November 1999 Motorsport News


F1:- Eddie Irvine is looking forward to driving next season for the Jaguar team and to being in a different car to Michael Schumacher. Speaking after his narrow championship defeat at Suzuka, Irvine said: "I am really looking forward to Jaguar because they've got great potential. At least I won't be up against Michael Schumacher in the same car every race. Partnering Michael is like getting hit on the head with a cricket bat for four days. God help Rubens Barrichello."

Damon Hill paid tribute to double champion Mika Hakkinen after bringing his own grand prix career to a woeful end in Japan. Hill, who failed to finish the race, said: "Mika is a worthy champion. He has been put under enormous pressure. The guy has fought for the championship two years on the trot now. He has had a tough year and through no fault of his own lost the advantage because of mechanical problem but has still come out on top."

CART:- Canadian Greg Moore was killed in a horrific crash on the 10th lap of the final race of the season. The 24-year-old suffered massive head injuries when his car spun off the track and broke up on hitting a wall. Organisers decided to carry on with the race even after the news of Moore's death came through, though all post- race ceremonies were cancelled. Moore almost did not take part in the race after suffering finger and hand injuries on Saturday.

Dario Franchitti failed in his brave bid to win the title after finishing level on points with Juan Montoya, who triumphed after winning more races. The event was overshadowed by the death of Greg Moore after a crash early on in the final race of the season. Montoya came fourth in the race while Scotland's Franchitti came in 10th, giving both drivers 212 points. Adrian Fernandez won his second race of the season, averaging 171.66mph in the 250-lap, 500-mile race.

Sunday's results:             laps
 1 A Fernandez  Mex Ford       250
 2 M Papis      It  Ford       250
 3 C Fittipaldi Brz Ford       250
 4 J Montoya    Col Honda      250
 5 J Vasser     US  Honda      250
 6 M Gugelmin   Bra Mercedes   250
 7 A Unser      US  Mercedes   249
 8 T Kanaan     Bra Honda      249
 9 G de-Ferran  Bra Honda      249
10 D Franchitti GB  Honda      248
16 M Blundell   GB  Mercedes   193

Final driver standings:       Points
1 J Montoya    Col Honda       212 More races won in season
2 D Franchitti GB  Honda       212
3 P Tracy      Can Honda       161
4 M Andretti   US  Ford        151
5 M Papis      It  Ford        150


F1:- Jacques Villeneuve is threatening to quit Formula One strugglers BAR if team boss Craig Pollock is ousted. The Canadian is a close friend of Pollock, who may be forced to take the rap for the team's poor campaign. The stable endured a disappointing season, finishing in last place without scoring a single point. "A big reason for me joining was because Craig was instigating it," Villeneuve said. "So he's a key element remaining in the team."

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has backed Michael Schumacher in his row with David Coulthard at the Japanese GP. He told the Daily Mail: "Michael quite rightly had a go. In my opinion what Coulthard did was quite wrong. He should have been black-flagged for it. It is up to David whether he wants to take any legal action." Coulthard later dismissed any suggestion that he might sue Schumacher saying: "There's no question of any legal action."

David Coulthard has stood his ground over the tactics that saw him hold up Michael Schumacher and help Mika Hakkinen to a second drivers' title. He said: "I understand why he is disappointed. I cost him two-and-a-half seconds, which just so happens to be the time he ended up behind Mika. Michael can't question my integrity. That does harm to my reputation as a racing driver in such a public way. I have every respect for him but this sort of thing does him no good at all."

Michael Schumacher reckons he will get on much better with Rubens Barrichello than old teammate Eddie Irvine. "Rubens is a really good guy. I've never had any problems or disagreements with him," Schumacher said. "I've always had a good rapport with other drivers but I think that I will get on better with Rubens than I did with Eddie. He's like me in that he's married, and he doesn't have a crazy life like Eddie does. We'll get on well off the track."

RALLY AUSTRALIA:- After the tarmac of Sanremo, the World Rally Championship moves to the hazardous dusty tracks of Western Australia for the penultimate round. The Telstra Rally Australia takes place around Perth from November 4-7. Drivers start on a super special stage under floodlights on Thursday then head into the outback for the rest of the first leg (11 stages in all) on Friday. An eight-stage second leg covers 160km and drivers end with spectacular jumps in the final leg in Bunnings forest.

An important new development for this year's race sees the introduction of a system allowing top drivers to select their re-start positions for each leg. The mass of small gravel which make conditions slippery makes running position of vital importance and can hinder the early cars. The rally leader will therefore be allowed to select how far he wants to start down the order the following day. If it proves successful, the 'seeding' process could be adopted elsewhere.

Tommi Makinen can clinch the World Rally Championship title for a fourth consecutive season in Australia. The Finn has a six-point lead over Didier Auriol in the drivers' standings and will retain his crown if he takes four points more than the Frenchman. Even if Auriol went on to win the Rally of Great Britain and Makinen failed to finish in that, the Finn would win on a tie-break after more wins this season. Makinen said: "I'm very confident and Australia has always been good for me."

Didier Auriol has not thrown in the towel for the drivers' title yet. The Toyota driver, who won in Australia in 1992 and has finished third in his last two outings, is six points behind his arch rival Tommi Makinen. Makinen can potentially wrap up the title even before the last round, but Auriol said: "We have to go for it! Everything is at stake in this event and we must finish ahead of Tommi. I have had some good results in Australia and we must try to win."

Carlos Sainz escaped serious injury in his crashing in Sanremo and has a clean bill of health to return in Perth. That is good news for Toyota, who only need nine points from Sainz and Didier Auriol from the last two rounds to clinch its third constructors' title. The Spaniard pointed out the two main hazards in the event, saying: "There are millions of little balls of gravel which make conditions very slippery. The roads are man-made and the lines can be quite unpredictable."

Colin McRae believes his Ford Focus is well suited to deal with the event. The Scot has suffered a run of bad luck and poor reliability in the second half of the season but will hope to benefit from a new engine specification. The 31-year-old, who won the event in 1994 and 1997, said: "I always enjoy Australia and I think the Ford Focus should be quite suited to those stages. It has proved very stable on the fast sections during the year and in Australia there are many like that."

03.11.99 - F1

F1 legend Jackie Stewart has attacked the decision to move the British GP to April in next season's calendar. The British race will take place at Silverstone on Easter Sunday, April 23, next year, with Austria replacing it. "It's unusual and I cannot understand it," Stewart said. "Wimbledon hasn't had its date changed for very many years, neither has the FA Cup Final. We are disappointed as a new team coming in with a new identity and Jaguar would have liked it in July."


F1:- Eddie Irvine missed out on a bonus of $2m when he failed to win the world drivers championship on Sunday. Ferrari president Luca di Montezelomo revealed he had offered Irvine the jackpot in August. "We wanted him to win it and I told him to tell me if he wanted anything at all," he said. Di Montezelomo also denied claims that Ferrari had not tried to help Irvine as much as possible. "I am very hurt by these kinds of suggestions," he added.

RALLY AUSTRALIA:- Colin McRae posted the fastest time in the opening day's solitary stage in Perth's Langley Park. McRae posted a time of 1:35.5 for the stage, which measured just over a mile, 0.4 seconds faster than Didier Auriol. Championship leader Tommi Makinen was 0.1 seconds further back with Juha Kankkunen in fourth spot. Richard Burns was equal seventh, 1.1 seconds behind McRae. Alister McRae was 31st for Hyundai, followed by Mark Higgins, while Martin Rowe was 34th.

Leading positions after 1 stage:min sec
 1 C McRae     GB  Ford         1:35.5
 2 D Auriol    Fr  Toyota       1:35.9
 3 T Makinen   Fin Mitsubishi   1:36.0
 4 J Kankkunen Fin Subaru       1:36.1
 5 F Loix      Fr  Mitsubishi   1:36.4
 6 H Rovanpera Fin SEAT         1:36.5
 7 R Burns     GB  Subaru       1:36.6
 = N Bates     Aus Toyota       1:36.6
 9 T Radstrom  Swe Ford         1:37.0
10 T Gard'ster Fin SEAT         1:37.3

Ford have signed double World rally champion Carlos Sainz in a two-year deal worth a reported £3m. The Spaniard will partner Colin McRae, whom he partnered at Subaru in 1995. He started his career with Ford and last drove for them in 1997, but was left without a drive following Toyota's decision to withdraw from rallying. Sainz, who will make his debut in Monte Carlo in January, said: "I have enjoyed some very special moments with Ford and I'm delighted to be with them again."

Driver ratings (November 1)       Points
 1 M Hakkinen    Fin Formula One   920
 6 E Irvine      GB  Formula One   900
 2 J Gordon      US  NASCAR        838
 3 D Jarrett     US  NASCAR        838
 4 H-H Frentzen  Ger Formula One   830
 5 N Heidfeld    Ger F3000         823
 7 D Franchitti  GB  Champ Cars    753
 8 JP Montoya    Col Champ Cars    749
 9 J Burton      US  NASCAR        732
10 R Schumacher  Ger Formula One   710
12 D Coulthard   GB  Formula One   650

MGF CUP:- Year 2000 of the MGF Cup Championship will be run as part of PowerTour, the newly-launched racing package from the BRDC. The MGF Cup starts again in March with the opening round at Thruxton.


F1:- The Victorian state government is committed to keeping the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, despite record losses in 1999. The state's new Premier Steve Bracks said that the race brought enormous economic benefits to Victoria. "The new government is committed to keeping the Grand Prix," he said, "We want to keep it in Victoria." The next Formula One season is scheduled to start in Melbourne on March 12 next year.

RALLY AUSTRALIA:- Tommi Makinen edged closer to his fourth successive World Championship after closest rival Didier Auriol was forced out after hitting a tree. It leaves Makinen needing just a podium finish to claim the title in Australia, but he dropped to fourth after sustaining a puncture. Richard Burns is in second spot, while Colin McRae suffered a puncture and is lying third. McRae's team-mate for next season Carlos Sainz is currently in the lead.

Leading positions after 11 stages:
                            hr min sec
 1 C Sainz     Sp  Toyota    1:17.21.4
 2 R Burns     GB  Subaru        @ 6.3
 3 C McRae     GB  Ford          @50.2
 4 T Makinen   Fin Mitsubishi  @1.18.7
 5 F Loix      Fr  Mitsubishi  @1:51.1
 6 T G'meister Fin SEAT        @2:01.0
 7 H Rovanpera Fin SEAT        @2:57.5
 8 T Radstrom  Swe Ford        @3:27.7
 9 N Bates     Aus Toyota      @3:48.1
10 M Gronholm  Fin Peugeot     @4:28.3

NEWS:- Brands Hatch stages a unique event this weekend as 27 drivers compete in two races specially designed by Jonathan Palmer for racers with no experience. They were selected from circuit driving events which were held at Palmer's Bedford Autodrome.

NEWS:- Tomas Scheckter beat the lap record in Valencia on his first appearance in the Euro Open Movistar by Nissan Formula in free testing for the weekend's races.


RALLY AUSTRALIA:- Richard Burns won four of the eight special stages to open up a four-second lead ahead of Sunday's finale. But Tommi Makinen, well adrift in third place, only needs to hold on to his podium finish to secure the title. Colin McRae and co-driver Nicky Grist meanhwile admitted they were lucky to escape without any serious injuries after a high-speed crash. "It was the kind of accident you want to forget about pretty quickly," the 31-year-old Scot said afterwards.

Leading positions after second leg:
                             hr min sec
 1 R Burns     GB  Subaru     2:50:16.1
 2 C Sainz     Sp  Toyota     2:50:20.5
 3 T Makinen   Fin Mitsubishi 2:52:56.6
 4 F Loix      Fr  Mitsubishi 2:55:36.2
 5 T Radstrom  Swe Ford       2:56:58.6
 6 M Gronholm  Fin Peugeot    2:56:59.9
 7 H Rovanpera Fin SEAT       2:57:08.8
 8 U Nittel    Ger Mitsubishi 2:05:28.8
 9 K Erikkson  Swe Hyundai    2:05:56.6
10 T Arai      Jpn Subaru     2:06:22.2

F.PALMER AUDI (Brands Hatch):- Nick Peters won the first race of the weekend at the Winter Cracker meeting. Backmarkers denied Max Wakefield any chance of victory despite his valliant efforts while Paul Harvey, who qualified 17th, did well to finish 8th.

Saturday's race result:  mins secs
1 N Peter                12:11.265
2 M Wakefield            12:21.209
3 T Gibson               12:30.076
4 T Wheeldon             12:33.083
5 J Coulhurst            12:33.571
6 M Edwards              12:35.561


F1:- Michael Schumacher has denied that he is happy ex-Ferrari teammate Eddie Irvine failed to become world champion. The German insisted there had been no rift with Irvine and was keen to clarify earlier comments that he wasn't disappointed by the outcome. "What I said was that we can be happy with the result because we won the constructors' championship," he said. "We did everything we could to win the other one as well. I'd have been very happy if Eddie had managed to win."

RALLY AUSTRALIA:- Britain's Richard Burns won the rally, as Tommi Makinen of Finland claimed the world drivers' title for the fourth year in a row. Burns beat Carlos Sainz by more than 11 seconds for a fourth career win. He now lies third in the drivers' championship with a chance of taking second place at the British rally in a fortnight's time. Makinen, who finished third in Perth, equalled compatriot Juha Kankkunen's record of four world rally crowns.

Richard Burns was thrilled to have come out on top in an exciting head-to-head encounter with Carlos Sainz in Perth. Burns said after his Rally Australia victory: "It was a great battle with Carlos, but it was great to do the televised stage without any nerves." Tommi Makinen, who clinched the world title, said: "This is just incredible, a fantasic feeling. Four years in a row is going to be very hard to beat. Now I can go to the British rally and try to win because I've never won it."

FINAL POSITIONS:             hr min sec
 1 R Burns     GB  Subaru     3:44:31.5
 2 C Sainz     Sp  Toyota     3:44:43.1
 3 T Makinen   Fin Mitsubishi 3:49:02.9
 4 F Loix      Fr  Mitsubishi 3:52:04.0
 5 M Gronholm  Fin Peugeot    3:52:33.4
 6 H Rovanpera Fin SEAT       3:52:44.3
 7 T Radstrom  Swe Ford       3:53:01.1
 8 T Arai      Jpn Subaru     4:05:49.8
 9 K Erikkson  Swe Hyundai    4:05:58.4
10 M Rowe      GB  Renault    4:06:29.1

DRIVER STANDINGS               Pts
1 T Makinen    Fin  Mitsubishi  62
2 D Auriol     Fr   Toyota      52
3 R Burns      GB   Subaru      45
4 C Sainz      Sp   Toyota      44
= J Kankkunen  Fin  Subaru      38
6 C McRae      GB   Ford        23

1 Toyota        109 pts
2 Subaru         89
3 Mitsubishi     81
4 Ford           36
5 SEAT           19
6 Peugeot        11
7 Skoda           3

F.PALMER AUDI (Brands Hatch):- Nick Peters completed the perfect weekend with a second win from pole. Max Wakefield chased hard after a great move to take second from Paul Harvey and Chris Hyman bounced back to claim fourth spot.

Sunday's race result:    mins secs
1 N Peter                12:07.533
2 M Wakefield            12:11.974
3 P Harvey               12:12.523
4 C Hyman                12:19.633
5 D Anley                12:26.008
6 J Coulthurst           12:26.268

F.FORD (Brands Hatch):- Anthony Davidson made it five wins from five starts when he clinched victory in both opening rounds of the series.

Sunday's race one result: mins secs
1 A Davidson    Eng       12:13.978
2 M Taylor      Eng       12:17.030
3 J Fourie      SA        12:17.232
4 R Rudholm     Swe       12:18.558
5 G Catt        Eng       12:18.683

Sunday's race two result: mins secs
1 A Davidson    Eng       16:37.545
2 M Taylor      Eng       16:37.740
3 J Fourie      SA        16:42.726
4 J Janis       Cze       16:42.926
5 H Mutoh       Jpn       16:43.090


F1:- Dubai is negotiating with Bernie Ecclestone to host a Formula One race. Top rally driver Mohammed Bin Sulayem said: "The goverment is taking care of it and a lot of meetings are going on." Bin Sulayem said his own discussions with Ecclestone had shown that there would be no obstacle to Dubai staging a race every year. An FIA spokesman said last month that Ecclestone was talking to the Egyptian government about a possible race there and another Middle East country.

NEWS:- Colin McRae has said that a Formula One test drive is still a possibility, but it will not mean a move into F1. His Ford team offered him a test drive with Stewart in March, leading to rumours that McRae would switch. "I wasn't thinking of going to Formula One, it was just really a bit of PR for Ford," he said. McRae, who has confirmed is staying with Ford for next season, said that the F1 drive was still possible, though he could not say when it might happen.

NEWS:- Brands Hatch has been sold to American advertising firm Interpublic in a deal worth £120m. The Kent circuit will become part of Interpublic's Octagon sports marketing and entertainment division.


SPORTSCARS:- Nissan have announced that they will not compete in the Le Mans 24 hour race in 2000. The company is in debt and has recently embarked on a restructuring programme but hopes to compete in the race again in the future.

RALLYING:- Ford will move their rally team to new headquarters in December. The team will move six miles across Cumbria to a £10m complex at Dovenby Hall Estate. The team will also use Champion spark plugs next season.


RALLYING:- Didier Auriol is leaving Toyota to join SEAT for next season. The 1994 world rally champion and Toni Gardemeister will both be driving SEAT Cordoba WRC E2s on all 14 rounds of next year's championship. "As a sportsman I feel I am currently performing better than ever and to be with SEAT next year is an extra motivation," Auriol said. "SEAT is a team with a lot of ambition and the passion to work hard and this is a strong basis to achieve results."

BRITISH GT's:- Julian Bailey and Jamie Campbell Walter have been confirmed as the champions of the Privilege Insurance British GT1 Championship for this year. Magnus Wallinder and Geoff Lister were runners-up. The results were ratified after RAC stewards considered protests.

F.FORD (Snetterton):- Anthony Davidson will be looking to extend his championship lead in the Ford Zetec championship as the series moves to Snetterton for round three. But Gary Catt could pose a threat after impressing in recent testing.

FORD FIESTA'S (Snetterton):- In the Ford Fiesta Zetec championship, Colin Stancombe will face a strong challenge from teammates Paul Rivett and Matt Pinny. "Snetterton is all about two corners, Russell and Sear. It's vital to get good exits from both of them," he said.

F.PALMER SERIES (Snetterton):- American Paul Edwards emerged fastest from the final Formula Palmer Audi test prior to Sunday's opening rounds. Paul Munn was only fractions behind, but only a tenth ahead of Tom Sisley. Youngster Adam Carroll finished in 4th.

Qualifying times (Fri):     mins secs
1 P Edwards     US           1:04.417
2 P Munn        GB           1:04.711
3 T Sisley      GB           1:04.821
4 A Carroll     NI           1:05.272
5 G Pantano     IT           1:05.392
6 J Simmons     US           1:05.853


WINTER F.FORD (Snetterton):- Aberdeen's Peter Gray secured his first car racing win in the third round of the Winter Championship. The 19-year-old headed fellow teenagers Gary Turkington and Stefan Hodgetts on aggregate after the race was stopped when Ian Newport crashed on lap three.

Sunday's race result:    mins secs
1 P Gray        Sco      09:50.784
2 G Turkington  NI       10:03.170
3 S Hodgetts    Eng      10:03.958
4 R Scott       NI       10:13.646
5 G Catt        Eng      10:13.723
6 A Davidson    Eng      10:13.840

F.PALMER AUDI (Snetterton):- American Paul Edwards emerged fastest from the final Formula Palmer Audi test prior to today's opening rounds. Paul Munn was only fractions behind, but only a tenth ahead of Tom Sisley. Youngster Adam Carroll finished in 4th.

Qualifying times (Fri):     mins secs
1 P Edwards     US           1:04.417
2 P Munn        GB           1:04.711
3 T Sisley      GB           1:04.821
4 A Carroll     NI           1:05.272
5 G Pantano     IT           1:05.392
6 J Simmons     US           1:05.853

F.NIPPON (Suzuka):- Britain's Ralph Firman dominated the final round of the Japanese series when he scored a lights-to-flag victory. Firman claimed his first single-seater win since 1996 and it gave him fourth place overall. Scot Peter Dumbreck was 10th and is eighth overall.

Race result (Sun):          hr min sec
1 R Firman      G Force      1:07.34
2 M Krumm       Reynard      1:07.37
3 J Wakisaka    Reynard      1:07.38
4 M Kageyama    Reynard      1:07.39
5 R Michigami   Lola         1:07.40
6 H Kato        G Force      1:07.41


Round 1 result (Donington Park):
1 K Raikkonen   Fin      19:44.74
2 T Rumpfkeil   Ger      19:52.78
3 M Winkelhock  Ger      19:56.84
4 M McLoughlin  GB       19:58.65
5 B Roos        SA       20:03.58
6 R Antinucci   US       20:20.08

Round 2 (Donington Park)
1 K Raikkonen   Fin      16:49.18
2 T Rumpfkeil   Ger      17:03.03
3 M Winkelhock  Ger      17:06.59
4 M McLoughlin  GB       17:08.94
5 A Jones       GB       17:09.56
6 R Antinucci   US       17:14.02

Driver ratings (November 15)     Points
 1 M Hakkinen    Fin Formula One   920
 2 E Irvine      GB  Formula One   900
 3 D Jarrett     US  NASCAR        838
 4 H-H Frentzen  Ger Formula One   830
 5 N Heidfeld    Ger F3000         823
 6 J Gordon      US  NASCAR        780
 7 J Burton      US  NASCAR        755
 8 D Franchitti  GB  Champ Cars    753
 9 JP Montoya    Col Champ Cars    749
10 R Schumacher  Ger Formula One   710
12 D Coulthard   GB  Formula One   650


F1:- New Ferrari driver Rubens Barrichello says he has no fears about lining up alongside Michael Schumacher. Barrichello, who replaces Eddie Irvine next year, said: "If I'd joined Ferrari five or six seasons ago, it probably wouldn't have been a good move for me. But now I'm mature enough not to be worried about the comparisons. I'm not frightened of driving with Michael. I've never driven a car that's as competitive as this. Who knows how I'll react when I've got my hands on it?"

THE NETWORK Q RALLY GREAT BRITAIN:- The final round of the 1999 World Championship is set to be a dramatic affair even though the driver and manufacturer titles have been decided. Tommi Makinen clinched his fourth crown in a row in the previous round in Australia, while Toyota took the manufacturer honours. It means the top drivers will be under less pressure and so be free to take risks in the Cheltenham-based event. Leg one is on Sunday and the rally is due to finish on Tuesday evening.

Tommi Makinen will be looking to win the event for the first time having already retained the drivers' title. "I am looking forward to going to Britain without pressure to try and win against the British drivers Richard Burns and Colin McRae," he admitted. "I am sure it is going to be very difficult but we will try our best and our car is working very well." Makinen won the title last year in Britain when Carlos Sainz's engine failed 100 yards from the finish.

Finland's Tommi Makinen could claim to be the greatest rally driver ever after securing his fourth world title in a row this season. Juha Kankkunen also achieved four triumphs but not in consecutive years. Modest Makinen commented: "It is not for me to say if I am the best driver ever. It is a fantastic feeling to have won again. I am not even thinking about a fifth yet. This win was easier than last year and not as satisfying as 1996."

Richard Burns knows that victory on home soil could hand him second place overall in the drivers' championship. The Englishman won this event last year and goes into Sunday's first leg on the back of a victory in Australia earlier this month. "I will be going for the win and believe I can do it," Burns stated. Burns also won in Greece this year and was pipped to a victory by team-mate Juha Kankkunen in Argentina after a mix-up over team orders.

Briton Richard Burns is one of the favourites to win the event but believes he faces a tougher task than last year. Burns took the spoils in 1998 but he said: "In the last couple of years it has been down to me or Colin McRae. "The others have had the championship to worry about. Now we will see people like Tommi Makinen, Didier Auriol, Carlos Sainz and Juha Kankkunen going for it so it could be more difficult for us."

Colin McRae and co-driver Nicky Grist will go into their home event aiming to pick up their third win of the year. Scot McRae claimed the 1995 title by winning this event and also triumphed in Britain in 1994 and 1997. "It obviously holds great memories for me," he revealed. "For the first time in several years both titles have been decided before this rally. All the drivers have nothing to lose. They can all go all flat outfor victory and that should provide excitement."

Ford star Colin McRae believes the rally could turn into a straight fight between him and fellow British driver Richard Burns. "I would not be surprised if it came down to a battle between myself and Richard," confirmed McRae. "Home knowledge is a big advantage for anyone in the Welsh forests and both Richard and myself have that advantage. It should be very close but I am certainly not going into it thinking second place would be a good result."

Didier Auriol and Carlos Sainz will be bidding to ensure that manufacturer champions Toyota go out on a high. Toyota are pulling out of the World Championship after this event to work on building a Formula One team. Auriol is currently second overall in the standings and will be keen to hang on to that spot but Sainz is also well- placed in fourth. It was at this rally in 1972 that team boss Ove Andersson convinced Toyota to lend him a Celica. The rest is history.

Mitsubishi driver Freddy Loix will be contesting the Rally of Great Britain for the first time on Sunday. The Belgian conceded: "It is one of the most difficult rallies because of the weather but I feel I understand the Carisma better now. It would be fantastic if we could finish in the points again, just like we did in Australia and San Remo. Although the world championships are settled, I think that it will be a very interesting rally."

Thomas Radstrom will be reunited with former co-driver Gunnar Barth for his first attempt at the rally. Fred Gallagher, who had partnered the Ford star this season, is unavailable because he is clerk of the course for the Rally of Great Britain. Barth co-drove his compatriot in five World Championship events last year. "Gunnar and I have worked together a lot," said Radstrom. "Our first rally was back in 1987 so switching co-drivers will not create problems."

Peugeot will be aiming to get back on track in their development year after suffering a hitch in the last round in Australia earlier this month. The team had to withdraw Francois Delecour when they ran out of gearboxes for the car. Frenchman Delecour is more at home on tarmac but has achieved two finishes from four starts in Britain. He was fourth in 1993, while team-mate Marcus Gronholm - who will be making his third start - was fifth in 1997.

Skoda Motorsport will field their most experienced ever international line-up for their maiden UK appearance. One Octavia WRC will be crewed by German pairing Armin Schwarz and Manfred Hiemer. Belgian duo Bruno Thiry and Stephane Prevot will make their debuts for Skoda in the other car. Team manager Pavel Janeba said: "We are very pleased that Bruno is joining us in Britain. We would like to end this learning session with a good result."

Renault are on course to win the FIA two-litre World Cup for manufacturers, with only Hyundai standing an outside chance of usurping them. Tapio Laukkanen and Martin Rowe need to claim at least a third-place finish in class because Renault have a 14-point lead over their rivals. However, Renault UK Motorsport director Andrew Luck insisted: "Anything can happen in rallying. We will approach this event as if it was the first on the calendar."

Alister McRae's task will be to help Hyundai clinch the two-litre World Cup with a Formula Two victory. McRae and team-mate Kenneth Eriksson need to finish first and second to have any chance of overturning Renault. The Briton has already notched triumphs in Portugal and China this year, while Swede Eriksson won in Greece, New Zealand and Australia. It will be the works cars' final outing, with the new Accent WRC set to feature in the 2000 World Championship.

Volkswagen's Mark Higgins is likely to be one of the pacesetters in the two- litre World Cup category. He has finished Formula Two runner-up in the rally on more than one occasion and was third overall in 1993. "The car ran well in Australia. It gives me hope for what we can achieve in the forests near my home," he said. Renault's Tapio Laukkanen and Martin Rowe, Vauxhall's Neil Wearden and Jarmo Kytolehto and Hyundai's Alister McRae and Kenneth Eriksson may hit his hopes.

Vauxhall star Neil Wearden has switched from four wheels to two in a bid to be ready for Sunday's first leg. The 27-year-old has been putting in extra 30-to-40-mile cycling treks in the forests of the Lake District as part of his fitness regime. "The first half of the season was pretty good but I have had my share of bad luck in the second half so want to end the year with a finish," he said. "I am capable of running consistently in the top three in Formula Two."

Harri Rovanpera, Toni Gardemeister and Gwyndaf Evans will head SEAT Sport's challenge in the Cordoba WRC E2s. Rovanpera and Gardemeister have always finished the Rally of Great Britain, while Evans has contested the event every year since 1987. "I enjoy the rally but it is also a difficult event," admitted Rovanpera. "The weather is usually not so nice. Fog and rain make the roads very slippery and anything can happen. I am confident we can finish in the points."

Buckinghamshire's Mike Brown will be contesting a round of the World Championship for the first time. He will move up from the SEAT Ibiza Evo 1 kit car he drove in the British Championship this year to the Evo 2 and will be co-driven by Aled Davies. "It is the most successful Formula Two car in the history of world rallying," said Brown. "My priority is to try and finish the rally but I would also like to finish inside the top six in class."

The three runners-up in the 1999 Peugeot Super 106 Cup have earned entries to the rally. Martin Sansom was second in the Cup and has contested the rally before but did not make it past the first day. Hull's Kevin Furber was third and made his return to the sport this season after a six-year lay-off, while Steven Clark also secured a rally place. Mark Fisher won the Peugeot series and will be competing in a four-wheel drive car, with Rory Kennedy as co-driver.

This year's Rally of Great Britain will be the last one to be based in Cheltenham - for three years at least. In 2000 the event will switch to Cardiff and the format of the rally will also be changed. The opening day public stages, which give fans good viewing chances, will be no more after this year's rally. Sunday's leg one includes the super special stage at Silverstone where two cars at a time compete on a gravel circuit with jumps and a watersplash.

Two million spectators are expected to watch the Rally of Great Britain over the three days, from Sunday to Tuesday. Michelin went through 3,423 tyres on last year's rally. The first Rally of Great Britain was held in 1932 and the 1999 event marks the 55th time it has been held. In 1967 the rally was cancelled because of an outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease in Britain. 11,000 volunteers work on the rally.

Jarmo Kytolehto will have his last outing in a Vauxhall Astra in the Rally of Great Britain. He is being replaced by Mark Higgins next season but he said: "I was second in Formula Two in 1998 and this year I want to win." The 38-year-old added: "The car is capable of winning and it would be the best way to leave Vauxhall." Mark Higgins' place in the Volkswagen team in 1999 will be taken by current Renault driver Tapio Laukkanen.

Two husband and wife teams have entered - Dave and Pamela Hull from Hertfordshire and Hampshire's Innes and Alyson Marlow. Father and sons Steven and Nigel Bayley from Cheshire and Gary and Gordon Adam from Scotland are among the starters. ITV trio Martin Brundle, Tony Jardine and Louise Goodman will be competing. Jardine's co-driver will be Anglia TV's head of sport Kevin Piper, while The Observer's Formula One correspondent Maurice Hamilton will partner Goodman.

Sunday November 21: LEG ONE
0827   Start  Cheltenham
0830   SS1    Cheltenham 1      1.91km
0948   SS2    Cornbury          4.17km
1118   SS3    Silverstone 1    10.02km
1133   SS4    Silverstone 2    10.02km
1350   SS5    Blenheim          5.62km
1527   SS6    Silverstone
              Super Special     1.96km
1735   SS7    Cheltenham 2      1.91km
1852   Finish Cheltenham

Monday November 22: LEG TWO
0515   Start  Cheltenham
0739   SS8    Radnor           23.69km
1004   SS9    Crychan          16.89km
1041   SS10   Esgair Dafydd     8.64km
1139   SS11   Tywl             22.65km
1428   SS12   Sweet Lamb 1     25.70km
1510   SS13   Myherin 1        16.72km
1808   SS14   Sweet Lamb 2     25.70km
1852   SS15   Myherin 2        16.72km
2306   Finish Cheltenham

Tuesday November 23: LEG THREE
0515   Start  Cheltenham
0729   SS16   St Gwynno        13.67km
0756   SS17   Tyle             10.55km
0832   SS18   Rhondda          35.82km
1041   SS19   Rheola 1         31.47km
1231   SS20   Resolfen         46.45km
1439   SS21   Rheola 2         31.47km
1557   SS22   Margam           27.64km
1915   Finish Cheltenham


F1:- Jacques Villeneuve ended speculation about his future at British American Racing saying he would see out his contract until the end of 2000. The Canadian former World Champion has previously said that if BAR manager and team chairman Craig Pollock left he would follow. In an interview with Autosport, Villeneuve said: "I have said before that if Craig goes, I go. I would go to the end of my term, though," he added.

F.PALMER AUDI (Silverstone):- Tom Sisley bounced back after his disappointment at Snetterton to be fastest in testing for the final two rounds of the winter series on Sunday. Team America driver Paul Edwards, winner of the first two rounds was 0.012 seconds adrift.

Leading testing times (Thu):secs
1 T Sisley               44.395
2 P Edwards              44.519
3 P Munn                 44.524
4 G Pantano              44.789
5 D Hazlewood            44.792
6 S Pearson              44.884


F1:- Next year's British Grand Prix will take place on April 23 ` despite rumours it was being switched back to its traditional mid-July date. The FIA, the sport's world governing body, confirmed that Silverstone will host the fourth round of the 2000 World Championship on Easter Sunday. "There have been no changes to the Formula One calendar which was issued on October 6," a spokesman said. The new Formula One season gets underway in Australia on March 12.

F3 (Macau):- British Formula Three champion Marc Hynes is determined to win the annual end-of-season showdown for the world's best F3 drivers on Sunday. Hynes has already triumphed in the most prestigious European Formula Three race - the Marlboro Masters in Holland. Sunday's race is held over two 15-lap heats, with the driver with the best aggregate winning. "I really want to win this one," said Hynes. "To take a grand slam of titles would be incredible."

F.RENAULT (Donington Park):- Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen will be the driver to beat in Sunday's rou ds three and four after winning both opening rounds of the winter series. Germans Timo Rumpfkeil and Marcus Winkelhock and Britons Mark McLoughlin and Adam Jones will also be bidding to make their mark. McLoughlin leads the Star Cup division, while privateer Jason Coffin is well clear in the BARC runners' class. Dan Barrett and Tom Ferrier are hoping for better luck in these rounds.


Formula 3 result: (Sun) hr min secs
1 D Manning    GB       1:07.56.279
2 J Button     GB       1:08.20.869
3 D Itoh       Jpn      1:09.02.880
4 T Matsuda    Jpn      1:09.17.267
5 Y Olivier    Bel      1:09.47.258
6 M Spoldi     It       1:09.58.259

F.RENAULT (Donington Park):- Kimi Raikkonen won rounds three and four to end the series unbeaten and claim Overall division honours. Richard Antinucci led the first race before spinning out with a puncture, while Markus Winkelhock pipped teammate Timo Rumpkell for the European title.

Round three result:
1 K Raikkonener   Tatuus   16:32.390
2 M McLoughlin    Tatuus   16:36.482
3 M Schmidt       Tatuus   16:37.428

Round four result:
1 K Raikkonener   Tatuus   17:26.568
2 M McLoughlin    Tatuus   17:37.872
3 M Winkelhock    Tatuus   17:43.147

SPORTSCARS:- Mercedes will not compete in next year's Le Mans 24 Hours race, the company has revealed.

LEADERBOARD after 7 of 22 stages
(interim)                    hr min sec
 1 J Kankkunen Fin Subaru      27:00.7
 2 F Delacour  Fr  Peugeot     27:04.2
 3 M Gronholm  Fin Peugeot     27:05.2
 4 R Burns     GB  Subuaru     27:08.8
 5 C Sainz     Sp  Toyota      27:17.5
 6 D Auriol    Fr  Toyota      27:23.9
 7 T Makinen   Fin Mit'bishi   27:24.4
 8 C McRae     GB  Ford        27:24.6
 9 P Solberg   Nor Ford        27:27.9
10 H Rov'pera  Fin SEAT        27:33.2
11 B Thiry     Bel Skoda       27:34.4
12 M Martin    Est Toyota      27:37.8
13 F Loix      Bel Mit'bishi   27:39.6
14 A Schwarz   Ger Skoda       27:42.3
15 T Gard'ter  Fin SEAT        27:42.5
16 G Evans     GB  SEAT        27:43.3
17 G Panizzi   Fr  Peugeot     27:50.0
18 A Kremer    Ger Subaru      28:04.4
19 K Hol'czyz  Pol Subaru      28:06.3
20 H Solberg   Nor Ford        28:10.8
21 L Climent   Sp  Subaru      28:17.0
22 M Kahle     Ger Toyota      28:22.4
23 T Radstrom  Swe Ford        28:32.8
24 J Kulig     Pol Ford        28:45.4

Finn Tommi Makinen started the Network Q Rally of Great Britain hoping to put behind him the bad luck that has dogged him in this country. He took fastest time on stage one, but then came to grief on the Cornbury stage, sliding and hitting a bank. This allowed Juha Kankkunen to take the lead with the Subaru and he has continued to extend this lead. All the crews have reported that the early stages have been very slippery and several have lost time sliding off.

Colin McRae and Richard Burns have been suffering in the tricky conditions on the opening day of the Network Q Rally. Burns slid off and stalled the Subaru on stage two dropping several seconds, but he has fought his way back up the leaderboard ahead of Scot Colin McRae. McRae made a bad tyre choice and lost time sliding off on the same stage. Marcus Gromholm set fastest time on stage five, Blenheim, to consolidate third overall in the Peugeot, just behind teammate Francois Delacour.

Highest placed F2 driver is Jarmo Kytolehto on the Vauxhall Astra, with teammate Neil Wearden two class places behind him. Splitting the two Vauxhalls are British Rally Champion Tapio Laukkanen in the Renault and Scotlan 's Alister McRae in the Hyundai. This will be Laukkanen's last event in the F2 Renault as the team are withdrawing from rallying next year. They are hoping to clinch the F2 World Rally Title at this event.

Tapio Laukkanen ended leg 1 of the final round of the FIA World Rally Championship in second place in F2. The Renault driver commented: "Second place is a good position overnight. We had a good run today and I am confident of beating Hyundai." Vauxhall's Jarmo Kytolehto is currently leading the category, only Alister McRae in the Hyundai can prevent Renault from clinching the World Title. Renault team mate Martin Rowe is currently seventh F2 car.

At the end of Leg 1 of the Network Q Rally, Ford Focus driver Colin McRae said: "Today hasn't gone as well as I'd wanted. The real rally begins tomorrow and I'm fired up now. After two or three Welsh stages, we'll be better placed." Team mate Thomas Radstrom has also not had the easiest of days: "I haven't driven these stages before and they are all very difficult. It has been a very long day for just 35 kilometers."


F1:- Williams technical chief Patrick Head and former designer Adrian Newey have been acquitted in the appeals trial into the death of Ayrton Senna. The court in Bologna has rejected prosecution demands for a one-year suspended sentence. Senna died after his Williams-Renault crashed at the San Marino GP in 1994. Court president Francesco Mirio Agnoli acquitted Head and Newey after judging that the accusations levelled at them contained "no proof of blame."

SPORTSCARS:- Porsche have joined the growing list of manufacturers who have decided to pull out of the Le Mans 24-hour race. A Porsche spokesman said: "In order to put resources at the disposal of the production of a new 4x4 it was necessary to end our preparations."

Driver ratings (November 22)     Points
 1 M Hakkinen    Fin Formula One   920
 2 E Irvine      GB  Formula One   900
 3 D Jarrett     US  NASCAR        854
 4 H-H Frentzen  Ger Formula One   830
 5 N Heidfeld    Ger F3000         823
 6 J Burton      US  NASCAR        759
 7 D Franchitti  GB  Champ Cars    753
 8 JP Montoya    Col Champ Cars    749
 = J Gordon      US  NASCAR        749
10 B Labonte     US  NASCAR        737
12 D Coulthard   GB  Formula One   650

F.PALMER AUDI (Silverstone):- American Paul Edwards won the winter series with a lights-to-flag victory in the third round.

Round three result:         mins secs
 1 P Edwards       US       11:25.390
 2 P Munn          GB       11:25.438
 3 T Sisley        GB       11:26.539
 4 G Pantano       It       11:29.782
 5 D Hazlewood     GB       11:36.822
 6 A Lally         US       11:37.981
 7 J Simmons       US       11:37.020
 8 S Pearson       GB       11:43.151
 9 P Rozalowski    Can      11:45.392
10 B Balcombe      GB       12:00.792

Paul Munn triumphed in his first Formula Palmer Audi race to clinch second spot in the championship.

Round four result:          mins secs
 1 P Munn          GB       11:24.747
 2 T Sisley        GB       11:24.767
 3 G Pantano       It       11:25.100
 4 P Edwards       US       11:27.581
 5 A Lally         US       11:29.071
 6 J Simmons       US       11:29.525
 7 D Hazlewood     GB       11:30.275
 8 A Carroll       NI       11:34.968
 9 M Rihs          Aut      11:36.285
10 B Hayden        GB       11:37.206

After four rounds, one round dropped)
 1 P Edwards       US       72 pts
 2 P Munn          GB       64
 3 G Pantano       It       52
 4 A Carroll       NI       48
 5 A Lally         US       44
 6 M Rihs          Aut      42
 = D Hazlewood     GB       42
 8 J Simmons       US       39
 9 T Sisley        GB       38
10 S Pearson       GB       37

Network Q Rally of Great Britain
LEADERBOARD after 15 of 22 stages
(interim)                   hr min sec
 1 R Burns     GB  Subaru    2:01:41.0
 2 J Kankkunen Fin Subaru    2:02:10.0
 3 M Gronholm  Fin Peugeot   2:02:25.2
 4 H Rov'pera  Fin SEAT      2:04:43.8
 5 T Makinen   Fin Mit'bishi 2:05:07.7
 6 D Auriol    Fr  Toyota    2:05:42.8
 7 F Delacour  Fr  Peugeot   2:06:18.1
 8 T Radstrom  Swe Ford      2:06:19.6
 9 F Loix      Bel Mit'bishi 2:07:23.9
10 C Sainz     Sp  Toyota    2:08:18.2
SS15 Cancelled after 10 cars

Colin McRae's Rally of Great Britain has come to an end on stage 15, 7km into the final stage of leg 2. "We were going off anyway, but when we slid off we hit a car left from the earlier running of the stage. "It hit on Nicky's side and tore two wheels off, so that's the event over," said McRae. Both McRae and co-driver Nicky Grist were unhurt for the second rally in succession. In Australia they smashed into a tree at around 100mph.

Richard Burns has held the lead of the Network Q Rally of Great Britain for the whole of leg 2. The Subaru driver took the lead from team mate Juha Kankkunen early on Leg 1 and has not been seriously challenged. Co-driver Robert Reid said "We nearly went off backwards in Myherin, but if you don't try you don't gain. We're still trying hard, you've got to keep pushing because tomorrow's the longest day and with anything could happen."

Martin Brundle's second attempt at the Network Q Rally of Great Britain lasted slightly longer then his first. However the racing driver has again crashed out in the forests of Wales, his rally ending on stage 13. Tony Jardine, better known for his analysis of F1 was pleased with his performance in the Proton Compact. "Thankfully the conditions are less muddy than we anticipated. Kevin and I are really working well. Today has been a lot more fun than yesterday."

Volkswagen Motorsport's assault on the Network Q Rally continued well on Leg 2 with Mark Higgins holding second in the F2 category. "We've had a very good day. The Pirelli tyres have been fantastic and the very slippery conditions have suited my style." F2 rivals Hynundai lost Alister McRae on stage 11 when the Scot rolled into retirement. The loss of Hyundai also handed Renault the F2 World Championship.

The Network Q Rally of Great Britain ran into time problems as spectators swamped the Welsh stages on Leg 2. Traffic congestion caused the rally to run late and the organisers to cancel the last two stages of the night for all but 66 crews. Following this, Colin McRae's accident on stage 15 stopped that stage from being completed. All crews that are affected by these stoppages will be given nominal times and will restart Leg 3 on Tuesday.


F1:- Luciano Burti has joined Jaguar as a test driver for the 2000 campaign. The 24-year-old Brazilian was second in this year's British Formula Three Championship and will test components for the car in Jerez next month. He will be joined at the December 14-15 sessions in Spain by Eddie Irvine and Johnny Herbert. It will be Irvine's first appearance for the team since leaving Ferrari. Jaguar, formerly Stewart-Ford, are set to unveil their new car on January 25.

IRL:- Al Unser Jnr has signed a five-year deal with Galles Racing to switch from CART to the Indy Racing League. The two-time Indianapolis 500 winner drove for Galles in the 1980s and early nineties and Unser said: "I am really excited to be back with Rick Galles." Porsche have said their decision not to enter a works team in the Le Mans 24-hour race or American Le Mans series was down to development reasons. They are working on a sports utility vehicle, which will go on sale in 2002.

NETWORK Q RALLY GREAT BRITAIN:- Richard Burns will be going all out to become world champion next year but he will not be writing off British rival Colin McRae as a contender. Burns, who won the Rally of Great Britain for the second successive year, finished as the overall 1999 runner-up. McRae did not finish the British event but Burns said: "It is not as though he has forgotten how to drive. I am sure he will be a threat next year. I just hope I can overcome that threat and be world champion."

Subaru are the likely favourites for the 2000 manufacturers' crown but team boss David Richards believes Peugeot will be the surprise package. Richards claimed: "Peugeot will be the main threat next year and everyone should realise that now." However, Richards is tipping his own driver Richard Burns to become the next world champion. He added: "Richard, for my money, is world champion in 2000. He has exceeded our expectations this year."

Hyundai narrowly missed out on taking the two-litre World Cup for manufacturers but Alister McRae was philosophical about the result. Renault's Martin Rowe and Tapio Laukkanen ensured that it was their team that took the honours at the Rally of Great Britain. McRae retired from the event and seven points eventually separated the teams. "This sort of thing is always a possibility when you are really going for it," admitted McRae.

Richard Burns drove an outstanding rally to take the outright win on the Network Q Rally of Great Britain. The Englishman shrugged off minor problems, including and engine bay fire on Leg 2 to hold a commanding lead over Subaru team mate Juha Kankunen. "It's a fantastic result to be part of a Subaru 1-2. Everything worked well for me. There were so many people cheering me on, there were even fireworks on the hills at one point." he added.

Richard Burns has emerged from the shadows of Colin McRae after replacing him at Subaru. He beamed: "This is just a fantastic feeling to win my home rally again. "It is difficult enough to win the rally for a first time where there is so much pressure on you. But to do it again I enjoyed it much more. I tried very hard throughout, but not on every single stage. If you do that you are going to have a problem and go off. I pushed extremely hard."

World champion Tommi Makinen's bid to win the event for the first time once again ended in failure. He went out between the 19th and 20th stages when the engine on his Mitsubishi overheated. The Finn's best result in Britain was back in 1997 when he finished sixth to secure the drivers' crown. Mitsubishi team director Andrew Cowan said: "We decided to pull him out. He could have carried on but we could have damaged the engine beyond recognition."

Welshman Gwyndaf Evans was forced to retire from the race late on. Evans' SEAT Cordoba WRC developed problems on stage 21 and the team retired the car at the following service. Teammate Harri Rovanpera is on his way to a best ever finish for SEAT, if he completes the rally in his current form he will be third overall. Mike Brown in the F2 SEAT crashed out 14kms into stage 18, ripping a wheel off the car.

Former world champion Carlos Sainz was forced to pull out of the event on the penultimate stage. Sainz, who suffered agony last year when he was denied the world title when his engine expired yards from the finish, had more bad luck. A Toyota team spokeswoman said Sainz, who had fought back to seventh after a mistake which cost him four minutes on Monday, broke the suspension. The problem left him unable to complete the 21st stage.

Bruno Thiry brough the Skoda Octavia WRC in to an excellent 4th overall on the Rally of Great Britain. "This rally is always hard work. I was trying to do my best for Skoda; you need a little luck in the game and on this event some of it came our way. The amazing thing is many of my times were better this year in the Skoda than last year in the Escort WRC but maybe the better weather helped. I thought a top 15 place would be good so I'm delighted with fourth."

Marcus Gronholm's impressive run on the Network Q Rally ended on stage 19, Rheola 1. The Finn had been setting very fast times all through the event but rolled the Peugeot well off the track, with it turning over six times. Francois-Xavier del Fosse commented: "The car was completely destroyed, but the crew are both okay. They walked away from the accident. When you are behind Kankkunen you are always fighting hard."

Another familiar British rally star has failed to finish the Rally of Great Britain. Tapio Laukkanen was forced to retire with blocked fuel lines. Renault's 'flying Finn' and reigning British Rally Champion was leading the F2 category when disaster struck. Renault's bid for the F2 World title is still on, with team-mate Martin Rowe now lying second in F2. In order to clinch the manufacturers' title, Renault needs just one of the Maxi Meganes to finish the event.

David Higgins' bid for success ended on stage 18 of the event when he was leading Group N. The Barretts Subaru driver lost a front wheel when the wheel nuts sheered. He then dropped 45 minutes but got the car into service and although they have repaired the car the team have decided to retire from the event. Team Manager Paul Barrett commented: "It was a shame as David had been going so well but there was no point in continuing so far down the field."

Norwegian driver Petter Solberg had his Rally of Great Britain livened up during stage 20 - the 28 miler Resolfen "I got the car airbourne, but when I land I stamp on the brake and nothing happens. The car has a bit of damage to it now, but we don't talk about that." Co-driver Phil Mills added: "No brakes made the downhill stretch to the hairpin really, er, interesting. The spectators must have wondered what was going on, we came down with the car sideways trying to scrub off speed!"

Juha Kankkunen's service crew discovered a potential problem with the clutch after stage 20 on the Rally of Great Britain. The Subaru team bled the hydraulics as a precaution and David Lapworth said: "It's a straightforward procedure 99 times out of 100. This time was the 100th!.. The procedure failed first time round. We were forced to repeat the exercise which meant Kankkunen left service about 4 minutes behind schedule."

Jonny Milner has finished the Network Q Rally with his best ever placing after an excellent run in the WRC Toyota. A delighted Jonny said: "The last stage was the worst of my life. Not just because I wanted to finish but it was very foggy. "We had to almost stop to be sure of where we were going, I'm just so glad it's all over! I'll hopefully be home in time, as my wife is due to go into labour any time now."

DRIVER STANDINGS               Pts
1 T Makinen    Fin  Mitsubishi  62
2 R Burns      GB   Subaru      55
3 D Auriol     Fr   Toyota      52
4 J Kankkunen  Fin  Subaru      44
= C Sainz      Sp   Toyota      44
6 C McRae      GB   Ford        23

1 Toyota        109 pts
2 Subaru        105
3 Mitsubishi     83
4 Ford           37
5 SEAT           23
6 Peugeot        11
7 Skoda           6

T Makinen       Fin Mitsubishi  overheated engine
C McRae         GB  Ford        Accident
T Gardemeister  Fin SEAT        Clutch
T Laukkanen     Fin Renault     Did not complete
A McRae         GB  Hyundai     Rolled in stage
M Stohl         Aut Mitsubishi  Rolled in stage
A Bakhashab     SA  Toyota      Off in stage
J Papadimitriou Gre Subaru      Accident
J Kulig         Pol Ford        Off in stage
M Dodd          GB  Ford        Suspension
M Brundle       GB  Toyota      Radiator
H Solberg       Nor Ford        Stopped in stage
D Higgins       GB  Subaru      Did not complete
P Tsjoen        Bel Mitsubishi  Did not complate
J Easson        GB  Mitsubishi  Engine
G Jones         GB  Subaru      Blown turbo
P Walfridsson   Swe Mitsubishi  Did not complete
T Bengry        GB  Mitsubishi  Gearbox
P Bijvelds      Nor Mitsubishi  Sump
K Nilsson       Swe Subaru      Accident
P Littler       GB  Ford        Alternator bracket
M Brown         GB  SEAT        Did not complete
G Midwinter     GB  Ford        Shock absorber
R Ceen          GB  Ford        Differential
R Svec          Cz  Mitsubishi  Retired in service
A Pinkner       Aus Mitsubishi  Driveshaft
D Humphreys     GB  Mitsubishi  Withdrawn
S Hill          GB  Mitsubishi  Engine
M Beckton       Aus Subaru      Stopped in stage
A Cavenagh      Ken Mitsubishi  No fuel pressure
D Henderson     GB  Mitsubishi  Off in stage
P Snell         GB  Ford        Differential
M Stenshorne    Hol Subaru      Mechanical
D Whitehurst    GB  Honda       Time barred
J Lloyd         GB  Subaru      Off in stage
B Charalambous  Gre Ford        Electrical
D Fois          GB  Ford        Engine mounting
C Exton         GB  Honda       Engine
E Roberts       GB  Mitsubishi  Time barred
J Harvey        GB  Peugeot     Trackrod
E Houston       GB  Mitsubishi  Electrical
S Thomas        GB  Peugeot     Did not complete
D Hull          GB  Vauxhall    Lost wheel
T Takasaki      Jpn Nissan      Did not complete
Y Sano          Jpn Rover       Did not complete
N Collins       GB  Ford        Did not complete
T Godwin        GB  Rover       Stopped in stage
M Harris        GB  Ford        Time barred
V Wetton        GB  Mitsubishi  Did not complete
P Tsjoen        Bel Mitsubishi  Did not complete
G Jones         GB  Subaru      Blown turbo
M Brown         GB  SEAT        Lost wheel
D Higgins       GB  Subaru      Sheared studs
M Evans         GB  Skoda       Head gasket
T Laukkanen     Fin Renault     Did not complete
A Schwarz       Ger Skoda       Lost wheel
M Gronholm      Fin Peugeot     Rolled
M Liska         Cze Mitsubishi  Wheel off
C Rimmer        GB  Peugeot     Accident
P Young         GB  Ford        Did not complete
K McKinstry     GB  Subaru      Did not complete
N McShea        GB  Citroen     Did not complete
S Clark         GB  Peugeot     Did not complete
J Skar          Nor Nissan      Did not complete
T Ferris        GB  Peugeot     Did not complete
C Sainz         Sp  Toyota      Did not complete


RALLYING:- FIA president Max Mosley visited the Ford Martini world rally team's new £10m headquarters at Dovenby Hall in Cumbria. He was taken for a high-speed ride by Colin McRae and also tried his hand at driving the Ford Focus. "Undoubtedly this was one of the best days of my year," he said.

F3000:- Tomas Scheckter upstaged a number of Formula 3000 regulars during a two-day test session in Barcelona. His time of one minute, 32.541 seconds was just a second-and-a-half off the fastest driver. Afterwards the 19-year-old, who walked away with this year's EFDA Euroseries title, was offered a drive by several leading teams for 2000. He will now consider his options and said: "It has given me something to think about for next year."

29.11.99 - F1

West McLaren Mercedes have signed up Frenchman Olivier Panis as their third Formula One driver. Panis, who has just left Prost, begins his testing commitments with the team at Jerez this Thursday, December 2. Managing director Martin Whitmarsh said: "We need a third driver due to our intensive test schedule. We're sure his contribution will be significant." Panis said: "This is an exciting challenge for me and I look forward to helping develop the team's new F1 car."

Hungarian Grand Prix officials have signed a new contract with Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone, securing the future of the race until 2006. The deal specified a major overhaul of the Hungaroring track in three or four years, news agency MTI reported. Hungary hosted its first Formula One race in 1986. The intervening years since that time have seen the Hungarian Grand Prix quickly grow into one of the country's major tourist attractions.