October 2000 Motorsport News


TOUR OF CORSICA:- Gilles Panizzi secured his first win in the world rally championship when he finished 33.5 seconds ahead of teammate Francois Delecour. The 35-year-old asphalt specialist was given team order priority over Delecour by Peugeot boss Corrado Provera after winning the majority of the stages. Spain's Carlos Sainz finished third, more than a minute adrift in his Ford. Subaru's Richard Burns was fourth, ahead of Finnish title rival Marcus Gronholm's Peugeot.

Colin McRae returned to Edinburgh on Sunday in an air ambulance after being released from hospital in Bastia where he had been treated after his crash. The 32-year-old suffered a broken left cheekbone and bruised lung in the accident on Saturday. "Accidents will happen in rallying, but it could have been far worse. I'm targetting the San Remo Rally for my return," he said. "My injuries hurt when I move around so I'm not doing that much at the moment."

Result:                    hr mins secs
 1 G Panizzi      Peugeot   4:02:14.2
 2 F Delecour     Peugeot
 3 C Sainz        Ford
 4 R Burns        Subaru
 5 M Gronholm     Peugeot
 6 P Liatti       Ford
 7 S Jean-Joseph  Subaru
 8 D Auriol       SEAT
 9 S Loeb         Toyota
10 T Gar'meister  SEAT

TRACKROD RALLY:- York's Warren Philliskirk scored a dramatic late victory after Steve Petch, who had led for most of the day, failed to emerge for the final stage.  Petch's Escort car broke down midway through the rally's longest stage, allowing Philliskirk to conquer.

Result after seven stages     Hr Min sec
1 Philliskirk/Evans Metro     1:21.03
2 Watson/Dewsnap    Escort    @    27s
3 Bell/Spooner      Escort    @  1min
4 Morgan/Douglas    Subaru    @  2min13
5 Bannister/Robson  Rord      @  2min33

CART:- Gil de Ferran pipped Briton Dario Franchitti to pole position for the Grand Prix of Houston. De Ferran is eight points clear of Roberto Moreno in the standings and surged to the top of the timesheet with a speed of 93.558mph. Franchitti, who won the inaugural Houston race in 1998, averaged a speed of 93.431 in qualifying. Jimmy Vasser and Helio Castroneves will be on row two, while defending champion Juan Montoya is sixth on the grid.

Saturday's final qualifying times:
 1 G de Ferran   Brz Honda    58.757
 2 D Franchitti  GB  Honda    58.843
 3 J Vasser      US  Toyota   58.844
 4 H Castroneves Brz Honda    58.846
 5 M Andretti    US  Ford     58.909
 6 J Montoya     Col Toyota   58.961
 7 C Fittipaldi  Brz Ford     59.131
 8 A Tagliani    Can Ford     59.150
 9 P Tracy       Can Honda    59.223
10 T Kanaan      Brz Mercedes 59.228
20 M Blundell    GB  Mercedes 60.338

ALMS (Atlanta):- Audi's hold in the series has been strengthened after Allan McNish led the German manufacturer to a one-two. His fourth win in five races has given him a five-point lead in the driver standings, while Audi have a 23-point advantage in the manufacturer division. McNish, Rinaldo Capello and Michele Alboreto finished three laps ahead of Le Mans 24-Hour winners Frank Biela, Tom Kristensen and Emanuele Pirro. "It is great to be leading the series but a lot can happen," said McNish.

F.PALMER AUDI (Magny Cours):- Allan Simonsen got off to a perfect start to pass Christian Hohenadel at the first corner and stay in front for his first victory of the season. The German came second, his best finish of the season, and Bruno Besson moved up from fifth to third on the last lap.

Round 20 Result (Sun)        mins secs
1 A Simonsen     Den         28:41.063
2 C Hohenadel    Ger           @2.623
3 B Besson       Fr            @7.637
4 P Edwards      US           @10.055
5 R Kerr         GB           @11.073
6 J V d Ende     Ned          @11.707


CART:- American Jimmy Vasser ended an almost two-year barren spell to take the chequered flag in the 100-lap CART Grand Prix in Houston. Vasser held off teammate Juan Montoya by just under two seconds with Gil de Ferran extending his lead in the overall standings back in third. Scotland ace Dario Franchitti crashed out on the opening lap when contact damaged his suspension. Mark Blundell could only make it to halfway before retiring.

Sunday's finishing positions:
 1 J Vasser      US  Toyota   1:59.02
 2 J Montoya     Col Toyota   @1.914sec
 3 G de Ferran   Brz Honda    same lap
 4 P Tracy       Can Honda    same lap
 5 H Castroneves Brz Honda    same lap
 6 C Fittipaldi  Brz Ford     same lap
 7 A Fernandez   Mex Ford     same lap
 8 S Nakano      Jpn Honda    same lap
 9 O Servia      Spa Toyota   same lap
10 T Kanaan      Brz Mercedes same lap
20 M Blundell    GB  Mercedes 50 laps

RALLYING:- Colin McRae is being tipped to return for the San Remo rally after his accident in the Tour of Corsica. The 32-year-old has returned to Edinburgh after suffering a broken left cheekbone and bruised lung in a high- speed accident on Saturday. But Ford teamate Carlos Sainz expects McRae to start in Italy on October 20. "I don't think he will have any problems because Colin is tough. He is a champion and champions come through in these situations," he said.

04.10.2000 - F1: THE JAPANESE GP

Michael Schumacher is determined to wrap up the title in the penultimate race of the season on Sunday. The Ferrari star has an eight-point advantage over Mika Hakkinen so victory in Suzuka would give the Italian team their first drivers' crown in 21 years. "I will be going to Suzuka to win and to try and tie up the title before the final race," confirmed the German. "Suzuka will be like any other race. We cannot afford to relax and start thinking the championship is won."

Double world champion Michael Schumacher has a good record at Suzuka but title rival Mika Hakkinen has won the race for the last two years. Schumacher was second in 1999 and won the race in 1995 and 1997. "I enjoy racing at Suzuka," said Schumacher. "Apart from the chicane the track has a good flow to it, especially the S-curves after the first corner. And the ultra-fast 130R corner is up with La Source and Blanchimont in Spa for excitement."

If reigning world champion Mika Hakkinen leaves Japan with his title dream intact he could have his McLaren team-mate David Coulthard to thank. The Finn is chasing a third straight drivers' crown but he has never been on pole in Suzuka. Rival Michael Schumacher has been on pole four times so if history repeats itself Hakkinen may look for a little help from Coulthard at the start. Hakkinen and Schumacher have both won at Suzuka twice.

Ferrari will be bidding to clinch the Constructors' Championship as well as the drivers' title on Sunday. Rubens Barrichello could have a major say on the outcome but has admitted that the weather could have a bigger impact on the result. "The rain can often make for a few surprises," stated the Brazilian. "It worked out well for me when I won in Hockenheim this year but I stopped too early for dry tyres in Indy and that made it a difficult race for me."

Ralf Schumacher will be gunning for a podium place as Williams bid to secure third place in the constructors' race. He stated: "There are good reasons to be optimistic, particularly because of how competitive we are right now. I enjoy driving at Suzuka because of the fond memories I have from my Formula Nippon days. At Suzuka you have to find a good compromise between mechanical grip for slow corners and and aerodynamic downforce for the faster sections."

Jenson Button is hoping that his previous knowledge of Suzuka will aid his chances. "I have fond memories of racing at Suzuka in 1996 and 1997, albeit in the Super A Karting Championship," revealed the Williams driver. "The Japanese are very passionate about their motor sport and I am sure they will be slightly disappointed that the race has lost its season finale status. "I cannot wait to drive the FW22 on this track."

Jordan have had a below-par season compared to recent years but are still banking on securing fourth place in the Constructors' Championship. Chief executive Eddie Jordan said: "We would like to have both drivers finish in the points so we can realistically challenge for fourth place." Heinz-Harald Frentzen just missed out on a podium place by finishing fourth last year. He added: "Suzuka has fascinated me since the first time I raced there."

Benetton have made few changes to their cars since the last race in the US. Technical director Pat Symonds said: "With the cars travelling straight from Indianapolis to Suzuka there has not been time for specific preparation. At this stage in the year, development work is tailed off as concentration goes into the new car for next season. There are always small developments on problems that may have been discovered in previous races or items that have been tested and reached production."

Eddie Irvine made his grand prix debut at Suzuka in 1993 and it is known to be the Jaguar driver's favourite circuit. He commented: "Suzuka is a special circuit for me. I have driven thousands of kilometres there in racing and testing and it was also the scene of my Formula One debut back in 1993. I have finished a Japanese Grand Prix in every points-scoring position from sixth to second. Suzuka is a difficult track to set up the car for."

Sunday's race will be Johnny Herbert's 10th Japanese Grand Prix. The Briton's best performance in the race was when he was third in 1995 and he said: "Suzuka is definitely one of my favourites. It has always been a great circuit and is a big challenge. It is demanding for the driver, the car and the whole team as set-up is very difficult there. I hope we are more competitive than we were in Indianapolis as I have always gone well in Japan."

British American Racing driver Jacques Villeneuve is aiming to add to his 14-point total this weekend. The former world champion admitted: "I love Suzuka and I have great memories from Formula Three racing in Japan. It is a track where we have been quick in the past, even though the races have never been particularly good for us. Hopefully, this year the race will be good as well. It has got good rhythm, high-speed and mid-speed. It is a difficult circuit to do a good lap on."

A lap with Arrows' Pedro de la Rosa:- The first corner is very nice, flat and fast and taken in fourth gear. You have to go as fast as possible but this can make things difficult for turn two as you have to brake very shortly after the first exit of the corner. So it is easy to lose the rear of the car. It is a 90 degree corner, though nothing special, then it is up to third gear and into the S bend. The S bend is basically three consecutive corners. If you lose the line on one of them then you have lost them all, so the important thing is to keep momentum and high speed through the corners. Also, try not to go too fast otherwise you use all the track and will ruin your line for the next corner. This leads up to turn four, a third gear corner with camber which creates a lot of understeer. Then it is uphill to turn five so full power is needed. It is very difficult as it is not flat at all and maybe in qualifying with low fuel and new tyres you could try to go flat out. But there is a big bump in the corner which makes it difficult and the car a little unsettled. The track next goes uphill and peaks at the exit of the corner. Then it is fifth gear and back to fourth for Degner Curve, which is about 200km/h minimum speed, which is fast. The next bend, Spoon Corner, is in third gear and the entry is quick as it is blind. It makes braking very difficult as you will not see the corner until you are almost in it. It is an easy place to spin. The second part of the corner is often in second then it is out on to the long straight at the back of the track. Then it is up to sixth gear and 130R is the name of the next bend. At 130R you cross over the track underneath you and for me and the other drivers it is the most difficult corner in the whole championship. It is quite flat and so fast but with no run-off so if you overshoot or lose it you will destroy the car. It is up to sixth gear into the chicane, which is taken in first or second and is the slowest on the track. It is good for overtaking and you need a fast exit on to the pit straight.

Sunday's race is scheduled to last for 53 laps or 310.582km. The 1999 race was the final race of the season and controversy had broken out only days before. Ferrari had been disqualified from the previous race in Malaysia and were reinstated after an FIA appeal hearing. It paved the way for a title showdown between Mika Hakkinen and Eddie Irvine. Michael Schumacher took pole but Hakkinen won the race and the crown.

The FIA have confirmed that Silverstone will host the British Grand Prix next year but the race has now been switched from May 13 to its usual July date. There had been fears that the circuit would lose the right to stage the race after heavy rain turned this year's event into a farce for spectators. But the FIA have decided to include it on the 2001 calendar after listening to undertakings from Silverstone chiefs. The Austrian Grand Prix will be on May 13 and the British race on July 15.

The FIA have introduced a number of new regulations for the 2001 campaign following a meeting of the World Motor Sport Council in Seville. There will be no testing on the Monday following a grand prix at a circuit where a race has been held. And there will be a three-week gap between races in August and no testing will be allowed during this period. No testing will be allowed at Silverstone, Magny-Cours, Monza or Barcelona 28 days prior to their races.

All tobacco advertising will be banned in motor racing from the end of the 2006 campaign, the FIA have announced. Such sponsorship has figured highly in the sport over the years but teams have already started to look at other ways of generating cash. The FIA have also made clarifications over tyres. A maximum of 10 sets of tyres will be allowed during practice on a Friday and a wet-weather tyre is now defined as having five per cent less contact area.

Jan 18-21    Rally of Monte Carlo
Feb 8-11     Rally of Sweden
Mar 8-11     Rally of Portugal
Mar 22-25    Rally of Catalunya, Spain
May 3-6      Rally of Argentina
May 31-Jun 6 Acropolis Rally, Greece
June 14-17   Rally of Cyprus
July 12-15   Safari
Aug 23-26    Rally of Finland
Sep 20-23    Rally of New Zealand
Oct 4-7      Rally of San Remo, Italy
Oct 18-21    Rally of Corsica
Nov 1-4      Rally of Australia
Nov 22-25    Rally of Great Britain


F1:- Marc Gene is set to leave Minardi and join Prost next season, according to a Spanish newspaper. Gene is said to have met Prost team officials and drawn up an agreement at the US Grand Prix in Indianapolis. The Spaniard will rely on continued sponsorship from telecommunications company Telefonica who have backed him for the past two seasons. Last month Alain Prost arranged for Ferrari to supply his team with their V10 engine for the next two seasons.

CAMBRIAN RALLY:- The BTRDA series will reach its conclusion on Saturday with the Cambrian Rally based in the North Wales forests of Penmachno and Clocaenog. Both the BTRDA gold and silver titles have yet to be won. In the gold category Daniel Dunbabin and Martin Meadows are level on points and so the first driver home will take the glory. Pete Littler has led the silver category for most of the season but can be caught by Andy Burton.


Michael Schumacher overcame an earthquake to set the fastest time in opening practice for Sunday's race. The Ferrari driver, hoping to clinch his third drivers' title in Japan, was on the track when a tremor measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale struck. But the German still finished the session 0.6 seconds quicker than title rival Mika Hakkinen in his McLaren. Buildings and grandstands at the circuit swayed for several seconds but no damage was reported.

Drivers who get in the way of the title fight between Michael Schumacher and Mika Hakkinen could be banned next season, Formula One chiefs have said. Race director Charlie Whiting issued the warning in a bid to ensure that no blocking tactics are employed. Williams' Ralf Schumacher said the drivers had been told that anybody who is disqualified would be banned for three races next season. "No-one should disturb the fight between the two leaders," he said.

Jordan technical director Mike Gascoyne has been released from his contract a year early. He had agreed to join Benetton when his contract expired.

Friday practice times:
 1 M Schumacher  Ger Ferrari  1:38.893
 2 M Hakkinen    Fin McLaren  1:39.669
 3 D Coulthard   GB  McLaren  1:40.000
 4 R Barrichello Brz Ferrari  1:40.429
 5 R Schumacher  Ger Williams 1:40.699
 6 G Fisichella  It  Benetton 1:40.756
 7 H-H Frentzen  Ger Jordan   1:41.054
 8 E Irvine      GB  Jaguar   1:41.426
 9 J Trulli      It  Jordan   1:41.481
10 J Villeneuve  Can BAR      1:41.651
11 J Alesi       Fr  Prost    1:41.730
12 J Button      GB  Williams 1:41.730
13 J Herbert     GB  Jaguar   1:41.929
14 J Verstappen  Hol Arrows   1:41.972
15 N Heidfeld    Ger Prost    1:42.024
16 R Zonta       Brz BAR      1:42.036
17 P Diniz       Brz Sauber   1:42.086
18 P de la Rosa  Sp  Arrows   1:42.141
19 M Salo        Fin Sauber   1:42.844
20 M Gene        Sp  Minardi  1:43.836
21 G Mazzacane   Arg Minardi  1:45.238
22 A Wurz        Aut Benetton 1:51.492

BTCC:- Peugeot have announced that they will return to the British Touring Car Championship next season. The company will compete with a pair of factory-run cars. Mark Taylor has signed to drive in the 2001 British Formula Three Championship with Manor Motorsport.

06.10.2000 - F1: THE JAPANESE GP

Michael Schumacher overcame an earthquake to set the fastest time in opening practice for Sunday's race. The Ferrari driver, hoping to clinch his third drivers' title in Japan, was on the track when a tremor measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale struck. But the German still finished the session 0.6 seconds quicker than title rival Mika Hakkinen in his McLaren. Buildings and grandstands at the circuit swayed for several seconds but no damage was reported.

Drivers who get in the way of the title fight between Michael Schumacher and Mika Hakkinen could be banned next season, Formula One chiefs have said. Race director Charlie Whiting issued the warning in a bid to ensure that no blocking tactics are employed. Williams' Ralf Schumacher said the drivers had been told that anybody who is disqualified would be banned for three races next season. "No-one should disturb the fight between the two leaders," he said.

Jordan technical director Mike Gascoyne has been released from his contract a year early. He had agreed to join Benetton when his contract expired.

Friday practice times:
 1 M Schumacher  Ger Ferrari  1:38.893
 2 M Hakkinen    Fin McLaren  1:39.669
 3 D Coulthard   GB  McLaren  1:40.000
 4 R Barrichello Brz Ferrari  1:40.429
 5 R Schumacher  Ger Williams 1:40.699
 6 G Fisichella  It  Benetton 1:40.756
 7 H-H Frentzen  Ger Jordan   1:41.054
 8 E Irvine      GB  Jaguar   1:41.426
 9 J Trulli      It  Jordan   1:41.481
10 J Villeneuve  Can BAR      1:41.651
11 J Alesi       Fr  Prost    1:41.730
12 J Button      GB  Williams 1:41.730
13 J Herbert     GB  Jaguar   1:41.929
14 J Verstappen  Hol Arrows   1:41.972
15 N Heidfeld    Ger Prost    1:42.024
16 R Zonta       Brz BAR      1:42.036
17 P Diniz       Brz Sauber   1:42.086
18 P de la Rosa  Sp  Arrows   1:42.141
19 M Salo        Fin Sauber   1:42.844
20 M Gene        Sp  Minardi  1:43.836
21 G Mazzacane   Arg Minardi  1:45.238
22 A Wurz        Aut Benetton 1:51.492


Michael Schumacher took pole position for Sunday's race but title rival Mika Hakkinen will also be on the front row. After a ding-dong battle, Schumacher took the top grid spot with a late run and held on to it despite a last-ditch effort by the reigning world champion. It is a major boost for Schumacher, who will give Ferrari their first drivers' crown for 21 years if he wins the race. David Coulthard was third fastest, Jenson Button fifth, Eddie Irvine seventh and Johnny Herbert 10th.

Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher has played down his title hopes, despite securing pole for Sunday's grand prix. "We want to win the race and finish the championship here and we have taken the first step but there is still a long way to go," stated the German. "Being on pole is the best place to be and it was a very close session. "But getting a good start has been difficult for us here in the past. If we can be leading at the first corner then we have a good opportunity."

Mika Hakkinen was disappointed that his bid to claim pole position failed. The Finn went out on a late lap in an effort to beat Michael Schumacher's time but to no avail. "I am disappointed because I thought I could have got pole," said Hakkinen. "I just could not get the acceleration I wanted coming out of the last chicane." David Coulthard was third fastest in qualifying and added: "I did not think that I could get pole because I have not been on the pace all weekend."

Jenson Button was delighted after he claimed the fifth fastest time in qualifying ` just ahead of his Williams team-mate Ralf Schumacher. Button admitted: "It is great to come to a circuit like Suzuka and qualify in fifth. It is one of the best moments of the season for me. It is amazing. I owe a lot to the mechanics and to the engineers because they did a great job. But I cannot start celebrating yet. Obviously I must finish the race."

McLaren boss Ron Dennis has slammed the threat of race bans on drivers who block others in Sunday's race. Dennis said the rule was "arbitrary" and could work against his team and any tactics they may use to help Mika Hakkinen in his bid for the title. "We feel the interpretation placed on circumstances is different now to that placed in previous races," said Dennis. "In principle, we don't have a problem with any change, but I think it should be done at the end of the season."

Saturday's qualifying times: mins secs
 1 M Schumacher  Ger Ferrari  1:35.825
 2 M Hakkinen    Fin McLaren  1:35.834
 3 D Coulthard   GB  McLaren  1:36.236
 4 R Barrichello Brz Ferrari  1:36.330
 5 J Button      GB  Williams 1:36.628
 6 R Schumacher  Ger Williams 1:36.899
 7 E Irvine      GB  Jaguar   1:37.393
 8 H-H Frentzen  Ger Jordan   1:37.243
 9 J Villeneuve  Can BAR      1:37.267
10 J Herbert     GB  Jaguar   1:37.329
11 A Wurz        Aut Benetton 1:37.348
12 G Fisichella  It  Benetton 1:37.479
13 P de la Rosa  Sp  Arrows   1:37.652
14 J Verstappen  Ned Arrows   1:37.674
15 J Trulli      It  Jordan   1:37.679
16 N Heidfeld    Ger Prost    1:38.141
17 J Alesi       Fr  Prost    1:38.209
18 R Zonta       Brz BAR      1:38.269
19 M Salo        Fin Sauber   1:38.490
20 P Diniz       Brz Sauber   1:38.576
21 M Gene        Sp  Minardi  1:39.972
22 G Mazzacane   Arg Minardi  1:40.462

Jordan have signed BAR's Brazilian Ricardo Zonta as a test driver for next season. Zonta decided to stay in Formula One rather than race in the American CART series after BAR's decision to replace him with Olivier Panis in 2001. "There are no available places as a driver in any of the top teams so Ricardo decided to go to Jordan," said Zonta's manager Geraldo Rodriguez. Zonta has finished sixth three times in this season's Championship.

Leaderboard after 5 of 9 stages:
Penalties                     mins:secs
 1 P Littler      Escort        40:12
 2 A Burton       Peugeot       40.48
 3 M Watson       Escort        41:01
 4 R Wright       Escort        41:51
 5 G Robinson     Escort        42:30
 6 G Robinson     Mitsubishi    42:24
 7 M Healer       Escort        42:52
 8 W Pickersgill  Subaru        42:55
 9 D Dunabin      Honda         42:56
10 S Chapman      Corsa         43:06
G Midwinter retired after stage 5

NATIONAL SALOON'S (Silverstone):- Toni Ruokonen took pole for the final round of the season on Sunday, when he is likely to clinc the title. Simon Harrison and Gavin Pyper were second and third, but Matt Kelly's engine blew on the first lap.

Qualifying times (Sat):      mins secs
1 T Ruokonen                  2:21.312
2 S Harrison                  2:22.476
3 G Pyper                     2:22.926
4 D Eaves                     2:23.252
5 T Masini                    2:23.557
6 L Linford                   2:23.872

BRITISH GT'S (Silverstone):- Difficult conditions hit both sessions of qualifying, but Cor Euser and Calum Lockie managed to take pole as they seek to clinch the title.

GT qualifying times (Sat):   mins secs
1 Lockie/Euser                2:06.738
2 Warnock/Bailey              2:07.021
3 Harvey/Day                  2:07.807
4 Erdos/Purvis                2:08.185

GTO qualifying times (Sat):
1 Rymer/Lister                2:11.045
2 Watson/Simmons              2:11.982
3 Sumpter/Jordan              2:12.426
4 Short/Barff                 2:13.818

MGF CUP (Silverstone):- Nick Carr took pole position for Sunday's race ahead of team-mates Paul O'Neill and Alastair Lyall. Jamie Hunter, comfortable leader in the race for the championship, qualified in fourth spot.

Qualifying times (Sat):      mins secs
1 N Carr                      2:24.779
2 P O'Neill                   2:25.604
3 A Lyall                     2:26.031
4 J Hunter                    2:26.183
5 D Mason                     2:26.609
6 D Gathercole                2:27.285

Calendar of events confirmed by FIA
Jan 18-21    Rally of Monte Carlo
Feb 8-11     Rally of Sweden
Mar 8-11     Rally of Portugal
Mar 22-25    Rally of Catalunya, Spain
May 3-6      Rally of Argentina
May 31-Jun 6 Acropolis Rally, Greece
June 14-17   Rally of Cyprus
July 12-15   Safari
Aug 23-26    Rally of Finland
Sep 20-23    Rally of New Zealand
Oct 4-7      Rally of San Remo, Italy
Oct 18-21    Rally of Corsica
Nov 1-4      Rally of Australia
Nov 22-25    Rally of Great Britain


Michael Schumacher ended Ferrari's 21-year wait for a drivers' title by winning at Suzuka. Schumacher overcame a poor start during which he lost the lead to Mika Hakkinen and went on to claim his third crown following a quickfire second pit stop. The German took the lead on lap 39 when the Finn visited the pits and Schumacher then created a big enough gap to keep the lead after his stop. Hakkinen finished second and David Coulthard was third.

Ferrari had a nightmare start, with pole-sitter Michael Schumacher being overtaken by Mika Hakkinen. Rubens Barrichello also got away slowly and slipped from fourth to sixth but Eddie Irvine steered his Jaguar from seventh to fifth. Ralf Schumacher - who started in sixth place on the grid - moved up to fourth but his Williams team-mate Jenson Button moved down two spots to seventh. Hakkinen had a lead of more than a second over Schumacher after six laps.

Michael Schumacher is the first driver since the late, great Ayrton Senna in 1991 to pick up a third world title. Thirty-one-year-old Schumacher had previously triumphed with Benetton in 1994 and 1995. His win at Suzuka takes him to 43 career victories and only former world champion Alain Prost has a higher total, with 51. Five other drivers have won three titles, Prost has won four and Argentine Juan-Manuel Fangio five.

Thousands of Ferrari fans congregated on the streets of Maranello in Italy after Michael Schumacher ended the team's wait for a drivers' title. Schumacher is the first driver to lift the title for the Italian outfit since Jody Scheckter in 1979. There was one slight break with Maranello rituals. The win coincided with Sunday morning mass so the local priest was not immediately able to traditionally mark the win by ringing the church bells.

Michael Schumacher may stay with Ferrari beyond the end of his current contract in 2002, according to his manager Willy Weber. He told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper: "He will stay, come what may, at least until the end of his contract in 2002." Neither party have discussed a new deal but Weber added: "We want to celebrate the title first. "But anyway, why would he leave a team who are crowned with success and where he feels good?"

All four British drivers finished the race in the top eight. David Coulthard headed the list with a third-place finish following a steady race, while Jenson Button put in a fine performance to be fifth. Jaguar duo Johnny Herbert and Eddie Irvine finished just out of the points in seventh and eighth. Canadian Jacques Villeneuve, meanwhile, drove a superb race to be sixth and move British American Racing above Jordan in the constructors' list.

Michael Schumacher was understandably emotional after securing the drivers' title but he insisted: "I am not going to fall into tears now". The Ferrari star had dissolved into tears at the post-race press conference in Monza following his Italian Grand Prix win earlier this season. He said: "This is similar to Monza and it is difficult to form proper words." And after ending Ferrari's 21-year wait for glory, he added: "Imagine what is going on in Italy right now."

The key to Michael Schumacher's win in the race itself and in the title stakes was down to pit-stop strategy. He went on to earn his third win in a row, eighth of the season and the 43rd of his career when he came out of his second stop still leading the race. "When I entered the pits there was this Benetton spinning back into me and I was not sure if I had enough time. Ross Brawn was telling me it was looking good and then he said it was looking bloody good," said Schumacher.

Ferrari sporting director Jean Todt has underlined that there is still another job to do in the final race of the season in Malaysia on October 22. "We need three points for the constructors' title and we will not let it go," he insisted. "But let us not worry about the future right now. Let us enjoy the present for at least five minutes." After being soaked in champagne, he added: "There are no words to describe this. Now we can enjoy it all."

Mika Hakkinen put aside his disappointment at failing to land his third drivers' crown to congratulate new world champion Michael Schumacher. Hakkinen needed to win in Suzuka to take the title battle to the final race in Malaysia. But after finishing second to the German, the Finn said: "It is so sad but congratulations to Michael. Sometimes it has to be another driver's turn to win, although I do not have to be happy about it."

McLaren star Mika Hakkinen admitted that 2000 world champion Michael Schumacher had "done the best possible job this year". "We were not able to do it, so naturally I feel a bit disappointed," conceded the Finn. "But at the same time I feel I have won two years in a row in 1998 and 1999 so life continues and racing continues. You have to keep fighting and I am sure we will see exciting races in the future too."

Michael Schumacher's rivals have been quick to pay tribute to him after he won his third world championship and ended Ferrari's 21 year drought. "I think it's fantastic Michael is the champion because he deserves it and he has done for many years," said Williams driver Jenson Button. Button's team-mate Ralf Schumacher was equally delighted at the result. "I can barely say how happy I feel for my brother. This year the best driver in the best car and best team has won."

After being tipped to feature strongly in the battle between Mika Hakkinen and Michael Schumacher, David Coulthard had an event-free race. The Scot finished third behind title- winner Schumacher and McLaren team-mate Hakkinen but he admitted: "I had a fairly quiet race. I was not really involved in any battles. I was just concentrating on keeping the car on the track. The track conditions were changing all the time."

Jacques Villeneuve was delighted after his sixth-place finish moved British American Racing into the top five of the Constructors' Championship. "We did some good work this weekend and the car was good enough in the middle and the end of the race," he stated. "I made a bad start and was caught up in a big battle with the Jaguars. We are only two points behind Benetton and I am three points behind Giancarlo Fisichella so it is possible to overtake them in the final race."

Result after 53 laps:        hr min sec
 1 M Schumacher  Ger Ferrari  1:29.53.4
 2 M Hakkinen    Fin McLaren     @ 01.8
 3 D Coulthard   GB  McLaren  @ 01.09.9
 4 R Barrichello Brz Ferrari  @ 01.19.9
 5 J Button      GB  Williams @ 01.25.6
 6 J Villeneuve  Can BAR        one lap
 7 J Herbert     GB  Jaguar     one lap
 8 E Irvine      GB  Jaguar     one lap
 9 R Zonta       Brz BAR        one lap
10 M Salo        Fin Sauber     one lap
11 P Diniz       Brz Sauber     one lap
12 P de la Rosa  Sp  Arrows     one lap
13 J Trulli      It  Jordan     one lap
14 G Fisichella  It  Benetton   one lap
15 G Mazzacane   Arg Minardi   two laps
NOT CLASSIFIED            laps completed
   M Gene        Sp  Minardi    46
   N Heidfeld    Ger Prost      41
   R Schumacher  Ger Williams   41
   A Wurz        Aut Benetton   37
   H-H Frentzen  Ger Jordan     29
   J Verstappen  Ned Arrows      9
Fastest lap: M Hakkinen, 1:39.189

 1 M Schumacher  Ger  Ferrari   98 pts
 2 M Hakkinen    Fin  McLaren   86
 3 D Coulthard   GB   McLaren   67
 4 R Barrichello Brz  Ferrari   58
 5 R Schumacher  Ger  Williams  24
 6 G Fisichella  It   Benetton  18
 7 J Villeneuve  Can  BAR       15
 8 J Button      GB   Williams  12
 9 H-H Frentzen  Ger  Jordan    11
10 M Salo        Fin  Sauber     6
 = J Trulli      It   Jordan     6
12 J Verstappen  Hol  Arrows     5
13 E Irvine      GB   Jaguar     3
 = R Zonta       Brz  BAR        3
15 P de la Rosa  Sp   Arrows     2
 = A Wurz        Aut  Benetton   2

1 Ferrari      156 pts
2 McLaren      143
3 Williams      36
4 Benetton      20
5 BAR           18
6 Jordan        17
7 Arrows         7
8 Sauber         6
9 Jaguar         3

NATIONAL SALOON'S (Silverstone):- Toni Ruokonen clinched the title after finishing second in the final round. Dan Eaves claimed victory in the race, which saw drivers caught out by damp patches early on followed by bunching up behind the safety car.

Result (Sun):                mins secs
1 D Eaves      Peugeot       31:48.896
2 T Ruokonen   Peugeot       31:54.757
3 T Ferrier    Alfa Romeo    31:55.198
4 P Andrews    Ford          32:16.239
5 M Kelly      Nissan        32:31.717
6 N James      Honda         32:32.266

BRITISH F3:- Takuma Sato took his fourth win of the season in the final round of the Green Flag Championship at Silverstone. The Japanese driver passed pole position starter Andy Priaulx at the first corner and was never passed.

Result (Sun:)                mins secs
1 T Sato                     31:11.567
2 A Priaulx                   @ 10.7s
3 T Scheckter                 @ 11.2s
4 B Collins                   @ 20.1s
5 G Bruni                     @ 21.1s
6 W Barber                    @ 28.4s

11.10.2000 - RALLYING

Colin McRae has undergone a successful three-hour operation to repair his damaged cheekbone. The Scot, who was injured in a high- speed crash in the Corsica Rally last month, had a plate inserted across the bone during the surgery. "The operation was completed successfully and we must wait for the swelling to go down and see how Colin progresses," said a Ford spokeswoman. McRae wants to resume his championship bid in San Remo on October 20.


F1:- World champion Michael Schumacher has hit out at David Coulthard and Jacques Villeneuve following their criticism of his driving earlier this season. Schumacher, who gave Ferrari their first drivers' crown in 21 years by winning in Suzuka on Sunday, said the duo never criticise him face-to-face. He told German paper Bild: "Somehow it is always the same drivers that one has problems with, like David and Jacques. They all talk and talk all day but never say anything to my face."

RALLYING:- Colin McRae is confident of being fit for next week's Sanremo rally. The 32-year-old Scot is recovering well from surgery after suffering a double fracture of his cheekbone and a bruised lung at the Tour of Corsica. He will hope to be given the all-clear to compete after a consultation with his surgeon on Friday. McRae is third in the world standings and in with a shout of the title, but his Ford team will be guided by medical advice as to whether he should compete.

A new stadium, the Thyssen Rallysprint, is being constructed on a 34 acre site in the docks area of Cardiff. The track will provide viewing for up to 25,000 spectators during the Network Q Rally of Great Britain in November.

F3000:- Kid Jensen Racing will give 25-year-old American Derek Hill a three-day test in Jerez, Spain, next week.


FORD FIESTA’S (Brands Hatch):- Britain's toughest saloon car racers will be battling it out in the Winter Ford Fiesta Zetec Cup this weekend. The Winter Cup is widely regarded as one of the most competitive events of the year for the cream of Britain's saloon car racing talent. Alan Blencowe, who has put in some fine performances this year, will be among the top contenders. Blencowe's team manager, veteran driver Colin Stancombe, who won the Winter Cup last year, could also figure well.

F.FORD (Brands Hatch):- The Formula Ford Festival starts this weekend with favourite James Courtney tipped to win the Zetec Slick 50 race. The 2000 Slick 50 champion, who came second last year, is fancied to go all the way in his Van Diemen car. But the Australian will not find it easy, with team-mate Robert Dahlgren, Brands favourite Mark Taylor and Anthony Davidson out to stop him. Robert Bell, Adam Carroll and Gary Catt, who have all impressed this year, will also be taking part.

F1:- British American Racing have rejected two reports appearing in this week's motorsport press regarding takeovers. Autosport carried a story claiming BAR's engine supplier, Honda, plans to buy the team before the 2002 F1 season. F1 Racing also contains an article suggesting that personnel within BAR management intend to purchase the team. "They (Honda) have not discussed such a plan with us, and none of the team personnel have agreed to support any such move," said BAR's Ian Ross.

CART (Surfers’ Paradise):-
Friday's qualifying times:
 1 G de Ferran  Brz Honda    109.302mph
 2 J Montoya    Col Honda    108.562
 3 J Vasser     US  Toyota   108.133
 4 M Andretti   US  Ford     108.051
 5 T Kanaan     Brz Mercedes 108.002
 6 D Franchitti GB  Honda    107.753
 7 C Fittipaldi Brz Ford     107.626
 8 P Tracy      Can Honda    107.532
 9 C Da Matta   Brz Toyota   107.315
10 P Carpentier Can Ford     107.273
21 M Blundell   GB  Mercedes 105.473

RALLYING:- Colin McRae has been declared fit to take part in next week's Sanremo rally, BBC Radio Five Live have reported. The Ford driver's participation was in doubt following his crash in the Tour of Corsica, and he had surgery to insert a plate in his cheekbone. The all-clear means that he can now concentrate on his preparations for what could be a crucial event. With just three rallies left this season, McRae still has a chance of landing the title.

TOUR OF MULL RALLY:- The toughest event in the British club rallying calendar gets underway on Friday evening. The 31st Philips Tour of Mull Rally, Britain's first competitive rally on closed roads, has attracted a full entry of 150 cars from around the UK. Callum Duffy, who won the event two years ago, will lead the charge over 160 miles of narrow, tarmac roads. Nine-times winner Neil MacKinnon runs at number two with last year's runner-up Dougi Hall, the third seeded driver.


F1:- British American Racing have rejected two reports appearing in this week's motorsport press regarding takeovers. Autosport carried a story claiming BAR's engine supplier, Honda, plans to buy the team before the 2002 F1 season. F1 Racing also contains an article suggesting that personnel within BAR management intend to purchase the team. "They (Honda) have not discussed such a plan with us, and none of the team personnel have agreed to support any such move," said BAR's Ian Ross.

CART (Surfers Paradise):- Reigning champion Juan Pablo Montoya staged a late rally to steal pole position from Brazil's Gil de Ferran in the closing stages of qualifying. Montoya took just over one tenth of a second off the Brazilian's time to guarantee his seventh pole of the season, and the 14th of his career. Dario Franchitti was third fastest behind current championship leader de Ferran, with Paul Tracy fourth. De Ferran needs four points to take the title for the Honda team.

Final qualifying times:      min secs
 1 J Montoya    Col Toyota   1m31.722
 2 G de Ferran  Brz Honda    1m31.827
 3 D Franchitti GB  Honda    1m32.059
 4 P Tracy      Can Honda    1m32.328
 5 J Vasser     US  Toyota   1m33.052
 6 M Andretti   US  Ford     1m33.123
 7 T Kanaan     Brz Mercedes 1m33.165
 8 H C'troneves Brz Honda    1m33.474
 9 C Fittipaldi Brz Ford     1m33.490
10 C Da Matta   Brz Toyota   1m33.761
22 M Blundell   GB  Mercedes 1m35.399

ALMS:- Allan McNish looks set to extend his lead at the top of the championship table after practice for the tenth round of Le Mans races this weekend. Co-driver Rinaldo Capello was at the wheel for Friday's practice session as McNish was suffering from a cold, and he drove their car onto the front row. They edged out Jan Magnussen and David Brabham into second place, with Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro in third. McNish and Capello have won four of the last five races in the 12 race series.

F.VAUXHALL:- Rob Huff led all the way to take his fifth win of the year at Snetterton and win the Formula Vauxhall Championship.

15.10.2000 - CART

Adrian Fernandez claimed victory on Surfers Paradise in a race in which only 13 of the 25 starters finished. The Mexican dodged explosions, crashes and spin outs to come in ahead of Swedish rookie Kenny Brack and American Jimmy Vasser. Britain's Dario Franchitti was involved in a crash with championship leader Gil de Ferran and Juan Montoya on lap 59 which ended all three's race. Mark Blundell claimed one of his best results this year, finishing 11th.

Race result:                hr min secs
 1 A Fernandez  Mex Ford    2:01:14.605
 2 K Brack      Swe Ford      @   0.324
 3 J Vasser     US  Toyota    @   4.059
 4 C Da Matta   Brz Toyota    @   4.813
 5 P Carpentier Brz Ford      @   5.231
 6 H C'troneves Brz Honda     @  10.340
 7 M Jourdain   Mex Mercedes  @  11.009
 8 T Kanaan     Brz Mercedes  @  15.770
 9 O Servia     Sp  Toyota    @  18.181
10 M Gugelmin   Brz Mercedes  @  18.581
11 M Blundell   GB  Mercedes  @  18.723
25 D Franchitti GB  Honda      59 laps

Driver standings              Points
 1 G de Ferran  Brz Honda       153
 2 A Fernandez  Mex Ford        148
 3 P Tracy      Can Honda       134
 = K Brack      Swe Ford        134
 5 R Moreno     Brz Ford        131
 = J Vasser     US  Toyota      131
12 D Franchitti GB  Honda        92
21 M Blundell   GB  Mercedes     18

Manufacturer standings:  Points
1 Ford                    314
2 Honda                   298
3 Toyota                  272
4 Mercedes                 72

16.10.2000 - ALMS (Laguna Seca)

Allan McNish strengthened his grip on the American Le Mans Series drivers' title as he scored his fifth victory of the season. The 30-year-old from Dumfries and co- driver Rinaldo Capello started their Audi R8 from pole position. The pair led home the similar car of Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro by 0.352 seconds in the 165-minute race. McNish and Capello are 10 points clear at the top of the drivers' standings after their victory.


F1:- Spanish telecommunications giants Telefonica have announced they will be withdrawing their sponsorship from the Minardi Formula 1 team next season.

Michael Schumacher may have won the drivers' title in the previous race at Suzuka but he will be bidding to give Ferrari a double celebration on Sunday. The German has had a 10-day break in Asia with his wife Corinna but is now ready to clinch the Constructors' Championship for the Italian team. "We need a few more points to tie up the constructors' title," he said. "I certainly will not be taking any unnecessary risks that might jeopardise the team's chances."

Ferrari will be ensuring that there are no problems with their cars on Sunday following last year's initial disqualification from the race. A small discrepancy on the bargeboards meant Ferrari were disqualified before being reinstated on appeal. Technical director Ross Brawn said: "You can be sure we will be going over the car from a regulation point of view with a fine tooth comb. With the data learned from last year it should be a lot easier."

McLaren only have a slim chance of securing the constructors' crown but Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard will still battle to claim a one-two. Such a finish and a pointless race for Ferrari would give McLaren a title and Hakkinen a consolation for losing his crown to rival Michael Schumacher. The Woking-based team are currently 13 points behind Ferrari, who claimed the constructors' title last year. Hakkinen was third in Sepang last year and Coulthard failed to finish.

Britain's Jenson Button has heaped praise on Williams ahead of his final race for the team in his debut Formula One campaign. Button is joining Benetton next season and he said: "My debut season will stay with me forever. I cannot thank the BMW Williams F1 team enough for the work, support and commitment that they have demonstrated all season. After a 13-year absence, BMW's return has been nothing short of admirable."

Williams star Ralf Schumacher is confident of ending the season on a high note. "After having consolidated our third place in the Constructors' Championship in Suzuka, we head to Malaysia in an optimistic frame of mind," he stated. "Sepang is a very difficult track to drive and last year we had problems with the set-up. Some parts of the track are not level but we are again aiming for both cars to make it into the points."

The Sepang race is set to be Johnny Herbert's 161st and final grand prix after around 12 years on the circuit. Herbert is likely to move into the CART series in the United States. The Jaguar driver said: "I had a great race in Malaysia last year so hope I will have the same this time around. I hope I can go out on a high. It is a tough race as the track is physical and the weather is humid. It is going to be a bit emotional getting out of the car for the last time."

Eddie Irvine won the inaugural Malaysian Grand Prix in 1999 and would relish a points finish this year. "It has been a long hard season with little to show for all the effort the whole Jaguar team has put in at the circuits and the factory," he admitted. "So it would be good to get a reasonable result in this final race. Last year I had the best possible result so I have pleasant memories of the track, although the awful humidity makes life far from pleasant."

British American Racing will be going all out to land fourth place in the Constructors' Championship on Sunday. The team's chief engineer Steve Farrell confirmed: "We moved in front of Jordan at Suzuka and have only a two-point deficit to Benetton. Our focus now is on scoring sufficient points to secure fourth place in the Constructors' Championship. Whatever happens, though, we can look back on the 2000 season with some satisfaction. We have come a long way."

Sunday's race is scheduled to last for 56 laps or 310.408km. Eddie Irvine and Michael Schumacher claimed a one-two for Ferrari in last year's race but were disqualified hours later for a technical infringement. At that point it meant that Mika Hakkinen was world champion for the second year in a row. However, Ferrari took their case to the FIA court of appeal and the ruling was overturned, although Hakkinen did eventually go on to take the title.

BTTC:- Richard West of Octagon Marketing has been appointed to manage the British Touring Car Championship.


SAN REMO RALLY:- San Remo hosts the World Rally Championship for the 42nd time as the teams come to Italy for round 12 between October 20-22. The drivers will complete 1,103km in total with 17 sections providing 382km of competition. Organisers have made the event the most compact World Rally ever with racing restricted to a radius of 25km to reduce spectator congestion. It is the first time in 20 years that stages will be run in both directions.

Colin McRae will be fit to start the San Remo Rally on Friday just 11 days after surgery to repair the cheekbone he broke during the Corsica Rally. Doctors gave the 32-year-old Scot the go-ahead to return to the wheel after a three-hour long operation to insert a metal plate. McRae sustained a double fracture and a punctured lung in the accident. He is currently third in the drivers' championship and Ford lead the manufacturers' standings.

Richard Burns will be itching to close the slim gap on championship leader Marcus Gronholm as he heads to San Remo just two points behind the Finn. But the 29-year-old Englishman is not expected to do very well as he has never won a WRC event on asphalt. In two starts at the Sanremo rally he has finished just once in a lowly seventh place. But he will be determined to do better this time and wrest top spot from the surprise leader.

Three weeks after finishing the gruelling Tour of Corsica SEAT drivers Didier Auriol and Toni Gardemeister have different views of San Remo. Auriol, 42, who has won the rally three times here, said: "I hope it is wet and slippery in San Remo because this will give us our best chance." The 25-year-old Gardemeister by contrast has only driven Sanremo twice. He said: "The timetable is so tight it will be very difficult for our gravel crew to get around."

Skoda is confident that recent tests in the mountains near San Remo will pay off during the rally. The team has put the cars through a series of gruelling tests on both gravel and asphalt to test the cars' reliability and the tyres. Team manager Pavel Janeba said: "It is abundantly clear that the latest evolution of the Octavia is both faster and has better handling. When given the right conditions we can compete with the best in the world."

Alister McRae is hoping to capitalise on a positive finish in 12th position in Corsica. "We are a still a little bit off the pace but the changes made since then will hopefully improve the car's performance on tarmac," he said. "I don't expect to be up with the front runners but I would like to put in a bit more of a fight, especially as I am more familiar with this event. Towards the end of Corsica the car was performing much better."

GOODWOOD FESTIVAL OF SPEED:- The ninth Goodwood Festival of Speed will be held on July 6-8 next year. A theme for the 2001 Festival of Speed is due to be revealed within the next few weeks.

FPA/F3000:- European Formula Palmer Audi Championship runnner-up Juston Keen will test with Formula 3000 front runners Astromega next month. Meanwhile, Ray Ames was fastest in testing for the FPA Rookie Race series starting on Sunday.


Mika Hakkinen upstaged world champion Michael Schumacher in first practice for the season's final race. Schumacher led the way after the first session with Hakkinen back in fourth but the Finn hit back in the second run to finish 0.014 seconds ahead of him. With team-mate David Coulthard in third, it kept McLaren's faint hopes of the constructors title alive. Coulthard will be third in the drivers standings unless he fails to finish and Rubens Barrichello wins on Sunday.

Alexander Wurz has been named as McLaren's test driver for next year. Wurz, who has just lost his Benetton place to Jenson Button, will take over from Oliver Panis who is moving to British American Racing. "I'm extremely enthusiastic about the challenge and the opportunities offered by becoming part of the team," he said. "I'm sure I will have a significant role to play as third driver for the most successful team in Formula One and I'll be able to develop as a driver."

Friday practice times:
 1 M Hakkinen    Fin McLaren  1:40.262
 2 M Schumacher  Ger Ferrari  1:40.276
 3 D Coulthard   GB  McLaren  1:40.498
 4 R Barrichello Brz Ferrari  1:40.877
 5 J Trulli      It  Jordan   1:41.304
 6 R Schumacher  Ger Williams 1:41.493
 7 R Zonta       Brz BAR      1:41.497
 8 G Fisichella  It  Benetton 1:41.593
 9 A Wurz        Aut Benetton 1:41.679
10 H-H Frentzen  Ger Jordan   1:41.751
11 J Verstappen  Hol Arrows   1:41.914
12 J Button      GB  Williams 1:42.012
13 J Herbert     GB  Jaguar   1:42.113
14 E Irvine      GB  Jaguar   1:42.141
15 P de la Rosa  Sp  Arrows   1:42.254
16 P Diniz       Brz Sauber   1:42.457
17 J Villeneuve  Can BAR      1:42.649
18 J Alesi       Fr  Prost    1:42.868
19 M Salo        Fin Sauber   1:43.284
20 G Mazzacane   Arg Minardi  1:43.424
21 M Gene        Sp  Minardi  1:43.655
22 N Heidfeld    Ger Prost    1:43.766

Brazilian Pedro Diniz has confirmed that he is in talks with the Prost team. Diniz has been driving for Sauber during the 2000 campaign.

Positions after 6 stages:    Hr min sec
 1 G Panizzi   Fr  Peugeot    1:12.01.3
 2 F Delecour  Fr  Peugeot    1:12.11.5
 3 R Burns     GB  Subaru     1:12.14.5
 4 P Liatti    It  Ford       1:12.33.6
 5 C Sainz     Sp  Ford       1:12.35.7
 6 M Gronholm  Fin Peugeot    1:12.44.6
 7 T Makinen   Fin Mitsubishi 1:12.45.7
 8 S J-Joseph  Fr  Subaru     1:12.48.8
 9 C McRae     GB  Ford       1:12.55.1
10 F Loix      Bel Mitsubishi 1:13.06.0

BULLDOG RALLY:- With Marcus Dodd having already taken the overall ANCRO National Rally Series title, the competition for second place takes priority in the Bulldog Rally. Mitsuibishi driver Vince Wetton currently holds that position, but Kenny McKistry, Richie Holfeld and David Mann are close behind. Escort duo Gary Smith and Phil Clarke were the top starters for the race, and Kenny Mckistry and Noel Orr are second. Following the National Rally are the Bulldog Clubman and Historic Rallies.


Michael Schumacher cruised to the 32nd pole position of his career ahead of Sunday's final Grand Prix of the year. The newly-crowned triple world champion needed only eight laps of his allocated 12 to top the times in qualifying for the 56-laps race. The German ended up four-tenths of a second clear of Mika Hakkinen in a McLaren by clocking a best time of one minute and 37.397 seconds. David Coulthard was third-fastest, with Brazilian Rubens Barrichello fourth.

Michael Schumacher intends going flat out to secure the three points Ferrari need to win the constructors' title. Schumacher, who clinched the drivers' championship two weeks ago in Japan, said: "It is important to us. It will be a bit of a miracle if we don't get the three points we need, but I am going out to win this race." The German, who will start Sunday's race on pole, added: "The car handled well and I think we found the optimum balance. The team did a good job."

Mika Hakkinen had to settle for second place on the grid for Sunday's final round of this year's championship. The Finn, who relinquishes the title to Michael Schumacher after a ding-dong tussle this season, said: "My last lap was fast enough, but only for a second. We just didn't get the maximum from the car this time. Not in balance or in traction." Briton Johnny Herbert, preparing for his 161st and final Grand Prix, qualified 12th in his Jaguar.

McLaren boss Ron Dennis has been severly criticised by Max Mosley, the president of FIA, for his attacks on how Formula One is being run. "You do a lot of damage when you constantly suggest that the Formula One Championship is not properly and fairly run," he said in a letter to Dennis. "Your actions might also be seen as an attempt to intimidate our officials. "This all discourages new sponsors and new fans," added Mosley in a scathing put down.

McLaren chief Ron Dennis has moved to quell a row with FIA head Max Mosley, issuing a letter of apology. Dennis was responding to a letter from Mosley, in which he had accused him of damaging F1 with his criticisms. Dennis replied that it had not been his intention "to damage a sport to which I have devoted most of my working life." He told Mosley: "I hope that I understand the complexity of Formula One and I believe that the FIA administer a well-run sport."

Saturday's qualifying times:
 1 M Schumacher  Ger Ferrari  1:37.397
 2 M Hakkinen    Fin McLaren  1:37.860
 3 D Coulthard   GB  McLaren  1:37.889
 4 R Barrichello Brz Ferrari  1:38.896
 5 A Wurz        Aut Benetton 1:38.644
 6 J Villeneuve  Can BAR      1:38.653
 7 E Irvine      GB  Jaguar   1:38.696
 8 R Schumacher  Ger Williams 1:38.739
 9 J Trulli      It  Jordan   1:38.909
10 H-H Frentzen  Ger Jordan   1:38.988
11 R Zonta       Brz BAR      1:39.158
12 J Herbert     GB  Jaguar   1:39.331
13 G Fisichella  It  Benetton 1:39.387
14 P de la Rosa  Sp  Arrows   1:39.443
15 J Verstappen  Ned Arrows   1:39.489
16 J Button      GB  Williams 1:39.563
17 M Salo        Fin Sauber   1:39.591
18 J Alesi       Fr  Prost    1:40.065
19 N Heidfeld    Ger Prost    1:40.148
20 P Diniz       Brz Sauber   1:40.521
21 M Gene        Sp  Minardi  1:40.662
22 G Mazzacane   Arg Minardi  1:42.078

SAN REMO RALLY:- Richard Burns' World Championship hopes suffered a severe setback when he was forced to quit the San Remo Rally during the 10th stage on Saturday. Burns' Subaru suffered a radiator problem 15km into the 10th special stage and was forced off the road. He will now have to perform superbly at the last two events of the season if he is to win the world title. Gilles Panizzi extended his lead over his Peugeot team-mate Francois Delecour to 21.4 seconds by the end of the day.

Positions after 14 stages (end day two)
                             Hr min sec
 1 G Panizzi   Fr  Peugeot    3:23.58.8
 2 F Delecour  Fr  Peugeot       @ 21.4
 3 T Makinen   Fin Mitsubishi    @ 58.5
 4 M Gronholm  Fin Peugeot     @ 1m00.2
 5 C Sainz     Sp  Ford        @ 1m12.1
 6 C McRae     GB  Ford        @ 1m41.4
 7 S J-Joseph  Fr  Subaru      @ 1m55.9
 8 F Loix      Bel Mitsubishi  @ 2m23.9
 9 P Solberg   Nor Subaru      @ 2m33.4
10 S Loeb      Fr  Toyota      @ 3m23.0

An Italian policeman was killed when he was involved in a collision with the physical coach of Tommi Makinen before the second day of the San Remo Rally. Pertti Siekkinen collided with motor cycle policeman Guiseppe Micale while jogging with Makinen in San Remo. The 33-year-old policeman was killed instantly, while Siekkinen, 53 suffered a broken jaw and pelvis.


World champion Michael Schumacher won a thrilling race to ensure Ferrari retained the constructors' title. Schumacher pipped David Coulthard by just 0.7 seconds for his ninth win of the season after the pair had fought a classic duel in the later stages. Rubens Barrichello was third with Mika Hakkinen fourth after being given a 10- second penalty stop for an early start. Johnny Herbert's final Grand Prix ended with a crash on the 49th lap in which the Briton damaged his leg.

Michael Schumacher was thrilled after his ninth win of the season ensured Ferrari kept the constructors' title. Schumacher, who clinched the drivers' title two weeks ago in Japan, said: "We wanted to win this race. David (Coulthard) really pushed from first lap to last but that made it a tough race. We won the constructors' not just by taking three points but by getting first and third and the team deserves it. Now we will have a big, big party."

A delighted Michael Schumacher praised the Ferrari team after his win ensured they retained the constructors' title. Schumacher, whose ninth victory of the season equalled that of Nigel Mansell, said: " We won the constructors title after all by doing it the right way. "Not on points but finishing first and third. We did it with a perfect car." Ferrari easily completed the championship double of drivers' and manufacturers' titles for the first time since 1979.

The Mayor of the Italian town of Modena Guiliano Barbolini wants Michael Schumacher be made an honorary citizen. Modena is the hometown of the man who founded the Formula One stable - the late Enzo Ferrari - and the outfit's headquarters are in nearby Maranello. The Mayor made the anouncement as he confirmed agreement had been reached to create an Enzo Ferrari Museum. "Schumacher's victory in the drivers and constructors championships sanctions a recognition," he said.

Result after 56 laps
 1 M Schumacher  Ger Ferrari  1:35.54.2
 2 D Coulthard   GB  McLaren  1:35.54.9
 3 R Barrichello Brz Ferrari  1:36.13.1
 4 M Hakkinen    Fin McLaren  1:36.30.0
 5 J Villeneuve  Can BAR      1:37.05.4
 6 E Irvine      GB  Jaguar   1:37.06.8
 7 A Wurz        Aut Benetton 1:37.33.5
 8 J Verstappen  Ned Arrows   @ 1 lap
 9 M Salo        Fin Sauber   @ 1 lap
10 G Fisichella  It  Benetton @ 1 lap
11 J Alesi       Fr  Prost    @ 1 lap
12 J Trulli      It  Jordan   @ 1 lap
13 G Mazzacane   Arg Minardi  @ 1 lap
Not classified
   J Herbert     GB  Jaguar   48 laps
   R Zonta       Brz BAR      46 laps
   R Schumacher  Ger Williams 43 laps
   M Gene        Sp  Minardi  36 laps
   J Button      GB  Williams 18 laps
   H-H Frentzen  Ger Jordan    7 laps
   P Diniz       Brz Sauber    0 laps
   P de la Rosa  Sp  Arrows    0 laps
   N Heidfeld    Ger Prost     0 laps
Fastest lap: M Hakkinen one minute 38.543secs (average speed 202.498kph)

David Coulthard sportingly apologised to Michael Schumacher after finishing second in a superb finale to the year. The Scot, who has had several public rows with Schumacher over his rival's driving style this season, admitted he had said sorry after the race. "I apologised to Michael for the year," confessed Coulthard. "I am embarrassed because maybe I was saying things too publicly and not just going to see him. I told him he was a great champion."

Michael Schumacher was pleased with David Coulthard's apology over their fierce rivalry during the season. Coulthard regretted the manner in which he spoke publicly at times over their disagreements and Schumacher said "I appreciate the gesture from David. His words are welcomed by me because it shows his true character. It takes a big heart and a lot of personality to do this. I hope we can be friendly again as we were before this season's problems."

Johnny Herbert was lucky to escape with a bruised knee after a crash in the last race of his Formula One career. Herbert was as high as fourth during the race, the 161st of his career, but crashed on the 49th lap when the rear suspension of his car suddenly failed. "There's nothing like ending your career with a bang," mused Herbert. "I'm pretty disappointed to have a good race ruined by a failure such as that. I tried to position my legs for the impact when the car pitched."

Eddie Irvine praised his team-mate Johnny Herbert after his final race ended with a crash in which he was lucky to escape with a bruised knee. Jaguar driver Irvine, who ended the season's finale in sixth place, said: "I'm glad Johnny is okay. It's a shame his career had to end with an accident. Unfortunately that seems to be the story of his life. He's provided a load of laughs in the short time we were team-mates. Formula One will miss him."

Jenson Button was far from downcast when he failed to finish in what has been a fine debut season. Button, who finished eighth in the drivers' championship, was forced to retire in the first half of the race. "We had a good start but it was an abrupt end to what has been a good year," said the young Briton. "The season has had its ups and downs but I have thoroughly enjoyed it. This has been a great year. It has been the best year of my life."

Eddie Jordan was sad after his team slipped from third last year to sixth in the constructors' championship. "2000 has been an incredibly tough season especially coming on the back of the successes last year," said Jordan. "Arguably, though, we have learnt more this year. The disappointments have made us more determined than ever to be back winning races. Our new partnership with Honda is going to play a key part in achieving this goal."

Jacques Villeneuve was happy with the performance of the BAR team after he finished the race a creditable fifth. Villeneuve ended the season in seventh place in the drivers' championship while the team were joint fourth in the race for the constructors' title. "We've made good progress and improved the car throughout the season," said the 1997 world champion. "We have had a car and an engine package that was able to finish races," added the Canadian.

 1 M Schumacher  Ger  Ferrari  108 pts
 2 M Hakkinen    Fin  McLaren   89
 3 D Coulthard   GB   McLaren   73
 4 R Barrichello Brz  Ferrari   62
 5 R Schumacher  Ger  Williams  24
 6 G Fisichella  It   Benetton  18
 7 J Villeneuve  Can  BAR       17
 8 J Button      GB   Williams  12
 9 H-H Frentzen  Ger  Jordan    11
10 M Salo        Fin  Sauber     6
 = J Trulli      It   Jordan     6
12 J Verstappen  Hol  Arrows     5
13 E Irvine      GB   Jaguar     4
14 R Zonta       Brz  BAR        3
15 P de la Rosa  Sp   Arrows     2
 = A Wurz        Aut  Benetton   2

1 Ferrari      170 pts
2 McLaren      152
3 Williams      36
4 BAR           20
= Benetton      20
6 Jordan        17
7 Arrows         7
8 Sauber         6
9 Jaguar         3
McLaren deducted 10 points from Austrian Grand Prix

SAN REMO RALLY:- France's Gilles Panizzi of Peugeot won the San Remo Rally, round 12 of the 14 race World Rally Championship. He finished 16.8 seconds ahead of team- mate Francois Delecour and world champion Tommi Makinen in a Mitsubishi. Finland's Marcus Gronholm of Peugeot maintains the world championship lead with two races left this season, finishing fourth at 1min 02.3secs. Ford drivers Carlos Sainz of Spain and Scotland's Colin McRae were fifth and sixth respectively.

Final result (Sun):          Hr min sec
 1 G Panizzi   Fr  Peugeot    3:52.07.3
 2 F Delecour  Fr  Peugeot       @ 16.8
 3 T Makinen   Fin Mitsubishi    @ 53.0
 4 M Gronholm  Fin Peugeot     @ 1.02.3
 5 C Sainz     Sp  Ford        @ 1.11.3
 6 C McRae     GB  Ford        @ 1.40.0
 7 S J-Joseph  Fr  Subaru      @ 1.56.7
 8 F Loix      Bel Mitsubishi  @ 2.23.0
 9 P Solberg   Nor Subaru      @ 2.31.7
10 S Loeb      Fr  Toyota      @ 3.34.4

DRIVER STANDINGS               Pts
1 M Gronholm   Fin  Peugeot     49
3 R Burns      GB   Subaru      44
2 C McRae      GB   Ford        43
4 C Sainz      Sp   Ford        43
5 T Makinen    Fin  Mitsubishi  32
6 G Panizzi    Fra  Peugeot     18

1 Peugeot        90 pts
2 Ford           88
2 Subaru         70
4 Mitsubishi     39
5 Skoda           8
5 SEAT            8

Result after 7 stages:        hr min sec
 1 McKinstry/Orr   Subaru      1:16.06
 2 Fisher/Noble    Subaru      1:16.37
 3 D'worth/B'field Subary      1:17.50
 4 Perrott/Mansell Mitsubishi  1:18.50
 5 Jones/James     Subaru      1:19.34
 6 Wetton/Haigh    Mitsubishi  1:19.42
 7 M'winter/S'ders Escort      1:20.17
 8 R'binson/Lewis  Escort      1:20.41
 9 Payne/Thorley   Mitsubishi  1:20.58
10 Roberts/G'fith  Mitsubishi  1:21.19

F.AUDI (Donington Park):- Chris Harris dominated the first round of the Rookie Series, with a lights-to- flag victory from Darron Anley. Ray Armes profited from an excellent start to win the second 12-lap race in a close finish with Harris.

Round 1 result:               min sec
1 C Harris                   15:30.845
2 D Anley                       @0.943
3 P Harvey                      @3.828

Round 2 result:
1 R Armes                    13:58.428
2 C Harris                      @0.229
3 P Harvey                     @15.261


F1:- McLaren driver David Coulthard vowed to give Michael Schumacher a hard fight in next season's F1 championship. The Scot apologised to Schumacher for publically criticising his rival's ethics after the season's climax in Malaysia at the weekend. "I wanted to wipe the slate clean before next season but I am not going soft on him or making any retraction," said Coulthard. "I will be stronger and more focused. I am still getting better as a driver."

Johnny Herbert is hoping to make up for the unhappy end to his F1 career by clinching a drive in the Champ car series for next season. The 36-year-old crashed out of the Malaysian Grand Prix and had to be chair-lifted out of his Jaguar. "There is nothing like ending your career with a bang," he said. "I have a bit of pain from the knee but nothing too serious. I'm pretty disappointed to have a good race ruined by a failure such as that."

Jean Todt, the architect of Ferrari's double Formula One triumph, has hinted that he may retire when his contract expires at the end of next year. "I love motor racing, but I don't know what I want to do. There are other things in my life and I need to reflect and have some time. "I do not want to work like I have been working these past few years for the rest of my life." The 54-year-old Frenchman joined Ferrari in 1993.

RALLYING:- British driver Richard Burns has criticised the inclusion of San Remo winner Gilles Panizzi for selected rounds of the championship. "It takes a lot of effort and work to become competitive on all 14 rounds of the championship, and then the likes of Gilles denies us points. "The difference between first and second is four points, which can affect the championship in a big way." The top four drivers are currently separated by just six points.

1 M Gronholm   Fin  Peugeot     49 pts
3 R Burns      GB   Subaru      44
2 C McRae      GB   Ford        43
4 C Sainz      Sp   Ford        43
5 T Makinen    Fin  Mitsubishi  32
6 G Panizzi    Fra  Peugeot     18

1 Peugeot        90 pts
2 Ford           88
2 Subaru         70
4 Mitsubishi     39
5 Skoda           8
5 SEAT            8

24.10.2000 - F3000

Gianmaria Bruni produced an impressive performance in his first F3000 test with the Fortec Motosport team. The 19-year-old Italian, driving an international F300 car for the first time, posted the second fastest time against drivers quality opposition. Fortec race engineer Paul Crosby said: "Gimmi is probably one of the best young drivers that I have seen for a long time. He has all the ability."

Justin Wilson will be staying with the Coca-Cola Nordic Formula 3000 team for the 2001 campaign. The 1998 Formula Palmer Audi champion had two podium finishes for the Norfolk-based outfit this season and finished fifth overall.

British Formula Three champion Antonio Pizzonia was quickest in testing at Estoril, his debut F3000 outing. The Brazilian went head to head in the Petrobas Junior team with Mario Haberfeld. BAR test driver Darren Manning did not record official times.

Leading testing times:(Tue)
1 Pizzonia       1:29.718
2 Haberfeld      1:30.205
3 Mucke          1:30.586
4 Fontana        1:31.109
5 Camathias      1:31.636
6 Hill           1:31.726


F1:- Finland's Kimi Raikkonen could sign for the Sauber Formula One team this week, according to the British weekly magazine Autosport. But team owner Peter Sauber says that no announcement was likely on the team's second driver until at least the second week in November. Raikkonen, 21, the British Formula Renault champion, has had just 23 car races to date. The Finn had previously been linked with Sauber as a possible test driver.

RALLYING:- Mitsubishi rally team manager Phil Short has announced that he will retire at the end of the season after 20 years in team management. Short, 55, joined Mitsubishi in 1995 and helped Finland's Tommi Makinen to four successive world titles.


RACE OF CHAMPIONS:- Jenson Button's bid to compete in a Canary Islands rally in December is set to be thwarted by the Williams team. Williams have loaned Button to Benetton for two years but are not likely to let him compete in the Race of Champions. Spokesman Nav Sidhu said: "Williams are unlikely to allow Jenson to take part in an event that inevitably brings added danger." Four-times world rally champion Tommi Makinen and motorcycle grand prix rider Valentino Rossi are set to take part.

ALMS:- Scotland's Allan McNish will not be changing his game plan in his bid to give Audi the title on Sunday. The Scot and his co-driver Rinaldo Capello can ensure that the championship goes to one of the pair by finishing first or second. It would effectively give the crown to McNish - the unofficial number one among the pair - who has a 10-point lead over Capello. McNish said: "The best form of defence is attack."

CART:- Fontana Brazilian Gil de Ferran will lead a five-man challenge for the title in Sunday's finale - the Marlboro 500. De Ferran is five points ahead of Adrian Fernandez and Paul Tracy and Kenny Brack are 19 points back in joint third place. Robert Moreno is fifth, another three points behind. De Ferran said: "You would think it was just between Adrian and I but with 10 different winners in 19 races this year nothing would surprise me."

F3000 (Estoril):-
Testing times:              mins secs
1 D Manning      Arden       1:29.18
2 R Sperifico    Petrobas    1:29.60
3 M Haberfeld    Petrobas    1:29.65
4 V Maslov       Arden       1:30.50
5 T Muche        Supernova   1:30.61
6 J Keen         Kid Jenson  1:30.66

27.10.2000 - F1

Spanish driver Pedro de la Rosa will stay with the Arrows team next season, his manager has confirmed. "Owner Tom Walkinshaw told us he would stay with the team in the summer and we stopped talking to anyone else then," said his manager Raimon Duran. The 29-year-old had been linked with a move to the Prost team to join up with Jean Alesi but this has been ruled out. "We spoke to them six months ago but once we knew Pedro was staying with Arrows, that was the end of that."


ALMS:- Scotland's Allan McNish has claimed provisional pole position for the penultimate round of the series. The 30-year-old Audi driver set a fastest time of 1min 12.688secs around the 2.25mile circuit at an average speed of 111mph. A sudden downpour forced McNish to change tyres as he and others spun off the track in a rain affected session. Dumfries-born McNish leads the series by 10 points from Audi co-driver Rinaldo Capello.

CART:- Juan Pablo Montoya was fastest in Friday's practice for his final race in the Championship. Montoya is leaving the sport to join the Williams Formula One team in 2001. He lapped the two mile high-banked oval in his Toyota Lola in 30.152 seconds, an average speed of 242.253mph, faster than the official track record. Montoya won the title last year and has seven wins and seven poles in 18 races in his two years in the series. "I'll miss this a lot," he said.

BTCC:- Peugeot have warned propective drivers to expect an 80% cut in pay if they want to move from other teams. Mick Linford's team is on the comeback trail after a 24 month Touring break. But Linford warned the top drivers that they their wages will be cut from about £500,000 paid by other teams to £100,000 if they move to Peugeot. "The top drivers may think they're worth silly money. I believe in paying sensible money, not extortionate money," he said.


ALMS:- Scotland's Allan McNish earned Audi its ninth pole-position in the 11th round of the Le Mans Series in Las Vegas. The 30-year-old Audi ace took advantage of the perfect conditions to shatter the existing lap record, with a time of 1min 6.628sec. McNish and his Italian co-driver Rinaldo Capello are aiming for their sixth win from the last seven races. Audi team-mates Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro moved up to second on the 34-car grid.

CART:- Gil de Ferran's boosted his hopes of his first title by earning an extra point for claiming pole position for Sunday's season-ending Marlboro 500. De Ferran clocked the fastest official closed-course lap in the discipline's history of 241.428mph, breaking the track best of 240.942 set in 1997. De Ferran leads the CART standings, ahead of Adrian Fernandez on 148 and Paul Tracy and Kenny Brack on 134. The race winner will collect 20 points with 18 points on offer for second.


F1:- Paul Stewart has resigned as executive director of Jaguar for health reasons. Stewart, son of former world champion Jackie, was diagnosed with cancer of the colon last April and is receiving treatment in America. "Although my doctors are pleased with my progress I will be required to make frequent visits over the next two years to Minnesota," said Stewart. "Under the circumstances I feel this will make it very difficult to carry out my responsibilities for Jaguar."

ALMS:- Allan McNish has all but secured the Le Mans Series title after coming second in an Audi one-two in the penultimate race of the season in Las Vegas. McNish and co-driver Rinaldo Capello began in pole position but were beaten by 45 seconds by team-mates Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro. McNish is now 11 points clear and all he needs to do to win the title is to start the final race in Adelaide. "It's on New Year's Eve and it would be a great end to the year," he said.

CART:- Heavy rain caused the abandonment of the final race of the season after only 33 laps on Sunday, so the title will be decided when it concludes on Monday. Juan Montoya was leading when the race was called off with 217 laps to go, and with Paul Tracy's engine blowing up, he has two challengers for the title. Gil de Ferran of Brazil was in fourth place when the red flag was waved and Adrian Fernandez of Mexico was ninth. Kenny Brack still has a mathematical chance but is a rank outsider.

31.10.2000 - CART (Fontana)

Christian Fittipaldi won the rescheduled Marlboro 500 but Gil de Ferran clinched the drivers' crown. Fittipaldi won the race under a yellow flag and de Ferran was third as only six of the 26 cars that started in California finished the 250-lap event. De Ferran said: "I dreamed all my life of winning a title like this." Juan Pablo Montoya, who is replacing Jenson Button at Williams in Formula One next year, was in a position to win but his engine blew on lap 219.

Monday's Marlboro 500 result
(race rescheduled from Sunday)  Laps
 1 C Fittipaldi Brz Ford        250
 2 R Moreno     Brz Ford        250
 3 G de Ferran  Brz Honda       250
 4 C Mears      US  Ford        250
 5 A Fernandez  Mex Ford        250
 6 A Tagliani   Can Ford        250
15 M Blundell   GB  Mercedes    129
23 D Franchitti GB  Honda        45