F1:- Arrows have unveiled a two-seater Formula One car and their test
driver Mark Webber is set to be the main driver for a select few passengers.
It comes two years after McLaren built their two-seater.
BTCC (Brands Hatch):-
Testing times (Fri): secs
1 R Rydell Swe Ford 46.216
2 A Menu Swi Ford 46.371
3 G Tarquini It Honda 46.434
4 A Reid GB Ford 46.453
5 J Plato GB Vauxhall 46.502
6 Y Muller Fr Vauxhall 46.506
7 M Neal GB Nissan 46.516
8 J Thompson GB Honda 46.517
9 T Kristensen Den Honda 46.524
10 V Radermecker Bel Vauxhall 46.718
FORMULA PALMER AUDI ROUND ONE
Qualifying times (Sat):
1 D Faulkner Ire 1:14.765
2 T Mullen GB 1:14.939
3 M Santavirta Fin 1:14.958
4 T Serjala Fin 1:15.144
5 J Keen GB 1:15.341
6 J Carlsen Den 1:15.373
7 B Jouanny Fr 1:15.437
8 B Jesson Fr 1:15.586
9 M Cioci It 1:15.656
10 J vd Ende Hol 1:15.728
FORMULA PALMER AUDI ROUND TWO
Qualifying times (Sat):
1 T Serjala Fin 1:14.096
2 J Keen GB 1:14.189
3 A Simonsen Den 1:14.213
4 J Carlsen Den 1:14.256
5 T Mullen GB 1:14.264
6 M Santavirta Fin 1:14.264
7 M Cioci It 1:14.282
8 B Jouanny Fr 1:14.295
9 R Kerr GB 1:14.315
10 D Hayes GB 1:14.382
CATALUNYA RALLY:- World championship leader Richard Burns leads the field after the first leg but fellow Briton Colin McRae is close behind in his Ford. Armin Schwarz won the fifth stage to give Skoda their first stage win in the world championship. Schwarz clocked a time 2.3 seconds faster than world champion Tommi Makinen and 14.5 seconds quicker than event leader Burns. Burns said: "I am surprised how good my times are compared to everyone else."
Colin McRae defied the rain in Spain to finish the first day in second spot, 8.0 seconds beind leader Richard Burns. "It's been very muddy, especially on the fourth stage which was more like gravel than asphalt and very slippery," he said. "The Focus feels good and I feel confident with it." McRae hopes for better weather on Saturday to ensure consistency in tyre choice. "Then I'm confident we'll be challenging for the lead," he said.
Positions after 6 stages:
(Day 1) Hr min sec
1 R Burns GB Subaru 1:02.48.1
2 C McRae GB Ford @ 08.0
3 C Sainz Sp Ford @ 24.2
4 T Makinen Fin Mitsubishi @ 24.7
5 F Delecour Fr Peugeot @ 53.6
6 M Gronholm Fin Peugeot @ 54.6
7 G Panizzi Fr Peugeot @ 59.9
8 M Martin Est Toyota @01.24.5
9 A Schwarz Ger Skoda @01.25.9
10 A Navarra It Toyota @01.29.8
Colin McRae seized the overall lead from overnight leader and fellow Briton Richard Burns on the second day. McRae, eight seconds adrift after the first day, moved clear on the stage from Gratallops to Escaladei. Burns clawed back some of the deficit late on but he stands stands more than four seconds behind McRae. Carlos Sainz in the other Ford is in third position ahead of reigning world champion Tommi Makinen, well off the pace in fourth place.
Colin McRae was delighted with his second-day showing - in a week when
he hinted he would leave Ford if the performance of his car did not improve.
McRae leads the event and confirmed: "It has been a great day, although
it is a little close for comfort in the top three." The Scot added: "The
closeness of the competition is amazing. "We drove flat out for almost
48km and the fastest three cars were separated by only six tenths of a
Positions after 11 stages:
(end of day 2) Hr min sec
1 C McRae GB Ford 2:57:41.5
2 R Burns GB Subaru 2:57.21.8
3 C Sainz Sp Ford 2:57.26.8
4 T Makinen Fin Mitsubishi 2:57.52.9
5 G Panizzi Fr Peugeot 2:58.11.9
6 M Gronholm Fin Peugeot 2:58.47.6
7 F Delecour Fr Peugeot 2:58.49.7
8 F Loix Bel Mitsubishi 3:00.34.7
9 D Auriol Fr SEAT 3:00.52.2
10 M Martin Est Toyota 3:01.13.5
F1:- FIA president Max Mosley has warned Brazilian Grand Prix organisers
that they may lose the race next year after the problems in qualifying
last week. The session was stopped three times after advertising hoardings
crashed on to the Interlagos circuit. Race officials have been called to
see the FIA in Paris next Thursday. Mosley told Five Live: "One must always
listen to both sides but they certainly risk a substantial fine and possibly
having their race banned."
ALMS:- Allan McNish collected more American Le Mans Series points as
he ran through the field on a mixed day for his Audi team in Charlotte,
North Carolina. The Scot, who won the Le Mans 24-hour race in 1998, began
the three-hour race from fifth place but quickly forced his way up the
field to third. However team-mate Rinaldi Capello then spun into a tyre
wall losing 30 minutes and the team finished in 20th place. BMW's JJ Lehto
won the race with David Brabham second for Panoz.
FORMULA PALMER AUDI ROUND ONE
Sunday's result: mins:secs
1 D Faulkner Ire 25:56.276
2 T Mullen GB 25:57.368
3 T Serjala Fin 26:02.389
4 M Santavirta Fin 26:07.056
5 J Carlsen Den 26:08.274
6 J vd Ende Hol 26:09.258
7 R Kerr GB 26:12.093
8 J Keen GB 26:14.677
9 M Cioci It 26:19.138
10 B Besson Fr 26:30.687
FORMULA PALMER AUDI ROUND TWO
Sunday's result: mins:secs
1 T Serjala Fin 18:50.798
2 J Carlsen Den 18:55.457
3 M Santavirta Fin 19:03.297
4 J Keen GB 19:03.800
5 R Kerr GB 19:08.859
6 R Tarling GB 19:10.954
7 P Edwards US 19:16.318
8 M Cioci It 19:17.320
9 B Jouanny Fr 19:19.101
10 C Hohenadel Ger 19:20.378
CATALUNYA RALLY:- Colin McRae triumphed to secure his first victory in the championship for more than a year. McRae, who incurred a 10-second penalty in his Ford on the opening stage of the final leg, finished 5.9 seconds ahead of Subaru driver Richard Burns. Burns's second place extended his championship lead to nine points over reigning champion Tommi Makinen. Carlos Sainz earned his second successive podium finish in third position, 11.7 seconds behind McRae.
Colin McRae was a relieved man after holding off the challenge of Richard Burns for his first win in a year. "I'd forgotten what it feels like to win," he said. "I was confident we could do it going into the final stage but there was always a small worry though I felt the time would be enough to beat Richard. If the car runs like that for the rest of the year I'll be very happy and now we must concentrate on taking the title fight to him in the next few rallies."
Hr min sec
1 C McRae GB Ford 4:07:13.0
2 R Burns GB Subaru 4:07.18.9
3 C Sainz Sp Ford 4:07.24.7
4 T Makinen Fin Mitsubishi 4:07.53.2
5 M Gronholm Fin Peugeot 4:09.04.7
6 G Panizzi * Fr Peugeot 4:09.23.9
7 F Loix Bel Mitsubishi 4:11.25.5
8 F Delecour Fr Peugeot 4:11.49.4
9 A Navarra It Toyota 4:12.18.4
10 M Martin Est Toyota 4:12.42.0
* one minute penalty: slow garage stop
1 R Burns GB Subaru 28
2 T Makinen Fin Mitsubishi 19
3 M Gronholm Fin Peugeot 17
= C Sainz Sp Ford 17
5 C McRae GB Ford 14
6 J Kankkunen Fin Subaru 11
1 Subaru 41 pts
2 Ford 31
3 Mitsubishi 24
4 Peugeot 22
5 SEAT 7
6 Skoda 5
TOUR OF EPYNT:- John Price is aiming for his fourth victory in a row
in today's Prosport Tour of Epynt. He will lead the field away in his Metro
6R4 but faces a strong challenge from Chris Griffiths, who usually goes
well on the military ranges. Griffiths was runner-up last year and will
be out to go one better. The event also marks the second round of the Ford
Racing Ka Rally Championship, with Clive Williams currently leading the
F1:- David Coulthard has lost his appeal over his disqualification from second place at the Brazilian Grand Prix. The McLaren driver was stripped of his six points after last month's race when the front wing of his car failed an inspection by stewards. McLaren argued that the bumpy track contributed to the problem. An FIA statement said: "All competitors were subjected to the rigours of the circuit from practice onwards and steps could have been taken for adjustments."
David Coulthard remained philosophical after losing his appeal over his Brazilian disqualification. The Scot revealed: "Obviously the result is not what I had hoped for. It is Imola this weekend and I am looking forward to getting into the rhythm at one of my favourite tracks. That is what I am concentrating on." McLaren International managing director Martin Whitmarsh added: "We will not allow this to obscure our focus on the world championship."
The McLaren team issued a statement after David Coulthard lost his appeal. McLaren said: "David Coulthard's West McLaren Mercedes MP4-15 started the Brazilian GP in fully legal trim. "But due to the nature of the circuit substantial damage was encountered to the underside of the car and the front- wing end plate moved on its axis. This resulted in the distance between the reference plane and the lowest part of the front-wing end plate being two millimetres less than is permissible."
Britain's Jenson Button has been confirmed as the youngest driver to claim a point in Formula One after David Coulthard's appeal blow. Coulthard had been confident of being reinstated to second place at the Brazilian Grand Prix. However, the FIA's appeal body threw out McLaren's protest. It means that 20-year-old Williams rookie Button will be promoted from seventh to sixth ` and into the points ` in only his second race.
Mercedes have said they will put the disappointment of losing David
Coulthard's appeal behind them and concentrate on the next race. Ahead
of Sunday's San Marino Grand Prix in Imola, Mercedes sports director Nobert
Haug admitted: "Of course we are very disappointed. "We thought we had
our chances but we have to accept this decision and concentrate on the
next race." Ferrari, who won an appeal last season, refused to comment.
DTM:- British Touring Car Championship driver James Thompson will race
an Audi TT Coup in the new German Touring Masters. The 25-year-old joins
reigning BTCC champion Laurent Aiello and German Super Touring Car Champion
Christian Abt in the Abt Sportsline team. Gary Townsend and Martin Johnson
are the latest drivers to join the Elf Clio RenaultSport UK Cup field.
F1: THE SAN MARINO GP
The International Automobile Federation's World Council are set to consider reducing the number of European races in Paris on Thursday. They will meet as calls grow to include China, South Korea, South Africa and the Middle East on the calendar. Eleven out of the current 17 races are in Europe. The council will also hear from Brazilian race organisers as to why an advertising hoarding fell on to the track, bringing a stop to qualifying.
David Coulthard has insisted that losing the appeal over his Brazilian disqualification will not affect his championship chances. McLaren's bid to have the Scot reinstated to second place was thrown out on Tuesday and leaves the team pointless and trailing Ferrari. "They have not won the championship yet and we are not going to give it to them," vowed Coulthard. "We can turn things around and will not allow this to affect team morale."
Championship leader Michael Schumacher is wary of the McLarens going into Sunday's third race of the season. The Ferrari star has a 20-point lead over world champion Mika Hakkinen after two straight victories. However, the German said: "It is certainly fantastic but the McLarens are going to be very competitive. I have been working on the set-up, the aerodynamics of the car, which are a bit different for Imola compared to Australia and Brazil."
A victory on Sunday would take the pressure off Mika Hakkinen, who is aiming for his third title in 2000. The Finn failed to finish in two of the first three races in 1999 but still managed to claim the crown so a win in Imola would get him back on track. He is 20 points behind Michael Schumacher but at this stage last year he was 10-6 ahead. His McLaren team are also yet to get off the mark following David Coulthard's Brazilian disqualification.
Brazilian Rubens Barrichello is looking forward to his first race on Italian soil as a Ferrari driver. He said: "After the disappointment of not finishing my home race it would be great to take a win in Imola where I am sure it will be a similar atmosphere. The Italian fans are something special and racing for Ferrari automatically makes you a son of Italy, whatever nationality you might be." The former Stewart driver added: "It should be an exciting weekend."
David Coulthard has insisted that he will be firmly focused on the Imola race but he must be gutted to have been deprived of a second place in Brazil. A target of the critics after a below- par campaign in 1999, the Scot was delighted to finish second in last month's Interlagos race. An illegal wing on his McLaren ensured that he was stripped of the six points, despite an appeal. He was second at Imola in 1999 and a repeat show will get him back on track.
Williams have exceeded their expectations, so much so that a victory would not seem beyond Ralf Schumacher. "After our strong performances in Melbourne and Sao Paulo I am looking forward to Imola," he confirmed. "I must say that I am really enjoying driving the FW22 but the brakes are punished in a hard way at Imola. Last year I was ninth in qualifying but retired on the 28th lap while in fourth place. This year I hope to see the chequered flag."
Jenson Button may have been handed his first point after David Coulthard's disqualification but he wants to earn more through his driving. He said: "The Williams team have got off to a good start. Both cars ran strongly at Interlagos and given how demanding the circuit is our performance is testament to the team's hard work and experience. Balance and grip are important at San Marino and given the passionate tifosi it is an experience I am relishing."
Eddie Irvine will be hoping for his first finish of the season at a track where he was feted by fans when he drove there with Ferrari. The Jaguar star quipped: "The last few times I came here I was driving for a well-known local team. Given that I still live part of the year in Italy this will be special. Despite all the chicanes they have introduced it is still a challenging way to spend a Sunday afternoon and the Acque Minerale corners are great fun."
Johnny Herbert is keen to kickstart his season on Sunday and help Jaguar to their first points. "I really like this circuit, although there are too many chicanes now," stated the Briton. "I am looking forward to it as I had a great race at Imola last year. Unfortunately I did not get the result. My engine blew up just short of the finish when I was running fifth. We should be in a position to get into the points this time."
Boss Eddie Jordan has admitted that his team need to work on their qualifying. "Winning points in Brazil was of vital importance to us," he said. "Seeing both cars finish in the top six proved that we have a fast car and two competitive drivers. We need to work on our qualifying as in Brazil it seemed everything that could go wrong did go wrong. If we can qualify in the top three rows we should finish on the podium."
Italian driver Jarno Trulli does not see Imola as a home race because he has not raced much in his country. He admitted: "The funny thing is that I have not driven that much in Italy. I have raced more in Germany. You could almost say that Hockenheim and the Nurburgring are my home races and now Silverstone because of Jordan. When I entered F1 people did not know who I was because Jarno is a Finnish name and I had been driving in Germany so people could not work it out."
Ricardo Zonta is hoping that he can put the problems he encountered in Brazil behind him at Imola. Zonta said: "We did not perform as well as we would have liked in Brazil because of mechanical problems. The engineers now know what those problems were, though, so we should have them fixed for San Marino. The chassis and engine are good and if we can get back to the reliability we had in Australia, there is no reason why we can't get some points."
Spaniard Pedro de la Rosa is quietly confident of a good run at Imola. The Arrows driver said: "The car is definitely quick and if we can qualify a bit higher up in Imola we can finish in the points." Fellow Arrows driver Jos Verstappen feels the San Marino circuit has the type of track that will suit his car. The Dutchman said: "It is a circuit where you need traction and downforce and I think our car works well on this sort of track."
Sunday's race is scheduled to last for 62 laps or 189.784 miles. Imola
is a medium downforce track with a smooth surface and high grip levels.
Michael Schumacher clocked the fastest race lap in last year's San Marino
Grand Prix with a time of one minute, 28.547 seconds on lap 45. Mika Hakkinen
crashed out on lap 18 last year after making a mistake. Rubens Barrichello
was third and dedicated the result to Ayrton Senna.
BTCC:- On Sunday Brands Hatch plays host to the opening two rounds of the 2000 campaign, which is set to be one of the most competitive seasons for years. Former champions Alain Menu and Rickard Rydell will be driving for the Ford Mondeo team and Honda have ex-Formula One driver Gabriele Tarquini on board. A newcomer to the series will be Dane Tom Kristensen, who was third in the German equivalent last year. Michelin Cup for Independents holder Matt Neal is set to feature strongly.
Three Britons will be bidding to become the first home-grown BTCC champion since 1995 this season. James Thompson, Jason Plato and Anthony Reid will be vying for glory. Yorkshireman Thompson said: "Hopefully I will have enough speed, guile and experience to win the championship. Honda have put a lot into the BTCC." However Plato insisted: "Thompson and Honda are not going to have it all their own way. I firmly believe we have the winning car."
Independent driver Matt Neal could be the dark horse of the series after making his name last year by winning a race without manufacturer support. The Stourbridge star has been playing down his title chances but was quickest in two pre-season tests. He drives a Nissan Primera but could have a rival for the independents' crown by another Nissan man. Glasgow's Colin Blair will be competing in his first BTCC in a car similar to that run by Neal.
The 2000 season will herald the introduction of Class B - for cars less technologically developed than the Super Tourers of the main series. Ex-Super Tourers James Kaye and Mark Lemmer head the entrants for this section, along with former one-make saloon car champion Alan Morrison. Success ballast will also play a role in this year's championship. The top-three in each race will have weight added to their cars for the entire time at the next meeting.
Brands Tyre supplier Michelin will have an effect on the outcome of the series, thanks to new rules. Tyre warmers are banned, which will give drivers less grip in the early stages of a race. There are no intermediate tyres this year, only slick and wet-weather, so the choice of tyre in greasy conditions will be particularly difficult. Rounds one and two will be held on the famous 2.62-mile grand prix layout at Brands Hatch.
Brands BBC Grandstand will be showing the Brands Hatch rounds live on
Sunday. American actor Jason Priestley is taking time out from a play on
the West End to attend the meeting as a VIP guest of BTCC organisers TOCA.
Support races include the Slick 50 Formula Ford Championship, Ford Credit
Fiesta Championship and the Formula Renault Championship. The Sprint Race
is at 12.45pm and lasts for 14 laps (36.7 miles) and the 4pm feature race
is 28 laps (73.4 miles).
F3000:- Kid Jensen Racing drivers Andrea Piccini and Bas Leinders will
begin their second season in the series in Saturday's 2000 opener. Piccini
said: "I am confident that we have a competitive car and I should perform
better this year as I now have a lot more experience. I like the Imola
circuit so I think we can achieve good results." Leinders added: "The objective
for the first race is to qualify in the top 10 and finish the race in the
F.RENAULT 2000:- Scotsman Robin Liddell will contest the Formula Renault
2000 Championship with Haywood Racing this season. German Wesley Grogor
lines up with Tim Sugden Motorsport, female Japanese TV star Keiko Ihara
with Mach 1 Racing and Briton Dillon Battistini has switched to Falcon
F.RENAULT (Brands Hatch):- Scot Ryan Dalziel topped the times in final testing ahead of Sunday's opening round of the series. Winter series winner Kimi Raikkonen and Briton Leighton Walker were just adrift, with Danny Watts fourth.
Leading testing times (Thu): min secs
1 R Dalziel GB 1:25.529
2 K Raikkonen Fin 1:25.881
3 L Walker GB 1:26.116
4 D Watts GB 1:26.156
5 M McLoughlin GB 1:26.460
6 J Dalziel GB 1:26.554
RENAULT CLIO CUP (Brands Hatch):- Daniel Buxton hit top form in final testing for Sunday's opening round, finsihing 4/10ths up on second fastest Jim Edwards Jnr. Peter Sowerby kept up his pre-season promise with the third fastest time and Edwards' father Jim Snr was fourth.
Leading testing times (Thu): min secs
1 D Buxton 1:41.668
2 J Edwards Jnr 1:42.010
3 P Sowerby 1:42.319
4 J Edwards Snr 1:42.585
5 R Pearson 1:42.796
6 J Templeman 1:43.131
RALLYING:- The China Rally has been dropped from this year's world championship
calender, the FIA has announced. The rally had been scheduled to take place
from September 7 to 10. China's first world championship rally last September
was criticised by some drivers over safety standards and a poor number
of spectators. The FIA has deferred a decision over the Monte Carlo Rally
until June. It has been suggested that the rally could lose its world championship
CART:- Scotland's Dario Franchitti hopes to give his title hopes a major
lift in the second round this weekend. The 26-year-old collected two points
in Miami two weeks ago when he returned to the cockpit after fracturing
his pelvis in pre-season testing. That has left him in 11th place and he
said: "I am glad to have the first race behind me. We were very competitive
in Nazareth last year, so I am hoping we can pick-up where we left off."
MGF CUP:- The second of this season twelve rounds of the 'thealphaclub.com
MGF Cup' takes place at Croft this weekend. Jamie Hunter, the 1999 championship
runner-up, will be hoping snatch the lead away from Alastair Lyall, who
won the opening round at Thruxton.
BRITISH GTs:- Former Le Mans and touring car driver David Leslie will
drive in the Privilege Insurance British GT Championship this weekend.
The Scot is to race in the second round at Croft for NCK Motorsport.
F1:- The organisers of the Brazilian Grand Prix have been fined $100,000
after qualifying was disrupted by advertising hoardings falling onto the
track. Sport governing body the FIA issued the fine and said it had asked
organisers "to carry out an urgent study" on hoardings at the Interlagos
circuit. The March 25 session was stopped three times after hoardings fell,
with one clipping Jean Alesi's Prost. Organisers had been threatened with
a fine or losing the race.
F1: THE SAN MARINO GP
Motor racing's top official Max Mosley has claimed that a team cheated during last season's World Championship. The FIA president refused to name the team but said retrospective action could be taken against them. The team is believed to have been running a form of traction control which was banned in the late 1990s. Mosley said: "We became aware of it over the winter but we do not have 100% proof at the moment. When we do we will have a word with them."
Championship leader Michael Schumacher set a blistering pace in opening practice for Sunday's race. Schumacher delighted Ferrari's fanatical fans by dominating both sessions, along with teammate Rubens Barrichello 0.4 seconds further back. By contrast, McLaren had something of a day to forget although David Coulthard did survive an excursion along the grass to finish third quickest. Mika Hakkinen was back in sixth while Jenson Button struggled in 20th.
Jenson Button was philosophical with 20th place after Friday's practice. "When I came into Formula One I always knew there would be ups and downs," he said. "This first year is still a learning year for me. I am not where I want to be in first practice, but it is where I am when qualifying is over that counts." Button, racing on the San Marino track for the first time, added: "This is a very difficult circuit to learn, it's very narrow."
Practice times (Fri):
1 M Schumacher Ger Ferrari 1:26.944
2 R Barrichello Brz Ferrari 1:27.317
3 D Coulthard GB McLaren 1:27.372
4 H-H Frentzen Ger Jordan 1:27.730
5 J Trulli It Jordan 1:27.795
6 M Hakkinen Fin McLaren 1:28.021
7 J Herbert GB Jaguar 1:28.139
8 G Fisichella It Benetton 1:28.236
9 R Schumacher Ger Williams 1:28.372
10 P de la Rosa Sp Arrows 1:28.444
11 M Salo Fin Sauber 1:28.555
12 E Irvine GB Jaguar 1:28.566
13 A Wurz Aut Benetton 1:28.771
14 J Alesi Fr Prost 1:28.950
15 G Mazzacane Arg Minardi 1:28.952
16 J Verstappen Hol Arrows 1:28.975
17 R Zonta Brz BAR 1:29.097
18 N Heidfeld Ger Prost 1:29.113
19 P Diniz Brz Sauber 1:29.307
20 J Button GB Williams 1:29.326
21 M Gene Sp Minardi 1:29.412
22 J Villeneuve Can BAR 7:53.474
BTCC (Brands Hatch):- Alain Menu sent a warning to his rivals for the championship with a superb display ahead of Sunday's opener. The Swiss star was in dominant form setting the fastest testing time by more three tenths of a second. Menu can now goes into Saturday's two qualifying sessions, to decide the starting grids for Sunday's Rounds One and Two in a very confident mood. Scotland's Anthony Reid was second quickest with Honda's Danish ace Tom Kristensen, coming third in a Honda.
Testing times (Fri):
1 A Menu Swi Ford 1:27.389
2 A Reid GB Ford 1:27.720
3 T Kristensen Den Honda 1:27.925
4 M Neal GB Nissan 1:28.050
5 G Tarquini It Honda 1:28.254
6 R Rydell Swe Ford 1:28.313
7 J Thompson GB Honda 1:28.387
8 Y Muller Fr Vauxhall 1:28.597
9 J Plato GB Vauxhall 1:28.654
10 V Rad'mecker Bel Vauxhall 1:29.932
F3 (Croft):- Tomas Scheckter knows he faces a tough task if he is to
take victory in the second round this weekend. The South African started
from pole position in the opening round at Thruxton and finished second
in the rain-soaked race. He said: "Croft is a difficult circuit and one
of which I have very little experience. A lot will depend on the weather
again." Two 30-minute qualifying sessions take place on Saturday for Sunday's
BRITISH GT’S (Croft):- Calum Lockie and Cor Euser shot to the top of the testing times in the second session, but were only narrowly ahead of Ian Astley and Chris Ellis. "It's going to be very tight," promised Astley, looking ahead to Sunday's race.
Leading Testing times:
1 Lockie/Euser Marcos 1:20.341
2 Ellis/Astley Lotus 1:20.627
3 Schirle/Warnock Lister 1:21.420
1 Short/Barff TVR 1:24.906
2 Sumpter/Jordan Porsche 1:24.915
3 Fuller/F'gill Porsche 1:25.255
NATIONAL SALOONS (Croft):- Tobia Maini continued his impressive start in saloon racing with the quickest time in Friday's practice. Matt Kelly and Simon Harrison took second and third spots. Qualifying is on Saturday and the race is Sunday.
1 T Masini Honda 1:30.964
2 M Kelly Nissan 1:31.333
3 S Harrison Ford 1:31.693
4 R Moen Peugeot 1:31.849
5 T Ferrier Alfa Romeo 1:32.482
6 G Pyper Alfa Romeo 1:32.936
MGF CUP (Croft):- Jamie Hunter has set himself the task of snatching
the lead away from Alastair Lyall in the second round of the series this
weekend. Lyall stormed to victory in the opening race at Thruxton a fortnight
ago but Hunter did well to push him hard after a suspected puncture on
the warm-up lap Brian Heerey also has high hopes despite a spectacular
crash at Thruxton Others to look out for include David Mason, who finished
third two weeks ago, Nick Carr and Suzi Hart-Banks.
F1: THE SAN MARINO GP
Mika Hakkinen made it three out of three as he claimed pole position in the final seconds of qualifying. The Finn, who claimed pole in the first two grand prixs this year, led for much of the hour but looked to have been pipped by Michael Schumacher. The German delighted the travelling Ferrari tifosi with the fastest time in his third and last qualifying run. That lasted only briefly as Hakkinen squeezed in 0.091 seconds faster with teammate David Coulthard third.
Michael Schumacher was far from happy with his performance, despite ending McLaren's donimation of the front row this season. The German said: "I am very upset about myself. I made a very bad mistake in my third run. I was four-tenths up and I just destroyed it. Being on the front row gives me some pleasure, but not the pleasure I wanted and wanted to give the tifosi. We will be on the front row so it is still looking good."
Qualifying times (Sat): min:secs
1 M Hakkinen Fin McLaren 1:24.714
2 M Schumacher Ger Ferrari 1:24.805
3 D Coulthard GB McLaren 1:25.014
4 R Barrichello Brz Ferrari 1:25.242
5 R Schumacher Ger Williams 1:25.871
6 H-H Frentzen Ger Jordan 1:25.892
7 E Irvine GB Jaguar 1:25.929
8 J Trulli It Jordan 1:26.002
9 J Villeneuve Can BAR 1:26.124
10 P Diniz Brz Sauber 1:26.238
11 A Wurz Aut Benetton 1:26.281
12 M Salo Fin Sauber 1:26.336
13 P de la Rosa Sp Arrows 1:26.349
14 R Zonta Brz BAR 1:26.814
15 J Alesi Fr Prost 1:26.824
16 J Verstappen Hol Arrows 1:26.845
17 J Herbert GB Jaguar 1:27.051
18 J Button GB Williams 1:27.135
19 G Fisichella It Benetton 1:27.253
20 G Mazzacane Arg Minardi 1:28.161
21 M Gene Sp Minardi 1:28.333
22 N Heidfeld Ger Prost 1:28.361
Formula One chiefs have unveiled a new safety system designed to protect
drivers in high-speed crashes. The Head and Neck Support System is designed
to prevent serious head movement and neck strain in the event of an accident.
"This is a major step forward in the search to introduce ever improved
safety standards in Formula One," said IAF president Max Mosley. The system
will become mandatory in all F1 cars from January 2001.
BTCC (Brands Hatch):- Ford dominated the opening qualifying session of the new Auto Trader British Touring Car Championship season at Brands Hatch. Alain Menu and Rickard Rydell are in pole and second respectively for both of Sunday's races. French driver Yvan Muller in his Vauxhall ensured that he would start from third in both events. Last season's leading independent Matt Neal took his Nissan to fourth quickest for Round 1.
Round 1 qualifying times (Sat):mins secs
1 A Menu Swi Ford 1:27.902
2 R Rydell Swe Ford 1:28.073
3 Y Muller Fr Vauxhall 1:28.210
4 M Neal GB Nissan 1:28.466
5 J Thompson GB Honda 1:28.516
6 A Reid GB Ford 1:28.664
7 J Plato GB Vauxhall 1:28.767
8 G Tarquini It Honda 1:28.776
9 T Kristensen Den Honda 1:29.256
10 V Rad'mecker Bel Vauxhall 1:29.568
Round 2 qualifying times (Sat):mins secs
1 A Menu Swi Ford 1:27.655
2 R Rydell Swe Ford 1:27.793
3 Y Muller Fr Vauxhall 1:27.896
4 A Reid GB Ford 1:28.018
5 T Kristensen Den Honda 1:28.057
6 M Neal GB Nissan 1:28.067
7 J Thompson GB Honda 1:28.091
8 J Plato GB Vauxhall 1:28.436
9 G Tarquini It Honda 1:28.607
10 V Rad'mecker Bel Vauxhall 1:29.191
F.RENAULT (Brands Hatch):- Danny Watts on the battle for pole position ahead of Ryan Dalziel and Leighton Walker for Sunday's race. Finn Kimi Raikkonen and Richard Lyons both suffered problems and will start from 7th and 19th respectively.
Leading qualifying times (Sat):min secs
1 D Watts GB 1:25.196
2 R Dalziel GB 1:25.227
3 L Walker GB 1:25.594
4 C Breeze GB 1:25.685
5 M McLoughlin GB 1:25.755
6 J Jones USA 1:25.784
RENAULT CLIO CUP (Brands Hatch):- Daniel Buxton snatched pole on his final qualifying lap from Jim Edwards junior for Sunday's opening round. Rookie Jason Templeman will line up in seventh for his first-ever car race, while Fiesta championi David Gibson has work to do from 15th.
Qualifying times (Sat): min secs
1 D Buxton 1:40.816
2 J Edwards Jnr 1:40.974
3 R Pearson 1:41.262
4 S Clarke 1:41.291
5 D Davies 1:41.360
6 P Sowerby 1:41.542
FORD FIESTA’S (Brands Hatch):- Gordon Shedden started his championship career in style with pole position for Sunday's opening round. He was ahead of Nick Beaumont bu over 0.6 of a second. Gareth Howell, Nick Padmore, Nick Padley and Terence Clark completed the top six.
Qualifying times (Sat): min secs
1 G Shedden 1:50.829
2 N Beaumont 1:51.513
3 G Howell 1:51.529
4 N Padmore 1:51.955
5 N Padley 1:52.075
6 T Clark 1:52.333
F3 (Croft):- Danish star Nicolas Kiesa claimed his first Formula 3 pole for round two. Kiesa was second quickest in the morning session but improved in the second period after a tussle with championship leader Antonio Pizzonia. Takuma Sato improved from eighth in the morning to finish third.
Qualifying times (Sat): mins secs
1 N Kiesa Spiess Opel 1:13.953
2 A Pizzonia Mugen Honda 1:14.064
3 T Sato Mugen Honda 1:14.365
4 T Scheckter Mugen Honda 1:14.376
5 N Kartikeyan Mugen Honda 1:15.525
BRITISH GT’S (Croft):- Ian Astley and Chris Ellis reversed the testing time results to claim pole for the Mike Haines Racing Lotus. Calum Lockie and Cor Euser, who were fasest on Friday, were two tenths of a second behind in their Marcos.
1 Ellis/Astley Lotus 1:19.215
2 Lockie/Euser Marcos 1:19.487
3 Schirle/Warnock Lister 1:20.234
1 Simmons/Lister Porsche 1:24.199
2 Short/Barff TVR 1:24.318
3 Sumpter/Jordan Porsche 1:24.484
NATIONAL SALOONS (Croft):- Round one winner Dan Eaves will start on pole on Sunday alongside Peugeot team-mate Toni Ruokonen. Richard Cuene-Grandidier rolled his Proton GTi during the session, causing it to be halted for a while.
Qualifying times (Sat): mins secs
1 D Eaves Peugeot 1:29.623
2 T Ruokonen Peugeot 1:29.741
3 T Masini Honda 1:30.772
4 M Kelly Nissan 1:30.788
5 S Harrison Ford Focus 1:30.940
6 R Moen Peugeot 1:31.533
MGF CUP (Croft):- Alastair Lyall put in a series of blistering laps
to take pole position for the second round. Lyall beat off challenges from
Nick Carr and Jamie Hunter, who both put in lap times less than two tenths
of a second off the leader's pace. "The car was handling well and I managed
to put together some really quick laps," said Lyall. David Mason, Vince
Martin and Suzi Hart-Banks completed the remainder of the top six placings.
GRANITE CITY RALLY
Leaderboard after stage six: Penalty
1 McKinstry/Orr Subaru Imp 0:42:36
2 Dodd/Bennie Subaru Imp 0:42:56
3 Finlay/Kennedy Ford Focus 0:43:15
4 Lyall/Forrest Subaru Imp 0:44:37
5 Petch/Croft Ford Escort 0:44:46
6 Horne/Howie ARG Metro 0:45:01
7 Mann/Cook Mitsubishi 0:45:18
8 Weston/Robson Mitsubishi 0:45:30
9 Perrott Mitsubishi 0:46:07
10 Buckley/R'path Mitsubishi 0:46:27
F1: THE SAN MARINO GP
Michael Schumacher surged to his third win out of three races in 2000 after a brilliant piece of pit-stop strategy by his Ferrari team. Mika Hakkinen had looked set for a win but he lost the lead after a pit stop. Schumacher came in after the Finn for his second stop on lap 48 but still came out ahead of the world champion, who had to settle for second place. David Coulthard was third, Eddie Irvine was seventh, Johnny Herbert was 10th and Jenson Button retired on lap six.
Michael Schumacher under-played his third win in a row and said he hoped the Italian fans were happy with the home victory. The German's triumph obviously sent the tifosi wild and he stated: "I apologised to them yesterday when I did not get pole position. I hope everyone is happy now and I am looking forward to the next race." Schumacher is 24 points ahead of Mika Hakkinen, who earned his first points of the year with a second-place finish.
Michael Schumacher has admitted that he was lucky not to be overtaken at the start after a poor getaway. The race winner, who qualified in second place, conceded: "It was a poor start, similar to Suzuka last year. I was lucky that nobody went by." He then added that the next race at Silverstone - where he broke a leg last year - holds no fear for him. He commented: "I said then that that could have happened anywhere and any time. I go there with normal feelings."
Jenson Button's race ended on the sixth lap after his engine blew up and he careered on to the gravel. The incident also ended Marc Gene's race because the Minardi driver went off after sliding on the oil left behind by the Williams car. It completed a miserable weekend for Button, who was handed his first point after the disqualification of David Coulthard from the Brazilian race. Rookie Briton Button had qualified down in 18th place.
Mika Hakkinen got a perfect start from pole position but the Finn's McLaren team-mate David Coulthard dropped down a place to fourth The Scot was overtaken by Rubens Barrichello but it was former world champion Jacques Villeneuve who got the best start of all. Villeneuve moved up from ninth to fifth in his BAR. Heinz-Harald Frentzen's 100th grand prix ended on lap five when a car problem hit his hopes.
Mika Hakkinen was understandably disapointed after leading the field for most of the race only to finish second to Michael Schumacher. "It is disappointing," conceded the world champion. "There were two situations that cost me a lot of time. After the first stop a piece of metal destroyed the floor and the car was difficult to drive after that. Later I almost stopped and lost a lot of time. It is disappointing. The mechanics had done a fabulous job."
David Coulthard bounced back from his Brazilian disqualification to take third place. The Scot lost ground to Rubens Barrichello at the start to slip to fourth place but eventually beat the Brazilian out of the pits after a stop. He said: "I was trying to pass Michael Schumacher at the first corner. I had to back off to avoid touching and that allowed Rubens to get past me. I had to hope my guys got me out quicker at the stop and they did."
Rookie Jenson Button was philosophical after his Imola race ended on lap six. His exit looked to be down to an engine problem but Button said: "It felt like the engine but I do not want to say too much about it at the moment." Button had been struggling on the circuit over the weekend but added: "I went much better in the warm-up session and was 11th fastest overall. After that I was confident of getting into a good position but it was not to be. That happens."
Jaguar driver Eddie Irvine was upbeat after finishing just outside the points in seventh spot. "This was a very positive weekend," he insisted. "We qualified in the top seven again and I ran very competitively in the race. "I had a race-long battle with Jarno Trulli. I was quicker than he was but just could not get by. I had a bad start because of a clutch problem. It certainly cost me some points but I am encouraged."
Johnny Herbert and his Jaguar team will be out to build on his 10th place at the next race - which is the Briton's home event at Silverstone. "We have a bit of an unreliability problem with the starts and from what I hear Eddie had the same problem so we need to look at that," claimed Herbert. "The car did not feel too bad considering the amount of fuel in it. The good thing is that we both finished. Now we have to push ahead and test new developments."
Ralf Schumacher failed to finish a race for the first time this season. He had looked on course for a points finish but commented: "After the start I had to slow down to avoid a crash and lost four places and dropped to ninth. When Jacques Villeneuve went in for his pit stop I could push a bit more but unfortunately I experienced some problems with the fuel pressure." The former Jordan driver added: "That is why I could not finish the race for the first time this year."
Benetton chief Flavio Briatore says the team will concentrate their efforts on the next race in Britain after a poor display in Imola. "We did not manage to have a competitive car for either of the drivers for this race," he revealed. "We also made a mistake in the choice of tyres on Fisichella's car so this was a race to forget and we must now look ahead to Silverstone." Alexander Wurz was ninth and Giancarlo Fisichella was 11th.
Arrows failed to get close to a points finish, with Jos Verstappen finishing 14th and Pedro de la Rosa retiring. Verstappen said: "I made a good start and I think I overtook five people. The car was running fine until lap 11 when something happened with a front wheel. I changed tyres and then everything felt all right and the car ran without any further problems." De la Rosa added: "It felt as if something broke at the back of the car coming into Piratella and I went off."
Result after 62 laps:
hr min sec
1 M Schumacher Ger Ferrari 1:31.39.7
2 M Hakkinen Fin McLaren 1:31.40.9
3 D Coulthard GB McLaren 1:32.30.7
4 R Barrichello Brz Ferrari 1:33.09.0
5 J Villeneuve Can BAR one lap
6 M Salo Fin Sauber one lap
7 E Irvine GB Jaguar one lap
8 P Diniz Brz Sauber one lap
9 A Wurz Aut Benetton one lap
10 J Herbert GB Jaguar one lap
11 G Fisichella It Benetton one lap
12 R Zonta Brz BAR one lap
13 G Mazzacane Arg Minardi two laps
14 J Verstappen Hol Arrows three laps
15 J Trulli It Jordan DNF
16 P de la Rosa Sp Arrows 49
17 R Schumacher Ger Williams 45
18 J Alesi Fr Prost 25
19 N Heidfeld Ger Prost 22
20 J Button GB Williams 5
21 M Gene Sp Minardi 5
22 H-H Frentzen Ger Jordan 4
1 M Schumacher Ger Ferrari 30 pts
2 R Barrichello Brz Ferrari 9
3 G Fisichella It Benetton 8
4 R Schumacher Ger Williams 6
= M Hakkinen Fin McLaren 6
6 J Villeneuve Can BAR 5
7 H-H Frentzen Ger Jordan 4
= D Coulthard GB McLaren 4
9 J Trulli It Jordan 3
10 R Zonta Brz BAR 1
= J Button GB Williams 1
= M Salo Fin Sauber 1
1 Ferrari 39 pts
2 McLaren 10
3 Benetton 8
4 Jordan 7
= Williams 7
5 BAR 6
6 Sauber 1
BTCC:- Alain Menu held off a late challenge by Yvan Muller to make a winning start to the new Auto Trader British Touring Car Championship campaign at Brands Hatch. Menu was in pole position for the curtain-raiser and he kept in front, though the winning marginm of 0.818secs was too close for comfort. Jason Plato made it a winning double for Britain when he roared home first in the second race of the afternoon. He was commanding in his first drive for Vauxhall with a great tactical win.
Round 1 result (Sun):
1 A Menu Swi Ford 21:03.676
2 Y Muller Fr Vauxhall 21:04.484
3 R Rydell Swe Ford 21:10.576
4 J Plato GB Vauxhall 21:10.824
5 A Reid GB Ford 21:12.059
6 J Thompson GB Honda 21:12.979
7 T Kristensen Den Honda 21:13.664
8 V Rad'mecker Bel Vauxhall 21:17.375
9 M Neal GB Nissan 21:19.206
10 C Blair GB Honda 21:19.764
Round 2 result (Sun):
1 J Plato GB Vauxhall 58:45.206
2 A Reid GB Ford 58:46.385
3 Y Muller Fr Vauxhall 58:46.698
4 R Rydell Swe Ford 58:57.872
5 V Rad'mecker Bel Vauxhall 59:01.277
6 G Tarquini It Honda 59:24.870
7 A Menu Swi Ford 59:27.504
8 C Blair GB Honda 59:59.092
9 J Kaye GB Honda 59:05.404
10 M Lemmer GB Honda 59:10.074
F.RENAULT (Brands Hatch):- Danny Watts led all the way from pole position to win a thrilling opening round from Leighton Walker. Finn Kimi Raikkonen, almost out of fuel, finished third, ahead of a five-car train covered by under a second.
1 D Watts GB 27:06.925
2 L Walker GB 27:07.985
3 K Raikkonen Fin 27:10.512
4 C Breeze GB 27:10.627
5 R Dalziel GB 27:10.860
6 M McLoughlin GB 27:11.013
RENAULT CLIO CUP (Brands Hatch):- Jim Edwards junior was declared the winner when the race was stopped because of an accident on lap five. Daniel Buxton had taken the lead when the accident happened, but Edwards was ahead of Buxton on the previous lap from which the result was taken.
1 J Edwards Jnr 7:03.187
2 D Buxton 7:03.473
3 S Clarke 7:04.652
4 J Edwards snr 7:09.353
5 R Pearson 7:09.890
6 M Jackson 7:10.285
CART (Nazareth):- The Bosch Spark Plu Grand Prix has been postponed until May 27 after two inches of snow fell at the track. The chief steward had no choice other than to reschedule the event after teams arrived at the circuit to find their equipment covered in ice. It could not be delayed until Monday because further snow is expected. Britain's Mark Blundell, who qualified in 19th place, said: "I grew up in England so I know some pretty cold days but this is a little over the top."
Qualifying times (Sat): seconds
1 J Montoya Col Toyota 19.255
2 C Fittipaldi Brz Ford 19.306
3 H C-Neves Brz Honda 19.359
4 P Tracy Can Honda 19.362
5 G de Ferran Brz Honda 19.391
6 K Brack Swe Ford 19.409
7 R Moreno Brz Ford 19.417
8 T Kanaan Brz Mercedes 19.552
9 A Fernandez Mex Ford 19.552
10 P Carpenter Can Ford 19.554
14 D Franchitti GB Honda 19.695
19 M Blundell GB Mercedes 19.969
F3 (Croft):- Antonio Pizzonia made it two wins from two races when he crossed the line ahead of Tomas Scheckter. Scheckter set the fastest lap as he chased the leader, but was still 4.6secs behind at the chequered flag. Pizzonia's win puts him eight points ahead of Scheckter in the championship.
1 A Pizzonia Mugen Honda 30:02.796
2 T Scheckter Mugen Honda @ 4.610
3 M Bentwood Mugen Honda @15.159
4 G Bruni Mugen Honda @17.480
5 T Sato Mugen Honda @25.060
1 N Minassian Supernova 1:11.06.160
2 B Junqueria Petrobas 1:11.08.404
3 M Webber European 1:11.08.838
4 J Melo Petrobas 1:11.11.038
5 T Enge Mysap.com 1:11.12.004
6 F Gollin Coloni 1:11.22.271
7 S Sarrazin Mysap.com 1:11.23.031
8 J Wilson Nordic 1:11.25.388
9 F Alonso Astromega 1:11.30.212
10 M Haberfeld Fortec 1:11.40.624
BRITISH GT’S (Croft):- Calum Lockie and Cor Euser pipped Neil Cunningham and Stepehen Day to win the second round after a superb race. In the GTO category, a late charge took Mike Jordan and Mark Sumpter to victory over Paul Fuller and Marcus Fothergill.
hr min secs
1 Lockie/Euser Marcos 1:09.968
2 Cunningham/Day Chrysler 1:11.251
3 Leslie/Byford Marcos 1:30.295
GTO category result (Sun):
1 Jordan/Sumpter Porsche 1:41.006
2 Fuller/F'thgill Porsche 1:43.421
3 Butler-H/Ryan Marcos 1:04.876
NATIONAL SALOONS (Croft):- Finnish ace Toni Ruokonen clinched a fine victory in an action-packed second round at Croft. Matt Kelly took second spot with Simon Harrison third, but Dan Eaves, who was on pole, was forced to retire.
1 T Ruokonen Peugeot
2 M Kelly Nissan
3 S Harrison Ford Focus
4 T Masini Honda
5 T Ferrier Alfa Romeo
6 P Andrews Ford Focus
GRANITE CITY RALLY
Final result: Penalty
1 McKinstry/Orr Subaru Imp 1:01.36
2 Finlay/Kennedy Ford Focus 1:02.06
3 Dodd/Bennie Subaru Imp 1:04.00
4 Lyall/Forrest Subaru Imp 1:04.29
5 Petch/Croft Ford Escort 1:05.04
6 Mann/Cook Mitsubishi 1:05.30
7 Horne/Howie ARG Metro 1:05:39
8 Wetton/Robson Mitsubishi 1:06.11
9 Perrott/M'nsll Mitsubishi 1:06.28
10 R'bthn/Mc'Ints Mitsubishi 1:07.10
F1:- Benetton driver Giancarlo Fisichella has claimed that cheating is still going on in the sport. Speaking on Italian radio he alleged: "Electronics in Formula One? The important thing is for everyone to be on the same level." Without going into details he claimed: "Someone is still cheating." The FIA will be introducing new rules from the British Grand Prix to outlaw speed-control electronics when entering and leaving the pits.
Championship leader Michael Schumacher has insisted that Silverstone holds no fears for him even though he broke his leg at the circuit last season. Schumacher said: "I do not feel strange or anything about going back there. Perhaps I will feel a little different when I arrive at Stowe corner for the first time but I do not think so. It does not matter where it happens if you arrive with no brakes. It can happen anywhere. I just hope the run-off area has better protection."
Mika Hakkinen has conceded he faces a huge task to catch Michael Schumacher after the German made it three wins out of three with victory at Imola. Hakkinen is aiming for a third straight world drivers' crown but is already 24 points behind Schumacher. The Finn had looked on course to win at Imola but his chances were hampered by mechanical problems with his McLaren. He admitted afterwards: "It's a hell of a gap to make up and the only way I'm going to do it is by winning races."
Heinz-Harald Frentzen and his wife Tanja are celebrating the birth of
a daughter, who they have named Lea. Frentzen drove Tanja to hospital at
around midnight on Sunday ` just a few hours after he failed to finish
the San Marino Grand Prix in Imola.
MGF CUP (Croft):- Jamie Hunter took the honours in round two and believes he has a good chance of winning the series this season. Alastair Lyall was on pole but Hunter took the lead on lap two and those positions remained unchanged for the rest of the race.
Round two results: mins secs
1 J Hunter 20:18.152
2 A Lyall 20:19.534
3 D Mason 20:27.758
4 M Ticehurst 20.37.164
5 N Carr 20:40.499
6 V Martin 20:41.110
AUTOBYTEL LOTUS CHAMPIONSHIP (Brands Hatch):- Adam Wilcox led from the lights to the flag to claim a win in the first race of the series. The safety car waas sent out after Mark Fullalove spun and Peter Cate went off but Wilcox managed to hold off Martin Donnelly, who was in the celebrity car.
Round one result:
1 A Wilcox Nortel Networks
2 M Donnelly Celebrity Car
3 B Devlin Team Norfolk
4 S Marsh Toshiba
5 E Horner Corus Hotels
6 N Failkener CyberExtruder.com
F1:- Johnny Herbert has been told that his place at Jaguar is not under
threat. Rumours surfaced at Imola that Luciano Burti was being lined up
to replace him but Jaguar Racing chairman Neil Ressler has told him he
is safe. "I will be here for a good while yet," said Herbert. "Neil told
me there was no problem and I've got his support." Herbert did not end
this year's first two races and was 10th on Sunday but added: "I turned
things around in 1999 and am confident of doing it again."
RALLYING:- Subaru and Prodrive rally team boss David Richards has acquired
the rights to the world rally championship. A consortium led by Richards
will now have total control of television, media, sponsorship and licensing
for the championship as a whole.
F1:- Silverstone has not given up hope of staging the British Grand Prix from 2002 despite losing the rights to the race to rival circuit Brands Hatch. "This is still the most viable venue," said Silverstone Circuits supremo Denys Rohan. "We would love to stage it, but only if we get it on the right terms. "Brands Hatch have the contract to stage the race, but don't have the venue to stage it. If they do not get planning permission then the contract will lapse."
TESTING TIMES (Silverstone):-
1 R Schumacher Ger Williams 1:30.279
2 A Wurz Aut Benetton 1:30.958
3 R Zonta Brz BAR 1:31.019
4 R Barrichello Brz Ferrari 1:31.027
5 G Fisichella It Benetton 1:31.028
6 J Villeneuve Can BAR 1:31.036
7 HH Frentzen Ger Jordan 1:31.041
8 D Coulthard GB McLaren 1:31.197
9 P de la Rosa Sp Arrows 1:31.647
10 P Diniz Brz Sauber 1:31.921
CART:- The American CART series is coming to Europe in 2001. CART chief
executive officer Andrew Craig confirmed the open-wheel racing series will
make its European debut next year in England or Germany. The race is expected
to take place in the autumn to avoid clashing with Formula One and a second
European race could be added in 2002. The possible English venue is Rockingham,
near Corby, and German one is at Laustizring - both oval tracks.
19.04.2000 - F1: THE BRITISH GP
Johnny Herbert has dismissed rumours that he could be replaced at Jaguar following this weekend's British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Autosport magazine said that Hebert was set to lose his place to Jaguar's Brazilian test driver Luciano Burti. Herbert responded: "(Jaguar chairman) Neil Ressler said to me that he knows nothing about it. He said that they are fully behind me, that they understand the problems I have been going through."
Officials at Silverstone have extended the tyre wall at Stowe corner - where Michael Schumacher crashed last year - ahead of this Sunday's race. The increase of one tyre in height and two in depth follows Ricardo Zonta's crash there in testing last week. Silverstone spokesman Peter Morris said that talks were held with FIA safety delegates following Zonta's crash. "It was deemed that work needed to be done, so we have done it to be ready for this Sunday's race," he said.
Jordan will bid to prove they can compete with Ferrari and McLaren in the British Grand Prix on Sunday - the 150th race for the team. The Silverstone-based team have had a mixed start to the season. However, technical director Mike Gascoyne insisted: "We are closer to Ferrari and McLaren but we have not proved that so far. We are right behind the top two teams. I think we should qualify a close fifth and sixth."
Michael Schumacher will not allow complacency to hinder his bid to make it four wins out of four on Sunday. He is 21 points clear of Ferrari team- mate Rubens Barrichello and claimed: "I did not expect such a big lead this year. I am very surprised at McLaren. "We seem to have the speed and the reliability. I am not saying we are better but we are making the maximum out of our opportunities. However, it is still very early in the championship. A lot can happen."
Championship leader Michael Schumacher has no fears about returning to the track where he broke a leg in 1999. However, the Ferrari star has revealed that he did fear that his career might be over after he crashed into a tyre barrier at Stowe last year. "We had a test there last week and I am assuring you that I will not have any strange feeling," he said. "I was very lucky. You feel instantly that it is the end of your career but slowly you come back to normal."
Rubens Barrichello insists he is still a realistic title contender despite team-mate Michael Schumacher's storming start to the season. The Ferrari driver said: "Michael is the toughest team-mate I have ever had but I am determined to make sure I am the toughest he has ever had." Barrichello also predicted a closer duel if there are wet conditions. "I am more of a technical driver on the wet. I am curious to see how we compete on a wet track," he added.
World champion Mika Hakkinen has admitted that he has a battle on his hands if he is going to secure his third title in a row. He is 24 points behind all-conquering Michael Schumacher and conceded: "It is a heck of a gap to make up." He believes he can catch the German but added: "The only way to make it up is to win races." Hakkinen was second to Schumacher in Britain in 1998, when the Ferrari star won the race in the pits.
David Coulthard wants a second straight win in his home race and has said that a win this year would mean more to him. The Scot notched his first British win last year after Michael Schumacher crashed out, Mika Hakkinen retired and Eddie Irvine made an error. "Victory this time would mean so much more," confirmed Coulthard. "To get a proper race victory you have to beat all your main rivals. I have not had many lucky wins but Silverstone was one of them."
If David Coulthard triumphs on Sunday he will be the first Briton to claim back-to-back British wins since Nigel Mansell in 1992. However, Coulthard would also get McLaren's title bid back on track. Coulthard insisted: "I still think I have go the quickest car in the field so I have got a great opportunity. Ferrari are making the most of what they have and we are not. They have not beaten us in a hard, straight fight on the track. My concern is the weather."
Britain's newest Formula One driver Jenson Button is optimistic ahead of his British Grand Prix debut. Button has only raced once at Silverstone - in Formula Three - but he said: "Over the past month we have tested at Silverstone. I have developed a reasonably good understanding of the circuit and what it has to offer. The FW22 feels good and balanced in both wet and dry conditions and I am not worried about the weather."
Williams star Ralf Schumacher is unconcerned about the weather ahead of Sunday's race. The switch from July to April means rain is a stronger possibility but Schumacher insisted: "The FW22 feels good in both wet and dry conditions. For me, Silverstone is one of the most exciting tracks on the calendar. The combination of high, medium and low speed corners makes it challenging to find a good set-up. It also has a great atmosphere because of the fans."
Jordan may have lost British driver Damon Hill this season but a win for the Silverstone-based team would still delight many in the bumper crowd. Heinz-Harald Frentzen was fourth last year - just ahead of then team-mate Hill - while Jarno Trulli finished ninth for Prost. Technical director Mike Gascoyne said: "It is important to have two drivers scoring points. They are different drivers but in qualifying they push each other on."
Former Ferrari favourite Eddie Irvine has revealed that he does not really consider the British Grand Prix to be his home race. He confirmed: "I have never really considered it to be much of a home race as I did not spend a lot of time racing at Silverstone early in my career. Of course for Jaguar it will be an important weekend, appearing before their home crowd for the first time. It will be interesting to see how much green there is in the grandstands."
Eddie Irvine has admitted that Silverstone is not one of his favourite circuits on the calendar. "I am not that keen on Silverstone as a track and overtaking is difficult, although it does have one or two challenging corners," said Irvine. "Technically it is quite difficult to get the set-up right. We have all done four days testing here last week but sod's law says the track conditions will have changed for this weekend."
Johnny Herbert is looking forward to Sunday's home race - at a track where he savoured victory in 1995. He commented: "It is good to come back to Silverstone because the support for British drivers is always good. There is a real warmth that goes around. This year should be particularly good, bearing the Jaguar name, so it would great to get a result there. The engine issues we had earlier this season put us back a bit but I think we are on the right track now."
Benetton believe they will be ready for anything on Sunday, particularly as their test session at Silverstone was hit by poor weather. Rain is a possibility for the race and technical director Pat Symonds said: "Work on the cars proved them to be competitive in wet and dry conditions. For the final day of the test some new aerodynamic developments were tried which proved to be successful. These will be used for the British Grand Prix."
British American Racing are hopeful that their recent testing problems will not hamper their race ambitions. Car problems meant the session ended early but chief engineer Steve Farrell stated: "I see no reason why we cannot qualify both cars in the top 10." Driver Ricardo Zonta had an accident in testing and added: "It is a shame we lost time during the test after the suspension problem with my car. "We had just come up with a really good wet set-up."
The 1995 winner Johnny Herbert takes you through a lap of the circuit. To start a qualifying lap, you come out of Woodcote really getting on the power as early as you possibly can to get as much speed as you can to start the lap. You go into Copse - probably my favourite and one of the most demanding grand prix corners as you cannot see the apex of the track - really fast. You leave the car in fifth gear, turn in, sixth gear, little bit of foot brake, cannot see the apex.
With all the testing we do here you get to anticipate where the apex is. The adrenaline you get going through Copse is a big kick, which gives you an incentive for the rest of the lap. You exit Copse very hard, straight on the throttle very hard, using all the track, using the kerb on the exit, which makes the car a little nervous. Entering the left turn at Maggotts, still in top gear, it is a quick flick to the right into Becketts. The thing here is to keep the car flowing.
Becketts is difficult as you get a lot of understeer so you must concentrate hard in order to get the right line as you come out on to the Hangar Straight. You exit out of Becketts, really running wide, using all the kerb, keeping all that pace to go down the Hangar Straight. You can have a bit of a look round here but not for long. You are ready to go into Stowe really deep. It is high-speed entry and you brake very deep going into the corner.
The car is getting lighter with a little bit of movement normally from the back and as you come into the apex the front starts to wash away. You will use a lot of kerb on the exit and you may see some people actually drop a wheel on to the dirt. As you enter Vale you are on a high. It is one of the most difficult parts. It is very slow into the left-hander, you brake and the front end always locks up a lot because you have come over the crest.
You must be careful not to run wide and lose all your pace for Club and Abbey. Club itself is not very difficult, except the circuit is off-camber. Once the car settles you exit using the whole track, using the kerb. Abbey is a good corner. You do not take much speed in but still have to brake really hard. The front gets a little bit loose, you turn in and you will be fighting to keep it on line, using the kerb but not too much or it will go off line.
Now you have to be really careful about how you get out of the corner because if you get on the power too early you get a lot of wheelspin. On the right-hand kink you can get a big flick and you have to come off. You lose a lot of speed, a lot of time, and you do not need that. Through Farm now and into Bridge, which has a lot of compression so you get a lot more grip, which is exhilarating. It is a bit bumpy here, which makes the car jump and move around a little bit.
Into Priory, which is off-camber like Club, so as soon as you turn the front understeers and you are playing around with the throttle and the brake. You are trying to get the thing to hang in there. It is very easy to run wide. Probably the worst part of the track is Brooklands. You brake very deep and it is very easy to lock up. The corner has a very, very slow pace and you have to just try to get out of it as smoothly as you can. You do not want any wheelspin or flicking.
It is important not to be fighting the car as you will be losing time.
Into Luffield, again very difficult, as it is basically a long hairpin.
You get a lot of understeer going in and because of that you get a bit
of a slide at the rear and the car moves around a hell of a lot and is
on edge. Traction on the exit is not really a problem here. You must get
on the power as early as you can to go hard through Woodcote to complete
Sunday's race is scheduled to last for 60 laps or 191.566 miles. Mika
Hakkinen clocked the fastest lap in the 1999 race with a time of one minute,
28.309 seconds on lap 28. Michael Schumacher holds the lap record at Silverstone
with a time of one minute, 24.475 seconds in 1997. Silverstone's high-speed
corners mean it is a physical circuit for drivers. The race has been moved
from the usual July date and rain is a possibility.
F1:- Britain's Jenson Button has admitted that he is surprised by the
weight of expectation from fans over his chances in Sunday's British Grand
Prix. It will be the 20-year-old's maiden home race and he said: "The reaction
in Britain has been a little surprising. At testing last week it was weird
to see hundreds of fans waiting for me all day but it has fired me up.
It is a little premature to make judgements on my rate of success but so
far so good."
F.PALMER AUDI (Donington):-
Leading test times: mins secs
1 J Keen GB 1:30.075
2 R Kerr GB 1:30.176
3 D Hayes GB 1:30.301
4 D Faulkner Ire 1:30.336
5 B Besson Fr 1:30.452
6 T Serjala Fin 1:30.474
7 B Allart Bel 1:30.479
8 R Tarling GB 1:30.481
9 P Edwards US 1:30.620
10 B Jouanny Fr 1:30.650
F1:- Silverstone officials ended the second practice session early as the weather turned events into a farce. David Coulthard's efforts were cut short when he had to park his car just off the track because of a problem. Officials had to red flag the session because the vehicle that went to haul away the car got stuck in the grass. Coulthard helped marshalls push the McLaren back on to the track and it was decided that the times from the morning session would stand instead.
Heinz-Harald Frentzen set the fastest time in the first - and the only official - practice session for Sunday. The German was half-a-second ahead of the field for Silverstone-based Jordan. Eddie Irvine was second quickest but his Jaguar team-mate Johnny Herbert stopped on the track early on after another car setback and was 22nd. David Coulthard and Mika Hakkinen were third and fourth fastest, Jenson Button was 11th but championship leader Michael Schumacher was 21st.
Michael Schumacher described conditions as "dangerous" after heavy rain caused a number of cars to spin off the track during practice. The Ferrari star, who broke a leg at Silverstone last year, said: "In these conditions it is impossible to drive and it is also dangerous. I had a problem aquaplaning and it was impossible to see what was going on in front or to judge the distance of cars. The big problem here is that the rain does not drain away quickly enough."
Friday's practice times: mins secs
1 H-H Frentzen Ger Jordan 1:27.683
2 E Irvine GB Jaguar 1:28.169
3 D Coulthard GB McLaren 1:28.525
4 M Hakkinen Fin McLaren 1:28.659
5 J Trulli It Jordan 1:28.705
6 J Villeneuve Can BAR 1:28.845
7 R Barrichello Brz Ferrari 1:29.083
8 A Wurz Aut Benetton 1:29.111
9 G Fisichella It Benetton 1:29.214
10 M Gene Sp Minardi 1:29.537
11 J Button GB Williams 1:29.775
12 P Diniz Brz Sauber 1:30.214
13 P de la Rosa Sp Arrows 1:30.279
14 J Verstappen Hol Arrows 1:30.313
15 R Schumacher Ger Williams 1:30.593
16 M Salo Fin Sauber 1:30.643
17 J Alesi Fr Prost 1:30.656
18 N Heidfeld Ger Prost 1:31.006
19 G Mazzacane Arg Minardi 1:31.250
20 R Zonta Brz BAR 1:31.322
21 M Schumacher Ger Ferrari 1:36.425
22 J Herbert GB Jaguar 1:39.690
Team boss Frank Williams has admitted that no decision has been taken yet about whether Jenson Button will be offered another contract for next year. Williams said: "We do not want to reach any decision prematurely. He has exceeded our expectations and is available if we should so choose. There are certain other factors involved in the decision anyway." Ex-Williams test driver Juan Montoya, currently in the CART FedEx series, has been linked with the team.
The British Grand Prix could return to its traditional July date next year because of fears that Sunday's race could be ruined by poor weather. There has been a drop in corporate bookings and it is believed that Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone is ready to revert to a July date. Silverstone chief executive Denys Rohan confirmed: "Everyone has taken a bath on hospitality. It is an important race for the British teams and they are not happy."
All public car parking at Silverstone, with the exception of coaches,
will be closed on Saturday. Heavy rain during the build up to the event
has caused damage and flooding to car parks and the action will enable
the track cope with vehicles on Sunday. Silverstone have apologised to
all F1 fans who had tickets for Saturday and have promised refunds. Sunday
ticket holders are strongly advised to leave plenty of additional time
for their journey.
BTCC (Donington Park):- James Thompson withdrew from this weekend's two rounds on medical advice after suffering from the effects of mild concussion. The 25-year-old Yorkshireman picked up the injury following a crash at Brands Hatch at fortnight ago. During testing at Donington, the Honda driver complained of headaches after setting the quickest time. It is hoped that Thompson will recover in time for the next BTCC meeting at Thruxton, Hampshire, on April 30-May 1.
Series leader Jason Plato is unconcerned about the extra 40kg he will have in his Vauxhall Vectra. Plato won round two on his debut for the team but stated: "For once I do not mind driving a heavy car. The car can take the extra weight. "I do not think it will have a crucial effect on the car's performance. If it does make a difference, I hope to be quicker than the others by more than that anyway. I am chuffed I am leading but it is only by two points."
Vauxhall Vectra driver Yvan Muller believes tyre rules could cause more problems than the new ballast regulations this year. Pre-heating tyres to optimum temperature for qualifying is banned this season. "The weight should not be a problem for qualifying," said the Frenchman. "There is a problem though, it is the cold tyres. You just have to remember for the first couple of corners that the car will not have full grip."
Round one winner Alain Menu is hoping for more success on a track that he enjoys competing on. The ex-champion confirmed: "Donington Park is a good circuit and I think the car will be competitive there. This year's Mondeo has already proved it can win races and I am looking forward to another good weekend. I always look forward to racing at Donington because it is the scene of some of my best races. I know I am quick round there."
Michelin Cup for independents champion Matt Neal is hoping to improve on his performance in the opening rounds. Neal did not finish in round two, which means that newcomer Colin Blair heads the division - the first time since 1998 that Neal has not topped the list. However, Donington is a lucky track for Neal because he won a race outright there last year to earn £250,000. Qualifying is on Sunday and the 18-lap sprint race and 36-lap feature race are at 12.45pm and 3.30pm on Monday.
Independent champion Matt Neal is not ruling out a repeat victory after making his name at Donington with a win last season. Neal admitted: "We are hoping to do the same. The results from Brands do not reflect how competitive we are and how well the Team Dynamics Nissan is going. I was so proud of the team at Brands. They have all worked so hard to give me the car and set-up to do well. Unfortunately things did not work out so the championship starts here."
Class B made a debut in the Brands Hatch openers, with Northern Ireland
driver Alan Morrison winning the first race and crashing out in the second.
His Peugeot needed a lot of work on it but he will be raring to go on Monday.
Bintcliffe Sport Racing's second class B driver Robert Collard missed the
first two races of 2000 because his Nissan Primera was not ready. He will
make his BTCC debut over Easter, while James Kaye will be out to retain
his lead in the division.
F3000:- Britain's Darren Manning claimed his first pole position in
only the second F3000 qualifying session of his career at Silverstone.
Manning, 25 next week, defied the lashing rain to take top spot for Arden
Team Russia. The Knaresborough-born driver took pole by just 0.171-of-a-second
from Australia's Mark Webber with fellow Yorkshireman Justin Wilson third.
Manning said: "The conditions were pretty terrible."
22.04.2000 - F1: THE BRITISH GP
Rubens Barrichello will be on pole for Sunday's race after clocking the fastest qualifying time amid a frantic last few minutes of the session. Heinz-Harald Frentzen will join him on the front row for Jordan's 150th race and Mika Hakkinen was third quickest. Jenson Button, who waas beset by problems in the first practice run-out, produced a superb drive to be sixth. David Coulthard was fourth quickest, Michael Schumacher fifth, Eddie Irvine ninth and Johnny Herbert 14th.
Rubens Barrichello was delighted after he stole the limelight from Ferrari team-mate Michael Schumacher to take pole position for Sunday's race. Nearly the whole field went out on a last lap in the final minutes of qualifying to take advantage of the drying conditions. However, it was the Brazilian - who has yet to win a race - who was able to claim the third pole of his career. He admitted: "I am delighted but I have to say I like these conditions."
Jenson Button was understandably delighted with his sixth place in qualifying for Sunday's race. The Williams star said: "It's great to get sixth because my day had been pretty terrible until then. I made a mistake this morning and ended up in the gravel and Eddie Irvine ended up there too, damaging my car. It's going to be quite an amazing feeling to start alongside Michael Schumacher. I must say thanks to my team for doing a good job."
Saturday's qualifying results:mins secs
1 R Barrichello Brz Ferrari 1:25.703
2 H-H Frentzen Ger Jordan 1:25.706
3 M Hakkinen Fin McLaren 1:25.741
4 D Coulthard GB McLaren 1:26.088
5 M Schumacher Ger Ferrari 1:26.161
6 J Button GB Williams 1:26.733
7 R Schumacher Ger Williams 1:26.786
8 J Verstappen Hol Arrows 1:26.793
9 E Irvine GB Jaguar 1:26.818
10 J Villeneuve Can BAR 1:27.025
11 J Trulli It Jordan 1:27.164
12 G Fisichella It Benetton 1:27.253
13 P Diniz Brz Sauber 1:27.301
14 J Herbert GB Jaguar 1:27.461
15 J Alesi Fr Prost 1:27.559
16 R Zonta Brz BAR 1:27.772
17 N Heidfeld Ger Prost 1:27.806
18 M Salo Fin Sauber 1:28.110
19 P de la Rosa Sp Arrows 1:28.135
20 A Wurz Aut Benetton 1:28.205
21 M Gene Sp Minardi 1:28.253
22 G Mazzacane Arg Minardi 1:29.174
Silverstone chiefs could face a bill of up to £4m after advising car-driving fans with tickets to stay away from today's qualifying session. Flooding has forced the closure of spectator car parks and organisers want people to stay at home to give the area time to recover for Sunday's race. Many fans slammed organisers, claiming they had ruined this year's event. One, Sue Ryan from Liverpool, said: "I think it's totally and utterly disgraceful what's happened."
Bernie Ecclestone has said the British Grand Prix should stay at Silverstone
and not move to Brands Hatch in 2002. Brands won the race rights for five
years after Silverstone refused to pay the reputed £11m fee. "Silverstone
have made a big effort which they haven't done in the past and it should
stay here," he said. "I hope Brands Hatch and Silverstone can get their
act together and sort things out. They could do it in 10 minutes if they
F1: THE BRITISH GP
David Coulthard drove a brilliant race to repeat his 1999 Silverstone victory and end Michael Schumacher's perfect winning start to the season. The Scot led most of the second half of the race after brilliantly overtaking Rubens Barrichello whose challenge ended with a spin shortly afterwards. Mika Hakkinen made it a one-two for McLaren by finishing second, 1.4 seconds behind the Scot. Schumacher was third and Jenson Button fifth in his first British race.
David Coulthard was understandably delighted to win again at Silverstone, especially after a small problem with his McLaren-Mercedes car. "I developed a small gearbox problem and was preparing myself for what might happen but it held together," he said. "I feel fantastic. To win your home Grand Prix two years in a row is great. I am confident going to Barcelona. We have always gone well on that circuit. It will be close with Ferrari but there is no reason why we can't win."
David Coulthard revealed he tried to emulate Nigel Mansell when he overtook Rubens Barrichello in the turning-point of the race. "I thought I was going to be stuck behind Rubens until the stop but he made a small mistake coming out of the last corner at Becketts," he said. "I remembered Nigel Mansell's move on Nelson Piquet a few years ago and thought I'd give it a go. It gave me the advantage for the pit-stop," he added.
Second-placed Mika Hakkinen said that the result of the race was decided in its first few seconds. "The start really decided the outcome of the race and it was unfortunate that I just lost grip while accelerating," he said. "I had a problem with my car in this morning's warm-up which meant that I didn't get a lot of track time to make final adjustments to our race set-up. As a result I was not happy with the balance of the car in the race."
Rubens Barrichello saw all his good work come to nothing as he spun out of the Grand Prix on lap 35. The Brazilian had led most of the race after starting on pole until David Coulthard overtook him with a neat move on Stowe on lap 29. Barrichello's race ended at the Stadium Complex when he spun round and drove on to the grass before going to the pits. His sudden appearance took his mechanics by surprise but there was little to do to revive his race.
Jenson Button was not overawed by his first British Grand Prix and was always in contention before finishing fifth. The young Briton made his mark as soon as the chequered flag fell by roaring past boyhood idol Michael Schumacher seconds after leaving the grid. Only a cracked exhaust pipe and a second pit stop halted his bid for a place on the podium. Button collected two points to add to the one he earned when David Coulthard was disqualified in Brazil.
Silverstone suffered more weather problems before the sun finally shone on Sunday's race. The morning's practice session was delayed by one hour and 40 minutes after early morning fog. It meant that the helicopter ambulance could not be used and racing was not allowed for safety reasons until the problem was resolved. Huge traffic jams blocked the M1, M40 and surrounding roads as fans made their way to the circuit.
McLaren team manager Ron Dennis praised Silverstone bosses for overcoming the problems which dogged the build-up to the race. "I'm delighted for Silverstone who persevered throughout the weekend and ultimately gave the public the chance to see a great race," he said. "The result was the perfect end to a less than perfect weekend for us. The team performed very well in solving the problems as quickly as they emerged."
Michael Schumacher was relieved to finish third after a terrible start. "I spent most of the race in eighth and was wondering how many points I would lose to the others so it has worked out well finishing third," he said. "I had a very good start. I had the option to go through the middle but there were too many cars. I tried to go through the grass which you can normally do here but because of the rain I was spinning and just going nowhere," he added.
Jenson Button was full of confidence for the future after finishing fifth in his first British Grand Prix. "I've now picked up three points from four races and been in the points each time I've finished and things are looking good for me," he said. Button overtook Michael Schumacher at the start and he added: "I was not sure what was going to happen there. It was only my fourth start so I have been practising and practising and it has paid off."
Jenson Button was full of praise for the home crowd after they cheered him on to fifth place. "On the last couple of laps you could see them jumping up and down obviously for David as well," he said. "It was good to be here in front of the home crowd and get a fifth and sixth in qualifying but I know the circuit a bit more than the others. The British Grand Prix was a great feeling and the team did an excellent job and came away with two points."
Williams boss Frank Williams was beaming after seeing Ralf Schumacher and Jenson Button claim top five spots. "I am delighted with the result, almost better than we could have hoped for in a way," he said. "I liked the way Ralf dusted off his brother early on.”
"They beat us in the end but we were certainly much closer to the two currently dominating teams than we have been in the previous races. We now have a good way forward to follow," he added.
Benetton's weekend did not work out the way they had planned it with Giancarlo Fisichella finishing seventh and team- mate Alexander Wurz coming ninth. Managing director Flavio Briatore said: "It was the best result we could expect with our grid positions but it is a weekend we would much rather forget." Fisichella said: "I pushed all race but think this was as well as we could have done today." Wurz said: "I am disappointed not to have scored any points."
Jaguar duo Johnny Herbert and Eddie Irvine had to settle for 12th and 13th places after both stalled on their second pit stops, losing valuable time. "We're not disappointed," said Herbert. "We are still a small team that has to grow. We've found some reliability and must improve the engine and chassis." Irvine said: "It's difficult to understand why the car is so good in qualifying but a handful in the race. Until we have some quality testing we won't find the fix for the problems."
BAR boss Craig Pollock admitted he was disappointed that neither Jacques Villeneuve nor Ricardo Zonta were able to finish the race at Silverstone. "Unfortunately it wasn't progress today, it was regression," he said. We knew Jacques had a problem with the gearbox about five laps before he retired but were hoping he could hang on to the finish. Ricardo's progress was spectacular - and I think perhaps he was just caught out by his own speed."
Result after 60 laps:
1 D Coulthard GB McLaren 1:28:50
2 M Hakkinen Fin McLaren 1:28:51
3 M Schumacher Ger Ferrari 1:29:10
4 R Schumacher Ger Williams 1: 9:31
5 J Button GB Williams 1:29:47
6 J Trulli It Jordan 1:30:09 1 lap behind
7 G Fisichella It Benetton 1:28:53
8 M Salo Fin Sauber 1:29:15
9 A Wurz Aut Benetton 1:29:16
10 J Alesi Fr Prost 1:29:19
11 P Diniz Brz Sauber 1:29:19
12 J Herbert GB Jaguar 1:29:21
13 E Irvine GB Jaguar 1:29:24
14 M Gene Sp Minardi 1:29:34
15 G Mazzacane Arg Minardi 1:29:40
J Villeneuve Can BAR lap 56
H-H Frentzen Ger Jordan lap 54
N Heidfeld Ger Prost lap 51
R Zonta Brz BAR lap 36
R Barrichello Brz Ferrari lap 35
P de la Rosa Sp Arrows lap 26
J Verstappen Hol Arrows lap 20
1 M Schumacher Ger Ferrari 34 pts
2 D Coulthard GB McLaren 14
3 M Hakkinen Fin McLaren 12
4 R Barrichello Brz Ferrari 9
= R Schumacher Ger Williams 9
6 G Fisichella It Benetton 8
7 J Villeneuve Can BAR 5
8 H-H Frentzen Ger Jordan 4
= J Trulli It Jordan 4
10 J Button GB Williams 3
11 R Zonta Brz BAR 1
= M Salo Fin Sauber 1
1 Ferrari 43 pts
2 McLaren 26
3 Williams 12
4 Benetton 8
= Jordan 8
6 BAR 6
7 Sauber 1
BTCC (Donington Park):- Former champion Rickard Rydell bagged pole for rounds three and four. The Swede proved to just have the edge over his teammates Alain Menu and Anthony Reid, beating both by only hundreths of a second. Ford Team Mondeo completed a 1-2-3 in both rounds and Rydell said: "It's a great feeling to have two pole positions and the team should do well." Matt Neal was the fastest independent runner but was put to the back of the grid after failing a ride-height check.
Sunday's round 3 qualifying times:
1 R Rydell Swe Ford 1:10.021
2 A Reid GB Ford 1:10.078
3 A Menu Swi Ford 1:10.093
4 G Tarquini It Honda 1:10.294
5 T Kristensen Den Honda 1:10.705
6 P Kox Hol Honda 1:11.161
7 Y Muller Fr Vauxhall 1:11.220
8 J Plato GB Vauxhall 1:11.288
9 V Radermecker Bel Vauxhall 1:11.337
10 C Blair GB Nissan 1:12.586
Sunday's round 4 qualifying times:
1 R Rydell Swe Ford 1:09.299
2 A Menu Swi Ford 1:10.003
3 A Reid GB Ford 1:10.051
4 G Tarquini It Honda 1:10.099
5 T Kristensen Den Honda 1:10.109
6 P Kox Hol Honda 1:10.268
7 M Neal GB Nissan 1:10.523
8 V Radermecker Bel Vauxhall 1:10.665
9 Y Muller Fr Vauxhall 1:10.762
10 J Plato GB Vauxhall 1:11.092
PORSCHE SUPERCUP:- Richard Burns escaped unhurt from a sickening crash in the traditional pre- Grand Prix event at Silverstone. The British world rally driver was a guest in the 12-lap race when he crashed out soon after the start. Burns lost control of his Porsche on a high-speed bend with the car barrel-rolling into a crash barrier. However even though there was huge damage to his car, Burns emerged quickly and waved to the crowd to show that he had not been injured.
Richard Burns was in cheerful mood despite an horrific-looking crash
in the pre-Grand Prix event at Silverstone "It's not put me off. I'd love
to come back next year and give it another go because I've really enjoyed
the occasion," said Burns. "I'm just disappointed for the team because
the car was destroyed all because of somebody else's mistake but there
was nothing I could do." The world rally star was unscathed after crashing
soon after the start.
Saturday's result after 40 laps:
1 M Webber Aus Arrows 1:22.24
2 D Manning GB Arden TR 1:22.25
3 J Wilson GB Nordic R 1:22.29
4 E Bernoldi Brz Red Bull 1:22.36
5 B Junqueira Brz Petrobas 1:22.40
6 B Ayari Fr Coloni 1:22.54
7 F Montagny Fr DAMS 1:22.89
8 D Saelens Bel Super Nova 1:23.02
9 J v H'donk Bel Witmeur 1:23.05
10 S Bourdais Fr Gauloises 1:23.07
Sunday qualifying: mins secs
1 K Raikkonen Fin 1:08.183
2 D Watts GB 1:08.355
3 C Breeze GB 1:08.702
4 T Sisley GB 1:08.709
5 L Walker GB 1:08.748
6 R Dalziel GB 1:08.810
RENAULT SPORT UK CUP (Donington):-
Sunday qualifying: mins secs
1 J Edwards Jr 1:20.522
2 D Buxton 1:20.854
3 P Sowerby 1:21.128
4 A Thompson 1:21.345
5 M Jackson 1:21.526
6 J Templeman 1:21.534
Sunday qualifying: mins secs
1 J Courtney Aus 1:12.445
2 G Catt GB 1:12.747
3 A Davidson GB 1:12.787
4 A Carroll GB 1:12.863
5 R Dahlgren Swe 1:12.953
6 H Mutoh Jpn 1:12.971
F1:- David Coulthard is hoping that he can use Sunday's British Grand
Prix triumph as the launchpad for a title bid. The Scot is currently 20
points behind championship leader Michael Schumacher but believes he can
be caught. Coulthard is targeting a win in Spain on May 7 and said: "It
will be close again with the Ferraris in Barcelona but I will be looking
for another win. "There is still quite a gap to Michael if he keeps scoring
points so it is difficult. We need to keep winning."
BTCC (Donington Park):- Alain Menu made it an Easter Monday double as he won both races. The Swiss driver came home 0.738 secs ahead of teammate Rickard Rydell in the 18-lap sprint event. Anthony Reid was third as Ford took an unprecedented one-two-three ` then Menu did it again in round four. Menu said: "It's a fantastic result for all the boys in the team. Nobody can really believe it but everyone worked so hard over the winter to help us towards this success."
Monday's round three result: mins secs
1 A Menu Swi Ford 21:38.350
2 R Rydell Swe Ford 21:39.088
3 A Reid GB Ford 21:39.759
4 G Tarquini It Honda 21:41.168
5 T Kristensen Den Honda 21:42.111
6 J Plato GB Vauxhall 21:48.510
7 V Radermecker Bel Vauxhall 21:49.596
8 M Neal GB Nissan 21:49.900
9 C Blair GB Nissan 22:25.371
10 A Morrison GB Peugeot 22:38.116
Monday's round 4 result:
1 A Menu Swi Ford 43:40.921
2 G Tarquini It Honda 43:44.344
3 R Rydell Swe Ford 43:46.309
4 A Reid GB Ford 43:47.804
5 Y Muller Fr Vauxhall 43:58.386
6 T Kristensen Den Honda 43:58.536
7 J Plato GB Vauxhall 43:58.961
8 M Neal GB Nissan 44:15.170
9 P Kox Hol Honda 44:24.425
10 C Blair GB Nissan 44:03.685
F.RENAULT (Donington Park):- Kimi Raikkonen held off the challenge of Ryan Dalziel to take victory. The result also means that Kaikkonen takes over at the top of the standings from Danny Watts, who finished third.
Monday's race result:mins secs
1 K Raikkonen Fin 32:24.594
2 R Dalziel GB 32:25.837
3 D Watts GB 32:29.370
4 C Breeze GB 32:36.800
5 C Hall GB 32:37.285
6 J Dalziel GB 32:41.422
RENAULT SPORT UK CUP (Donington Park):-
Monday's result: mins secs
1 H Taylor 18:07.882
2 J Edwards Jr 18:08.119
3 S Clarke 18:13.276
4 R Pearson 18:14.794
5 A Thompson 18:19.009
6 G Holmes 18:20.248
FORD FIESTA’S (Donington Park):- Gordon Shedden increased his lead in the series by claiming a lights-to-flag victory in round two. The race was stopped on lap eight when Colin Stancombe rolled his car at the Craner Curves but he was able to drive back to the pits.
Monday's round two result:
1 G Shedden 12:15.896
2 G Howell 12:16.172
3 N Beaumont 12:17.470
4 M Pinny 12:17.913
5 C Turkington 12:23.225
6 A Blencowe 12:24.467
SPORTSCARS:- Allan McNish will begin his build-up to the Le Mans 24-Hour
race with warm-up trials on the French circuit on Sunday. The Scot will
share his Audi R8 with Stephane Ortelli and Laurent Aiello, his winning
team-mates from 1998. He said: "This year's test will be different in that
competitors do not have to pre-qualify so we can concentrate on getting
a good set-up."
PROTON COUPE’S:- Round two of the Tyresafe Proton Coupe Championship
will now take place at Brands Hatch on Monday May 1. The event had been
due to be held at Mallory Park on Easter Monday but an accident in the
preceding race led to officials abandoning the meeting. The damage to a
tyre wall would have taken too long to fix.
F1 TESTING (Barcelona):-
Wednesday test times: mins secs
1 M Schumacher Ger Ferrari 1:21.80
2 G Fisichella It Benetton 1:22.25
3 R Barrichello Brz Ferrari 1:22.39
4 E Irvine GB Jaguar 1:22.42
5 D Coulthard GB McLaren 1:22.51
6 O Panis Fr McLaren 1:22.51
7 A Wurz Aut Benetton 1:22.57
8 H-H Frentzen Ger Jordan 1:22.77
9 J Verstappen Hol Arrows 1:22.86
10 P Diniz Brz Sauber 1:22.86
BTCC (Thruxton):- Ford look to be the team to beat in rounds five and six of the series on Bank Holiday Monday. Alain Menu leads the championship after winning three of the first four races. His Ford Mondeo team-mates Rickard Rydell and Anthony Reid have been in the top three five times between them. The Mondeo team qualified one-two-three for both Donington races. They won both of them on Monday, finishing one-two-three in the first.
Ford's successes at Donington Park over Easter were all the more impressive because the drivers were carrying extra ballast under the new regulations. Alain Menu, Rickard Rydell and Anthony Reid will all be carrying success ballast once again in these rounds. Menu and Rydell will have an extra 40kg and Reid will be carrying 20kg. They have risen above the penalties so far but the sweeping curves of Thruxton, which is near Andover, could present them with a tough test.
Redstone Team Honda and Gabriele Tarquini came closest to thwarting the Fords at Donington but he believes his team still have work to do. The three Accords were next best in qualifying after Ford and 1994 BTCC champion Tarquini claimed second place behind Alain Menu in round four. He said: "Our car was not really fast enough to beat the Fords at Donington. It was quite close but we must not forget that all the Fords had ballast. There is still a lot of work to do."
There is still a question mark over the fitness of Honda star James Thompson ahead of Monday's rounds. The Yorkshireman suffered mild concussion in an accident at Brands Hatch at the opening meeting and missed Donington's races over Easter. He was advised to rest by the BTCC medical officer. Thompson was due to have a further fitness check to see if he can compete. If he is ruled out then Dutchman Peter Kox will deputise.
Vauxhall trio Jason Plato, Yvan Muller and Vincent Randermecker are looking to improve on their qualifying displays after a poor showing at Donington. Plato led the series after the second round so will be out to bounce back. Meanwhile, Matt Neal regained the lead in the Michelin Cup for Independents but still believes that there is room for improvement. He wants to mix it more with the manufacturer teams and is targeting a top-three finish overall.
Mark Lemmer is hoping that his Thruxton experience in the National Saloon Championship will boost his chances in Class B on Monday. Honda Accord driver James Kaye leads Class B but his team-mate Lemmer believes that his Honda Intega Type R car could have the edge at Thruxton. "I was on pole for the national saloon race at Thruxton in March and the Integra is very good there," he said. "It has very good hihg-speed balance, which is essential for this circuit."
BTCC fans will also be able to see a bumper package of support races
at the Thruxton meeting. This will include Slick Formula Ford Zetec, Ford
Credit Fiesta Zetec, Autobytel Lotus and Formula Renault 2000 events. The
round five Sprint Race, which is set to last for 16 laps (37.70 miles),
will start at 12.45pm on Monday. The round six Feature Race, which is set
to last for 32 laps (75.39 miles), will start at 3.30pm on Monday.
F1:- Jordan technical director Mike Gascoyne will leave the team when
his contract expires in July 2001. The team did not say where Gascoyne
was going, but reports suggest he will take over as design head at Renault
when they replace Benetton in 2002. "Due to our success in recent years
it is inevitable that our key team members would be approached by other
teams," said team boss Eddie Jordan. "Mike has done and will continue to
do a great job for us."
RALLYING:- World Rally Championship leader Richard Burns has been confirmed as top driver in the latest British standings. Burns, winner of this year's Safari and Portugal rallies, is just ahead of 1995 World Champion Colin McRae, whom he faces in Argentina on May 12.
British Rally Driver Rankings, April
1 R Burns 1
2 C McRae 2
3 A McRae 4
4 M Higgins 7
5 N Wearden 9
F.PALMER AUDI (Brands Hatch):-
Wednesday test times: mins secs
1 Robbie Kerr GB 43:516
2 Richard Tarling GB 43:523
3 Tim Mullen GB 43:549
4 Bruno Besson Fr 43:561
5 Damien Faulkner Ire 43:570
6 Jesper Carlsen Den 43:639
7 Topi Serjala Fin 43:656
8 Justin Keen GB 43:660
9 Miku Santavirta Fin 43:672
10 Bruce Jouanny Fr 43:783
F1 PRACTICE TIMES (Barcelona):-
1 M Schumacher Ger Ferrari 1:20.818
2 R Schumacher Ger Williams 1:20.977
3 R Barrichello Brz Ferrari 1:21.070
4 M Hakkinen Fin McLaren 1:21.432
5 M Salo Fin Sauber 1:22.004
6 A Wurz Aut Benetton 1:22.603
7 G Fisichella It Benetton 1:22.715
8 O Panis Fr McLaren 1:23.026
9 N Heidfeld Ger Prost 1:23.245
10 R Zonta Brz BAR 1:23.277
13 J Herbert GB Jaguar 1:23.919
F.RENAULT SPORT (Thruxton):- Daniel Buxton bounced back from his 100mph crash at Donington on Monday to top the testing in the rain on Friday. He was over a second clear of the field headed by Donington winner Henry Taylor.
Leading resting times (Fri):
1 D Buxton 1:33.829
2 H Taylor 1:35.048
3 S Clarke 1:35.449
4 J Edwards jnr 1:35.531
5 R Pearson 1:35.688
6 D Davies 1:35.846
F.FORD (Thruxton):- Australia single seater star James Courtney set the fastest time of the day at a soaking Thruxton on Friday. Courtney said: "The car feels very good in the wet and I am really happy."
Leading testing times (Fri):
1 J Courtney 1:24.004
2 A Davidson 1:24.067
3 R Bell 1:24.201
4 R Dahlgren 1:24.742
5 G Catt 1:24.974
6 M Taylor 1:25.067
F2000 (Thruxton):- Points leader Kimi Raikkonen headed Leighton Walker and round one winner Danny Watts in the pouring rain. Richard Lyons was close behind ahead of Monday's third round.
Leading testing times (Fri):
1 K Raikkonen 1:17.315
2 L Walker 1:17.737
3 D Watts 1:17.821
4 R Lyons 1:19.246
5 J Pickford 1:19.347
6 T Sisley 1:19.472
MGF CUP (Oulton Park):- Alastair Lyall and Jamie Hunter lock horns once
again when the third round takes place this weekend. Each driver has won
once and finished second once so far this season. Lyall, who leads the
championship by two points from Hunter, said: "I like Oulton Park circuit,
and this weekend should be a closely fought race." Other drivers to watch
out for this weekend include David Mason, the young Essex driver, and former
Touring Car test driver Mark Ticehurst.
29.04.2000 - CART
Rookie Alex Tagliani edged out reigning champion Juan Montoya to take his first career pole for Sunday's Rio 200. Tagliani was quickest in the morning session with a time of 38.733 seconds and was even better in qualifying, posting a time of 38.587 seconds. Montoya was ahead of current championship leader Paul Tracy with another rookie, Kenny Brack, fourth. "The car was very good and running last, the track was perfect," Tagliani said after the session.
Qualifying times (Sat): seconds
1 A Tagliani Can Ford 38.587
2 J Montoya Col Toyota 38.696
3 P Tracy Can Honda 38.843
4 K Brack Swe Ford 38.876
5 C Fittipaldi Brz Ford 38.921
6 J Vasser US Toyota 38.943
7 H C-Neves Brz Honda 38.985
8 D Franchitti GB Honda 39.026
9 T Kanaan Brz Mercedes 39.101
10 M Papis It Ford 39.227
23 M Blundell GB Mercedes 40.073
Vauxhall ended Ford's reign as kings of qualifying this season with Jason Plato and Yvan Muller taking pole positions for Monday's races. Plato will be on pole for the feature event after getting the better of team- mate Muller to give Vauxhall their first top grid spot since 1995. Plato said: "The team have been doing a great job all season." However, in the sprint session Muller edged out Ford's Rickard Rydell and Anthony Reid to clock the fastest time.
Round five qualifying times (Sun):
1 Y Muller Fr Vauxhall 1:13.046
2 R Rydell Swe Ford 1:13.200
3 A Reid GB Ford 1:13.277
4 V Radermecker Bel Vauxhall 1:13.434
5 A Menu Swi Ford 1:13.485
6 J Plato GB Vauxhall 1:13.795
7 M Neal GB Nissan 1:14.133
8 T Kristensen Den Honda 1:14.289
9 G Tarquini It Honda 1:14.382
10 D Leslie GB Honda 1:16.168
Round six qualifying times (Sun):
1 J Plato GB Vauxhall 1:12.562
2 V Radermecker Bel Vauxhall 1:12.680
3 Y Muller Fr Vauxhall 1:12.873
4 A Menu Swi Ford 1:12.994
5 T Kristensen Den Honda 1:13.138
6 R Rydell Swe Ford 1:13.356
7 A Reid GB Ford 1:13.383
8 G Tarquini It Honda 1:13.493
9 M Neal GB Nissan 1:13.852
10 D Leslie GB Honda 1:14.231
BRITISH F3 (Oulton Park):- Antonio Pizzonia moved closer to a third win by claiming pole position for Monday's race. The Brazilian clinched his first Formula Three top grid spot in the closing moments of qualifying.
Leading qualifying times (Sun):
1 A Pizzonia 1:30.185
2 T Scheckter 1:30.277
3 A Priaulx 1:30.454
4 B Collins 1:30.698
5 N Karthikeyan 1:30.722
6 M Davies 1:30.729
BRITISH GT'S (Oulton Park):-
Final qualifying times (Sun):
GT category: mins secs
1 Erdos/Schirle Marcos 1:37.576
2 Schirle/Warnock Lister S 1:38.219
3 McKellar/Verdon-R Cerbera 1:39.169
4 Cleland/Clark Chrysler 1:39.303
1 Short/Barff Cerbera 1:40.909
2 Goodwin/Sumpter Porsche 1:41.481
3 Hughes/Simmons Porsche 1:41.736
4 Lister/Rymer Porsche 1:42.140
F.RENAULT SPORT (Thruxton):- David Davies just edged out Daniel Buxton for the qualifying honours on his debut at Thruxton. Series leader Jim Edwards Jnr was sixth quickest and Donington winner Henry Taylor was 13th after a spin.
Leading qualifying times (Sun):
1 D Davies 1:25.278
2 D Buxton 1:25.531
3 M Jackson 1:25.910
4 S Clarke 1:25.995
5 R Pearson 1:26.329
6 J Edwards Jnr 1:26.394
MGF CUP (Oulton Park):- Nick Carr claimed pole position after Sunday's qualifying session. Carr, who is lying fourth in the championship, beat leader Alastair Lyall into second place on the grid. Jamie Hunter took third place.
Final qualifying times (Sun):
1 N Carr 1:53.769
2 A Lyall 1:53.909
3 J Hunter 1:54.353
4 D Mason 1:54.574
5 M Ticehurst 1:55.104
6 P O'Neill 1:55.125
NATIONAL SALOON'S (Oulton Park):- Peugeot driver Dan Eaves bounced back from a non-finish in the last event at Croft to top the times in the round three qualifying session. Eaves said: "I am absolutely over the moon. The car is very, very good."
Leading qualifying times (Sun):mins secs
1 D Eaves Peugeot 1:49.528
2 T Ruokonen Peugeot 1:50.759
3 S Harrison Ford 1:51.343
4 R Moen Peugeot 1:52.275
5 G Pyper Alfa Romeo 1:52.625
6 T Ferrier Alfa Romeo 1:53.006
LOTUS ELISE'S (Thruxton):- Thruxton race instructor Mark Cole used his local knowledge to claim pole position for Monday's round three. In a close half-hour session, six different drivers held provisional pole and the top 10 are covered by less than a second.
Leading qualifying times (Sun):
1 M Coles 1:20.377
2 B Devlin 1:20.388
3 T Needell 1:20.508
4 E Horner 1:20.596
5 P Cate 1:20.696
6 A Wilcox 1:20.748
FORD FIESTA'S (Thruxton):- Nick Beaumont will start Monday's round three in pole positon. The 22-year-old from Bramhall in Cheshire set the fastest time by just over a 10th of a second to take his first top grid spot of the year.
Final qualifying times (Sun):
1 N Beaumont 1:34.727
2 G Shedden 1:34.871
3 C Turkington 1:34.952
4 N Padley 1:35.182
5 M Pinny 1:35.264
6 C Stancombe 1:35.531
F.FORD (Thruxton):- Australian single seater hotshoe James Courtney stormed to a victory that gave him a hat-trick of Slick 50 wins. In an action-packed race which saw 32 evenly matched cars, the works Van Diemen driver came through from sixth place with some expert overtaking.
Round three result (Sun):min secs
1 J Courtney Aus 20:15.366
2 A Davidson GB 20:16.935
3 R Bell GB 20:17.115
4 M Taylor GB 20:23.216
5 A Carroll GB 20:31.074
6 A van der M Swe 33:32.262
F.RENAULT 2000 (Thruxton):- Points leader Kimi Raikkonen secured his second pole position of the season by having the edge of Ryan Dalziel. Leighton Walker was third fastest after a late rally in the qualifying session.
Round three qualifying times (Sun):
1 K Raikkonen Fin 1:11.997
2 R Dalziel GB 1:12.079
3 L Walker GB 1:12.197
4 D Watts GB 1:12.321
5 C Breeze GB 1:12.473
6 C Hall GB 1:12.493
F.PALMER AUDI (Brands Hatch):-
Round three qualifying times (Sun)
1 A Simonsen Den 51.908
2 J Carlsen Den 52.046
3 T Serjala Fin 52.079
4 D Hayes GB 52.103
5 R Kerr GB 52.277
6 J Keen GB 52.291
Round four qualifying times (Sun):
1 R Kerr GB 43.558
2 R Tarling GB 43.605
3 T Mullen GB 43.653
4 J Carlsen Den 43.721
5 J Keen GB 43.724
6 D Faulkner Ire 43.880
SPORTSCARS:- Audi dominated the Le Mans 24-Hour test in France, although
the session ended prematurely for Allan McNish. The Scotsman set the fastest
time of three minutes, 36.620 seconds but then lost control of his Audi
R8 30 minutes into the afternoon session. The ex-Le Mans winner said: "I
am very pleased to have been the fastest in such a short space of time
but do not know what happened when I went off." Audi's Emanuele Pirro and
Michele Alboreto were second and third fastest.
CART (Rio de Janeiro):- Adrian Fernandez triumphed in the Rio 200 after pole-sitter Alex Tagliani's hopes disappeared late in the race. Canadian rookie Tagliani had dominated much of the event before losing control on the 99th lap. The spin led to a six-lap caution and he spun again on the restart with only three laps to go in the 108-lap race. Fernandez took the chequered flag under a caution ahead of Jimmy Vasser. Britain's Mark Blundell and Dario Franchitti were seventh and 11th.
Britain's Mark Blundell drove a fine race to finish seventh in round four of the series after starting in 23rd spot. Blundell was running in fourth place when he pitted on lap 77 and later rejoined the field in 14th after taking on a full load of fuel. He looked on course for a top-three finish before Michel Jourdain Jnr stopped on the track and the yellow flag was brought out. Blundell said: "The Motorola crew did a great job in the pits."
Rio 200 result after 108 laps (Sun):
hr min sec
1 A Fernandez Mex Ford 1:37.12.4
2 J Vasser US Toyota @.93
3 P Tracy Can Honda 108 laps
4 C da Matta Brz Toyota 108
5 C Fittipaldi Brz Ford 108
6 R Moreno Brz Ford 108
7 M Blundell GB Mercedes 108
8 M Gidley US Ford 108
9 M Andretti US Ford 107
10 K Brack Swe Ford 107
11 D Franchitti GB Honda 107