May 2000 Motorsport News


TOURING CARS (Thruxton):- Jason Plato encountered a double dose of controversy as his Vauxhall team- mate Yvan Muller won races both races. Plato collided with Alain Menu in the opening sprint in an incident which saw the Swiss driver's car go spinning off. He then found himself in the spotlight again when he handed victory in the feature race to Muller on team orders. Muller is now up to second in the championship standings, six points behind Menu, while Ford are 35 ahead of Vauxhall in the manufacturers' table.

Round five result (Mon):      mins secs
 1 Y Muller      Fr  Vauxhall 20:01.046
 2 A Reid        GB  Ford     20:03.277
 3 J Plato       GB  Vauxhall 20:05.326
 4 R Rydell      Swe Ford     20:06.918
 5 V Radermecker Bel Vauxhall 20:07.139
 6 D Leslie      GB  Honda    20:12.785
 7 M Neal        GB  Nissan   20:21.169
 8 A Menu        Swi Ford     20:26.680
 9 T Kristensen  Den Honda    20:34.269
10 C Blair       GB  Nissan   21:09.679

Round six result (Mon):      mins secs
1 Y Muller      Fr  Vauxhall 46:10.375
2 J Plato       GB  Vauxhall     @.439
3 A Menu        Swi Ford        @1.626
4 A Reid        GB  Ford       @13.022
5 G Tarquini    It  Honda      @57.053
6 C Blair       GB  Nissan     one lap
7 A Morrison    GB  Peugeot    3 laps
8 M Lemmer      GB  Honda      4 laps

1 A Menu     Swi Ford         66 pts
2 Y Muller   Fr  Vauxhall     60
3 A Reid     GB  Ford         57
= J Plato    GB  Vauxhall     57
5 R Rydell   Swe Ford         52
6 G Tarquini It  Honda        35

1 Ford                166 pts
2 Vauxhall            131
3 Honda                64

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):
                       min secs
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

GTO category:               mins secs
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):
                       min secs
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):
                       min secs
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):- A superbly measured drive gave Toni Ruokonen victory in the third round of this year's series. Roger Moen led the race in his Peugeot in the early stages, but Ruokonen came through the field in expert fashion.

Third round result (Mon):
1 T Ruokonen    Peugeot
2 R Moen        Peugeot
3 M Kelly       Nissan
4 G Pyper       Alfa Romeo
5 D Allan       Honda
6 P Ceci        Honda

F.FORD (Thruxton):- Mark Taylor picked up an unexpected victory in the fourth round as the two leaders crashed out on the last lap. James Courtney and Anthony Davidson had been battling throughout the 18-lap race until they made contact at the fast Church corner.

Round four result (Mon):min secs
1 M Taylor     GB     25:00.302
2 R Bell       GB     25:06.056
3 P Gray       GB     25:06.308
4 R Dahlgren   Swe    25:06.453
5 G Turkington GB     25:07.200
6 A Carroll    Swe    25:07.277

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):
                       min secs
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.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):
                      mins secs
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):
                     mins secs
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


F1:- David Coulthard has suffered slight injuries in a plane crash in France in which two people were killed. The McLaren driver was travelling in a private Lear Jet which crashed on landing at Lyon-Satolas airport, killing the pilot and co-pilot. The three passengers, including Coulthard, were taken to hospital. Coulthard was able to call his manager Ian Cunningham to confirm that he and fiancee Heidi Wichlinski were OK, and the Scot may be fit to race on Sunday.

David Coulthard was relieved to be unharmed when the plane carrying him, finacee Heidi Wichlinski and personal trainer Andrew Matthews, crashed. "Obviously I'm relieved that Heidi, Andy and myself are unhurt," he said. "I would like to express my deepest sympathy for the families of the two pilots. It is inappropriate for me to go into the details of the accident but we were very lucky to walk away." Coulthard is expected to participate in the Spanish Grand Prix this weekend.

More facts have been disclosed about the events leading up to the crash involving David Coulthard. A spokeswoman at Lyon-Satolas airport confirmed that a plane carrying five people left Farnborough air field in Hampshire bound for France. The plane was thought to be on fire when it landed, and the passengers escaped from a rear cabin window. Coulthard has no fractures and, following an examination at a hospital, has already been released.

Former world champion Jacques Villeneuve will definitely start this Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix. The BAR driver was forced to pull out of a test run on Friday after a back injury, raising fears the Canadian would be ruled out. BAR spokesman Graham Jones said: "There is no question of him missing the race, knowing Jacques he will just take some painkillers and get on with it." Villeneuve is seventh in the drivers championship with five points.

TOURING CARS:- Vauxhall chief Roland Dane has defended the team orders decision that denied Jason Plato a BTCC round six victory at Thruxton on Monday. Plato led the feature race but was told to allow his team-mate Yvan Muller to go through for a double victory. Dane said: "We have contractual obligations to adhere to. It has been clear from the word go that Yvan is the number one driver in our team. We are all working as a team to try and beat Ford, our biggest rivals."

1 A Menu     Swi Ford         66 pts
2 Y Muller   Fr  Vauxhall     60
3 A Reid     G   Ford         57
= J Plato    GB  Vauxhall     57
5 R Rydell   Swe Ford         52
6 G Tarquini It  Honda        35

1 Ford                166 pts
2 Vauxhall            131
3 Honda                64

BRITISH F3 (Oulton Park):- Tomas Scheckter fended off Antonio Pizzonia in a nail-biting finish to win the third round. Scheckter said: "It was tough. Antonio was putting a lot of pressure on me but I got a good restart from the safety car after there was a crash."

Round three results:
1 T Scheckter
2 A Pizzonia
3 A Priaulx
4 M Davies
5 N Karthikeyan
6 G Bruni

BRITISH GT'S (Oulton Park):- Tim Harvey and Mike Youles recovered from a late spin on an oily track to secure victory. Their Porsche 911 GT2 swept past Bobby Verdon-Roe and Ian McKellar after the latter ran short of fuel late on.

Race result:
1 Harvey/Youles     Porsche 911 GT2
2 Lockie/Byford     Marcos LM600
3 Cook/Hindley      Porsche 911 GT2

RENAULT SPORT (Thruxton):- Daniel Buxton claimed his first win of the year after passing early leader David Davies who had started from pole. Buxton now moves into second place in the title race behind leader Jim Edwards Jnr who was third.

Round three result:    min secs
1 D Buxton            20:07.988
2 D Davies            20:10.660
3 J Edwards Jnr       20:21.829
4 J Edwards Snr       20:25.953
5 M Burton            20:26.791
6 R Pearson           20:27.113

MGF CUP (Oulton Park):- Jamie Hunter took the honours in the third round of the MGF Cup. The number one driver for Frepau Racing made a fantastic start from third on the grid to move into the lead ahead of poleman Nick Carr. Carr came home in second after a breathtaking battle with Alastair Lyall, who finished third. On lap 11, both drivers threatened to put their cars into the pit wall, but there was no stopping Hunter from winning the race.

LOTUS ELISE’S (Thruxton):- Thruxton race instructor Mark Cole used his local knowledge to win round three of the championship. Cole dominated from pole position to become the third different driver to win a race this season.

Round three result:
1 M Cole            25:47.195
2 T Needell         25:52.954
3 E Horner          26:00.360
4 B Devlin          26:17.313
5 M Turner          26:20.410
6 M Pinny           26:20.937

FORD FIESTA’S (Thruxton):- Kent's Gareth Howell claimed his first win of the season in a close race. Championship leader Gordon Shedden led into the final corner but a forceful move by Howell sent the Scotsman off the track, although he finished second.

Round three result:    mins secs
1 G Howell       Wal   22:22.503
2 G Shedden      Sco   22:29.822
3 N Padmore      Eng   22:35.285
4 C Stancombe    Eng   22:16.495
5 J Clarke       Eng   22:45.742
6 A Blencowe     Eng   22:50.554

F.RENAULT 2000 (Thruxton):- Points leader Kimi Raikkonen claimed a second successive win in a two-part round three after overcoming the threat of Ryan Dalziel. Dalziel won the first leg but had a problem in the second and was passed by Raikkonen, who won on aggregate.

Round three result:
1 K Raikkonen     Fin  14:37.299
2 R Dalziel       GB   14:38.705
3 L Walker        GB   14:45.634
4 C Breeze        GB   14:46.350
5 C Hall          GB   14:47.820
6 T Sisley        GB   14:53.573

F.PALMER AUDI (Brands Hatch):-
Round four result:      mins secs
 1 R Kerr       GB      25:45.504
 2 R Tarling    GB      25:48.074
 3 J Keen       GB      25:48.465
 4 D Faulkner   Ire     25:48.912
 5 J Carlsen    Den     25:54.017
 6 A Simonsen   Den     25:58.876
 7 P Edwards    US      26:02.058
 8 D Hayes      GB      26:03.486
 9 B Jouanny    Fra     26:07.622
10 M Cioci      Ita     26:16.657

SPORTSCARS:- Guy Smith has had his first taste of Le Mans circuit ahead of his appearance in the Le Mans 24 Hours race. Smith described the experience as "awesome" after his test drive.

03.05.2000 - F1

David Coulthard will race in Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix after surviving Tuesday's air crash in which two people died, according to his McLaren team. "David is trying to take stock of what has happened and will be getting ready for the weekend," a McLaren spokeswoman said. "He will be going to Barcelona and he will be in the Spanish Grand Prix. He is a professional racing driver and is very focused trying to win this race," she added.

Formula One returns to Spain at the weekend for the fifth round of this season's championship. Michael Schumacher's winning run came to an end at Silverstone, but he still managed a podium finish and remains the man to beat. Mika Hakkinen won in Spain last year, but the race was regarded by pundits as one of the least exciting of the year. Race fans will hope that an enthralling start to the season will be reflected on the track.

David Coulthard will be grateful simply to be competing on Sunday after being involved in an air crash on Tuesday in which two people were killed. Coulthard escaped from the wreckage with his fiancee and personal trainer, but is set to race on Sunday. The Scotsman may find it hard to concentrate on the job of winning races again after the crash. However, he will be feeling confident after victory at Silverstone last time out to go second in the championship.

World champion Mika Hakkinen has not started the defence of his world drivers crown in the style he might have anticipated. The Finn retired in the first two races but kick-started his season with second place at Imola and Silverstone. However, he really needs a win if he has to have a chance of successfully defending his title. Barcelona might well prove to be the track for him, as he has won there the last two year.

Michael Schumacher knows that there is still plenty of work to do this season despite his imposing early form. The German goes into Sunday's race with a 20-point lead in the championship, but said: "It's too early to start thinking about the Championship. It's nice to have a 20-point cushion over my closest rival, but I am only thinking about how to add to those points on a race-by-race basis. The Championship will take care of itself," he added.

Michael Schumacher signalled his intentions for Sunday's race after posting an ominous warning to his rivals in testing. Ferrari star Schumacher, who has notched up three wins and a third place so far, goes into round five on the back of a superb Barcelona run-out. Schumacher clocked the fastest time on the final day of Catalunya testing. "We will certainly be a lot closer to the McLarens this year than we were last season," he said afterwards.

Rubens Barrichello will be hoping for better luck when he resumes his season on Sunday in Barcelona. The Brazilian was leading in Britain and looked well placed to take maximum points until technical problems forced him out. He is wary of the wind at the Catalunya circuit having had problems in testing. "You have to change the set-up all the time according to the wind," he said. "It can be a real problem, especially if it's gusty in qualifying".

Jenson Button is keen to build on his fifth place at last month's British Grand Prix in round five. "I have been testing at the Circuit de Catalunya for two days in preparation for the race," commented Button. "This was valuable for me. I needed to accumulate track mileage on this track, which I have little experience of. Given how good the FW22 feels I am excited about the race. The demanding fast corners and a long high speed straight makes it a real test."

Ralf Schumacher finished fifth in Spain last year and will be targeting a points finish again after a better- than-expected start to 2000. He had played down his chances before the start of the season because of the uncertainties over the BMW engine. The Williams star revealed: "After our successful race weekend at Silverstone I am quite optimistic about Sunday. The track has a high grip surface and is generally hard on tyres but we are optimistically looking forward to it."

Jaguar's Eddie Irvine is hoping for a more exciting race than last year. "Last year's race was memorable as the one everyone wanted to forget as it was a bit on the boring side," he said. "I have a theory that you get dull races on tracks where you test a lot. Having said that, everyone's performance level is much closer this season so we might get some excitement. A good qualifying position will be vital," he added.

Johnny Herbert took second place in Spain for Benetton in 1995 and is keen to score points again this year. "I hope that now our reliability is better we can find a bit more speed," he said. "It's always very difficult in Barcelona as the weather conditions can make the track vary so much. I hope that we have similar conditions at the race as we did last week at the test as this would make everybody's jobs easier."

Jordan are confident that they can at least repeat last season's overall third-place finish, despite mixed results so far. "Looking purely at our Silverstone performance I feel we have a car that can put us third in the championship," insisted technical chief Mike Gascoyne. "Retaining at least that position is our goal for the season. We could only get the parts we needed in time for the pre-Spanish grand prix test but the results were encouraging."

Jordan driver Heinz-Harald Frentzen has admitted that the Barcelona event is almost like a second home race for him. The German has a Spanish mother and speaks the language fluently. "I enjoy going to Barcelona but because we test there so often I know the circuit very well and racing there has become less of a challenge," he said. Frentzen failed to finish at Silverstone and added: "The team has been working really hard to cure the reliability issues."

Benetton are aware of the technical problems presented in Barcelona as they prepare for Sunday's race. Technical director Pat Symonds said: "Barcelona is a very technical circuit in that it is important to set the car up to look after the tyres. In addition, the circuit conditions change more rapidly than almost any other circuit. This can make it quite difficult for the drivers to really understand the car."

BAR driver Ricardo Zonta will be on familiar ground on Sunday. "I like this track - we have tested here so we know it well. It is a challenging circuit, particularly the high speed corners," he admitted. The Brazilian said his qualifying performance had let him down this season and he was more likely to score points from a better grid position. BAR Race team manager Ron Meadows said he was optmistic the bumpy track would suit his team's cars.

Sunday's race is scheduled to last for 65 laps or 191.04 miles. Benetton's Giancarlo Fisichella set the Barcelona lap record of one minute, 22.242 seconds in 1997. Michael Schumacher clocked the fastest race lap last year with a time of one minute, 24.982 seconds. Mika Hakkinen and Michael Schumacher have won the Spanish Grand Prix twice. Hakkinen won last year and in 1998 and Schumacher won in 1995 and 1996.


F1:- Organisers of last month's British Grand Prix at Silverstone have been summoned to appear before the FIA. The FIA said that the British Racing Drivers' club would appear before the world motor sport council at its next meeting in Warsaw on June 21. Silverstone chiefs were forced to apologise to fans after thousands missed practice and the race itself after heavy rain brought chaos. Car parks were closed on the Saturday due to flooding.

Jaguar has announced that Neil Ressler is to be the new chief executive officer of Jaguar Racing. He will have direct responsibility for all team activities and takes over immediately, in time for this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix. The move follows Paul Stewart stepping down as chief operating officer as he is being treated for cancer. Ressler said: "We are all now totally focused on realising the potential of the Jaguar R1."

PIRELLI INTERNATIONAL RALLY:- The second round of the British championship takes place this weekend with reigning champion Tapio Laukkanen seeking his first win of the season. Laukkanen failed to score in the opening round this year, but hopes to repeat his Pirelli win of last year. "We know how competitive the Volkswagen is and how quick we were in Wales, so I am still confident," he said. Stern competition can be expected from Mark Higgins and Neil Wearden of Vauxhall, first and second in Wales.

TLS PLAINS RALLY:- Saturday's rally sees twelve different championships being contested across the four special stages. The BTRDA series reaches its halfway point, with Andy Burton leading the silver star contendors after two wins so far this year. Rob Palmer leads Daniel Dunbabin in the current Gold Star Championships. Included on Saturday are the Ford Racing Ka Rally Championship and the Pioneer Daihatsu Rally Challenge 2000, accounting in total for 35 entries.

MINTEX RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP:- This weekend sees the third round of the Mintex Rally Championship, the Pirelli Carlisle City Challenge. Yorkshireman Steve Petch currently leads the series after two second-place finishes in the opening two rounds. He is likely to face stiff competition from the Subaru of round two winner Glyn Jones of Wales. Brian Bell will be keen to do well. The reigning BTRDA champion missed the second round after failing to finish the season opener in Yorkshire.

F3000 (Barcelona):- Kid Jensen racing will be hoping for a change of fortune when the championship resumes in Spain this weekend. Poor weather at Silverstone in the previous round played havoc with the team's chances and they are still to score a point this season. Team principal David Jensen said: "Catalunya would be a great place to start picking up some points." Engineering director Simon Barker added: "We are well prepared and both drivers should qualify at the front."

BRITISH F3 (Donington Park):- Brazil's Antonio Pizzonia was fastest in Thursday's tests before rounds four and five of the championship. Pizzonia was just faster than Takuma Sato of Japan, with Andy Priaulx posting the third quickets time.

Testing times (Thursday):   mins secs
1 A Pizzonia        Manor    1:03.667
2 T Sato            Carlin   1:03.687
3 A Priaulx         P'tecme  1:03.722
4 T Scheckter       Stewart  1:03.864
5 B Collins         Carlin   1:03.864
6 M Davies          P'tecme  1:04.169

BRITISH GT'S (Donington Park):
Testing times (Thu):
GT:                             min sec
1 I McKellar/B V-Roe  TVR      1:08.886
2 J Cleland/D Clark   Chrysler 1:09.147
3 D Warnock/R Schirle Lister   1:09.201
4 N Cunn'ham/S Day    Chrysler 1:09.546

GTO:                            min sec
1 T Rymer/G Lister    Porsche  1:11.932
2 M Jordan/M Sumpter  Porsche  1:13.180
3 P Fuller/M F'gill   Porsche  1:13.323
4 C B-Hend'son/C Ryan Marcos   1:14.572

05.05.2000 - F1: THE SPANISH GP

David Coulthard came through his first day in the cockpit since his horrific plane ordeal with no sign of problems. Coulthard, whose Lear jet crash landed in France three days ago killing both pilots, finished fifth fastest in first practice for Sunday's race. The 29-year-old Scot clocked up 20 laps to finish within 0.7 seconds of pacesetter Michael Schumacher. Ralf Schumacher was second quickest with Rubens Barrichello third. Jenson Button was sixth.

Friday practice times:
 1 M Schumacher  Ger Ferrari  1:21.982
 2 R Schumacher  Ger Williams 1:22.509
 3 R Barrichello Brz Ferrari  1:22.549
 4 J Trulli      It  Jordan   1:22.582
 5 D Coulthard   GB  McLaren  1:22.651
 6 J Button      GB  Williams 1:23.119
 7 M Hakkinen    Fin McLaren  1:23.266
 8 P Diniz       Brz Sauber   1:23.394
 9 H-H Frentzen  Ger Jordan   1:23.495
10 J Alesi       Fr  Prost    1:23.582
11 M Gene        Sp  Minardi  1:23.868
12 G Fisichella  It  Benetton 1:24.026
13 J Herbert     GB  Jaguar   1:24.114
14 A Wurz        Aut Benetton 1:24.161
15 E Irvine      GB  Jaguar   1:24.346
16 J Verstappen  Hol Arrows   1:24.346
17 R Zonta       Brz BAR      1:24.461
18 N Heidfeld    Ger Prost    1:24.582
19 G Mazzacane   Arg Minardi  1:24.767
20 M Salo        Fin Sauber   1:24.948
21 J Villeneuve  Can BAR      1:25.166
22 P de la Rosa  Sp  Arrows   1:25.189


Michael Schumacher boosted his hopes of claiming his fourth win of the year by taking pole position for Sunday's race. The championship leader secured the top grid spot - his first of the season - with 15 minutes to go and Mika Hakkinen will join him on the front row. David Coulthard put his plane crash nightmare behind him to be fourth quickest, just behind Ferrari driver Rubens Barrichello. Eddie Irvine was 10th, Jenson Button 11th and Johnny Herbert 15th.

Michael Schumacher will take nothing for granted on Sunday, despite earning his first pole position of 2000. "It is obviously satisfying but honestly if you look back since the beginning of the season we have always had the opportunity," he said. "We have not always used that opportunity. It is so close that if you get it perfectly right you can do it. Pole position is nice but on the other side the race counts and I just want to wait until then."

David Coulthard claimed a creditable fourth place on the grid after a traumatic few days but was disappointed with his qualifying efforts. "I am very disappointed because fourth place is not a true reflection of where I have been all weekend," he said. "I had a fuel pick-up problem and it meant we could either change to the T car, which was set up for Mika, or put fuel in my car to balance the problem. We decided to put more fuel in but we compromised on time and I got slower."

Saturday's qualifying times: mins secs
 1 M Schumacher  Ger Ferrari  1:20.974
 2 M Hakkinen    Fin McLaren  1:21.052
 3 R Barrichello Brz Ferrari  1:21.416
 4 D Coulthard   GB  McLaren  1:21.422
 5 R Schumacher  Ger Williams 1:21.685
 6 J Villeneuve  Can BAR      1:21:963
 7 J Trulli      It  Jordan   1:22.006
 8 H-H Frentzen  Ger Jordan   1:22.135
 9 E Irvine      GB  Jaguar   1:22.370
10 J Button      GB  Williams 1:22.385
11 J Verstappen  Hol Arrows   1:22.421
12 M Salo        Fin Sauber   1:22.443
13 G Fisichella  It  Benetton 1:22.569
14 J Herbert     GB  Jaguar   1:22.781
15 P Diniz       Brz Sauber   1:22.841
16 R Zonta       Brz BAR      1:22.882
17 J Alesi       Fr  Prost    1:22.894
18 A Wurz        Aut Benetton 1:23.010
19 N Heidfeld    Ger Prost    1:23.033
20 M Gene        Sp  Minardi  1:23.486
21 G Mazzacane   Arg Minardi  1:24.257
22 P de la Rosa  Sp  Arrows   no time
* de la Rosa qualified in 9th but was later placed last by stewards

BRITISH RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP:- Overnight leader of the Pirelly Rally Jarmo Kytolehto has reported no problems with the Kumho Tyres Hyundai. The Finnish driver was not happy with the car on the early Airport stages: "The set-up of the car was not correct for tarmac. It understeers on fast corners, oversteers on slow corners, but pleases the spectators," he said. The longer forest stages suited the car better and with the loss of Mark Higgins' Vauxhall he took the lead.

Mark Higgins' Pirelli Rally came to an abrupt end when the engine failed on his Vauxhall Astra on stage six. "The rally had been going well and I was enjoying the stage when then engine started running on three cylinders," he revealed. "We stopped to have a look and although we reached the end of the stage we were unable to continue. It's always sad to finish so early, expecially when the car had been going so well to begin with."

Tapio Laukkanen is set to fight his was back up the leaderboard on leg two of the Pirelli Rally. A series of punctures cost him time early on leg one and he was further slowed by being caught behind Andrew Pinker on stage six. "It's a lot to make up but I think we shall have to go for it. There is every chance we can do it," he claimed. "Pinker is just so incredibly slow. He should not even be in the rally. I am very angry."

Ryan Champion overtook Mike Faulkner on the final stage of day one of the Peugeot Super 106 Cup to lead by a mere half second. Faulkner had set a stunning time on the previous Chirdonhead stage which had put him ahead of Champion. Third placed Paul Wedgbury lies a further nine seconds adrift. In the International Event Justin Dale is holding on to ninth in the works specification Peugeot Super 106 Gti.
Pirelli International Rally
LEADERBOARD after 7 of 11 stages
(interim)                    hr min sec
 1 J Kytolehto     Hyundai    1:03:37.0
 2 N Wearden       Vauxhall   1:03:46.2
 3 M Ipatti        Mitsubishi 1:03:54.5
 4 M Brown         Mitsubishi 1:04:15.0
 5 D Wood          Subaru     1:04:45.5
 6 M Andersson     Proton     1:05:04.2
 7 T Laukkanen     Volkswagen 1:05:14.5
 8 N Elsmore       Mitsubishi 1:05:29.7
 9 J Dale          Peugeot    1:06:00.0
10 G Anderson      Mitsubishi 1:06:39.8

MINTEX RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP:- Mintex Championship leader Steve Petch is on course for maximum points at the end of leg 1 of the Pirelli Carlisle City Challenge Rally. His main threat comes from round two winner Glyn Jones in the Subaru Impreza. Barry Groundwater led Group N for most of the day only to suffer to puncture on the final stage He stopped to change the wheel and handed the Group N lead to David Brown.

Pirelli Carlisle City Challenge
LEADERBOARD after 3 of 7 stages
(interim)                    hr min sec
 1 S Finlay        Ford       0:22:52.7
 2 S Petch         Ford       0:24:10.1
 3 B Lyall         Subaru     0:24:22.7
 4 G Jones         Subaru     0:24:26.8
 5 R Woodside      Subaru     0:24:37.0
 6 J Carty         Metro      0:24:39.9
 7 B Groundwater   Mitsubishi 0:24:55.8
 8 W Sisson        Mitsubishi 0:25:06.6
 9 P Morgan        Subaru     0:25:12.0
10 M Faulkner      Peugeot    0:25:28.0

F3000 (Barcelona):-
Saturday's race result after 44 laps:
                           hr mins secs
 1 B Junqueira Brz Petrobas 1:11.52.069
 2 N Minassian Fr  Playlife 1:11.55.632
 3 D Saelens   Bel Playlife 1:12.02.847
 4 J V H'ydonk Bel Witmeur  1:12.04.400
 5 J Wilson    GB  Nordic   1:12.05.920
 6 F Montagny  Fr  DAMS     1:12.07.756
 7 D Manning   GB  Arden    1:12.10.359
 8 S Bourdais  Fr  G'uloses 1:12.11.305
 9 S Sarrazin  Fr  Mysap    1:12.11.995
10 A Couto     Por G’uloses 1:12.24.623

BRITISH F3 (Donington Park):- Ben Collins claimed victory in the fourth round after polesitter Takuma Sato was forced to retire after an early collision left him struggling. Matt Davies and Tomas Scheckter ended up in the gravel after they clashed at Redgate while disputing fourth place.

Round four result (Sat):    mins secs
1 B Collins     Carlin      30:54.264
2 N Karthikeyan Stewart       @ 0.747
3 M Bentwood    Fortec        @ 2.783
4 G Paffett     Young Guns    @10.176
5 N Kiesa       Benetton      @10.913
6 M O'Connell   Rowan         @12.378

Takuma Sato completed a qualifying double by taking pole position in the fifth round. He traded times with Tomas Scheckter but was quicker when it mattered.

Round five qualifying times (Sat):
                            mins secs
1 T Sato        Carlin       1:04.383
2 T Scheckter   Stewart      1:04.516
3 A Pizzonia    Manor        1:04.592
4 M Bentwood    Fortec       1:04.770
5 N Karthikeyan Promatecme   1:04.824
6 M Davies      Promatecme   1:04.831

BRITISH GT'S (Donington Park):- Cor Euser and Calum Lockie claimed pole position for the fourth round. They were quickest in the morning session and went faster still in the second run-out, despite having to contend with an oily track. Ian Astley and Chris Ellis were second quickest in their Lotus Espirit but Astley revealed: "It has got a misfire and is leaking oil." In the GTO category, Mike Jordan and Mark Sumpter again set the pace in their Porsche GT3R.

Round four qualifying times (Sat):
GT category:                    min sec
1 C Euser/C Lockie    Marcos   1:08.500
2 C Ellis/I Astley    Lotus    1:09.030
3 J Cleland/D Clark   Chrysler 1:09.058
4 D Warnock/R Schirle Lister   1:09.071

GTO category:                   min sec
1 M Sumpter/M Jordan  Porsche  1:12.002
2 M Short/R Barff     Cerbera  1:12.082
3 P Fuller/M F'thrgll Porsche  1:12.285
4 G Lister/T Rymer    Porsche  1:12.372

NATIONAL SALOON'S (Donington Park):- Simon Harrison lived up to his promise of taking pole position for round four on Saturday. Harrison placed his Ford Focus on pole for the first time by edging out Toni Ruokonen with Matt Kelly coming third.

Leading qualifying times (Sat):mins secs
1 S Harrison    Ford        1:18.887
2 T Ruokonen    Peugeot     1:18.917
3 M Kelly       Nissan      1:19.344
4 T Masini      Honda       1:19.349
5 R Moen        Peugeot     1:19.690
6 G Pyper       Alfa Romeo  1:20.150

MGF CUP (Donington Park):-
Round 4 qualifying times (Sat):mins secs
1 A Lyall                   1:21.131
2 N Carr                    1:21.202
3 J Hunter                  1:21.337
4 S Hart Banks              1:21.607
5 M Ticehurst               1:21.693
6 D Mason                   1:21.708

Result after 4 stages:
 1 Burton/Morgan   Peugeot     45:08
 2 Perrott/Mansell Mitsubishi  45:55
 3 Littler/M'bank  Escort Cos  46:10
 4 Humphreys/Pryce Mitsubishi  47:02
 5 Bradbury/Thomas Escort RS   47:58
 6 Brown/Dyson     Mitsubishi  48:14
 7 Parry/Lewis     Sierra 4x4  48:26
 8 Rogers/Sankey   Escort Cos  48:35
 9 Dunbabin/D'bin  Honda Civic 48:54
10 Squires/Squires Escort RS   49:09


Mika Hakkinen won his first race of the season with Britain's David Coulthard taking second place, giving McLaren a a perfect double boost. Rubens Barrichello drove his Ferrari into third spot with Ralf Schumacher's Williams taking fourth place. Michael Schumacher finished fifth with pit stops costing him dearly after he had been leading early on. Schumacher's misery was compounded by an injury to Ferrari's chief mechanic Nigel Stepney after a pit stop mix-up.

Mika Hakkinen was thrilled after clinching his first win of the season 17 seconds ahead of David Coulthard. "It feels like it's been a really long time since the last win," Hakkinen said. "I don't know how I can explain how pleased I am. I'm over the moon. It's a long way to the end of the season and anything can happen and today was a good example," he added. Hakkinen gave praise to his McLaren pit crew and observed: "The boys did an amazing job, it was just tremendous."

David Coulthard showed no ill effects after escaping from a jet plane crash on Tuesday in Lyon that killed the pilot and co-pilot. The Scot suffered a cracked rib and bruises in the crash, but produced a fine display to finish second, behind McLaren teammate Mika Hakkinen. "It was good to get in the car, drive, do my job," said Coulthard. "This is the best thing that can happen for the team and myself to come away from here with maximum points."

Rubens Barrichello accepted that events in the pit stops were the downfall of Ferrari's chances of victory. When chief mechanic Nigel Stepney had to be replaced after being injured, the second round of pit stops affected both Barrichello and Michael Schumacher. "The team had a problem with Nigel and putting the fuel in and my pit stop was quite slow," said Barrichello. "I saw the fuel was taking such a long time. They told me Michael ran over Nigel and that's why it was so slow."

Ferrari's British chief mechanic Nigel Stepney was injured while refuelling Michael Schumacher's car early in the race as the German was leading. Stepney was taken to the medical centre after being apparently hit by a rear wheel of the car in the first pit stop. "I've just stretched or broken a ligament," he said afterwards. "It's just swollen a little bit." Italian Andrea Vaccari took his place and was then involved in a nightmare second pit stop taking 17.5 seconds.

Michael Schumacher blamed costly pit stops as he finished fifth after being ahead for the first 41 laps. "We had a problem on the first stop and that gave us problems for the second," said the championship leader. He lost 10 seconds to winner Mika Hakkinen on the second stop and ended the race almost 48 seconds behind. "I was sure I was going to win as there are no overtaking possibilities. I was controlling the race," added Schumacher, after an eventful day.

Michael Schumacher was philosphical after seeing his race lead evaporate as Mika Hakkinen stormed to victory. On the first pit stop on the 24th lap, the fuel man for the Ferrari team Nigel Stepney, was nearly run over. "I felt I had driven over something. I looked in my mirror and saw a mechanic on the ground," said Schumacher. "You cannot always have lucky races and today's race did not go so well for us. Considering the problems we had, at least we scored some points."

Jaguar driver Eddie Irvine blamed poor starts after he finished 11th behind race winner Mika Hakkinen. "We are not as bad as 11th place might suggest. The simple fact is that we are qualifying consistently in the top 10," said Irvine. "But poor starts are putting us down the pecking order off the line and we are being caught behind slower cars. At a circuit like this, where there is little chance of overtaking, that's virtually race over."

Johnny Herbert felt things were a bit strained after finishing well down the field in 13th place. "I went one way with the set-up as I knew the tyres would go at the rear," said the Jaguar driver. "We had to change the wing slightly during the race. It made it better but it was a bit of a handful by the end. For some reason I didn't get enough fuel in the second stop but it didn't really matter as its not as if I was fighting for the points."

Result after 65 laps         hr min sec
 1 M Hakkinen    Fin McLaren  1:33.55
 2 D Coulthard   GB  McLaren  1:34.11
 3 R Barrichello Brz Ferrari  1:34.24
 4 R Schumacher  Ger Williams 1:34.32
 5 M Schumacher  Ger Ferrari  1:34.43
 6 H-H Frentzen  Ger Jordan   1:35.17
 7 M Salo        Fin Sauber   @ 1 lap
 8 R Zonta       Brz BAR      @ 1 lap
 9 G Fisichella  It  Benetton @ 1 lap
10 A Wurz        Aut Benetton @ 1 lap
11 E Irvine      GB  Jaguar   @ 1 lap
12 J Trulli      It  Jordan   @ 1 lap
13 J Herbert     GB  Jaguar   @ 1 lap
14 M Gene        Sp  Minardi  @ 2 laps
15 G Mazzacane   Arg Minardi  @ 2 laps
16 N Heidfeld    Ger Prost    @ 3 laps
17 J Button      GB  Williams @ DNF

   J Verstappen  Hol Arrows after 25 laps
   J Villeneuve  Can BAR    after 21 laps
   J Alesi       Fr  Prost  after one lap
   P de la Rosa  Sp  Arrows after one lap
   P Diniz       Brz Sauber     first lap

 1 M Schumacher  Ger  Ferrari   36 pts
 2 M Hakkinen    Fin  McLaren   22
 3 D Coulthard   GB   McLaren   20
 4 R Barrichello Brz  Ferrari   13
 5 R Schumacher  Ger  Williams  12
 6 G Fisichella  It   Benetton   8
 7 J Villeneuve  Can  BAR        5
 = H-H Frentzen  Ger  Jordan     5
 9 J Trulli      It   Jordan     4
10 J Button      GB   Williams   3
11 R Zonta       Brz  BAR        1
 = M Salo        Fin  Sauber     1

1 Ferrari       49 pts
2 McLaren       42
3 Williams      15
4 Jordan         9
5 Benetton       8
6 BAR            6
7 Sauber         1

BRITISH RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP:- Jarmo Kytolehto's dream of his first British Championship victory were dashed on the last stage of the Pirelli Rally. Kytolehto completed more than half of the 18 mile stage with no brakes and dropped several seconds to fellow Finn Marko Ipatti. "The car went really well, with only a few small problems, that we sorted on the day. I'm disappointed having led the event so long, but that's rallying."

Finn Marko Ipatti took his first British win and the lead of the Championship on the Pirelli Rally. After two days of close competition through the dust Kielder stages he took the lead on the final stage. "Our times were getting better and we were catching Jarmo in the stages and I thought I'd be able to catch him even if he hadn't had problems. I'm not sure about the rest of the year, the car is not so good on tarmac so I may have to change it."

Justin Dale brought the Peugeot 106 Gti home second in the Ferodo Super 1600 cup behind Mats Andersson's Proton. "We made a number of modifications to the car overnight. This had instant results and we set some identical time to Andersson. We took 20 seconds out of them on the last stage, but today was about points on the board. We will be going all out for the win on the Scottish." added Dale.

Neil Buckley won the Volkwagen Polo Challenge section of the Pirelli Rally to extend his overall lead of the Championship. The Peugeot Super 106 Cup was very closely fought to the last stage when four of the leading contenders retired. Martin Sansom punctured, Phil Wells went off and Kevin Furber was reported stuck in stage with steering problems. This left Paul Wedgbury in the lead with Richard Edwards second and Max McKillen third.

LEADERBOARD after 11 stages
(interim)                    hr min sec
 1 M Ipatti        Mitsubishi 2:05:22.4
 2 J Kytolehto     Hyundai    2:06:25.3
 3 D Wood          Subaru     2:08:04.7
 4 N Elsmore       Mitsubishi 2:09:20.9
 5 M Andersson     Proton     2:09:21.1
 6 G Cox           Mitsubishi 2:09:44.6
 7 G Anderson      Mitsubishi 2:10:03.5
 8 J Dale          Peugeot    2:10:17.4
 9 J Armstrong     Volkswagen 2:11:38.2
10 N Simpson       Mitsubishi 2:12:28.6


1 Ipatti        20
2 Andersson     15
3 M Higgins     12
4 Wearden       10
5 Pinker        10
6 Kytolehto     10

1 Proton      20
= Hyundai     20
3 Vauxhall    12
4 Peugeot      8

Pirelli Carlisle City Challenge
FINAL LEADERBOARD after 7 stages
(interim)                    hr min sec
 1 S Finlay        Ford       1:35:59.9
 2 S Petch         Ford       1:38:04.0
 3 B Lyall         Subaru     1:38:08.6
 4 G Jones         Subaru     1:41:02.9
 5 W Sisson        Mitsubishi 1:41:35.4
 6 B Bell          Ford       1:42:37.1
 7 R Woodside      Subaru     1:43:27.9
 8 P Morgan        Subaru     1:43:37.5
 9 S Bannister     Ford       1:45:32.0
10 D Brown         Subaru     1:45:41.5

BRITISH F3 (Donington Park):- Teenager Thomas Scheckter held off a fierce challenge from Antonio Pizzonia to claim victory in round five. Scheckter, son of 1979 Formula One world champion Jody, snatched the win by 0.191 seconds to go within two points of Pizzonia in the standings. Pizzonia's best chance of overtaking Scheckter came on lap 15 but tail-ender Ryan Walker blocked his path. "It was really tough and the car was really good and I was quite calm in the car," he said.

BRITISH GT'S (Donington Park):- Rob Schirle and David Warnock were rewarded for their measured performance with victory in the fourth round. Warnock started the car and ran in eighth place early on before gradually climbing the order. Others faultered and the Lister moved up to second. Then, as Schirle chased hard, the leading Marcos of Cor Euser and Calum Lockie hit fuel trouble and the Lister Storm swept to victory. Marcus Fothergill and Paul Fuller were victorious in the GTO category.

Round four results (Sun):
GT category:                  mins secs
1 D Warnock/R Schirle Lister  60:21.476
2 C Ellis/I Astley    Lotus   60:29.022
3 C Euser/C Lockie    Marcos  60:33.123
4 J Cleland/D Clark   Chr'ler 61:17.462

GTO category:
1 P Fuller/M F'thrgll Porsche  48 laps
2 S Bland/J Griffiths Marcos    "  "
3 C B-Hend'son/C Ryan Marcos    "  "
4 K Konig/C Hayles    Chrysler 47 laps

NATIONAL SALOON'S (Donington Park):- Matt Kelly was handed victory in round four after Tobia Masini, who crossed the line first, was disqualified. The Honda driver was excluded from the results over an incident on the track with Toni Ruokonen.

Result (Sun):
1 M Kelly       Nissan
2 P Andrews     Ford
3 G Pyper       Alfa Romeo
4 T Ferrier     Alfa Romeo
5 T Boardman    Peugeot
  T Masini      Honda

08.05.2000 - F1

David Coulthard 'seriously bruised' his ribs while surviving an air crash last week but did not crack them. Reports suggested that Coulthard had sustained breaks in the incident last week, but his McLaren team have now confirmed this was not the case. It would have been unlikely the Scot would have been allowed to race in Barcelona, where he finished second, if he had broken ribs. Coulthard will rest this week before undergoing physiotherapy.

Ferrari mechanic Nigel Stepney broke his ankle in Michael Schumacher's refuelling accident in Barcelona. The injury is more serious than was first thought and Stepney will be out of action for four weeks. Stepney appeared to be hit by a rear wheel after Schumacher had apparently been given the all-clear to rejoin the race too early. Ferrari have not commented on the exact cause of the accident, saying that it is still being investigated.


F1:- Benetton supremo Flavio Briatore has denied speculation over changes in the team's driver line-up. "I confirm that the Mild Seven Benetton Playlife drivers for the European Grand Prix will be Giancarlo Fisichella and Alexander Wurz," he said. Briatore was referring to speculation "particularly in the German and Austrian press." Fisichella is sixth in the championship with eight points while Wurz is yet to score this season.

Racing team chiefs are supporting Silverstone officials who have been summoned by the FIA to explain problems at the British Grand Prix. Frank Williams said: "I think that it is regrettable they feel the need to drag Silverstone into the mire again. It is a political football and they are the whipping boys." McLaren's Ron Dennis cited bad weather, saying: "If they are being penalised for something that came out of climactic conditions then I think it is severe."

Frank Williams warned Formula One rookie Jenson Button he has to continue to impress on the track if he is to secure his future at the top level. Williams has been pleased with the 20- year-old's performance so far but will decide in the next two months which two drivers he wants for next season. "It is going to be a nasty and nice problem." admitted Williams. "It will be a difficult decision. It is what he (Jenson) does on the track which will make up our mind."

BTCC (Knockhill):- Anthony Reid will be hoping that local knowledge will give him an advantage over his rivals in rounds seven and eight on Sunday. The Scot is joint third overall but said: "I like to go home to see family and friends but that does not make this race any more important than others. Knockhill is a circuit I enjoy. I have won there before, had a couple of poles and was on the front row last year. I know how the weather works there, which is always an advantage."

Anthony Reid's main ambition is to win the championship and emulate his childhood hero Jim Clark. Double Formula One world champion Clark won the 1964 BTCC and he and Reid both attended Scotland's Loretto School. Reid admitted: "Jim Clark was the reason I became interested in motor racing. There was a big plaque at school commemorating his achievements. He won the BTCC with Ford and I have never had a better chance to win the title than this year with Ford."

Vauxhall have confirmed that team orders could come into play again. In round six Jason Plato was told to move aside to let fellow Vectra driver Yvan Muller through to take the win. Vauxhall Motorsport manager Mike Nicholson said: "Yvan is the lead driver - a position he has earned by strong performances in 1999 and 2000. Everyone wants to see the best driver in any race prevail and team tactics will be introduced if there is a need to protect our championship position."

Vauxhall Vectra drivers Yvan Muller and Jason Plato will be carrying extra ballast this weekend after their Thruxton successes. The extra 40kg load could make a difference on the Knockhill inclines. Others to be given weight penalties include Anthony Reid (30kg) and Alain Menu (20kg). Class B drivers Alan Morrison (40kg), Mark Lemmer (30kg) and James Kaye (20kg) will also be carrying extra weight in rounds seven and eight.

Glaswegian Colin Blair is aiming to take a clear lead in the Michelin Cup on his home circuit on Sunday. The 41-year-old is jointly leading the standings with reigning independent champion Matt Neal. Both drive Nissan Primeras but Blair believes his knowledge of the track could give him an edge. "I have competed in about 20 road saloon races there and won the majority of them," he confirmed. "I know the circuit very well."

Britain's Independent champion Matt Neal will be looking for a change of fortune after a series of frustrations in the opening events. "We could be up there challenging for the title right now - we have proved we can run with the top cars," he said. "Unfortunately we are already seeing team positions and tactics being played and at the moment there is not enough overtaking and close fought racing. The Nissan Primera is developing well and Knockhill can be a turning point."

In class B Alan Morrison has proved to be the man to beat in his Peugeot 306, with four wins from six races. Knockhill's support race package will include the Slick 50 Formula Ford Zetec championship, Autobytel Lotus series and Formula Renault 2000. Round seven (sprint race) is scheduled to start at 12.45pm on Sunday and last for 20 laps (26 miles). Round eight (feature race) is scheduled to start at 3.30pm and last for 40 laps (52 miles).

RALLY OF ARGENTINA:- The World Rally Championship moves onto Argentina for the sixth round, the only round of the season to be staged in South America. The rally sees the championship revert to gravel special stages after the smooth asphalt in Spain. In all, the drivers face 391km of stages in a route of 1,559km before the finish in front of fanatical fans at Cordoba's football stadium. The first leg kicks off with two special stages in darkness.

Britain's Richard Burns heads the World Championship going into the Argentina rally, with his Subaru team also leading the constructors' race. Burns finished second to Juha Kankkunen 12 months ago and is confident of going one better this time around. "Everyone knows how close it was last year between me and a win," he said. "I've never been in such a good position at this stage in the championship before, and there is no reason why I can't win here."

Colin McRae sees no reason why a change of surface should make any difference to his Ford team's performance. "Obviously the Focus is set up differently for loose surface roads but I would say it is currently best suited to gravel," McRae explained. The 31-year-old's triumph in Spain was his 19th world championship win, putting him fifth in the all-time list. "That win was a great confidence boost for everyone in the team and it would be nice to repeat that result."

Spanish driver Carlos Sainz is looking forward to a rally where he has always done well and received good support. Winner in 1991, he has also finished second five times in Argentina so it's no surprise the event is a favourite. "I like the ambience and the people speak Spanish. It makes me feel at home. It's a lot of fun," Sainz said. "Our win on asphalt surprised many but we must prove our consistency by doing the same on gravel. It won't be easy but that's our challenge."

World champion Tommi Makinen goes into the Argentina Rally with renewed confidence after an operation to cure a minor nasal problem. "All through the beginning of the season, I have been suffering a little bit with flu," Makinen revealed. "But I feel much better now." Makinen has an excellent record in Argentina, having won on three of his last four visits in his Mitsubishi. "Argentina has been good to us and I know the car will be competitive."

SEAT Sport are hoping that intense preparations around their Barcelona base will stand them in good stead for the 20th Rally of Argentina. The team has tested on varied terrain and driver Toni Gardemeister belives that can only help their prospects. "We have been testing on rough, fast and mixed surfaces and at high altitude to simulate the conditions," he said. "I hope to be able to set some good times in Argentina but I'm not going there with unrealistic expectations."

The Hyundai team will face many new obstacles for the first time when they participate in the event they did contest last year. But drivers Kenneth Eriksson and Alister McRae have experience of the conditions and both will be using the latest specification engines. The team have also worked on their their initial set-ups for the event. McRae said: "We learned a lot about the car and improved the handling so that it suits my driving style better."


F1:- David Coulthard cracked three ribs and bruised his right chest wall when he survived a plane crash last week. The extent of the McLaren driver's injuries was ascertained in a medical examination in London. FIA chief medical officer Professor Sid Watkins said: "I am absolutely confident that David will race at the European Grand Prix." McLaren boss Ron Dennis agreed, adding: "He is not participating in our test at Jerez to allow his injuries to heal."

RALLYING:- The FIA have announced that the Rally of Cyprus will replace the China event in the 2000 World Rally Championship. It will be the first time that Cyprus has featured in the series. In a statement, the FIA said: "The world motor sport council has approved by fax vote that the Rally of Cyprus will replace the Rally of China." The China Rally was axed last month after the sponsors pulled out. The Rally of Cyprus will be held from September 7-10 and be based in Nicosia.


F1:- All 200,000 seats for the American Grand Prix at Indianoplis in September have been sold. It will be a record crowd for a Formula One Grand Prix in America. The attendance has never topped 100,000 for an American race.

F1 TESTING (Jerez):-
Thursday's times:            mins secs
 1 A Wurz        Aut Benetton  1:24.44
 2 O Panis       Fr  McLaren   1:24.69
 3 R Schumacher  Ger Williams  1:25.08
 4 D Manning     GB  BAR       1:25.28
 5 H-H Frentzen  Ger Jordan    1:25.32
 6 J Herbert     GB  Jaguar    1:25.40
 7 E Irvine      GB  Jaguar    1:25.59
 8 P Diniz       Brz Sauber    1:25.80
 9 P de la Rosa  Sp  Arrows    1:26.39
10 G Pantano     It  Benetton  1:26.92

CART (Motegi):- Rookie Kenny Brack clocked the fastest time in practice ahead of Saturday's Firestone Firehawk 500 in Japan ` the fourth grand prix of the season. Brack set a time of 26.072 seconds in his Shell Ford Cosworth Reynard to finish ahead of Juan Montoya (26.092) and Jimmy Vasser (26.140). Swedish native Brack said: "It is early but I would rather be at the top of the list in any session than bottom." Mark Blundell was 22nd and he said: "We must work on the mechanical balance."

STEYR-PUCH MANX RALLY:- For the first time since 1995 the event is a round of the ANCRO National Rally Series and the Safety Devices National Rally Championship. The rally includes a loop of three stages on Friday evening, prior to an overnight halt, and then there is a full day of competition on Saturday. Last year's winners Kenny McKinstry and Noel Orr, in a Subaru Impreza, will be the first pair to get underway. The 1998 winners John and Caroline Price are also in the field.

Top 10 starters:
 1 K McKinstry/N Orr        Subaru Imp
 2 M Dodd/J Bennie          Subaru Imp
 3 J Price/C Price          MG Metro
 4 R Duckworth/M Broomfield Subaru Imp
 5 C Griffiths/A Davies     Subaru Imp
 6 V Wetton/J Haigh         Mitsubishi
 7 J Mercer/K Bills         MG Metro
 8 M Evans/ M Henry         Ford Escort
 9 W Philliskirk/E Evans    MG Metro
10 D Mann/A Cook            Mitsubishi

F.FORD (Knockhill):- Australian James Courtney looks on course to get his title bid back on track after setting the fastest time in pre-race testing. Much of the afternoon was hit by red flags as several drivers spun off.

Leading times (Thur):     secs
1 J Courtney      Aus    53.404
2 R Dahlgren      Swe    53.505
3 M Taylor        Eng    53.695
4 A Davidson      Eng    53.728
5 A van der Merwe SA     53.765
6 R Bell          Eng    53.840

F.RENAULT (Knockhill):- Scotland's Ryan Dalziel topped the times in testing for Sunday's round four on his home circuit. He edged out fellow title-chaser Kimi Raikkonen, while Dalziel's brother John was seventh quickest.

Leading test times (Thur):
1 R Dalziel     GB     51.136
2 K Raikkonen   Fin    51.218
3 L Walker      GB     51.304
4 C Breeze      GB     51.410
5 T Sisley      GB     51.494
6 M McLoughlin  GB     51.530

F.PALMER AUDI (Silverstone):- The championship race is wide open heading into rounds five and six on Saturday and Sunday, with the previous rounds having four different winners. Robbie Kerr won at Brands Hatch two weeks ago but defending champion Richard tarling has yet to win in 2000.

1 J Keen       GB   58 pts
2 D Faulkner   Ire  54
3 M Santavirta Fin  52
= R Kerr       GB   52
5 T Serjala    Fin  51
6 J Carlsen    Den  50

ALMS:- Britain's Allan McNish will make a rare appearance in his home country on Saturday in a 300-mile sportscar endurance race at Silverstone. The three-hour American Le Mans Series event will finish in darkness. McNish said: "Audi are using the 1999 car. We do not want to jeopardise the new 2000 Audi and risk anything for the Le Mans race itself."

F.RENAULT EUROCUP:- Richard Antinucci is aiming for a podium finish in the Formula Renault Eurocup in Zandvoort this weekend. The 19-year-old Italian American was seventh in the unofficial first event in Mugello three weeks ago.


F1:- Jenson Button has been given another warning that his Formula One future with Williams is not yet secure. Button's team boss Frank Williams has asked if FedEx CART champion Juan Pablo Montoya will be available in 2001, one year before the end of his contract. Williams is expecting a decision from Montoya's US boss Chip Ganassi soon and has an option to buy the highly-rated Colombian out of his contract. Williams said earlier this week: "It is going to be a nasty and nice problem."

RALLY OF ARGENTINA:- Finnish driver Marcus Gronholm took the lead in the Rally of Argentina, the sixth round of the world championship after Friday's two special stages. Gronholm, driving a Peugeot 206, was second overnight by just 0.4 seconds. But he took full advantage of leader Richard Burns' overheating engine on the first run of the day to storm into the lead. Ford drivers Carlos Sainz and Colin McRae also capitalised to move second and third respectively.

 Positions after stage 6:      mins secs
 1 M Gronholm  Fin Peugeot    45:45.6
 2 C Sainz     Sp  Ford        @0.6
 3 C McRae     GB  Ford        @10.4
 4 R Burns     GB  Subaru      @11.8
 5 T Makinen   Fin Mitsubishi  @14.7
 6 J Kankkunen Fin Subaru      @17.4
 7 F Loix      Bel Mitsubishi  @1:02.7
 8 A McRae     GB  Hyundai     @1:26.1
 9 K Eriksson  Swe Hyundai     @2:17.4
10 P Solberg   Nor Ford        @2:42.3


BTTC (Knockhill):- Gabriele Tarquini survived the threat of disqualification to give Honda their first pole of this year's Autotrader British Touring Car Championship. The Italian's top time in qualifying for round eight was invalidated, along with Ford's Anthony Reid, after teams allegedly heated their tyres illegally. Both drivers had their times reinstated though after appeals. Alain Menu, who would have moved up to pole had the protest failed, has to be satisfied with leading off round seven.

Round seven qualifying times (Sat):
 1 A Menu        Swi Ford     53.144
 2 R Rydell      Swe Ford     53.184
 3 A Reid        GB  Ford     53.262
 4 G Tarquini    It  Honda    53.267
 5 M Neal        GB  Nissan   53.326
 6 J Thompson    GB  Honda    53.427
 7 T Kristensen  Den Honda    53.430
 8 Y Muller      Fr  Vauxhall 53.555
 9 J Plato       GB  Vauxhall 53.641
10 C Blair       GB  Nissan   54.245

Round eight qualifying times (Sat):
 1 G Tarquini    It  Honda    52.190
 2 A Menu        Swi Ford     52.284
 3 J Thompson    GB  Honda    52.364
 4 T Kristensen  Den Honda    52.480
 5 M Neal        GB  Nissan   52.496
 6 R Rydell      Swe Ford     52.498
 7 Y Muller      Fr  Vauxhall 52.852
 8 V Radermecker Bel Vauxhall 52.971
 9 A Reid        GB  Ford     53.005
10 J Plato       GB  Vauxhall 53.053

RALLY OF ARGENTINA:- Overnight leader Carlos Sainz crashed out of the event when his Ford hit a barrier 600 metres from the end of the 11th stage. The impact badly damaged the Spaniard's radiator and allowed Finland's Marcus Gronholm to move 10.7 seconds ahead after the 12.46km San Agustin run. Gronholm had survived the stage despite a broken wheel and maintained the lead after stage 12. Britain's Colin McRae and Richard Burns are lying second and third.

Leaderboard after 12 stages: hr min secs
 1 M Gronholm  Fin Peugeot    2:04.43.7
 2 C McRae     GB  Ford          @ 03.9
 3 R Burns     GB  Subaru        @ 14.6
 4 J Kankkunen Fin Subaru        @ 35.8
 5 T Makinen   Fin Mitsubishi    @ 35.9
 6 F Loix      Bel Mitsubishi @ 02.25.7
 7 A McRae     GB  Hyundai    @ 03.44.3
 8 P Solberg   Nor Ford       @ 04.31.5
 9 G Pozzo     Arg Mitsubishi @ 08.21.1
10 G Trelles   Uru Mitsubishi @ 08.33.7

CART (Motegi):- Rain forced the postponement of the Firestone Firehawk 500, the 2000 FedEx Championship Series' fifth round, at Motegi in Japan. The race will now be held on Sunday as long as the weather allows. The track was drying fast enough for CART officials to have the Champ Car competitors taking a few laps under a yellow flag shortly before noon. The fastest driver was Jimmy Vasser with a lap of 205.802 mph, though Juan Montoya was on pole.

Firestone Firehawk 500 qualifying:
 1 J Montoya    Col Toyota   26.237
 2 K Brack      Swe Ford     26.393
 3 J Vasser     US  Toyota   26.455
 4 R Moreno     Brz Ford     26.486
 5 G de Ferran  Brz Honda    26.512
 6 C Fittipaldi Brz Ford     26.536
 7 M Gugelmin   Brz Mercedes 26.633
 8 M Andretti   US  Ford     26.657
 9 T Kanaan     Brz Mercedes 26.667
10 A Tagliani   Can Ford     26.715
17 D Franchitti GB  Honda    26.910
22 M Blundell   GB  Mercedes 27.412

Result after 12 stages:       hr min sec
 1 McKinstry/Orr     Subaru     1:40.42
 2 Duckworth/Br'mfld Subaru     1:41.58
 3 Dodd/Bennie       Subaru     1:42.11
 4 Evans/Henry       Escort     1:43.11
 5 J & C Price       Metro 6R4  1:43.40
 6 Davies/Hardie     Metro      1:44.54
 7 Mann/Cook         Mitsubishi 1:45.41
 8 Leece/Tarrant     Metro 6R4  1:45.28
 9 Watson/Pugh       Escort     1:45.53
10 Collins/Mee       Escort     1:45.54

Qualifying times:            mins secs
 1 Bailey/Campbell-W Lister   1:48.853
 2 Dericheb'rg/Vosse Chrysler 1:49.977
 3 Springer/Favre    Lister   1:50.238
 4 Hezemans/Hart     Chrysler 1:50.294
 5 Gosselin/Belmondo Chrysler 1:50.628
 6 Brun/Seiler       Chrysler 1:51.305
 7 Watson/Defourny   Chrysler 1:51.361
 8 Lafon/Jarier      Chrysler 1:51.364
 9 Konrad/V Gartzen  Porsche  1:51.364
10 Martinolle/L'gnez Chrysler 1:51.387

F.RENAULT (Knockhill):- Tom Sisley gave the Motaworld team pole position ahead of title contenders Ryan Dalziel and Kimi Raikkonen. Dalziel is looking for a home win to eat into Raikkonen's points lead as the top 15 were covered by under a second.

Leading times (Sat):    secs
1 T Sisley      GB     51.182
2 R Dalziel     GB     51.363
3 K Raikkonen   Fin    51.461
4 C Breeze      GB     51.548
5 C Hall        GB     51.620
6 D Watts       GB     51.718

RENAULT SPORT UK CUP (Knockhill):- David Gibson backed up his testing form by setting the fastest time in qualifying ahead of David Davies. Daniel Buxton was third quickest and series leader Jim Edwards Jnr was fourth fastest.

Round four qualifying times (Sat):
1 D Gibson             59.565
2 D Davies             59.690
3 D Buxton             59.730
4 J Edwards Jnr        59.751
5 P Sowerby            59.884
6 R Pearson            59.991

F.PALMER AUDI (Silverstone):-
Round 5                      mins secs
 1 T Mullen    GB  MORSE     21:42.454
 2 D Faulkner  Irl SIGN      21:43.092
 3 R Kerr      GB  Sandersen 21:47.683
 4 J Keen      GB  Pendant   21:48.114
 5 J VD Ende   Hol T Brask   21:50.455
 6 D Hayes     GB  Hyperion  21:51.992
 7 M S'virta   Fin Sonera    21:58.327
 8 R Tarling   GB  JSP       22:00.041
 9 B Jouanny   Fr  ALTRAN    22:01.037
10 B Beesson   Fr  BBC Eur   22:02.747

NASCAR:- Adam Petty, the fourth-generation driver from NASCAR's 'first family' died after crashing into a wall during a Busch 200 practice session. The 19-year-old was airlifted from the New Hampshire International Speedway but his head injuries were too severe. His father Kyle, grandfather Richard and great-grandfather Lee were all racing drivers.


BTCC (Knockhill):- Gabriele Tarquini shrugged off his bad memories of Knockhill with a fine run to win round eight's feature race. Tarquini survived a temporary disqualification to lead from start to finish in commanding style. Rickard Rydell meanwhile claimed victory in the sprint race and his team Ford claimed a one-two-three. Swede Rydell started second on the grid behind Alain Menu but got away quicker and managed to hold off Menu to win his first race this year by 0.94 seconds.

Round seven result (Sun):     mins secs
 1 R Rydell      Swe Ford     20.44.910
 2 A Menu        Swi Ford     20.45.853
 3 A Reid        GB  Ford     20.49.600
 4 M Neal        GB  Nissan   20.56.892
 5 T Kristensen  Den Honda    20.57.418
 6 J Thompson    GB  Honda    20.57.499
 7 Y Muller      Fr  Vauxhall 20.58.228
 8 J Plato       GB  Vauxhall 20.58.740
 9 V R'mecker    Bel Vauxhall 21.04.970
10 C Blair       GB  Nissan   21.21.830

Round eight result (Sun):     mins secs
 1 G Tarquini    Ita Honda    36.08.803
 2 J Thompson    GB  Honda    36.12.076
 3 R Rydell      Swe Mondeo   36.25.517
 4 A Reid        GB  Mondeo   36.30.328
 5 Y Muller      Fr  Vauxhall 36.33.670
 6 M Neal        GB  Nissan   36.37.628
 7 V Radermecker Bel Vauxhall 36.38.077
 8 C Blair       GB  Nissan   36.56.905
 9 J Plato       GB  Vauxhall 36.59.305
10 A Morrison    GB  Peugeot   37 laps

RALLY OF ARGENTINA:- Britain's Richard Burns won the Rally of Argentina to extend his lead in the World Championship to 14 points. Burns, driving his Subaru Impreza, had led overnight and eventually came home more than a minute ahead of Finnish duo Marcus Gronholm and Tommi Makinen. Colin McRae meanwhile was forced to retire early on Sunday when his Ford Focus suffered mechanical problems. He eventually ground to a halt 7km from the end of the stage between Chamico and Ambul with terminal engine trouble.

Result (Sun):              hr mins secs
 1 R Burns     GB   Subaru   4:10.20.7
 2 M Gronholm  Fin  Peugeot  @  1.07.4
 3 T Makinen   Fin  M'bishi  @  1.31.6
 4 J Kankkunen Fin  Subaru   @  2.22.8
 5 F Loix      Bel  M'bishi  @  8.33.6
 6 P Solberg   Nor  Ford     @ 10.59.6
 7 A McRae     GB   Hyundai  @ 13.17.8
 8 K Eriksson  Swe  Hyundai  @ 20.35.1
 9 G Trelles   Uru  M'bishi  @ 21.39.5
10 G Pozzo     Arg  M'bishi  @ 22.40.4

1 R Burns      GB   Subaru      38 pts
2 M Gronholm   Fin  Peugeot     24
3 T Makinen    Fin  Mitsubishi  23
4 C Sainz      Sp   Ford        17
5 C McRae      GB   Ford        14
= J Kankkunen  Fin  Subaru      14

1 Subaru         54 pts
2 Ford           31
3 Mitsubishi     29
= Peugeot        29
5 SEAT            7
6 Skoda           5

CART (Motegi):- Michael Andretti posted his first victory in a year by winning the rain- affected 500km Japanese round. Andretti took full advantage when pole- sitter and defending champion Juan Montoya was hit by mechanical problems during his final pit stop. "It feels good to finally break the ice," Andretti said afterwards, whose win puts him third in the all-time list of race winners. Britain's Dario Franchitti came home in second while Mark Blundell ended 20th.

Firestone Firehawk 500:     hr min secs
 1 M Andretti   US  Ford    1:58.52.201
 2 D Franchitti GB  Honda       @ 0.546
 3 R Moreno     Brz Ford        @ 2.279
 4 C da Matta   Brz Toyota      @ 0.717
 5 K Brack      Swe Ford        @ 0.383
 6 P Tracy      Can Honda       @ 0.394
 7 J Montoya    Col Toyota      @ 0.593
 8 M Papis      It  Ford        @ 1 lap
 9 G de Ferran  Brz Honda       @ 1 lap
10 A Fernandez  Mex Ford        @ 1 lap
20 M Blundell   GB  Mercedes  @ 40 laps

Result (Sun):               hr min secs
 1 Bailey/Campbell-W Lister   3:01.28
 2 Hezemans/Hart     Chrysler 3:02.27
 3 Gosselin/Belmondo Chrysler 3:01.41
 4 Watson/Defourny   Chrysler 3:02.07
 5 Martinolle/L'gnez Chrysler 3:02.55
 6 Konrad/V Gartzen  Porsche  3:01.27
 7 Brun/Seiler       Chrysler 3:01.30
 8 Springer/Favre    Lister   3:01.35
 9 Lafon/Jarier      Chrysler 3:01.35
10 F'mayr/F'mayr jnr Chrysler 3:02.10
Result based on laps completed

F.FORD (Knockhill):- Kent's Mark Taylor recorded a lights to flag victory to move him into a share of the championship lead. Robert Dahlgren drove through the pain of Saturday's crash in qualifying to take second place.

Round five result (Sun):mins secs
1 M Taylor        GB   24:26.609
2 R Dahlgren      Swe  24:30.247
3 A Davidson      GB   24:30.348
4 J Courtney      Aus  24:32.796
5 J Fourie        SA   24:35.444
6 R Bell          GB   24:35.622

F.RENAULT (Knockhill):- Ryan Dalziel won the race with the fastest lap on home ground ahead of Kimi Raikkonen, who he led all the way. The pair overtook Tom Sisley at the first bend after he got a slow start from pole position.

Result (Sun):        mins secs
1 R Dalziel     GB   31:29.544
2 K Raikkonen   Fin  31:30.479
3 T Sisley      GB   31:36.878
4 C Breeze      GB   31:42.195
5 L Walker      GB   31:43.245
6 C Hall        GB   31:44.354

FORD FIESTA’S (Knockhill):- Gordon Shedden notched a memorable win in round five of the championship after taking a comfortable lead. It was the second victory of the weekend for the championship leader following Saturday's triumph.

Result (Sun):        mins secs
1 G Shedden     GB   24:33.250
2 B Roper       GB   24:43.407
3 G Howell      GB   24:47.250
4 J Clarke      GB   24:50.526
5 J Bartella    GB   24:55.867
6 N Beaumont    GB   24:59.021

RENAULT SPORT UK CUP (Knockhill):- Jim Edwards jr stretched his series lead with victory in round four. His father Jim senior was eighth, while title rival Daniel Buxton finished 19th after pitting for repairs.

Round four result (Sun):mins secs
1 J Edwards Jnr     22:22.580
2 D Gibson          22:23.926
3 P Sowerby         22:26.280
4 M Jackson         22:33.670
5 R MacDowall       22:35.868
6 D Davies          22:37.381

F.PALMER AUDI (Silverstone):-
Round 6 result:              mins secs
 1 J VD Ende   Hol T Brask   21:55.402
 2 J Keen      GB  Pendant   21:56.536
 3 D Faulkner  Irl SIGN      21:58.267
 4 D Hayes     GB  Hyperion  22:03.118
 5 J Carlsen   Den Team Br'k 22:05.529
 6 T Serjala   Fin GHT Eu'pe 22:05.953
 7 R Kerr      GB  Sandersen 22:07.363
 8 B Jouanny   Fr  ALTRAN    22:08.081
 9 B Beesson   Fr  BBC Eur   22:08.685
10 M S'virta   Fin Sonera    22:09.612

ALMS:- Former Le Mans winner Allan McNish and co-driver Rinaldo Capello claimed third place in the 300-mile American Le Mans series endurance race at Silverstone. Scotsman McNish moved from fourth to first in the first leg, but the team suffered a broken rear suspension on the final lap and ended third. JJ Lehto and Jorg Muller won by just over 30 seconds from David Brabham and Jan Magnussen.


German Michael Schumacher will be targeting a home win on Sunday as he aims to extend his lead in the series. He began the season in superb style with three wins but a third place in Britain and fifth spot in Barcelona has seen his lead cut back to 14 points. Schumacher has savoured victory before at the Nurburgring - with Benetton in the 1995 campaign. Last year he missed the European Grand Prix because he was recovering from a broken leg and Mika Salo replaced him.

Ferrari have been working on their pit stops because mechanic Nigel Stepney will not be able to fuel the cars in Germany this weekend. He suffered a broken ankle after he was knocked over as Michael Schumacher pulled away at a pit stop in Spain. The team have carried out a number of practice pit stops with a replacement refueller and test driver Luca Badoer at Fiorano. Rubens Barrichello, meanwhile, tested at Mugello for two days.

Mika Hakkinen's bid to win his third straight drivers' crown is back on track but he will still be going all out for victory in Germany. A win in Barcelona means he trails Michael Schumacher by 14 points. However, McLaren are showing signs that they are overcoming the early-season engine problems that led to the Finn failing to finish the first two races. If Hakkinen can secure his fourth pole position of the season and get a good start, he could be difficult to beat.

David Coulthard is so far producing the sort of form that suggests he could be a genuine title contender this season ` and that is on top of adversity. His second place in Barcelona last time out came after his plane crash and rib injuries sustained in that accident. But for his disqualification in Brazil he would be closer than 16 points to leader Michael Schumacher. However, the Scot failed to finish last year's European Grand Prix because of an accident after 37 laps.

Ralf Schumacher would love to claim that elusive first victory on a track where he came so close to doing that very thing last year. Team boss Frank Williams said: "Last year Ralf came very close to his first victory on this track. However, he was unluckily prevented from stepping on to the podium by a puncture. In the end he was forced into fourth place. I am quite confident that he will try and set the record straight this year."

Jenson Button will put any doubts about his future at Williams next season behind him on Sunday as he bids to add to his points tally of three. The Briton revealed: "Our testing at Jerez went well and the FW22 is feeling better all the time. BMW are working very hard to solve the engine problems that plagued my Spanish Grand Prix. Given how hard everybody is working, I really hope we can go one step better at the Grand Prix of Europe."

Johnny Herbert triumphed in the 1999 European Grand Prix and Sunday's showdown will be his 150th race. Last year's victory was the third of Herbert's career and he stated: "I am really looking forward to going back to the Nurburgring after last year's win. I do hope that we can have a really good race. I hope the testing we have done will be beneficial for us and that the clutch will be better for the start as well but we will have to work harder."

Jaguar driver Eddie Irvine is hoping he will have better luck at this year's European Grand Prix. Irvine was seventh in 1999 but he quipped: "The Nurburgring last year was F1's attempt to win a comedy award. My old team Ferrari seemed to think I was driving a Morgan three-wheeler and lost one of my wheels at the pit-stop. On a more positive note, this was a great race for Stewart but nothing stands still in F1. On current form it is unlikely we can repeat that form."

German Heinz-Harald Frentzen may be returning to the country of his origin but the Nurburgring is not top of his track list. "It is not on the list of my favourite circuits but it does have some fine qualities," said the Jordan star. "It is safe and it is one of the best circuits for fans as they have a good view over a vast past of the track. The Castrol-S at the end of the start- finish line and the Veedol-S are the only real overtaking possibilities."

Jordan will go into Sunday's race aiming to put their reliability problems behind them. Technical director Mike Gascoyne said: "We have been upping the mileage on the components that were causing problems. Since Barcelona we have not had any problems and we are confident that our reliability worries have been put behind us. We want to get back on track this weekend. We want to score points and put ourselves back into third place."

Benetton technical director Pat Symonds has admitted that the weather could play a part in how teams perform. He commented: "For the first time we are racing there during the summer. This leads to some complications when assessing our data and experience from previous years when we have always raced on a cold circuit. This will be difficult in tyre selection. It is expected that most teams will try to run the extra-soft tyre and attempt a two-stop strategy."

British American Racing driver Ricardo Zonta will be hoping that his knowledge of the track will give him an advantage as he tries to build on his one point. The Brazilian commented: "I know the circuit well from my time in Formula 3000 and the FIA GT Championship. Last year was my first time here in a Formula One car. It is not a fast track but it is one that I like because you can get into a good rhythm. My main aim will be improving my performance in qualifying."

Arrows driver Jos Verstappen has yet to win a point this season but he knows the Nurburgring well. "I did two races for Formula Three there but for Formula One it is quite slow on the corners and not as challenging as other tracks," he said. "There will be a lot of Dutch people at the race as it is not far from Holland so we will see a lot of orange. Hopefully the weather will be good as the Nurburgring can be wet at this time of year but I do not mind either way."

Benetton's Austrian driver Alexander Wurz describes a lap of the circuit ahead of Sunday's round six in Germany:- The Nurburgring is a very traditional track and I need a good set-up with not too much understeer to be quick. The lap starts on the pit straight where, depending on the wind, the highest speed on the track is reached. This is approximately 295km/h on the approach to the first corner. This corner is taken in third gear for the right-hand section. For the left-hand part of the first corner I maintain third gear and almost full acceleration on a qualifying lap. Then a short straight, where I reach over 270km/h in fifth gear, leads into a difficult part of the circuit with a fast, left-hand corner. This is taken in fourth at around 185km/h. This is immediately followed by a tight, right-hand, second gear corner taken at just under 110km/h. Next is another short straight where I reach about 280km/h. Then there is a tight, second-gear hairpin which I take at just over 90km/h and traction out of this corner is very important. It leads into a very fast kink taken in fifth gear at 250km/h. This corner is almost flat. I just lift off slightly and dab the brakes at the same time to stabilise the car. Out of this I accelerate up to over 290km/h in top gear before going into the two third-gear left and right-hand corners that lead to the back straight. These corners are taken at 145km/h and 155km/h respectively. The long straight to the chicane is generally the fastest part of the circuit, depending on the wind, where I reach around 300km/h. Then I have to brake very hard for the second-gear chicane, which is taken at around 100km/h. On the approach to the last corner I go up to 225km/h in fourth before dropping to second gear and 110km/h for the corner that leads to the pit straight.

Sunday's race is scheduled to last for 67 laps or 189.679 miles. Mika Hakkinen completed the fastest lap during last year's race with a time of one minute, 21.282 seconds. The Nurburgring is a fairly high downforce track and is reasonably light on brakes and tyres. The circuit is near the Eifel Mountains so the weather can often play a part. There are no particularly fast corners but there is a quick S bend.

INDIANAPOLIS 500:- American Scott Sharp beat two former champions to top the testing times for Saturday's Indianapolis 500. Sharp circled the famous 2.5m track in just under 40.2 seconds, reaching 223.936mph to outshine compatriot Jimmy Vasser and Colombia's Juan Montoya. "We're really thrilled to show this speed. A 223.9 blew my mind away. We've chased it around the last few days. It has come together. We've really gotten it to a great point. Now we have to hang onto it," Sharp said.

BRITISH GT'S (Silverstone):- Over 30 cars will line up on Sunday for round five of the 2000 Championship. The series joins the British Formula Three and National Saloon Championships in the new PowerTour motorsport show. The British GT race crams all the drama of a 24-hour sportscar race into just 60 minutes and the field at Silverstone will be the biggest yet. Cars from Ferrari, Porsche, TVR, Lotus, Lister, Chrysler, Chevrolet, Marcos and Ultima as well as top names like John Cleland, Tim Harvey and David Leslie.

NATIONAL SALOONS:- Gavin Pyper takes his Alfa Romeo 156 into the fifth round aiming for another podium finish in the car's debut season of racing in the UK. Third in the last round at Donington two weeks ago, Pyper is out to equal or better that performance. "Silverstone is a circuit I really look forward to," he said. In his first season of racing saloons last year Pyper became the youngest ever race winner in the history of the Vauxhall Vectra SRi V6 Challenge.

F.NIPPON:- Japan-based Briton Ralph Firman hopes to put the bad start to his season behind him in his third race of the campaign at the weekend. In the four-week break since its last race, Firman's Nova Racing team has carried out a comprehensive test programme and improved the car. "I am very happy with the work we have done in the last few weeks," he said. "I am confident it is not too late to turn the season around for both myself and the team."

F3000:- Jamie Davies will replace the injured Mario Haberfeld for Fortec in this weekend's F3000 series in Nurburgring. Davies, 26, completed the latter half of the 1995 Formula Three Championship with Fortec. Haberfeld in back home in Brazil and hopes to return next month.

F3:- Japan's Takuma Sato was fastest in testing on Wednesday for the weekend's Formula Three race at Silverstone.

18.05.2000 - F1

World champion Mika Hakkinen has played down the rumour that he will retire at the end of the season. The 31-year-old McLaren driver has been at the centre of speculation that he - or teammate David Coulthard - will be replaced by Jacques Villeneuve. "I don't see why we (Hakkinen and Coulthard) should not be together next season," the Finnish driver said. A McLaren spokesman also dismissed the speculation, saying "Mika has a long- term contract with us".


Jenson Button topped the times in opening practice for Sunday's race with a flying late lap. The Williams driver, who had never even seen the circuit before arriving on Thursday, lapped in 1:19.808 to outpace Alexander Wurz in the Benetton. World champion Mika Hakkinen was third ahead of McLaren teammate David Coulthard. The Schumachers were fifth and sixth respectively after Michael had led the way in the morning session.

Friday practice times:
 1 J Button      GB  Williams 1:19.808
 2 A Wurz        Aut Benetton 1:20.248
 3 M Hakkinen    Fin McLaren  1:20.300
 4 D Coulthard   GB  McLaren  1:20.507
 5 M Schumacher  Ger Ferrari  1:20.519
 6 R Schumacher  Ger Williams 1:20.548
 7 J Trulli      It  Jordan   1:20.609
 8 R Zonta       Brz BAR      1:20.709
 9 N Heidfeld    Ger Prost    1:20.751
10 J Villeneuve  Can BAR      1:20.786
11 M Gene        Sp  Minardi  1:20.801
12 P Diniz       Brz Sauber   1:20.850
13 G Fisichella  It  Benetton 1:20.862
14 R Barrichello Brz Ferrari  1:20.891
15 H-H Frentzen  Ger Jordan   1:20.992
16 E Irvine      GB  Jaguar   1:21.246
17 J Herbert     GB  Jaguar   1:21.323
18 J Alesi       Fr  Prost    1:21.442
19 J Verstappen  Hol Arrows   1:21.655
20 P de la Rosa  Sp  Arrows   1:21.659
21 G Mazzacane   Arg Minardi  1:22.135
22 M Salo        Fin Sauber   1:22.161

RALLYING:- Spectator numbers on the Network Q Rally of Great Britain will be limited for the first time in its history. Organisers of the event, taking place from November 23-26, hope the move will improve safety and offer better facilities for paying spectators. There is also a change to the timetable to include a SuperSpecial in Cardiff on the Thursday evening. The alteration reduces the need to undertake pre-event reconnaissance during darkness.


David Coulthard claimed the ninth pole position of his career after clocking the fastest time before rain disrupted the second half of qualifying. Championship leader Michael Schumacher will join him on the front row, while Mika Hakkinen and Rubens Barrichello were third and fourth quickest. It was a superb result for Coulthard, who is still battling with rib injuries sustained in his recent plane crash. Eddie Irvine was eighth, Jenson Button was 11th and Johnny Herbert was 16th.

David Coulthard is determined to end the current hoodoo surrounding pole position after claiming the coveted spot for Sunday's race. No driver has won from pole in ten races and Coulthard said: "It's a bizarre statistic. I don't really understand why, perhaps because we're all so very close now but I hope to change all that on Sunday. I've been pretty close to pole quite a few times in the last couple of years so it's great to do it this time."

Eddie Irvine was Britain's highest-placed driver after pole man David Coulthard and said he was aiming to be in contention in Sunday's race. "The two issues in the race will be the weather and the start," he said. "If we make a better start than we have been, I expect to be chasing points." Eleventh-placed Jenson Button said: "I am disappointed I didn't get a clear lap in at the end of qualifying. I'm looking forward to starting my 50th race since graduating from karts."

Nick Heidfeld has been disqualified from Sunday's race after his car was found to be two kilogrammes underweight after qualifying. An FIA statement said: "The competitor accepted the car being underweight when weighed during qualifying practice. The stewards therefore apply article 82c of the FIA Formula One sporting regulations and exclude the car from the European Grand Prix." Heidfeld qualified in 13th and it would have been his first home F1 race.

Saturday's qualifying times: mins secs
 1 D Coulthard   GB  McLaren  1:17.529
 2 M Schumacher  Ger Ferrari  1:17.667
 3 M Hakkinen    Fin McLaren  1:17.785
 4 R Barrichello Brz Ferrari  1:18.227
 5 R Schumacher  Ger Williams 1:18.515
 6 J Trulli      It  Jordan   1:18.612
 7 G Fisichella  It  Benetton 1:18.697
 8 E Irvine      GB  Jaguar   1:18.703
 9 J Villeneuve  Can BAR      1:18.742
10 H-H Frentzen  Ger Jordan   1:18.830
11 J Button      GB  Williams 1:18.887
12 P de la Rosa  Sp  Arrows   1:19.024
13 J Verstappen  Hol Arrows   1:19.190
14 A Wurz        Aut Benetton 1:19.378
15 P Diniz       Brz Sauber   1:19.422
16 J Herbert     GB  Jaguar   1:19.638
17 J Alesi       Fr  Prost    1:19.651
18 R Zonta       Brz BAR      1:19.766
19 M Salo        Fin Sauber   1:19.814
20 M Gene        Sp  Minardi  1:20.162
21 G Mazzacane   Arg Minardi  1:21.015
Nick Heidfeld was 13th fastest but was disqualified
over a car irregularity

BRITISH F3 (Silverstone):- Antonio Pizzonia battled back from his disqualification in the first qualifying session to set the fifth fastest time. None of the other leading drivers were able to improve on their times.

Saturday's round five qualifying times:
                   mins secs
1 T Sato            1:15.573
2 N Kiesa           1:15.865
3 T Scheckter       1:15.903
4 M Pavlovic        1:15.932
5 A Pizzonia        1:16.040
6 N Karthikeyan     1:16.183

BRITISH GT'S (Silverstone):- Jamie Campbell-Walter made a superb return to the series by putting the Lister Storm on pole position. Reigning champion Campbell-Walter was a late substitution alongside regular driver David Warnock - a week after winning the FIA GT race at Silverstone. He achieved the time in the first session and no drivers improved on their times in the afternoon. In the GTO category, Martin Short and Rob Barff put their TVR Cerbera Speed 6 on to pole position.

GT category qualifying times (Sat):
                            mins secs
1 Campbell-W/Warnock Lister  1:20.254
2 Erdos/Purvis       Marcos  1:20.640
3 Ellis/Astley       Lotus   1:21.071
4 Lockie/Euser       Marcos  1:21.565

GTO category qualifying times (Sat):
1 Short/Barff        Cerbera 1:24.387
2 Lister/Rymer       Porsche 1:24.505
3 Sumpter/Jordan     Porsche 1:24.560
4 Butler-H/Stokoe    Marcos  1:26.395

NATIONAL SALOON’S (Silverstone):- Dan Eaves claimed pole position for round five after a late charge in the qualifying session. Eaves' Peugeot was only just rebuilt in time for this weekend after he had an accident at Oulton Park but he pipped Toni Ruokonen for the top grid spot.

Round five qualifying times (Sat):
1 D Eaves       Peugeot     1:31.388
2 T Ruokonen    Peugeot     1:31.577
3 T Masini      Honda       1:33.514
4 M Kelly       Nissan      1:33.866
5 T Ferrier     Alfa Romeo  1:33.915
6 G Pyper       Alfa Romeo  1:34.237

MGF CUP (Silverstone):- Alastair Lyall gave Techspeed Motorsport their 11th pole position in a row and his team-mate Nick Carr was second quickest in qualifying. "I have no doubt that the race is going to be very closely fought indeed," commented Lyall.

Round five qualifying times (Sat):
1 A Lyall             1:35.631
2 N Carr              1:35.902
3 D Mason             1:36.188
4 B Heerey            1:36.205
5 J Hunter            1:36.252
6 P O'Neill           1:36.385

F.NIPPON:- Japan-based Briton Ralph Firman hopes to put the bad start to his season behind him in his third race of the campaign at the weekend. In the four-week break since its last race, Firman's Nova Racing team has carried out a comprehensive test programme and improved the car. "I am very happy with the work we have done in the last few weeks," he said. "I am confident it is not too late to turn the season around for both myself and the team."


Wet-weather specialist Michael Schumacher tightened his grip on the championship by claiming his fourth win of 2000 in the rain-hit round six. Mika Hakkinen was second, David Coulthard was third and Rubens Barrichello was fourth after having to make a third pit stop. Johnny Herbert was denied a finish when he was hit by Alexander Wurz and Jenson Button also had a late retirement. Eddie Irvine spun out on lap 30 after trying to pass Jos Verstappen.

Ferrari star Michael Schumacher played down the difficult conditions after claiming a win in his home country. "The only critical circumstance was when it started to rain and we were all out on slicks," he said. "It was not clear then if the rain was going to make a difference but when the other teams took on new tyres and went faster we went in. The conditions were not as bad as some races I have experienced, like at Silverstone in the past."

Michael Schumacher's victory leaves him only two wins behind the late great Ayrton Senna (41) and 12 behind all-time race winner Alain Prost (51). "This is one of the most wonderful days of my life," said the German, who last won at the Nurburgring with Benetton in the 1995 campaign. "This is my first win for Ferrari here, which is very important for me. All my fans have come here and had to put up with the rain so I hope I have warmed their hearts."

Front-row drivers David Coulthard and Michael Schumacher had poor starts, with Mika Hakkinen surging between their cars to take the lead. Schumacher managed to hang on to second place but Coulthard, who had been on pole position, slipped to third. Jordan's bid to move up to third in the constructors' standings ended early on. Jarno Trulli was hit from the back and went out on the first lap and team-mate Heinz-Harald Frentzen retired with engine problems after two laps.

Michael Schumacher took the lead on lap 11 when he outbraked Mika Hakkinen on the final chicane and surged clear as the rain began to fall. Coulthard, meanwhile, slipped to fourth after Schumacher's Ferrari team-mate Rubens Barrichello passed him. Schumacher established a lead of more than five seconds over Hakkinen before all the drivers began to come in to change their tyres. Schumacher was still leading after the pit stops, just ahead of Coulthard.

Second-placed Mika Hakkinen felt that his bid to catch eventual race-winner Michael Schumacher was hampered by back-markers at the German circuit. The Finn moved up from third to first at the start but stated: "I enjoyed the start but it was not my best. I think I could have caught Michael if there had not been so many back-markers but Michael may still have been able to push, and overtaking? I do not know. There should be improvements about what to do with back-markers."

David Coulthard was thankful for a third-place finish after struggling with a car problem during the race. The Scot, who has still not totally recovered from the rib injuries sustained in a plane crash, said: "I was slow to react at the start. I was struggling with the rear of the car, especially when it got really wet. I do not know what the problem was. It was one of my more difficult races so in those circumstances I think I was fortunate to get third."

Eddie Irvine spun out of the race on lap 30 when he tried to overtake Jos Verstappen on the inside and then had to pull out of the move. Irvine ended up in the gravel and Ralf Schumacher was forced to take evasive action and also had to retire after spinning off. "I think my car touched another one and I think the wing must have fallen off," admitted Irvine. "My car was on dry settings so it was not ideal."

Ralf Schumacher was disappointed not to finish the race because he felt he was on course for a good finish. Schumacher slid out on lap 30 after being caught up in an incident between Eddie Irvine and Jos Verstappen. "I was on a one-stop strategy and think I had a good chance," said Schumacher. "The car then developed brake problems. I saw the accident coming between Irvine and Verstappen but I expected them to slide off on to the inside. I could not avoid hitting Irvine's car."

Jenson Button was running in seventh place when he was forced to retire with only three laps to go. His Williams car developed an electrical failure that was caused by water in the footwell. "I was close to Johnny Herbert's Jaguar and had a couple of attempts to pass but I could not get by," said Button. "Racing in such bad weather conditions is something I am not used to. If it was clearer I could possibly have set some good times as the car felt good."

Jordan had a miserable weekend, with Jarno Trulli and Heinz-Harald Frentzen failing to complete three laps. Trulli went out on lap one when he collided with Giancarlo Fisichella and stated: "Fisichella lost control of his car and hit me from behind." Frentzen went out on the third lap with a suspected engine failure. He commented: "I had escaped being caught up in a collision at the first corner and I was feeling in control when my engine blew."

Giancarlo Fisichella was delighted after finishing in fifth place. The Benetton driver said: "I am really happy about these two points for me and the team. It is the result of such good work with the engineers." His team-mate Alexander Wurz went out after 61 laps when he tried to pass Johnny Herbert in a move that also ended with the Briton going out. "At the end I had my only chance to get past and went for it. I am sorry for Johnny but that is racing," said Wurz.

Pedro de la Rosa finished sixth to claim his first point of the season. The Arrows driver enthused: "I am obviously very happy and pleased. We made the right decisions at the right time and did not make a wrong move the whole race. I was always with the group but not because of drivers going out. The team have worked day and night for me and this is a good way for me to say thank you."

Result after 67 laps:        hr min sec
 1 M Schumacher  Ger Ferrari  1:40.00.3
 2 M Hakkinen    Fin McLaren     @ 13.8
 3 D Coulthard   GB  McLaren    one lap
 4 R Barrichello Brz Ferrari    one lap
 5 G Fisichella  It  Benetton   one lap
 6 P de la Rosa  Sp  Arrows     one lap
 7 P Diniz       Brz Sauber    two laps
 8 G Mazzacane   Arg Minardi   two laps
 9 J Alesi       Fr  Prost     two laps
10 J Button      GB  Williams five laps
11 J Herbert     GB  Jaguar    six laps
12 A Wurz        Aut Benetton  six laps

DID NOT FINISH (not classified):laps completed
13 R Zonta       Brz BAR           51
14 M Gene        Sp  Minardi       47
15 J Villeneuve  Can BAR           46
16 E Irvine      GB  Jaguar        29
17 J Verstappen  Hol Arrows        29
18 R Schumacher  Ger Williams      29
19 M Salo        Fin Sauber        27
20 H-H Frentzen  Ger Jordan         2
21 J Trulli      It  Jordan         0
Fastest lap: M Schumacher  1:22.269
N Heidfeld did not start after being disqualified after qualifying

 1 M Schumacher  Ger  Ferrari   46 pts
 2 M Hakkinen    Fin  McLaren   28
 3 D Coulthard   GB   McLaren   24
 4 R Barrichello Brz  Ferrari   16
 5 R Schumacher  Ger  Williams  12
 6 G Fisichella  It   Benetton  10
 7 J Villeneuve  Can  BAR        5
 = H-H Frentzen  Ger  Jordan     5
 9 J Trulli      It   Jordan     4
10 J Button      GB   Williams   3
11 R Zonta       Brz  BAR        1
 = M Salo        Fin  Sauber     1
 = P de la Rosa  Sp   Arrows     1

1 Ferrari       62 pts
2 McLaren       52
3 Williams      15
4 Benetton      10
5 Jordan         9
6 BAR            6
7 Sauber         1
= Arrows         1

INDIANAPOLIS 500:- Greg Ray had to push himself to the edge to win his first Indy 500 pole. The 33-year-old Indy Racing League champion had to back off on his first lap after almost hitting the wall. Juan Montoya, the champion of the rival CART series, had been on provisional pole in a G Force Oldsmobile before Ray made adjustments to his car. The move paid off as he took pole by averaging a speed of 223.471mph. Sarah Fisher, 19, was 19th to become the third woman to qualify for the event.

Saturday qualifying times: mph
 1 G Ray        US      223.431
 2 J Montoya    Col     223.372
 3 E Salazar    Chl     223.231
 4 R Gordon     US      222.885
 5 S Sharp      US      222.810
 6 J Ward       US      222.639
 7 J Vasser     US      221.976
 8 S Wattles    US      221.508
 9 R Buhl       US      221.357
10 E Cheever    US      221.270

BRITISH F3 (Silverstone):- Takuma Sato became the fourth race winner this season when he fended off a late challenge from Antonio Pizzonia. The race was halted for over 25 minutes after a midfield, start-line accident and then Sato took control.

Sunday's round five result:
1 T Sato
2 A Pizzonia
3 N Kiesa
4 T Scheckter
5 G Bruni
6 N Karthikeyan

BRITISH GT'S (Silverstone):- Ian McKellar and Bobby Verdon-Roe triumphed in round five after the Lister Storm of Jamie Campbell-Walter and David Warnock suffered problems. They were hit by gearbox trouble only two laps from the finish. After his car's first race win Verdon- Roe admitted: "I did not believe it when I saw Jamie slow down." In the GTO category, Mike Jordan and Mark Sumpter won the battle of the Porsches against Geoff Lister and Terry Rymer.

GT category results (Sun):    mins secs
1 Verdon-Roe/McK'llr Cerbera  60:59.614
2 Ellis/Astley       Lotus    61:04.947
3 Cleland/Clark      Chrysler 61:05.220
4 Cunningham/Day     Chrysler 61:12.909

GTO category results (Sun):
1 Jordan/Sumpter     Porsche  40 laps
2 Lister/Rymer       Porsche  40 laps
3 Konig/Hayles       Chrysler 39 laps
4 Griffiths/McL'ghln Marcos   38 laps

NATIONAL SALOON’S (Silverstone):- Toni Ruokonen beat pole man Dan Eaves to victory in a tense clash after the race started on a damp track. "I was faster than Dan through Priory and Brooklands, I just lined it up and went for it," said Ruokonen. Simon Harrison secured third place.

Round five result (Sun):
1 T Ruokonen    Peugeot
2 D Eaves       Peugeot
3 S Harrison    Ford
4 G Pyper       Alfa Romeo
5 T Masini      Honda
6 R Moen        Peugeot

SCOTTISH RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP:- Northern Ireland's Trevor Moore leads the Scottish Rally Championship after he scored his third straight second place in the Weldex Argyll Rally. The event was won by former Scottish and British champion Brian Lyall but championship leader Andrew Wood failed to finish. His Audi broke a battery terminal and Andy Horne took up the chase but crashed out on the fifth stage. Gary Adam was third and moved into second spot in the points table.

Weldex Argyll Rally result:    mins secs
 1 Lyall/Bennie      Subaru      55.32
 2 Moore/Currie      Ford Escort 57.33
 3 G & G Adam        Mitsubishi  58.09
 4 Kelly/Campbell    Mitsubishi  59.01
 5 Nicoll/Lumgair    Mitsubishi  59.15
 6 McKeown/Regan     Ford Sierra 59.57
 7 McQueen/Cowan     Mitsubishi  60.01
 8 McSkimming/Stark  MG Metro    60.08
 9 Groundwater/Wylie Mitsubishi  60.33
10 Bannister/St'phsn Ford Escort 61.53

F3:- Jaguar have sealed a sponsorship agreement with 18-year-old German Formula Three driver Andre Lotterer. They will monitor his form, with a view to offering him a chance to test their Formula One car in the future. Dirk Muller became the fourth guest driver to win a race in the Porsche Pirelli Supercup by triumphing in round four at the Nurburgring.

22.05.2000 - F1

David Coulthard is refusing to concede defeat in the battle for the Formula One World Championship. The Scot has warned Michael Schumacher he can still be caught despite the German's massive points lead following his European Grand Prix success. Coulthard says he will have fully recovered from the injuries he suffered in his jet crash by the next race in Monte Carlo on Sunday week. "Michael is not too far ahead and we can still catch him," he said.


F1 TESTING (Valencia):-
Tuesday's times:            mins secs
1 H-H Frentzen  Ger Jordan    1:15.62
2 E Bernoldi    Brz Sauber    1:17.50
3 G Fisichella  It  Benetton  1:17.84
4 L Burti       Brz Jaguar    1:18.16
5 G Pantano     It  Benetton  1:18.72
6 J Verstappen  Hol Arrows    1:18.73

F.RENAULT (Oulton Park):- Stoke's Leighton Walker topped the times in testing for round five at his home circuit next Monday. Poor weather ensured that some of the regular front-runners were down the order, namely title rivals Ryan Dalziel and Kimi Raikkonen in ninth and 10th.

Leading round five test times (Tue):
1 L Walker   GB  Motaworld   1:30.566
2 D Watts    GB  Manor M     1:31.562
3 C Hall     GB  Aztek       1:31.739
4 J Pickford GB  Haywood     1:31.859
5 R Lyons    GB  Team JLR    1:31.961
6 J Jones    US  Manor M     1:31.996

RENAULT SPORT (Oulton Park):- Northwich's Daniel Buxton was fastest in testing for Monday's round five. Series leader Jim Edwards Jnr, who cannot be caught this weekend, was third fastest, while Stuart Clarke was a promising sixth.

Leading round five test times (Tue):
1 D Buxton      C Hodgetts   1:47.537
2 D Davies      actiondoors  1:48.112
3 J Edwards Jnr Mark Fish    1:48.148
4 R Pearson     Mark Fish    1:48.272
5 P Sowerby     P Sowerby    1:48.383
6 S Clarke      Mardi Gras   1:48.664


F1:- Giancarlo Fisichella and Jarno Trulli escaped unhurt after a big collision in testing in Valencia. A Benetton spokeswoman said that Fisichella had been on his fastest lap when he came round a corner and found Trulli on a slow, warm-up lap. She revealed: "He clipped the back of him and went over the top and landed in the gravel." Fisichella, who blamed Jordan's Trulli for shunting him out of Sunday's European Grand Prix, twisted a thumb.

Wednesday's times:           min secs
1 J Verstappen  Hol Arrows    1:15.94
2 G Fisichella  It  Benetton  1:16.93
3 J Herbert     GB  Jaguar    1:17.58
4 J Trulli      It  Jordan    1:17.74
5 A Pizzionia   Brz Benetton  1:17.85
6 H-H Frentzen  Ger Jordan    1:17.89
7 P Diniz       Brz Sauber    1:17.94
8 G Pantano     It  Benetton  1:18.10

Peugeot will make a decision about their Formula One future by the French Grand Prix on July 2 at the earliest. The French manufacturer's sport director Corrado Provera said: "We should be ready to make the decision around that time." Peugeot's contract with Prost expires at the end of this season. They had considered withdrawing from the sport but it is now thought that they want a sustainable project to allow them to keep their racing team.

BTCC (Oulton Park):- There is a tightly-packed leaderboard as the action heads to Oulton Park for rounds nine and 10 on Monday. Four drivers are separated by just seven points, with Ford pair Richard Rydell and Alain Menu leading the way. The undulating nature of the Oulton Park circuit is expected to bring the leading competitors closer together. In addition, the winners from the previous round in Scotland will have to contend with weight penalties, which could affect the outcome.

Rickard Rydell will carry 40kg of success ballast in his car and Alain Menu 30kg when the championship moves to Oulton Park on Monday. Third-placed Anthony Reid also carries 40kg, but Vauxhall drivers Yvan Muller in fourth and Jason Plato in fifth are carrying no extra weight. Plato said: "The ballast seems to affect us harder so without any extra weight we should have a good weekend. Oulton is a drivers' track and we work better on those sort of circuits."

James Thompson will be hoping to make up lost ground after he returned to action in the last round in Scotland. The Honda driver finished second in round eight, only to be disqualified after a post-race technical check, and will be hoping for better luck. "I'm disappointed with the outcome of the last race but I'm confident of having a reasonable result at Oulton. Having missed four races and recorded only two finishes from the first eight rounds I'm in a difficult position."

Reigning Independents champion Matt Neal showed his ability with fourth overall at Knockhill, and was second last year at Oulton Park. "We've not had a lot of luck so far this season so I think Knockhill was a turning point for us," he said. "The car is now pretty much sorted. We've had the engine wound up for us and we've got a bit more grunt. The competition for a race win has never been stiffer. I think we can spring one on the manufacturer teams."

The Class B ranks will be boosted on Monday as notable drivers return to compete in the series. So far Alan Morrison's Peugeot has been at the forefront of the competition together with the Hondas of Mark Lemmer and James Kaye. However, Robert Collard and Marc Nordon now return to the action. Their Nissans did not compete at Knockhill due to engine problems, but these have now been sorted out in preparation for Oulton Park.

FORD FIESTA’S (Oulton Park):- Gordon Shedden set the fastest time in testing for Monday's race. The 21-year-old Scotsman, who has won four of the first five races, said: "It is a good feeling to be quickest again. Hopefully we can keep up this form and take another win this weekend."

Round six testing times (Wed):
1 G Shedden    Sco      1:46.575
2 G Howell     Wal      1:46.762
3 N Beaumont   Eng      1:46.772
4 C Stancombe  Eng      1:46.827
5 B Roper      Eng      1:47.200
6 A Blencowe   Eng      1:47.219

F.FORD (Oulton Park):- Joint championship leaders Mark Taylor and James Courtney were almost inseparable in testing for Monday's round six. Taylor, who won both races in a Knockhill double header two weeks ago, just had the edge.

Round six testing times (Wed):
1 M Taylor     GB       1:25.537
2 J Courtney   Aus      1:25.803
3 R Dahlgren   Swe      1:25.878
4 R Bell       GB       1:25.995
5 A Carroll    NI       1:26.050
6 A Davidson   GB       1:26.170


F1:- Antonio Pizzonia was the sole tester for Benetton following Giancarlo Fisichella's accident at the Spanish circuit on Wednesday. The Italian's collision with Jarno Trulli meant that the team were left with one car. In his first full day of testing, British Formula Three driver Pizzonia worked on set-up development. Mika Salo topped the times for Sauber, followed by Jordan driver Trulli and Brazilian Pizzonia.

F1 TESTING (Valencia):-
Thursday's times:          mins secs
1 M Salo        Fin Sauber   1:16.38
2 J Trulli      It  Jordan   1:16.72
3 A Pizzonia    Brz Benetton 1:16.97
4 P de la Rosa  Sp  Arrows   1:17.54
5 E Irvine      GB  Jaguar   1:17.75

F1 TESTING (Nogaro):-
Day two times:              mins secs
1 R Schumacher  Ger Williams 1:15.205
2 J Button      GB  Williams 1:16.600
3 J Villeneuve  Can BAR      1:17.337
4 R Zonta       Brz BAR      1:17.346
5 P Lemarie     Fr  BAR      1:20.692

CART (Nazareth):- Juan Montoya will be bidding for a unique double this weekend. He is on pole for the Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix, which was moved to Saturday after an April snowstorm led to the original race date being scrapped. Montoya will then move on to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday in a bid to be a rare rookie winner of the Indy 500. He will start from the number two grid position - behind Indy Racing League champion Greg Ray.

Qualifying times:             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

MILLBROOK NATIONAL RALLY:- Safety Devices National Championship leaders John and Caroline Price head the entrants for Monday's event. The pair will be in a MG Metro 6R4 and three more of the MG machines are among the top six competitors. They are Phil Henderson, John Brodie and Jon Mercer, while Chris Griffiths will be driving a Subaru Impreza. The event includes eight special stages totalling 60 miles but the winner for the past two years Chris Wood will be absent this time.

F.PALMER AUDI (Donington Park):- The championship is still wide open heading into Monday's rounds seven and eight because there have been six different winners so far. Britain's Justin Keen is just ahead of Ireland's Damien Faulkner.

DTM:- Norfolk's Darren Turner will make his Mercedes-Benz debut in the inaugural round of the revamped Deutsche Touringwagen Masters this weekend. The former McLaren/Autosport/BRDC young driver of the year is one of eight drivers chosen to represent AMG Mercedes in Hockenheim.

RALLYSPRINT:- Ian Gwynne will be bidding to defend his Loctite National Rallysprint Championship on Saturday. Another leading Silverstone competitor will be Gwyndaf Evans.

RALLYING:- Mexico takes a major stride forward in the international rallying arena when the city of Leon plays host to Rally America 2000 on June 16/17.


F1:- Ralf Schumacher topped the final day of testing at Nogaro. The German was quickest round the twisty French track which helped the Wiliams and BAR teams prepare for the Monte Carlo Grand Prix next weekend. Schumacher completed 32 laps and was followed by teammate Jenson Button, who managed 107 laps. The BAR drivers of Jacques Villeneuve (96 laps), Ricardo Zonta (67) and BAR test driver Patrick Lemarie (36) also took part.

Friday's times:             min secs
1 R Schumacher  Ger Williams 1:15.52
2 J Button      GB  Williams 1:15.55
3 R Zonta       Brz BAR      1:17.38
4 J Villeneuve  Can BAR      1:17.92
5 P Lemarie     Fr  BAR      1:19.43

FRENCH F.RENAULT CAMPUS:- British duo Lars Sexton and Tom Gaymor are back in action in rounds seven and eight of the French Formula Renault Campus Championship this weekend. Sexton, who won the first two rounds at Le Mans, is currently second overall and Gaymor fifth.

BTCC (Oulton Park):- Vauxhall's Vincent Radermecker set the pace in practice at a rainswept Oulton Park on Saturday. The Belgian was quickest by more than two-tenths of a second in a shortened test session. Honda's Tom Kristensen was second with Radermecker's team-mate Jason Plato third and Ford's Rickard Rydell fourth. The three-hour test ended 30 minutes early when Class B runner Mark Lemmer emerged unscathed after his car crashed into the barriers.

Testing times (Sat):         mins secs
 1 V Radermecker Bel Vauxhall 1:23.423
 2 T Kristensen  Den Honda    1:23.638
 3 J Plato       GB  Vauxhall 1:23.862
 4 R Rydell      Swe Ford     1:23.892
 5 A Menu        Swi Ford     1:24.045
 6 A Reid        GB  Ford     1:24.109
 7 Y Muller      Fr  Vauxhall 1:24.175
 8 M Neal        GB  Nissan   1:24.245
 9 G Tarquini    It  Honda    1:24.418
10 J Thompson    GB  Honda    1:24.739


F1:- Williams driver Jenson Button was fined 5,000 French francs after he was caught speeding on a motorway in France. Button, 20, reached a speed of 230kph in a BMW diesel car.

BTCC (Oulton Park):- Alain Menu set the pace in both qualifying sessions for Monday's races but his round 10 time was excluded when his Mondeo failed a post-session check. Menu's misfortune gave Honda's Tom Kristensen his first BTCC pole position and he said: "I think my season starts properly now." Menu made up for his disapppointment by claiming pole for round nine. "I really enjoy this circuit and it is always good to get a pole," said Menu. "I think I could have gone quicker."

Round 9 qualifying times (Sun):mins secs
 1 A Menu        Swi Ford     1:23.742
 2 T Kristensen  Den Honda    1:23.770
 3 Y Muller      Fr  Vauxhall 1:23.801
 4 R Rydell      Swe Ford     1:23.901
 5 J Thompson    GB  Honda    1:24.347
 6 J Plato       GB  Vauxhall 1:24.361
 7 A Reid        GB  Ford     1:24.362
 8 V Radermecker Bel Vauxhall 1:24.882
 9 G Tarquini    It  Honda    1:26.210
10 C Blair       GB  Nissan   1:26.928

Round 10 qualifying times (Sun):mins secs
 1 T Kristensen  Den Honda    1:23.827
 2 M Neal        GB  Nissan   1:23.882
 3 A Reid        GB  Ford     1:24.031
 4 J Plato       GB  Vauxhall 1:24.071
 5 J Thompson    GB  Honda    1:24.142
 6 V Radermecker Bel Vauxhall 1:24.247
 7 Y Muller      Fr  Vauxhall 1:24.279
 8 G Tarquini    It  Honda    1:24.800
 9 C Blair       GB  Nissan   1:26.823
10 J Kaye        GB  Honda    1:34.413

Menu was on pole but was excluded when
his Mondeo failed a post-session check

CART (Nazareth):- Juan Montoya's hopes of a unique double were dashed when he finished fourth in the Bosch Grand Prix. He started on pole in the race which was postponed from April, but slow pit stops saw him end up fourth. Brazilian driver Gil de Ferran won the race, coming home ahead of compatriot Mauricio Gugelmin. Montoya now switches his attention to Sunday's Indianapolis 500m where he starts from number two on the grid behind Greg Ray.

F.PALMER AUDI (Donington Park):- The championship is still wide open heading into Monday's rounds seven and eight because there have been six different winners so far. Britain's Justin Keen is just ahead of Ireland's Damien Faulkner.

Latest standings:
1 J Keen       Pendant        94 pts
2 D Faulkner   Sign Language  92
3 R Kerr       Sanderson      83
4 M Santavirta Sonera         75
5 J Carlsen    Brask          74
6 T Serjala    Stuff          72

RALLYSPRINT:- Ian Gwynne won the opening round of the Loctite National Rallysprint Championship on Saturday. A jump-start eliminated leading opponent Gwyndaf Evans.


BTCC (Oulton Park):- Alain Menu gave Ford their 500th victory in the Championship by winning the sprint race. Menu, who started from pole position, got away from the line perfectly and was never seriously challenged during the 16-lap event. Vincent Radermecker was second after taking advantage of a collision between several cars at the hairpin on the opening lap. Rickard Rydell and Yvan Muller were forced into retirement by the smash.

Round 9 result (Mon):        mins secs
 1 A Menu        Swi Ford    23:36.253
 2 V Radermecker Bel Vaux'll 23:36.805
 3 T Kristensen  Den Honda   23:37.459
 4 J Thompson    GB  Honda   23:38.829
 5 A Reid        GB  Ford    23:44.368
 6 M Neal        GB  Nissan  23:45.316
 7 J Plato       GB  Vaux'll 23:55.748
 8 C Blair       GB  Nissan  24:43.777
 9 G Tarquini    It  Honda   25:11.722
10 J Kaye        GB  Honda   25:30.658

Tom Kristensen defied a smoking engine to gain his first Auto Trader British Touring Car Championship victory. The Dane took the feature race having earlier finished third in the sprint behind title favourite Alain Menu. Kristensen, who started from pole, led from start to finish, despite an oil problem causing smoke to pour from the car for the last three laps. Menu finished only sixth after starting from the back of the grid because his qualifying time was disallowed.

Round 10 result (Mon):       mins secs
 1 T Kristensen Den Honda    42:55.580
 2 J Plato      GB  Vauxhall 43:05.992
 3 A Reid       GB  Ford     43:09.396
 4 J Thompson   GB  Honda    43:11.188
 5 Y Muller     Fr  Vauxhall 43:13.097
 6 A Menu       Swi Ford     43:15.533
 7 V Rad'mecker Bel Vauxhall 43:16.611
 8 G Tarquini   It  Honda    43:27.530
 9 M Neal       GB  Nissan   43:55.788
10 J Kaye       GB  Honda    43:13.926

INDIANAPOLIS 500:- Juan Montoya triumphed in the Indy 500 to become the first debutant to win the race since Graham Hill in 1966. Colombian Montoya and his team-mate Jimmy Vasser were the only Championship Auto Racing Teams drivers to enter the rival Indy Racing Series event. He was the first winner to start from the middle of the front row since 1969 and it came barely 24 hours after he was fourth in a Nazareth CART event. Buddy Lazier was second and Eliseo Salazar was third.

Sunday's race result:   hrs mins secs
 1 J Montoya    Col      2:58.59.431 (200 laps)
 2 B Lazier     US            07.184
 3 E Salazar    Chl
 4 J Ward       US
 5 E Cheever    US
 6 R Gordon Jnr US
 7 J Vasser     US
 8 S Gregoire   US
 9 S Goodyear   US
10 S Sharp      US

Latest after 8 stages (Mon): mins:secs
 1 J Price        Metro 6R4    52:44
 2 M Evans        Escort WRC   52:55
 3 S Hendy        Escort Cos   52:57
 4 S Fleck        Subaru       53:19
 5 M Straker      Darrian T9   53:33
 6 J Mercer       Metro 6R4    53:51
 7 J Brodie       Metro 6R4    54:33
 8 S Scott        Escort WRC   54:43
 9 T Wilson       Escort RS    55:37
10 G Grieve       Escort Cos   55:58

F.PALMER AUDI (Donington Park);
Round seven result (Mon):mins secs
1 T Mullen      GB     24:22.519
2 D Faulkner    Ire       @2.444
3 J Keen        GB        @7.369
4 P Edwards     US        @9.047
5 R Kerr        GB       @10.030
6 B Bessong     GB       @10.469

Round eight result (Mon):mins secs
1 R Kerr        GB     24:29.118
2 D Faulkner    Ire       @0.695
3 J Keen        GB        @1.824
4 B Jouanny     Fr        @4.883
5 T Serjala     Fin      @ 8.339
6 P Edwards     US       @ 9.962

F.RENAULT SPORT (Oulton Park):- Points leader Jim Edwards Junior took his third win of the season after leader David Gibson spun out. Stuart Clarke, who also led early on, took second from Peter Sowerby on the final lap. A recovering Daniel Buxton pipped Martin Johnson on the line.

Result: (Mon):
1 J Edwards  Mark Fish      31.50.177
2 S Clarke   Mardi Gras     31.51.870
3 P Sowerby  Peter Sowerby  31.53.531
4 H Taylor   Taylor Racing  32.04.961
5 D Buxton   Chris Hodgetts 32.07.535
6 M Johnson  Tim Sugden     32.07.592

F.FORD (Oulton Park):- James Courtney took a lights-to-flag victory in the sixth round to take sole lead of the championship standings. The Australian's victory put him ahead of arch rival Mark Taylor, who had been joint leader at the start fo the day.

Result (Mon):               min secs
1 J Courtney   Aus         24:26.457
2 M Taylor     GB          24:30.676
3 A Davidson   GB          24:31.003
4 S Hodgetts   GB          24:36.076
5 R Rudholm    Swe         24:38.127
6 P Gray       GB          24:40.740

FORD FIESTA’S (Oulton Park):- Gordon Shedden will start Monday's round six from pole position after leading the way in qualifying. Local drivers Nick Beaumont and Joanna Clarke both made it into the top six in their 1.4-litre cars.

Round six qualifying times (Sun):
                           mins secs
1 G Shedden    Sco          1:46.372
2 G Howell     Wal          1:46.982
3 C Stancombe  Eng          1:47.088
4 M Pinny      Eng          1:47.358
5 N Beaumont   Eng          1:47.371
6 J Clarke     Eng          1:47.456

F.RENAULT (Oulton Park):- Points leader Kimi Raikkonen dominated the race to extend his championship lead after five rounds. Raikkonen's closest title rival Ryan Dalziel crashed out while lying third behind his brother John.

Round five results (Mon):
1 K Raikkonen  Fin Manor     24:36.256
2 J Dalziel    GB  Team DFR  24:48.073
3 T Sisley     GB  Motaworld 24:56.593
4 M McLoughlin GB  Falcon    24:56.789
5 C Breeze     GB  Aztec Int 25:00.795
6 C Hall       GB  Aztec Eng 25:01.178

Round five result (Mon): mins secs
1 M Bettley    GB        33:05.770
2 R Jenkinson  GB          @ 0.138
3 R Hay        GB          @ 0.781
4 G Taylor     GB          @ 0.809
5 P Mangion    GB          @ 1.622
6 J Ingram     GB          @ 9.794

Round four result (Mon):
1 J Gladman    GB        33:37.709
2 C Cooper     GB          @ 6.114
3 C Richards   GB          @ 6.640
4 R Beer       GB          @13.869
5 J Sutherland GB          @22.592
6 A Jackson    GB          @32.010

FRENCH F.RENAULT:- Briton Lars Sexton retook the lead of the French Formula Renault Campus series with second place in the first of two races at Poznan in Poland. Sexton's teammate Tom Gaymor ended in eighth place with the second race later on Sunday afternoon.

GTs:- The Buckingham-built Audi S4 of Mike Galati finished fifth in the latest round of the Speedvision World GT Challenge in Connecticut. Derek Bell finished down the field after he was pushed into a wall.

DTM:- British Touring Car champion Laurent Aiello was 15th in the opening round of the DTM (German Touring Car Masters).


Prost chief designer and technical director Alan Jenkins has reportedly left the struggling Formula One team. Jenkins was formerly technical director of the Stewart team and creator of the car which carried that team to fourth last year's constructors championship.
Championship leader Michael Schumacher is targeting his fifth Monaco victory in seven years on Sunday. Late greats Graham Hill and Ayrton Senna were the kings of Monte Carlo but Ferrari's Schumacher is fast making the circuit his own. Schumacher has an 18-point series lead and said: "Monaco has been very good for me in the past and I feel sure we will be just as competitive this year. The car is good and strong, the team are ready for it and I feel very good."

Mika Hakkinen will be bidding to grab another pole position in qualifying but he will need to beat the pole jinx if he is to claim a vitory. No pole-sitting driver has won a race in 11 attempts. In fact, Hakkinen was the last driver to secure a win from pole ` in the Hungarian Grand Prix last August. McLaren seem to have overcome their early-season reliability problems so the world champion will be hopeful of closing the gap on Michael Schumacher.

McLaren star David Coulthard knows a win on his 'home' circuit will improve his chances of becoming world champion. The Scot lives in Monaco and his recent form suggests that he could at last launch a season-long bid for the title. He has driven well in recent races, despite the trauma of a plane crash and the rib injuries that he was left with after the accident. Coulthard is 22 points behind Michael Schumacher but only four points behind team-mate Mika Hakkinen.

Jenson Button will be taking advice from BMW motorsport boss Gerhard Berger on how to tackle the road circuit. Former driver Berger competed in 12 Monaco races and finished on the podium four times. "I am planning to do a few laps in a BMW road car with Gerhard," commented Button. "Gerhard's advice always proves invaluable during these exercises. Of all the races on the calendar, this is probably where I will need advice most. The circuit looks very tight."

Eddie Irvine has finished on the podium in his last three Monte Carlo races but is still chasing his first point of 2000. He admitted: "It is difficult to talk about this race without using cliches or sounding like a holiday brochure. It is unique, it is a great challenge and it is also a lot of hard work. You do not need to be a rocket scientist to work out there is no room for error so you need a car that is precise and goes where you point it."

With overtaking virtually impossible on the street circuit, a good qualifying performance will be vital if Jaguar are to get off the mark. Eddie Irvine said: "The race is pretty much decided by two o'clock on Saturday as a good grid position is vital to finishing in the points on Sunday. "Last year I got a great start off the second row and finished second. That might be a bit optimistic this time but our first points finish of the season could be on the cards."

Johnny Herbert's record at Monaco is not an impressive one but he is optimistic that he can have a good race for Jaguar. "I enjoy Monaco so it would be great to have a good race. I especially enjoy the challenge of qualifying," he said. "I have only finished on the podium there once, in 1996. All the other times I have retired, usually due to reliability problems, so I hope our test in Valencia last week will stand us in good stead."

Jordan will be eager to put their disastrous European Grand Prix display behind them in a bid to reclaim third place in the constructors' standings. Jarno Trulli did not manage to complete one lap at the Nurburgring because of an accident, while Heinz-Harald Frentzen managed only two laps. The run of poor form has seen the team slip to fifth. Williams are currently in third place with 15 points, followed by Benetton with 10 and Jordan on nine.

Former world champion Jacques Villeneuve wants a change in fortune for his Britis American Racing team in Sunday's race. The Canadian said: "We have had a run of bad luck recently and hopefully things will turn around for us this coming weekend. The test at Nogaro was useful because the circuit is short and quite bumpy and therefore a bit like Monaco. We were able to work on chassis set-ups and made some good progress."

With speed less of an issue in Monaco, Arrows duo Pedro de la Rosa and Jos Verstappen are hoping that they can build on the team's one point. "Monaco is a difficult circuit and one where teams do not expect to achieve great speed," comfirmed de la Rosa. "I think the race will be very open." Verstappen added: "It is a home race, which is always nice, but obviously there is never any testing there. Hopefully the car will go well but one small mistake can cost a lot of time."

Sunday's race is scheduled to last for 78 laps or 163.02 miles. Mika Hakkinen achieved the fastest lap in last year's race with a time of one minute, 22.259 seconds on lap 67. The race is on public roads so the track can be bumpy and the tight turns mean that the teams must run on very high downforce levels. Mika Hakkinen won the Monaco Grand Prix in 1998, while Michael Schumacher has had a hat-trick of victories in Monte Carlo ` in 1994, 1995 and 1997.

MAY DRIVER LIST:   Previous position
 1 R Burns                  1
 2 C McRae                  2
 3 A McRae                  3
 4 M Higgins                4
 5 N Wearden                5
 6 M Rowe                   6
 7 G Evans                  7
 8 M Dodd                   8
 9 K McKinstry              9
10 A Burton                12