639



F.PALMER AUDI (Mondello Park):-
Race one result (Sun)
                mins secs
1 R Tarling      26:15.51
2 T Mullen       26:16.83
3 A Wilcox       26:21.10
4 J Shafer       26:22.34
5 D Faulkner     26:23.65

Race two result (Sun)
1 R Tarling      25:02.23
2 T Mullen       25:08.03
3 A Booth        25:10.51
4 J Bleekemolen  25:11.34
5 D Faulkner     25:12.08



F.VAUXHALL (Brands Hatch):-
Round 5 result(Sun):mins secs
 1 R Dalziel       25:59.367
 2 R Bell          26:03.162
 3 G Paffett       26:04.098
 4 M Pavlovic      26:04.374
 5 G Turkington    26:04.760
 6 D Scandian      26:06.517
 7 M Franchitti    26:10.625
 8 V Apple         26:10.693
 9 S Hodgetts      26:14.043
10 C Vincent       26:14.826


VAUXHALL VECTRA CHALLENGE (Brands Hatch):-
Round 4 result (Sun)mins secs
 1 D Pinkey         19:51.611
 2 M Ticehurst      19:51.837
 3 J Yeomans        19:56.539
 4 A Deighton       19:58.050
 5 G Coomes         20:02.712
 6 G Pyper          20:04.081
 7 M Turner         20:12.852
 8 C Boon           20:13.352
 9 J Barclay        20:17.318
10 G Holmes         20:27.558



FORD FIESTA'S (Brands Hatch):-
Round 4 result:     mins secs
 1 D Gibson         16:48.336
 2 S Clarke         16:51.734
 3 I Churchill      16:51.735
 4 C Stancombe      16:51.736
 5 M Engledew       16:52.286
 6 P Rivett         16:55.439
 7 H Taylor         16:55.568
 8 A Howarth        16:55.881
 9 M Cullen         16:58.408
10 G Shedden        16:58.762



RENAULT SPIDER CUP (Brands Hatch):-
Round 4 result:(Sun)Mins Secs
 1 A Priaulx        19:10.955
 2 T Masini         19:13.834
 3 P Bennett        19:20.954
 4 O Mildenhall     19:26.846
 5 S Hill           19:27.375
 6 C Buncombe       19:32.108
 7 J Dance          19:35.255
 8 M Nippers        19:39.813
 9 A Hildebrand     19:48.429
10 S Baber          19:49.142

FORMULA RENAULT (Brands Hatch):- Antonio Pizzonia regained the lead in the series, who headed a four-car stretch covered by less than a second. Leighton Walker pinched third and Daniel Barrett took his first Star Cup win of the season.


Round 4 result:    mins secs
1 A Pizzonia       23:11.824
2 R Austin         23:22.908
3 L Walker         23:23.488
4 K Raikkonen      23:23.592
5 N Stelandre      23:23.705



SLICK 50 CHAMPIONSHIP (Brands Hatch):-
Round 4 result:
1 N Kiesa        Den    26:01.141
2 C Murray       GB     26:02.023
3 F Diefenbacher Ger    26:02.829
4 N Shanahan     Irl    26:08.841
5 T Sisley       GB     26:09.471
6 R Dahlgren     Swe    26:11.759






17.05.99
F1:- Michael Schumacher fears that his 12- point lead in the driver's championship may be quickly eroded as the drivers reach circuits more suited to McLaren. "I wanted to build up a points cushion because we are coming to a couple of circuits where we might not be as strong," the Monaco winner said. "We may be second or third in the next couple of races, but then we will come to circuits where we are stronger." The championship resumes on Sunday week in Barcelona.

British American Racing have confirmed that Finnish driver Mika Salo will continue to deputise for Ricardo Zonta at the Spanish Grand Prix. Zonta injured ligaments in his left foot in practice for last month's race in his home country of Brazil. A medical examination has shown that he is still not fit enough to race. Salo has stood in for Zonta in the last two races, finishing just outside the points in San Marino and being forced off with brake failure in Monaco.



CHAMP CARS:- British Champ car driver Mark Blundell will be unable to race for around four to six weeks following an accident in testing earlier this month. Tests immediately after the incident showed Blundell had suffered internal bruising but further tests revealed a small fracture of one of his vertebrae. Blundell will be sidelined while the injury is allowed to heal. He said: "I'm deeply disappointed to be missing races but am happy because the doctors found the problem."







18.05.99
F1/CART:- Williams driver Alex Zanardi is hunting a return to the United States - for just one race. On November 13 there will be a one-off CART race in Hawaii with 3m, the highest prize ever offered in motor sport, going to the winner. The top 12 CART drivers can enter, plus four wild cards, with Zanardi and BAR's Jacques Villeneuve earning invitations as recent winners of the series. Zanardi will need to seek permission from team boss Frank Williams.



RALLY ARGENTINA:- Round seven of the World Championship begins with a unique 3.97km superspecial on Saturday, where three cars start the stage at the same time. Leg one restarts on Sunday and the event finishes at Cordoba's football stadium - host to the 1978 World Cup - on Tuesday. In total, 22 gravel special stages will be attempted, totalling 396.33km, and the overall route is 1,535km. The rally's three legs vary widely in location and terrain.

Ford have won the last two gravel rallies and with the series returning to the surface after two asphalt events the Focus is expected to shine. Colin McRae is third in the standings and said: "The whole atmosphere surrounding the rally is special. The stages are quite good, you can really attack them and, from a personal point of view, I enjoy driving on gravel more than asphalt. Rally cars are more balanced on a looser surface."

Thomas Radstrom returns to the series on Saturday after breaking a leg in the Safari Rally in February. The Ford driver admitted: "It has been hard just sitting and looking but I have been concentrating on my fitness to gain the strength back in my leg. My fitness routine consists of one hour of swimming and one hour in the gym every day. I have been counting down the days to the rally like a child counting down school days before a summer holiday."

Marlboro Mitsubishi Ralliart go to South America with a 100 per cent success rate in the Rally of Argentina. Championship leader Tommi Makinen has triumphed in the event in three successive years and it played a part in his trio of world titles. "I do not know why Argentina is so good for us but it always seems to be excellent," said the Finn. "It is like a mixture of Portugal and the Acropolis, with some twisty, narrow and rocky stages and some faster ones."

Mitsubishi pair Freddy Loix and Sven Smeets will be contesting the rally for the first time. The organisers are allowing just two practice runs per stage instead of the usual three so Loix and his co-driver are playing down their chances. Loix insisted: "I do not know what to expect because I have never even seen the rally so will not predict a result. Finishing is the best way to learn the route and if I can also score points for Mitsubishi I will be happy."

Britain's Richard Burns is optimistic of success after a strong showing in the Rally of Corsica. Oxford's Burns said: "Everyone has been working extremely hard this year and I feel that now is the time when it should all pay off. "There is no point in thinking too hard about it. I am going to Argentina to win and that is the end of it." Burns' Subaru team-mate Juha Kankkunen is also keen to add the event to his tally of 21 world rally victories.

Toyota are looking to build on their 23-point advantage in this season's manufacturer standings. Didier Auriol won in Argentina in 1992 and 1994 and has finished third on three occasions, while Carlos Sainz won in 1991 and has been second five times. Sainz said: "There is a little bit of everything in Argentina and it is a rally I have a good feeling about. The set-up of the car is important and the engine specification is different because of the high altitudes."

The Cordoba-based SEAT WRC will make its South American debut on Saturday and the car has been modified for the rougher terrain. Piero Liatti and Harri Rovanpera have both driven in the rally twice before. "The stages in Argentina are quite demanding because the conditions change all the time," admitted Liatti. "In May it is still winter. It is a shock to the system having a winter rally between Corsica and Acropolis, the hottest rallies on the calendar."

Gwyndaf Evans will be tackling the rally for the first time but is favourite for the Formula Two section. SEAT Sport works driver Harri Rovanpera confirmed: "I think Gwyndaf will win the F2 category in Argentina. "He is a good driver, the SEAT Ibiza is a competitive car and he has so much experience that doing the event for the first time will not be a disadvantage." Evans' car has been prepared in Italy by the Astra team, the reigning South American Codasur Rally champions.






19.05.99
RALLYING:- Colin McRae and Richard Burns have retained the top two positions in the latest Sony/Volkswagen British rally driver rankings. McRae's younger brother Alister is rated third ahead of reigning British champion Martin Rowe and Welshman Gwyndaf Evans.



BTCC (Donington):- Laurent Aiello continued his run of form by recording the fastest time in official testing. The Frenchman, fresh from his win in round eight last weekend, held off late charges from Honda's James Thompson and Volvo's Rickard Rydell.


Testing times:                min secs
1 L Aiello       Fr           1:36.535
2 J Thompson     GB           1:36.563
3 R Rydell       Swe          1:36.714
4 D Leslie       Bel          1:36.732
5 M Neal         GB           1:36.795
6 Y Muller       Fr           1:36.853

RENAULT SPIDER CUP (Oulton Park):- Chris Buncombe, son of ex-touring car star Jonathan Buncombe, topped the times in testing. Series leader Andy Priaulx was second while Owen Mildenhall backed up his performace at Brands Hatch with sixth.


Testing times:               mins secs
1 C Buncombe                  1:05.652
2 A Priaulx                   1:05.936
3 T Masini                    1:05.976
4 S Hill                      1:06.056
5 P Bennett                   1:06.471





21.05.99
F1:- Jordan have announced that they have extended their engine supply deal with Mugen-Honda for a further two years. Honda will design the engines, which will be supplied through Mugen on an equal specification basis. Team boss Eddie Jordan said: "It gives us the stability required to mount an even stronger Championship challenge." Meanwhile, Honda Motor Company have signed an agreement to manufacture and supply engines for British American Racing for three years from 2000.



RALLY OF ARGENTINA:- Round seven of the World Championship begins with a unique 3.97km superspecial on Saturday, where three cars start the stage at the same time. Leg one restarts on Sunday and the event finishes at Cordoba's football stadium - host to the 1978 World Cup - on Tuesday. In total, 22 gravel special stages will be attempted, totalling 396.33km, and the overall route is 1,535km. The rally's three legs vary widely in location and terrain.

Ford have won the last two gravel rallies and with the series returning to the surface after two asphalt events the Focus is expected to shine. Colin McRae is third in the standings and said: "The whole atmosphere surrounding the rally is special. The stages are quite good, you can really attack them and, from a personal point of view, I enjoy driving on gravel more than asphalt. Rally cars are more balanced on a looser surface."

Thomas Radstrom returns to the series on Saturday after breaking a leg in the Safari Rally in February. The Ford driver admitted: "It has been hard just sitting and looking but I have been concentrating on my fitness to gain the strength back in my leg. My fitness routine consists of one hour of swimming and one hour in the gym every day. I have been counting down the days to the rally like a child counting down school days before a summer holiday."

Marlboro Mitsubishi Ralliart go to South America with a 100 per cent success rate in the Rally of Argentina. Championship leader Tommi Makinen has triumphed in the event in three successive years and it played a part in his trio of world titles. "I do not know why Argentina is so good for us but it always seems to be excellent," said the Finn. "It is like a mixture of Portugal and the Acropolis, with some twisty, narrow and rocky stages and some faster ones."

Mitsubishi pair Freddy Loix and Sven Smeets will be contesting the rally for the first time. The organisers are allowing just two practice runs per stage instead of the usual three so Loix and his co-driver are playing down their chances. Loix insisted: "I do not know what to expect because I have never even seen the rally so will not predict a result. Finishing is the best way to learn the route and if I can also score points for Mitsubishi I will be happy."

Britain's Richard Burns is optimistic of success after a strong showing in the Rally of Corsica. Oxford's Burns said: "Everyone has been working extremely hard this year and I feel that now is the time when it should all pay off. "There is no point in thinking too hard about it. I am going to Argentina to win and that is the end of it." Burns' Subaru team-mate Juha Kankkunen is also keen to add the event to his tally of 21 world rally victories.

Toyota are looking to build on their 23-point advantage in this season's manufacturer standings. Didier Auriol won in Argentina in 1992 and 1994 and has finished third on three occasions, while Carlos Sainz won in 1991 and has been second five times. Sainz said: "There is a little bit of everything in Argentina and it is a rally I have a good feeling about. The set-up of the car is important and the engine specification is different because of the high altitudes."

The Cordoba-based SEAT WRC will make its South American debut on Saturday and the car has been modified for the rougher terrain. Piero Liatti and Harri Rovanpera have both driven in the rally twice before. "The stages in Argentina are quite demanding because the conditions change all the time," admitted Liatti. "In May it is still winter. It is a shock to the system having a winter rally between Corsica and Acropolis, the hottest rallies on the calendar."

Gwyndaf Evans will be tackling the rally for the first time but is favourite for the Formula Two section. SEAT Sport works driver Harri Rovanpera confirmed: "I think Gwyndaf will win the F2 category in Argentina. "He is a good driver, the SEAT Ibiza is a competitive car and he has so much experience that doing the event for the first time will not be a disadvantage." Evans' car has been prepared in Italy by the Astra team, the reigning South American Codasur Rally champions.




INDIANAPOLIS 500                                                                
Practice times for May 30 event: secs
 1 G Ray        US  D-Aurora    39.614
 2 T Stewart    US  D-Aurora    39.703
 3 A Luyendyk   Hol GF-Aurora   39.971
 4 R Unser      US  D-Aurora    39.986
 5 S Gregoire   Fr  GF-Aurora   40.037
 6 K Brack      Swe D-Aurora    40.105
 7 S Goodyear   US  GF-Aurora   40.106
 8 S Schmidt    US  GF Aurora   40.108
 9 B Lazier     US  D-Aurora    40.114
10 E Cheever    US  D-Infiniti  40.144





22.05.99

RALLY OF ARGENTINA
Leading positions after 1 stage:min sec
 1 C Sainz     Sp  Toyota        3.02.8
 2 T Makinen   Fin Mitsubishi    3.03.8
 3 R Burns     GB  Subaru        3.04.3
 4 T Radstrom  Swe Ford          3.04.6
 5 J Kankkunen Fin Subaru        3.05.1
 6 C McRae     GB  Ford          3.05.3
 7 D Auriol    Fr  Toyota        3.05.8
 8 H Rovanpera Fin SEAT          3.06.0
 9 P Liatti    It  SEAT          3.06.7
10 V Isik      Tur Toyota        3.08.3
Rally resumes on Sunday morning

ZETEC CHALLENGE (Oulton Park):- Mark Taylor hung on by 0.6 seconds to claim his second straight victory. He qualified on pole and led all the way to the finish, while Peter Gray moved into second at the start.


Race result (Sat):        mins secs
1 M Taylor        Eng      13:54.20
2 P Gray          Sco      13:54.26
3 G Catt          Eng      14:00.10
4 D Hazlewood     Eng      14:09.64
5 B Pomfret       Eng      14:39.51
6 R Huddart       Eng      14:56.27


INDIANAPOLIS 500
Top practice times for May 30 event
after Friday session:            secs
 1 G Ray        US  D-Aurora    39.614
 2 T Stewart    US  D-Aurora    39.703
 3 A Luyendyk   Hol GF-Aurora   39.800
 4 S Schmidt    US  GF Aurora   39.917
 5 R Unser      US  D-Aurora    39.986
 6 S Sharp      US  D-Aurora    40.037
 = S Gregoire   Fr  GF-Aurora   40.037
 8 K Brack      Swe D-Aurora    40.015
 9 S Goodyear   US  GF-Aurora   40.106
10 B Lazier     US  D-Aurora    40.114

NEWS:- Christian Biessy was killed after losing control of his car during trials for a Formula 3000 race at Nogaro. French firefighters said the 49-year- old amateur driver died instantly.






23.05.99
RALLY OF ARGENTINA:- Colin McRae was forced to retire from the rally after hitting rocks on stage three and damaging the front suspension on his Ford Focus. The car was tipped on its side and although McRae and co-driver Nicky Grist were able to push it back on to its wheels, they had to pull out. Thirty-year-old Scot McRae was lying second after the first two stages. He was targeting a win in the gravel event to boost his hopes of taking the world title.

Colin McRae said it was just bad luck that forced him out of the event. The Scot had to retire when a large rock broke a pin on his Ford Focus' front suspension during stage three. "It's very disappointing to retire so early. The car went really well on the first stage ` we set the fastest time without really pushing that hard. "We were just unlucky to hit a rock but that's typical of Argentina, you have to pick your line very carefully and hope luck is on your side," he said.


Leading positions after 7 stages:
                             hr min sec
 1 R Burns     GB  Subaru     1:16:02.8
 2 J Kankkunen Fin Subaru     1:16:06.4
 3 D Auriol    Fr  Toyota     1:16:09.8
 4 C Sainz     Sp  Toyota     1:16:48.5
 5 T Makinen   Fin Mit'bishi  1:17:00.6
 6 T Radstrom  Swe Ford       1:17:25.7
 7 P Liatti    It  SEAT       1:17:35.7
 8 H Rovanpera Fin SEAT       1:18:00.8
 9 F Loix      Bel Mit'bishi  1:18:18.6
10 V Isik      Tur Toyota     1:21:25.0
Colin McRae retired on stage three

INDIANAPOLIS 500:- Arie Luyendyk will start his 15th and final Indy 500 from pole position on May 30 after setting the fastest time in Saturday's qualifying session. The third round of the 10-race The 45-year-old pushed his car to the limit to take top spot. Greg Ray was fractionally behind in second spot having been the fastest driver during Friday's unofficial practice sessions. Last year's IRL champion Kenny Brack qualified eighth, while defending Indy 500 champion Eddie Cheever was 16th.


Top qualifying times for May 30 event
after Saturday session:       mins secs
 1 A Luyendyk   Hol GF-Aurora  2:39.873
 2 G Ray        US  D-Aurora   2:39.948
 3 B Boat       US  D-Aurora   2:41.096
 4 R Gordon     US  D-Aurora   2:41.387
 5 M Dismore    US  D-Aurora   2:41.462
 6 S Sharp      US  D-Aurora   2:41.601
 7 S Schmidt    US  GF Aurora  2:41.628
 8 K Brack      Swe D-Aurora   2:41.682
 9 S Goodyear   Can GF-Aurora  2:41.880
10 H Matsuda    Jpn D-Aurora   2:42.115

F.NIPPON (Mine):- Scotland's Peter Dumbreck retained his place in the top five of the series by finishing fifth in the 62-lap race. The third round of the 10-race Championship, which is Japan's equivalent to Formula 3000, was run in unrelenting drizzle. There was a major shunt on the start- finish line at the end of the first lap, which caused a 90-minute delay. Satoshi Motoyama, of the crack Le Mans team, won the race from pole to extend his lead in the Championship.







24.05.99 - RALLY ARGENTINA
Richard Burns won two of Monday's first four stages to hold a narrow lead over Didier Auriol going into the final day. The Briton moved up from his overnight second place despite a 10-second penalty on the opening stage for being one minute late at start control. He also overcame gearbox problems to stay in control. Sunday's leader Juha Kankkunen stayed in the hunt in third place and the leading trio are nearly a minute ahead of the rest of the field.

Richard Burns is targeting victory on Tuesday after holding on to top spot at the end of the third day. "I'm feeling very confident," he said. "The stages on the final leg are the ones I know and prefer. It should be quicker and the roads should be clean. "I had a bit of a scare in the morning when I had gearbox problems and the 10- second penalty was another blow but then everything suddenly clicked. "The guys did a great job and I'm set up for a good fight on Tuesday."



Leading positions after 16 stages:
(End of day three)           hr min sec
 1 R Burns     GB  Subaru     3:03.40.9
 2 D Auriol    Fr  Toyota     3:03.55.7
 3 J Kankkunen Fin Subaru     3:03.57.3
 4 C Sainz     Sp  Toyota     3:04.47.7
 5 T Makinen   Fin Mit'bishi  3:05.05.6
 6 T Radstrom  Swe Ford       3:06.43.9
 7 P Liatti    It  SEAT       3:07.20.4
 8 F Loix      Bel Mit'bishi  3:08.38.7
 9 G Trelles   Uru Mit'bishi  3:18.57.1
10 C Menzi         Subaru     3:19.57.0





25.05.99
RALLY OF ARGENTINA:- Richard Burns saw victory dramatically snatched from his grasp as his Subaru teammate Juha Kankkunen overtook him on the last stage to take the glory. Burns had been leading throughout the final day of the event and started the last stage with a 1.2 second lead. But Kankkunen bettered Burns' time by nearly four seconds to grab victory. It moved the Finn level with Carlos Sainz as the most successful in world championship history with 22 wins each and was his first win for five years.


Final positions after 22 stages:hr min sec
 1 J Kankkunen Fin Subaru     4:17.15.4
 2 R Burns     GB  Subaru     4:17.17.8
 3 D Auriol    Fr  Toyota     4:17.55.0
 4 T Makinen   Fin Mit'bishi  4:18.40.6
 5 C Sainz     Sp  Toyota     4:19.43.5
 6 T Radstrom  Swe Ford       4:22.07.3
 7 G Trelles   Uru Mit'bishi  4:39.46.2
 8 J Recalde   Arg Mit'bishi  4:41.09.0
 9 C Menzi     Arg Subaru     4:41.33.0
10 F Dor       Fr  Subaru     4:45.18.2


DRIVER STANDINGS
1 T Makinen    Fin  Mitsubishi  32 Pts
= D Auriol     Fr   Toyota      32
3 C McRae      GB   Ford        23
= C Sainz      Sp   Toyota      23
5 P Bugalski   Fr   Citroen     20
6 J Kankkunen  Fin  Subaru      18

MANUFACTURER STANDINGS:
1 Toyota         67 pts
2 Mitsubishi     41
3 Subaru         36
4 Ford           35
5 SEAT            8

FORD FIESTA'S (Oulton Park):- David Gibson smashed the Ford Fiesta lap record on his way to setting the fastest time in testing for round five. The championship leader and winner of the last two rounds headed team-mates Neal Gordon and Daniel Buxton.


Combined testing times (Tues):
                 mins secs
1 D Gibson        1:14.951
2 N Gordon        1:15.040
3 D Buxton        1:15.091
4 H Taylor        1:15.184
5 M Engledew      1:15.209
6 S Clarke        1:15.239

SLICK 50 CHAMPIONSHIP (Oulton Park):- Nicolas Kiesa fired a warning shot at points leader Craig Murray by setting the fastest time ahead of round five. The Dane finished ahead of Ricardo van der Ende but Australian Marcos Ambrose crashed during the third session.


Combined testing times (Tues):
                 mins secs
1 N Kiesa         1:00.431
2 R van der Ende  1:00.873
3 F Diefenbacher  1:00.988
4 G Caton         1:01.005
5 C Murray        1:01.048
6 T Sisley        1:01.069





26.05.99
F1: THE SPANISH GP
The Circuit de Catalunya could provide McLaren with the chance to peg back the advantage claimed by Ferrari. Michael Schumacher leads the championship by eight points from Eddie Irvine going into Sunday's race. "It might be the case in Barcelona that we are not as competitive or quick as we were in Monaco," said Schumacher. "If you look at the nature of the cars you might say that Monaco favours Ferrari but a faster circuit like Barcelona could suit, say a McLaren."

Eddie Irvine will be aiming to build on his impressive start to the season that has put him in contention for the drivers' crown. He was runner-up behind Ferrari team- mate Michael Schumacher in the last race in Monaco and the pair are also the top two in the Championship. The Ulsterman will be taking nothing for granted, though, as he did not finish in Barcelona last year. He was forced to retire on the 29th lap after a collision.

McLaren were overshadowed by Ferrari in Monaco but are confident they can reverse the trend on Sunday. Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard gave McLaren a one-two in Barcelona last year, with their car well-suited to the most advanced circuit on the calendar. Hakkinen is 12 points behind rival Michael Schumacher but remains defiant that he can retain his world title. His team have been working hard to improve the car, while making the engine more competitive.

Barcelona is a major test track for all the teams and Williams driver Ralf Schumacher is optimistic that this experience can pay off. "We have done a lot of testing there in the winter and think we have sorted out a good set-up for the track," he said. "The first time you see the circuit it looks like an easy track but after just a couple of laps you realise you can lose a lot of time in certain corners. I am confident that we can produce a good result."

The Williams team will be celebrating their 400th Grand Prix at the Circuit de Catalunya on Sunday. Ralf Schumacher and Alex Zanardi are working well together with the German fifth in the standings and Zanardi finishing his first race in Monaco. "I am optimistic for Sunday because I know that our cars can produce a good display in the race," said Schumacher. Zanardi said: "This is a circuit we should know better than any other as we tested here all through the winter."

Damon Hill will be hoping for his first podium finish of the season as he travels to Spain. Hill failed to finish either of the first two races before claiming fourth spot in San Marino and coming to grief again in Monaco a fortnight later. "We made good progress in testing," he said after three days in Barcelona. "There is still 75% of the Championship left which gives me plenty of chances to win more points. McLaren are hard to beat here but I think we can do well."

Heinz-Harald Frentzen could move into second place in the drivers standings with a good showing in Spain and if other drivers miss out. Frentzen and Jordan teammate Damon Hill have been testing in Barcelona and the German said: "Getting the balance of the car right there is very important. The driver himself has less impact on the lap times in Barcelona in contrast to Monaco where driver skill is vital. In Spain the work of the engineers is really crucial."

The British American Racing team have fond memories of the Circuit de Catalunya after their first car made its debut there last December. The car has performed well since then although some bad luck and mechanical problems have kept them off the podium. Senior race engineer Jock Clear said: "Our aim is to finish in the points. Jacques Villeneuve has been putting in some fantastic qualifying performances recently and the main area for improvement remains reliability."

Johnny Herbert is relishing his trip to the Spanish Grand Prix. As well as attending the European Cup final with Stewart teammate Rubens Barrichello, Herbert loves the circuit. "It is a real driver's circuit with fast and slow corners which are very challenging and it is important to find the right set-up for the car," he said. "This year's car is a big improvement and I am looking for my first race finish of the season and if I achieve that I expect to be in the points."

Sunday's race is scheduled to last for 65 laps or 307.125km (190.838 miles). Giancarlo Fisichella holds the lap record at Barcelona with a time of one minute, 22.242 seconds. Spain's round of the Championship has been held at five different tracks since the first running of the race on the Pedralbes street circuit in 1951. Michael Schumacher has won two of the last four races in Barcelona - for Ferrari in the 1996 cmapaign and for Benetton a year earlier.



BTCC (Oulton Park):- Laurent Aiello is the Championship leader as rounds nine and 10 come to Oulton Park on Bank Holiday Monday. The former German touring car champion has won four of the last six races to charge to the head of the pack after a difficult start to the season. "At this stage of the season I am very happy to be at the top of the table and I think we have a good chance of winning the title," he said. "The car is strong but we must keep pushing ahead to keep our advantage."

Nissan trio Laurent Aiello, David Leslie and Matt Neal completed an historic 1-2-3 finish in round eight. It was the first time any manufacturer had dominated the podium at a BTCC event since BMW in 1992. "It was a fantastic performance," said Leslie who set the fastest time on both days of Oulton Park testing in March. "The Primera is the form package at the moment and with a bit of luck I hope I can register my first win of the season at the weekend."

Matt Neal is the top entrant in the Michelin Cup for Independents and is currently fourth in the main standings. The Stourbridge driver has enjoyed an amazing season so far and said: "I just get so excited to be on the podium that I can't think about the title. I really need to improve my finishing record because I've had too many non- finishes this year. Quite apart from the main championship it also affects my grip on the Michelin Cup," he added.

Vauxhall's Yvan Muller completed a famous French double by winning the Sprint race at Brands Hatch. The Vectra driver pulled off his maiden BTCC success after a stunning passing manoeuvre to claim the lead. "It was more exciting in the car," he said. "It was a fantastic result for everyone involved to win the race." His teammate John Cleland is one of only two drivers to score points in every race this season and started his 200th BTCC race at Brands Hatch.

Honda's James Thompson is the only other driver, apart from John Cleland, to score in every race this season. Thompson won this season's first round and his Accord's consistency has helped him to second spot in the championship. He also performed impressively in testing at Donington where he almost matched Laurent Aiello's times. "It is vital we don't let the Nissans get too far ahead and we will be looking to get back on the podium at Oulton Park," he said.

Reigning BTCC champion Rickard Rydell is finding it difficult to stay in the frame to retain his crown. No driver in the modern era of Super Touring has ever managed to win two years in a row but Rydell had hoped for a better start this year. "We've had some bad luck in the races but our qualifying display shows the S40 can compete with the best," he said "I finished on the podium at Oulton Park twice last season so I hope we can make up some of the lost ground."

Renault's Jason Plato has emerged as one of the main contenders to win this year's title. The Laguna has made great strides since the start of the campaign. The Oxford driver set the fastest lap time in both Brands Hatch events although he was denied fourth place ater suffering engine trouble. "The Laguna has historically been very strong at Oulton Park and I won there last year so hopefully we'll be able to bag a good haul of points," he said.


DRIVER STANDINGS
1 L Aiello   Fr  Nissan Prim   79 pts
2 J Thompson GB  Honda Accord  62
3 J Plato    GB  Renault Lag   59
4 M Neal     GB  Nissan Prim   51
5 D Leslie   GB  Nissan        42

MANUFACTURER STANDINGS
1 Nissan              147 pts
2 Honda               100
3 Renault              93
4 Vauxhall             73
5 Volvo                64

INDEPENDENT STANDINGS
1 M Neal     GB  Nissan Prim   75 pts
2 L Brookes  GB  Honda         52
3 M Blair    GB  Vauxhall Vec  35
4 P Cook     GB  Honda Accord  21





28.05.99
F1: THE SPANISH GP
Eddie Irvine hammered out a warning to world champion Mika Hakkinen in opening practice for Sunday's race. The Ulsterman was a surprise pacesetter for Ferrari with Hakkinen back in fourth spot. Irvine finished just ahead of Jordan's Heinz-Harald Frentzen with Ferrari teammate Michael Schumacher in third. Alex Zanardi produced one of his best displays as he took fifth spot, followed by Damon Hill and fellow Brit David Coulthard.

Damon Hill has dismissed reports that he is thinking about quitting Formula One at the end of the season. He said: "Those reports are premature and predictable but I didn't expect anything else. I have got as much motivation and keen anticipation about coming to a motor race as I ever have done. That will help me through this period. I think things can get better without much difficulty. I had a bit of an up-down start last year as well."


Friday's practice times:
 1 E Irvine      GB  Ferrari  1:23.577
 2 H H Frentzen  Ger Jordan   1:23.790
 3 M Schumacher  Ger Ferrari  1:23.895
 4 M Hakkinen    Fin McLaren  1:22.982
 5 A Zanardi     It  Williams 1:24.312
 6 D Hill        GB  Jordan   1:24.318
 7 D Coulthard   GB  McLaren  1:24.339
 8 R Barrichello Brz Stewart  1:24.347
 9 J Villeneuve  Can BAR      1:24.458
10 R Schumacher  Ger Williams 1:24.559
11 J Alesi       Fr  Sauber   1:24.571
12 P Diniz       Brz Sauber   1:24.823
13 J Trulli      It  Prost    1:24.957
14 O Panis       Fr  Prost    1:25.140
15 G Fisichella  It  Benetton 1:25.448
16 J Herbert     GB  Stewart  1:25.667
17 A Wurz        Aut Benetton 1:25.901
18 M Salo        Fin BAR      1:25.990
19 P de la Rosa  Sp  Arrows   1:26.595
20 T Takagi      Jpn Arrows   1:27.296
21 L Badoer      It  Minardi  1:27.314
22 M Gene        Sp  Minardi  1:27.506
Formula One leader Michael Schumacher has warned Ferrari not to get carried away by their recent run of success ahead of this weekend's Spanish GP. The German is eight points clear of team-mate Eddie Irvine and 12 ahead of defending champion Mika Hakkinen. But he has cautioned: "McLaren has an advantage at Barcelona, and perhaps also on the engine side too. "There will be a bigger gap than there was at Monaco. Barcelona is a circuit where aerodynamics are important."



INDY 500:- Nothing matters more at the Indy 500 on on Sunday than keeping the action on the track and away from 400,000 fans. The event will be the first for the Indy Racing League since the tragedy in Carolina on May 1 when car parts flew into the crowd killing three people. "The story of this race needs to be about racing, not tragedy," said Dutch- born two-time winner Arie Luyendyk. The cars will be fitted with cables designed to keep wheels and suspension parts out of the crowd.



EUROCARS:- Drivers in Britain's fastest saloon car championship will be competing for a &156;10,000 prize at Brands Hatch on Monday The Autosport shoot-out in association with Team Brask will see Eurocar V8 racers fighting it out over 30 laps.






29.05.99
F1: THE SPANISH GP
World champion Mika Hakkinen snatched pole position for the fifth time in succession with a great late burst. The McLaren star maintained his perfect qualifying form in a time of 1:22.088. Eddie Irvine seemed to be on course for the first pole of his Formula One career but he was pipped by the Finn near the end of the session. David Coulthard, who briefly held provisional pole, will start the race from the second row ahead of Michael Schumacher, who was fourth fastest.

Mika Hakkinen said he knew persistence would pay off after claiming pole. The Finn said: "I kept on trying, I just felt the track was improving and it would be worth it and I was right." Then, pointing at Eddie Irvine, he added: "Now my only worry is this guy - I know what he is like. We have raced together for a long time." Irvine responded: "I am glad he is worried about me because if I can't beat him away at the start I might have him off at the first corner."

Eddie Irvine believes he can retake the lead of the championship with victory in Spain on Sunday. The 33-year-old missed out on pole by just 0.131secs and is just eight points behind teammate Michael Schumacher in the overall standings. He said: "I can see me back in the championship lead. I want to win the race and if Michael has problems or gets stuck behind the McLarens I will go for it. We will have to see how it pans out at the start."

David Coulthard still believes his McLaren team will dominate the race despite being beaten to second spot on the grid by Eddie Irvine. The Scot said: "All credit to Eddie. He is driving well at the moment. I am really going to go for it at the start. At least I am on the right side of the track this time because being second means you are on the dirty part. I am sure we can have a McLaren one- two on Sunday with Mika and I battling it out for the victory."


Positions after final qualifying:
 1 M Hakkinen    Fin McLaren  1:22.088
 2 E Irvine      GB  Ferrari  1:22.219
 3 D Coulthard   GB  McLaren  1:22.244
 4 M Schumacher  Ger Ferrari  1:22.277
 5 J Alesi       Fr  Sauber   1:22.388
 6 J Villeneuve  Can BAR      1:22.703
 7 R Barrichello Brz Stewart  1:22.920
 8 H H Frentzen  Ger Jordan   1:22.938
 9 J Trulli      It  Prost    1:23.194
10 R Schumacher  Ger Williams 1:23.303
11 D Hill        GB  Jordan   1:23.317
12 P Diniz       Brz Sauber   1:23.331
13 G Fisichella  It  Benetton 1:23.333
14 J Herbert     GB  Stewart  1:23.505
14 O Panis       Fr  Prost    1:23.559
15 M Salo        Fin BAR      1:23.683
16 A Zanardi     It  Williams 1:23.703
17 A Wurz        Aut Benetton 1:23.824
19 P de la Rosa  Sp  Arrows   1:24.619
20 T Takagi      Jpn Arrows   1:25.280
21 M Gene        Sp  Minardi  1:25.672
22 L Badoer      It  Minardi  1:25.833



CHAMP CARS (Gateway Park):-
Qualifying times (Fri):       min secs
 1 J Montoya    Col Honda     0:25.014
 2 P Tracy      Can Honda     0:25.094
 3 H Castro-N   Brz Mercedes  0:25.103
 4 P Carpentier Can Mercedes  0:25.187
 5 D Franchitti GB  Honda     0:25.197
 6 G Moore      Can Mercedes  0:25.199
 7 A Fernandez  Mex Reynard   0:25.223
 8 C Fittipaldi Brz Ford      0:25.237
 9 R Gordon     US  Toyota    0:25.248
10 J Vasser     US  Honda     0:25.357


F3000 (Barcelona):-
Result after 44 laps (Sat):hr:mins:secs
 1 N Heidfeld  Ger West C    1:13.16
 2 G Rodriguez Uru Ast'mega  1:13.19
 3 A Couto     Por G'loises  1:14.12
 4 B Junqueira Brz Pet'bras  1:14.13
 5 S Sarrazin  Fr  G'loises  1:14.15
 6 J Wilson    GB  Ast'mega  1:14.21
 7 J Davies    GB  Ede'ridge 1:14.31
 8 N Minassian Fr  K Jensen  1:14.32
 9 K McGarrity GB  Nordic    1:14.33
10 S Ayari     Fr  Circa     1:14.34





30.05.99
F1: THE SPANISH GP
McLaren duo Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard repeated last year's result by giving McLaren a one-two in Spain. Hakkinen led from start to finish, excluding pit stops, to boost his chances of retaining his world title. Championship leader Michael Schumacher battled back from a poor start to finish third and his Ferrari team-mate Eddie Irvine was fourth. Damon Hill was seventh but Johnny Herbert was forced to retire after 40 laps with transmission problems.

The Ferrari pair of Eddie Irvine and Michael Schumacher had poor starts to give McLaren the edge early on. Mika Hakkinen made use of his pole position to lead the race, while his team-mate David Coulthard got the better of Irvine to move into second. Schumacher was poised to move up the grid but his path was blocked and he slipped to fifth as Jacques Villeneuve stormed into third place. Irvine let Schumacher pass but Hakkinen was 11 seconds clear of him on lap six.

Finnish star Mika Hakkinen stormed to victory but admitted his triumph was not as easy as it looked. "It may have looked easy but it was not," he confirmed. "You need enormous concentration all the time, particularly when you are in the lead. "You can find it hard to maintain maximum concentration all the way and you also have to watch out for the back-markers in the race. However, it was a fantastic race for the team."

World champion Mika Hakkinen believes there is still work to be done before his 1999 car is the finished article. The McLaren driver said: "The car has still not reached its optimum potential yet and there is still a lot of work to be done on it. There is so much potential there for the engine and the chassis. With a lot of hard work we can still do it." Hakkinen is now just six points behind Championship leader Michael Schumacher after five rounds.

David Coulthard's hopes of victory were hampered by an oversteer problem in the middle of the race. The Scot finished second to Mika Hakkinen, who was celebrating his first wedding anniversay. Coulthard said: "I had it looked at at a pitstop but it just gave me too much understeer and made the problem worse. Later I was held up by Damon Hill and I felt he should have known better but I guess he was in a battle with someone else at the time."

Michael Schumacher was reasonably content with his third place, despite being hampered at the start. "My start was quite good but the battle between Eddie Irvine and David Coulthard meant I had to brake to avoid going into anybody," he said. "That enabled Jacques Villeneuve to pass me. I fought back and was catching David later on but was then held up by an Arrows going into the pits. However, I got four points and that is useful."

Eddie Irvine slipped down the grid at the start but was pleased with his fourth place. The Ulsterman insisted: "I actually got away quite well but there was no grip on the inside of the track. After making a bad start it is very difficult to recover. I would not have finished any higher than fourth anyway." Ferrari star Irvine is now third in the driver standings.

Damon Hill just missed out on claiming a point but he earned a big cheer from his pit crew when overtaking Rubens Barrichello to claim his seventh place. The former world champion made the move in the closing stages of the grand prix and admitted: "The best part of the race was going round outside Rubens. I had been trying to catch up with him in the middle part of the race. The race itself was not as difficult as I had expected but there was not enough advantage in using hard tyres."

Eddie Jordan was disappointed that his team failed to win any points in Spain. Damon Hill just missed out in seventh place, while Heinz-Harald Frentzen retired with a drive shaft failure after 35 laps when placed eighth. Jordan said: "It is disappointing. These days we are not used to leaving a race without any points. "Damon did a good job and was very close to winning a point. Heinz's car failure was our first of the year but it was still disappointing."

Williams' Ralf Schumacher was delighted with his fifth place after a below-par performance in qualifying. "After achieving the 10th place in qualifying, I must say that I am very happy that I was able to score another two points for Williams," he said. However, his team-mate Alex Zanardi was again hit by bad luck and a retirement. He added: "I selected first gear but heard a strange noise. When I released the clutch nothing happened. I think the main drive of my gearbox broke."

Stewart's Johnny Herbert failed to finish yet again. He said: "It is frustrating to notch up my fifth straight non-finish. As I was coming in for my first pit stop I felt the gear shifting was a little strange. Before my second stop I felt something break and attempted to crawl back to the pits but could not make it." His team-mate Rubens Barrichello - who finished eighth - was later excluded from the results because of a technical irregularity on the car's skid-block.

British American Racing have revealed that Ricardo Zonta has been passed fit and will be back in action at the next grand prix, in Canada. The Brazilian has missed four races after injuring a tendon in his foot in a practice crash for his home race. In a statement, BAR said: "Zonta was declared fit to race on Saturday following an FIA medical test." BAR also thanked Mika Salo, who has filled in for Zonta while he has been on the sidelines.



Race result after 65 laps:   Hr min sec
 1 M Hakkinen    Fin McLaren  1:34.13.6
 2 D Coulthard   GB  McLaren      @ 6.2
 3 M Schumacher  Ger Ferrari      @10.8
 4 E Irvine      GB  Ferrari      @35.2
 5 R Schumacher  Ger Williams   @1.27.2
 6 J Trulli      It  Prost      64 laps
 7 D Hill        GB  Jordan     64 laps
 8 R Barrichello Brz Stewart    64 laps
 9 M Salo        Fin BAR        64 laps
10 G Fisichella  It  Benetton   64 laps
11 A Wurz        Aut Benetton   63 laps
12 P De La Rosa  Sp  Arrows     63 laps
13 T Takagi      Jpn Arrows     62 laps
Did not finish (not classified):
14 L Badoer      It  Minardi    50 laps
15 J Villeneuve  Can BAR        40 laps
16 P Diniz       Brz Sauber     40 laps
17 J Herbert     GB  Stewart    40 laps
18 H-H Frentzen  Ger Jordan     35 laps
19 J Alesi       Fr  Sauber     27 laps
20 A Zanardi     It  Williams   24 laps
21 O Panis       Fr  Prost      24 laps
22 M Gene        Sp  Minardi     0 laps
Fastest lap: M Schumacher     1:24.982

DRIVER STANDINGS
 1 M Schumacher  Ger  Ferrari   30 pts
 2 M Hakkinen    Fin  McLaren   24
 3 E Irvine      GB   Ferrari   21
 4 H-H Frentzen  Ger  Jordan    13
 5 D Coulthard   GB   McLaren   12
 6 R Schumacher  Ger  Williams   9
 7 G Fisichella  Ita  Benetton   7
 8 R Barrichello Brz  Stewart    6
 9 D Hill        GB   Jordan     3
10 P de la Rosa  Sp   Arrows     1
 = O Panis       Fr   Prost      1
 = J Alesi       Fr   Sauber     1
 = A Wurz        Aus  Benetton   1
 = J Trulli      It   Prost      1

CONSTRUCTOR STANDINGS
1 Ferrari       51 pts
2 McLaren       36
3 Jordan        16
4 Williams       9
5 Benetton       8
6 Stewart        6
7 Prost          2
8 Arrows         1
= Sauber         1


BTCC (Oulton Park):-
Qualifying times for round nine (Sun):
                                 secs
 1 L Aiello      Fr  Nissan     58.547
 2 D Leslie      GB  Nissan     58.551
 3 A Menu        Swi Ford       58.735
 4 A Reid        GB  Ford       58.755
 5 J Plato       GB  Renault    59.194
 6 R Rydell      Swe Volvo      59.304
 7 V Radermecker Bel Volvo      59.336
 8 J Thompson    GB  Honda      59.368
 9 JC Boullion   Fr  Renault    59.407
10 M Neal        GB  Nissan     59.446

Qualifying times for round 10 (Sun):
                             min secs
 1 L Aiello    Fr  Nissan    1:05.515
 2 D Leslie    GB  Nissan    1:05.949
 3 J Cleland   GB  Vauxhall  1:06.115
 4 A Menu      Swi Ford      1:06.125
 5 R Rydell    Swe Volvo     1:06.142
 6 J Plato     GB  Renault   1:06.293
 7 M Neal      GB  Nissan    1:06.329
 8 A Reid      GB  Ford      1:06.476
 9 JC Boullion Fr  Renault   1:06.485
10 Y Muller    Fr  Vauxhall  1:06.523


CHAMP CARS (Gateway Park):- Scotland's Dario Franchitti had to settle for third place behind Michael Andretti at the CART Motorola 300. Andretti outpaced Brazil's Helio Castro-Neves and Franchitti over the final 30 laps. He captured his 38th career triumph and his first victory in 24 races. Franchitti was third despite a long skid after his right front tyre was touched by the left rear wheel of Paul Tracy. "We were too close and something had to give," said Franchitti.


Motorola 300 result (Sun):   Laps
 1 M Andretti   US  Ford      236
 2 H Castro-N   Brz Mercedes  236
 3 D Franchitti GB  Honda     236
 4 R Moreno     Brz Mercedes  236
 5 M Papis      It  Ford      236
 6 G Moore      Can Mercedes  236
 7 T Kanaan     Brz Honda     236
 8 PJ Jones     US  Ford      236
 9 C Fittipaldi Brz Ford      236
10 J Vasser     US  Honda     236

BRITISH GTs (Snetterton):- After a thrilling battle Tim Sugden will start from pole for the third round on Monday. Sugden set a scorching pace in first qualifying and lapped the Norfolk track at an average of close to 115mph. Missing from the second session was the Porsche of Magnus Wallinder and Geoff Lister which suffered a fuel leak. In the GT2 category Rob Schirle pushed hard to try and better the first session best of Thomas Erdos but he had set too fast a pace.


Combined qualifying times: (Sun)
GT1                          min secs
1 Sugden            McLaren  1:01.276
2 Goodwin/Munroe    McLaren  1:01.378
3 Bailey/Campbell-W Lister S 1:01.580

GT2
1 Erdos/Purvis      Marcos   1:06.003
2 Schirle/Warnock   Lister S 1:06.728
3 Phillips/Youles   Porsche  1:09.508

NATIONAL SALOON CUP (Snetterton):- Cambridge-based racer Simon Harrison set the pace in the qualifying session for the double header round of the Silverstone Saloon Cup at Snetterton. Harrison held on to pole position despite late challenges from Mark Lemmer and Toni Ruokonen.


Times:
1 S Harrison        Honda    1:17.522
2 M Lemmer          Honda    1:17.717
3 T Ruokonen        Renault  1:18.011
4 R Moen            Honda    1:18.196
5 G Burnett         Nissan   1:18.196
6 D Eaves           Peugeot  1:18.288

F.RENAULT SPORT (Oulton Park):- Antonio Pizzonia and local driver Leighton Walker from Stoke mastered the wet track to make the front row for Monday's race. Dan Barrett and Tom Ferrier headed the Star Cup runners in fifth and sixth.


Qualifying times (Sun):min secs
1 A Pizzonia           1:04.709
2 L Walker             1:05.298
3 R Austin             1:05.974
4 C Breeze             1:06.622
5 D Barrett            1:06.881
6 T Ferrier            1:07.355


RENAULT SPIDER CUP (Oulton Park):- Andy Priaulx earned his fifth straight pole position in round five qualifying. Chris Buncombe and Mark Cole claimed career-best second and third spots and Nigel Greensall gave SR Baber Racing a best-ever qualifying place with fifth.

 

Qualifying times (Sun): min secs
1 A Priaulx             1:05.768
2 C Buncombe            1:06.182
3 M Cole                1:06.187
4 P Bennett             1:06.287
5 N Greensall           1:06.633
6 T Masini              1:06.657

FORMULA FORD ZETEC (Oulton Park):- Ricardo van der Ende secured pole position as a drying track produced a thrilling qualifying session. Robert Dahigren grabbed the second spot on the grid on his last lap and points leader Craig Murray was only 14th after gambling on slick tyres.


Qualifying times (Sun):    min secs
1 R van der Ende    Hol    1:08.773
2 R Dahigren        Swe    1:08.776
3 N Kiesa           Den    1:08.813
4 T Sisley          Eng    1:08.929
5 J Courtney        Aus    1:08.984
6 F Diefenbacher    Ger    1:09.228

FORD FIESTA'S (Oulton Park):- Dave Gibson extended his lead at the top of the table after qualifying on pole for round five. The 21-year-old collected an extra Championship point for his efforts as he held off team-mate Simon Clarke and Daniel Buxton.


Qualifying times (Sun):    min secs
1 D Gibson        Eng      1:14.782
2 S Clarke        Eng      1:15.033
3 D Buxton        Eng      1:15.086
4 H Taylor        Eng      1:15.199
5 M Engledew      Eng      1:15.291
6 M Cullen        Ire      1:15.328


VAUXHALL VECTRA CHALLENGE (Oulton Park):-
Round five qualifying times (Sun):
                          min secs
 1 D Pinkney              1:10.081
 2 M Ticehurst            1:10.089
 3 G Pyper                1:10.770
 4 D Goode                1:11.128
 5 A Morrison             1:11.279
 6 M Turner               1:11.682
 7 C Hodgetts             1:11.745
 8 G Coomes               1:11.972
 9 J Rhodes               1:12.005
10 C Boon                 1:12.178


F.VAUXHALL (Oulton Park)
Round six qualifying times (Sun):
                          min secs
 1 G Paffett              1:00.385
 2 J Dalziel              1:00.540
 3 R Bell                 1:00.542
 4 R Dalziel              1:00.574
 5 J Hanson               1:00.717
 6 S Hodgetts             1:00.760
 7 G Turkington           1:00.791
 8 M Pavlovic             1:00.812
 9 D Scandian             1:00.914
10 H Mutch                1:01.153





31.05.99
BTCC (Oulton Park):- Laurent Aiello produced two blistering drives from pole position to win both races in his Nissan Primera. The result gives him six victories in the first ten races of the season and puts him 48 points clear in the race for the championship. Aiello is the only driver with more than one victory this season. David Leslie of Scotland took second place in round nine, followed by Alain Menu. England's Matt Neal was second in round ten, with Yvan Muller third.


Result for round ten (Mon):   mins secs
 1 L Aiello      Fr  Nissan   24:39.114
 2 D Leslie      GB  Nissan   24:40.891
 3 A Menu        Swi Ford     24:49.043
 4 A Reid        GB  Ford     24:49.813
 5 V Radermecker Bel Volvo    24:51.124
 6 JC Boullion   Fr  Renault  24:51.64
 7 R Rydell      Swe Volvo    24:52.145
 8 Y Muller      Fr  Vauxhall 24:52.744
 9 P Cox         Hol Honda    24:53.335
10 M Neal        GB  Nissan   24:53.574

Result for round 10 (Mon):     min secs
 1 L Aiello      Fr  Nissan   48:15.210
 2 M Neal        GB  Nissan   48:28.902
 3 Y Muller      Fr  Vauxhall 48:33.079
 4 V Radermecker Bel Volvo    48:39.317
 5 A Reid        GB  Ford     48:48.561
 6 JC Boullion   Fr  Renault  48:47.186
 7 P Cox         Hol Honda    48:50.289
 8 D Leslie      GB  Nissan   49:13.598
 9 M Blair       GB  Vauxhall @ 3 laps

INDY 500:- Sweden's Kenny Brack won the 83rd Indianapolis 500 after leader Robby Gordon ran out of fuel coming out of the final turn of the penultimate lap. Brack, the reigning Indy Racing League champion, became the first current series champion to win the Indy 500 since Bobby Unser in 1975. Gordon tried to run his Aurora-powered Dallara for the final 36 laps without a pit-stop and paid the price. "I didn't think he could run more than 30 laps," said Brack.


Result (Sun):                Laps
 1 K Brack      Swe Dallara   200
 2 J Ward       US  Dallara   200
 3 B Boat       US  Dallara   200
 4 R Gordon     US  Dallara   200
 5 R McGehee    US  Dallara   199
 6 R Buhl       US  Dallara   199
 7 B Lazier     US  Dallara   198
 8 R Unser      US  Dallara   197
 9 T Stewart    US  Dallara   196
10 H Matsuda    Jpn Dallara   196

BRITISH GTs (Snetterton):- Julian Bailey and Jamie Campbell-Walker made it two wins in a row in the third round of the GT1 category. They moved ahead in the Lister Storm when Tim Sugden retired in his McLaren with engine problems while leading. Sugden had raced into the lead and was well set to win even allowing for a 55- second penalty for racing solo. In the GT2 category Rob Schirle made it a perfect day for Lister by taking the new Storm GT2 to victory despite a penalty for pit-lane speeding.


Combined results: (Sun)
GT1
1 Bailey/Campbell-W Lister S
2 Goodwin/Munroe    McLaren
3 Lister/Wallinder  McLaren

GT2
1 Schirle/Warnock   Lister S
2 Cook/Lockie       Porsche
3 Phillips/Youles   Porsche

NATIONAL SALOON CUP (Snetterton):- Some tremendous saloon car racing in the double-header round ended with Roger Moen (Honda) and Daniel Eaves (Peugeot) winning two tough races. Moen battled to the head of the first race and held off a determined challenge from his pursuers and it was Eaves who finished runner-up. Eaves went straight into the lead in the second race and came home to give Peugeot their first championship win. Team-mate Toni Ruckonen made it a Peugeot one-two when he came second.



F.RENAULT SPORT (Oulton Park):- Antonio Pizzonia clinched a dramatic win after breaking free of early race leader Leighton Walker. Walker took second spot despite brake trouble while Dan Barrett snatched the Star Cup honours on the last lap.


Result (Mon):          min secs
1 A Pizzonia          21:28.817
2 L Walker            21:39.364
3 R Austin            21:39.450
4 C Breeze            22:40.772
5 D Barrett           22:00.622
6 T Ferrier           22:00.791


RENAULT SPIDER CUP (Oulton Park):- Andy Priaulx took his fifth maximum points haul in a row with a lights-to- flag victory. Tobia Masini came through from sixth to take second with Mark Cole finishing a career-best third.


Round 5 result (Mon):  mins:secs
1 A Priaulx            15:25.377
2 T Masini             15:30.398
3 M Cole               15:30.894
4 P Bennett            15:38.090
5 C Buncombe           15:39.702
6 O Mildenhall         15:52.575

F.PALMER AUDI (Snetterton):- Two sensational rounds gave Richard Lyons his third win of the season and Justin Keen a first in the series. In round six Lyons had to fight hard for his win to close the gap on championship leader Richard Tarling who finished third behind Martyn Smith. Round seven produced even more fraught action in a race in which the top 15 were separated by just 10 seconds. Keen won by a slender margin from pole with Damien Faulkner second and Smith taking third spot.


Round 6 result (Mon):   min secs
1 R Lyons              16:47.414
2 M Smyth              16:48.832
3 R Tarling            16:51.825
4 S Hancock            16:53.458
5 T Mullen             16:54.381
6 J Keen               16:56.277

Round 7 result (Mon)
1 J Keen               18:59.716
2 D Faulkner           19:01.098
3 M Smyth              19.02.768
4 J Bleekemolen        19:03.564
5 T Mullen             19:03.936
6 R Tarling            19:04.212

Standings: Tarling 131pts, Lyons 122, Mullen 105,
           Faulkner 101, Kerr 80, Keen 80