April 2001 Motorsport News


David Coulthard won a dramatic race to finally end Michael Schumacher's run of six straight victories. The Briton took the lead when race leader Juan Pablo Montoya was forced out with Schumacher finishing second. Nick Heidfeld was third with Oliver Panis fourth but Jenson Button could only manage 10th place while Eddie Irvine failed to finish. The race started with high drama when Mika Hakkinen stalled on the grid then Rubens Barrichello retired on lap two.

David Coulthard appreciated that luck played a part in his victory after race leader Juan Pablo Montoya was shunted off by a back marker. "I was a bit fortunate to win this race because Montoya was going strong but I would have been in good shape in the rain," said the Scot. "I did not want to be the first to pit when the rain came. I waited for Michael (Schumacher) to do that. But once I got past him I was able to get past him quickly."

David Coulthard refused to get carried away after his win put him second in the drivers' table behind world champion Michael Schumacher. "You count your championship position at the end of the season not the start," said Coulthard, after he ended Schumacher's run of six straight wins. "It's my sister's birthday, and she asked me for a win which I am glad I could give her. This is my 10th win and the best feeling I have had after a victory."

Michael Schumacher was not too down after suffering his first defeat of the season and his first in seven races. Schumacher had roared into the lead but when Mika Hakkinen's McLaren stalled on the grid, the safety car meant his early advantage was lost. "It is very easy for the guy to take your slipstream when the safety car is out," said the German, as Juan Pablo Montoya overtook him on the second lap. "I thought I had got it, but he braked late. We touched, but that is racing."

Eddie Irvine had to accept that the fates were against him when he retired in his Jaguar after 52 laps. "This race offered us the potential of a points finish but luck was not on our side today," said Irvine. "The car felt good and well-balanced throughout the race, apart from a tyre problem. I was up into sixth place when I lost the rear end. I managed to get it back down the track but the engine stalled and I had to retire."

Mika Hakkinen's day went from bad to worse when, having stalled on the grid, he was fined for removing the steering wheel from his car. With the race starting around him the former world champion removed his wheel and walked away rather than wait to be helped from his car. This meant the stewards could not move his car from the grid, which meant the safety car had to go onto the track. Hakkinen was fined $5000 for the offence to round off a miserable day.

Result after 71 laps         hr min sec
 1 D Coulthard   GB  McLaren  1:39.00.83
 2 M Schumacher  Ger Ferrari  1:39.16.54
 3 N Heidfeld    Ger Sauber   @ 1 lap
 4 O Panis       Fr  BAR      @ 1 lap
 5 J Trulli      It  Jordan   @ 1 lap
 6 G Fisichella  It  Benetton @ 1 lap
 7 J Villeneuve  Can BAR      @ 1 lap
 8 J Alesi       Fr  Prost    @ 1 lap
 9 T Marques     Brz Minardi  @ 3 laps
10 J Button      GB  Benetton @ 7 laps
11 H-H Frentzen  Ger Jordan   @ 8 laps
List of retirements:    laps completed
   K Raikkonen   Fin Sauber     55
   G Mazzacane   Arg Prost      54
   R Schumacher  Ger Williams   54
   E Irvine      GB  Jaguar     52
   J Montoya     Col Williams   38
   J Verstappen  Ned Arrows     37
   L Burti       Brz Jaguar     30
   F Alonso      Sp  Minardi    25
   E Bernoldi    Brz Arrows     15
   R Barrichello Brz Ferrari     2
   M Hakkinen    Fin McLaren     0

1 M Schumacher  Ger Ferrari   26 pts
2 D Coulthard   GB  McLaren   20
3 R Barrichello Brz Ferrari   10
4 N Heidfeld    Ger Sauber     7
5 H-H Frentzen  Ger Jordan     5
6 O Panis       Fr  BAR        3
7 R Schumacher  Ger Williams   2
= J Trulli      It  Jordan     2
9 K Raikkonen   Fin Sauber     1
= M Hakkinen    Fin McLaren    1
= G Fisichella  It  Benetton   1

1 Ferrari  36 pts
2 McLaren  21
3 Sauber    8
4 Jordan    7
5 BAR       3
6 Williams  2
7 Benetton  1

F3000 (Interlagos):- Britain's Justin Wilson scored the first win of his F3000 career in the opening race of the season in Brazil. Starting seventh on the grid, the 22- year-old from Sheffield came in 3.6 seconds ahead of Australian driver Mark Webber of the Super Nova team. Webber was later penalised 25 seconds for overtaking while the safety car was on the track and dropped to seventh. Wilson had earlier benefitted when three other cars had incurred stop-go penalties for similar infringements.

Britain's Justin Wilson said the maiden win of his F3000 career was a step towards achieving his dream of a career in Formula One. "My goal has always been to get into F1," said the 22-year-old. "I have not got the money to pay for a drive so the only way is by winning races and winning the championship. It's great to win the first race, especially coming to a place we did not know, but there is still a long way to go in the championship."

Race result (Sun):          mins secs
 1 J Wilson    GB  Nordic   53:48.503
 2 J Melo      Br  Durango  53:56.152
 3 S Bourdais  Fr  DAMS     54:05.962
 4 D Saelens   Bel Minardi  54:10.418
 5 J Camathias Swi KTR      54:15.601
 6 F Gollin    It  Coloni   54:17.070
 7 M Webber *  Aus Super N  54:17.114
 8 D Manning   GB  Arden    54:18.711
 9 A Pizzonia  Br  P'robas  54:28.492
10 B Leindes   Bel KTR      54:31.875
16 J Keen      GB  KJR      55:11.001
* Webber penalised 25 seconds of safety-car infringement

BRITISH F3 (Silverstone):- Australian James Courtney won on his F3 debut in the opening round of the series, while veteran Matt Davies led from start to finish in race two.

Round one result (after 16 laps)
1 J Courtney  Dallara   20:38.613
2 A Priaulx   Dallara   20:43.223
3 D Hayes     Dallara   20:45.052
4 P Edwards   Dallara   20:51.212

Round two result (after 16 laps)
1 M Davies    Dallara   20:44.467
2 G Bruni     Dallara   20:44.613
3 D Hayes     Dallara   20:46.264
4 T Sato      Dallara   20:50.931

BRITISH GT'S (Silverstone):-

Round one result (Sun):
GT                          mins secs
1 Jordan/Warnock   Lister   60:21.520(43 laps)
2 Harvey/Wilson    Chrysler 60:29.161
3 Lockie/Euser     Marcos   60:39.045
4 Hindley/McKellar Marcos   60:40.688

1 Sumpter/Balfe    Porsche  41 laps
2 Fuller/Foth'gill Porsche  41 laps
3 Jones/Jones      Porsche  41 laps
4 Franchitti/Burt  Porsche  41 laps

FORD FIESTA'S (Silverstone):- Colin Turkington won the opening round of the championship after leading from start to finish. The 19-year-old gradually drew clear of the field, leaving independent driver Matt Pinny to fend off Nick Padley for second place.

Result (Sun)
1 C Turkington    12 laps
2 M Pinny       + 7.854 secs
3 N Padley      + 0.292
4 E Murray      + 7.967
5 A Blencowe    + 2.098

F.FORD (Silverstone):- Sweden's Richard Goransson beat compatriot Robert Dahlgren in Sunday's opening round. Goransson went into the lead after three laps to beat Dahlgren, who won a thrilling five-car battle for the runner's-up spot.

Result (Sun):           mins secs
1 R Goransson           20:16.581
2 R Dahlgren            20:20.441
3 A Carroll             20:20.901
4 R Rudholm             20:21.277
5 R Sharp               20:21.838

TVR TUSCAN CHALLENGE (Silverstone):- Steve Guglielmi is a real contender for this year's honours but wants to focus on his own racing and let the battle for the title take its course. Guglielmi took a year out of racing last time round, but was quick to say without hesitation: "I missed it. I was approached by Bert Taylor from Countdown Developments and he said they wanted to win the championship. He asked me if I'd got the enthusiasm. I said yes, but I only wanted to attempt it if we had a winning chance."

PORSCHE CUP (Silverstone):- Peter Chambers held on for a thrilling win as he edged out Adrian Slater after the pair had been neck and neck for the whole race. Craig Rapp and Nigel Rice were both in contention before spinning out, but Rapp recovered to finish third.

Results (Sun):
1 P Chambers
2 A Slater
3 C Rapp
4 B Demeroutis
Class winners: K Harrison, I Croft


F1:- Brazilian Grand Prix race stewards have confirmed that Jos Verstappen has been fined $15,000 after he collided with leader Juan Pablo Montoya on Sunday. Williams driver Montoya was trying to lap Verstappen and the collision forced the Colombian out of the race. A statement said: "The stewards decided to impose a fine of $15,000 to Verstappen for causing a collision." Mika Hakkinen had earlier been fined $5,000 for abandoning his car on the starting grid without a steering wheel.

Rubens Barrichello and Ralf Schumacher have been warned about their future conduct after their collision in Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix. Barrichello had to retire after hitting the back of Schumacher's Williams after he tried to overtake him on lap three. The pair were summoned to see the race stewards, who gave them a warning after deciding it was a racing incident. An official statement said: "The stewards expressed concern as to the driving standards of both drivers."

Mercedes have hailed David Coulthard's victory in Brazil for McLaren as a turning point for their season. Norbert Haug, head of Mercedes-Benz motorsport, said: "There's still some work to do but this is a turning point and it is about time." Ferrari meanwhile say that it will not be a straight two-way fight for the championship crown this year. Ferrari sporting director Jean Todt said: "We have to consider that the fight is no longer a duel."

FIA chief Max Mosley is "slightly pessimistic" over whether a deal on TV rights for Formula One can be finalised in the near future. But he insisted that whatever happens in negotiations with German media group Kirch, the FIA will ensure F1 remains available to viewers free of charge. "I'm hopeful, but there's still an awful lot to be done," said Mosley. Kirch's move raised concerns that F1 would only be available on a pay-per- view basis.

RALLYING:- Organisers of the New Pig Scottish Rally Chamionship have cancelled this year's series after only one event because of the foot-and-mouth crisis. It is the first time in the championship's 41-year history that the season has been wiped out. Series chairman Roy Campbell said: "What our early decision allows is for everyone to start concentrating their efforts on planning the 2002 series. Sponsor New Pig Ltd have agreed to support the 2002 championship."

RALLYING:- Former 500cc motorcycle world champions Barry Sheene and Michael Doohan will compete in a rally in Tasmania, which starts on April 18. Sheene, 50, who raced touring cars and trucks in Britain before emigrating to Australia 14 years ago, will have Farrel White as his co-driver. Five-times 500cc champion Doohan will be partnered by Mark Stacey. "I have never entered a rally but I am really looking forward to having a bit of fun and having a go," said Sheene.

NEWS:- Short-track driver Al Papini has died after crashing his car into a wall at Rockford Speedway in Illinois. The 41-year-old was running third in the 40-lap late model race and was airlifted to hospital.


F1:- Grand Prix Corporation chief executive John Harnden says talk of Formula One teams setting up a rival grand prix circuit is "a lifetime away". The Australian official said: "Formula One is going forward so strongly, all the parties know that to disenfranchise that would be to everybody's detriment. I don't think in any way, shape or form it's something that's going to come to a reality.” Williams team boss Sir Frank Williams dismissed the idea as "posturing".

FIA President Max Mosley has appealed to the Grand Prix team bosses who have talked about setting up a rival circuit in a dispute over tv coverage rights. They were angry at the suggestion the German pay-per-view company Kirch could take races away from the mass market of terrestrial television. "We'll do everything we can to help everyone reach a settlement so there is no fragmentation of F1," he said. "If the manufacturers are united, they hold more cards than Kirch".

F1 TESTING (Magny Cours):
Williams driver Juan Pablo Montoya was just behind test driver Marc Gene on the final day of testing in preparation for the San Marino grand prix. "We did very good work with new tyres and found out things which should help us in upcoming races," said Montoya.

Leading times (Thu):     min secs  laps
1 M Gene       Williams  1:15.699  62
2 JP Montoya   Williams  1:15.984  32
3 N Heidfield  Sauber    1:16.032  68
4 E Bernoldi   Arrows    1:16.605  66
5 J Alesi      Prost     1:17.204  39

F1 TESTING (Jerez):
Giancarlo Fisichella topped the times on the final day of testing in Spain. The Benetton driver had been evaluating Michelin tyres and found a new compound the team hope to use in San Marino. Jenson Button, who was slowest, had worked on the development of the engine and traction control systems.

Leading times (Thu):     min secs  laps
1 G Fisichella Benetton  1:21.958  91
2 E Irvine     Jaguar    1:22.761  44
3 L Burti      Jaguar    1:23.031  38
4 J Button     Benetton  1:24.360  36

CART:- Dario Franchitt aims to put a disappointing start in Mexico behind him by winning at the Longbeach track for the first time. The California venue is the only CART championship temporary street track on which the Scot, 27, has failed to win. "I've been runner-up twice at this race (in 1998-99) so I'd like to think it's my turn for the win," he said. "I have won on every other temporary street course and I'm confident I can do so this weekend."

Dario Franchitti says he will not join Formula 1 until he has realised his dream of winning the CART championship. The 27-year-old Scot was runner-up in 1999 to Juan Pablo Montoya who has moved to F1 himself. "I am not thinking about F1 at the moment though I have always said that is something I would still like to do," said Franchitti. "My only focus is on winning the title with Team KOOL Green. We can certainly win the title."

Monterrey winner Cristiano da Matta says the Lonbeach Grand Prix will be a different proposition. Da Matta won the CART Championship opening race in Mexico ahead of Gil de Ferran and Paul Tracy. "The car setup is very different from the way we will set the car up for Long Beach because of the track surface. The track in Mexico was the smoothest I have ever been on and the Long Beach track is very, very bumpy because it is normally city streets," da Matta said.

RALLYING:- Forge Motorsport Engineering will sponsor Bedford driver Neville Sutton for the 2001 and 2002 rally campaigns. Sutton intends to contest a series of selected asphalt UK-based events.

INDYLIGHTS:- England's Dan Wheldon was the fastest driver in testing for the PacWest Indy Lights team, preparing for the Long Beach Grand Prix at a track in Arizona.

CLIO CUP TESTING (Croft):- Jason Templeman, Marc Nordon and Mardi Gras new signing Duncan Vercoe topped the times in testing. While lap record holder was away on holiday, rising talent Mark Davies headed the afternoon's wet session.

Testing times (Thu):          min secs
1 J Templeman     TCR         1:32.827
2 M Nordon        Bintcliffe  1:32.987
3 D Vercoe        Mardi Gras  1:33.024
4 P Rivett        Stancombe   1:33.388
5 V Martin        Driver      1:33.776
6 R MacDowell     TCR         1:34.294


CART:- Dario Franchitti qualified in sixth place for the Grand Prix of Long Beach. The Briton clocked a time of 69.366 seconds in his Honda Reynard as Brazilian Helio Castroneves secured pole position. Castroneves was one of four Brazilians to qualify in the top five and he said: "I am very happy to have won the pole after a rough start to the weekend. Yesterday we tried to find the right set-up and this morning we had to start all over because of the weather."

Saturday's qualifying times:    secs
 1 H Castroneves Brz Honda     68.556
 2 K Brack       Swe Ford      69.097
 3 T Kanaan      Brz Honda     69.223
 4 C da Matta    Brz Toyota    69.312
 5 G de Ferran   Brz Honda     69.344
 6 D Franchitti  GB  Honda     69.366
 7 M Jourdain Jr Mex Ford      69.589
 8 J Vasser      US  Toyota    69.807
 9 M Andretti    US  Honda     69.853
10 C Fittipaldi  Brz Toyota    69.999

OREGON TRAIL RALLY:- Britain are set for a one-two finish after an impressive first day. Mark Lovell and Steve Turvey lead Richard Tuthill and John Bennie by over two minutes as the tourists enjoyed a successful opening. It was a tough day for Tuthill who suffered a puncture during the third stage and a turbo problem late on which lost him over three minutes. The second stage was cancelled after Noel Lawler crashed out and overturned his car at over 100mph.

COPPA D'ORO RALLY:- David Higgins' first taste of the event came to an early conclusion after he had set the fastest time on the opening stage in Italy. He was forced to retire on stage four because of a broken engine mount on his Gima Autosport Citroen Saxo Kit Car. "The team are very encouraged by the times we were setting, in spite of the gear change problems," said Higgins. "It is one of the bumpier events and more like the tarmac that I am used to in Ulster."


CART:- Helio Castroneves of Brazil captured the Long Beach Grand Prix on Sunday, by holding off compatriot Cristiano da Matta for the victory. It was Castroneves' fourth CART triumph and in the process he became the first racer to win from the pole at Long Beach since Al Unser Jnr in 1990. Brazil's Gil de Ferran, the reigning CART champion, completed a Brazilian podium sweep in third. Scotland's Dario Franchitti finished sixth in the race.

Sunday's result:            hr min secs
 1 H Castroneves Brz Honda   1:52.17
 2 C da Matta    Brz Toyota  same lap
 3 G de Ferran   Brz Honda   same lap
 4 P Tracy       Can Ford    same lap
 5 J Vasser      US  Toyota  same lap
 6 D Franchitti  GB  Honda   same lap
 7 T Kanaan      Br  Honda   same lap
 8 N Minassian   Fr  Toyota  same lap
 9 B Junqueira   Br  Toyota  same lap
10 B Herta       US  Ford-C  same lap

RALLYING:- This year's British Rally Championship will not start until August after two more events were postponed due to the foot-and-mouth crisis. The Scottish Rally, scheduled for June 9-10, and the Jim Clark Memorial Rally from June 29-July 1, will not take place on their allotted dates. This now means that four of the seven rounds have so far been called off. The Scottish Rally has now been pencilled in for September 15-16 and the Jim Clark Rally for December 7-9.

INDY LIGHTS:- Britain's Dan Wheldon nearly pulled off a shock win in round two on the street circuit at Long Beach, finishing in second place. The 22-year-old began the race third on the grid and he took the lead on the opening lap, passing teammate and polesitter Mario Dominguez. On lap 34 of 38, Townsend Bell squeezed past Wheldon and he remained out in front until the chequered flag. "I was thrilled to get on the podium in such a prestigious race," Wheldon said.


F1:- Reports from Moscow say construcition of Russia's first Grand Prix circuit will begin at Nagatino just outside the capital in the next few months. Tuesday's edition of the Itogui weekly magazine quoted Moscow tourism chief Grigori Antiyufiev as saying work would start on the $100m track in July. Six previous attempts to build a Formula One track in Russia have ended in failure. British engineering firm TWR Group were awarded the contract last December.

Michael Schumacher is bidding for a third win in a row in San Marino on Sunday as he aims to extend his lead in the driver standings. Last year's win marked the German's 38th career victory and gave Ferrari a hat-trick of triumphs in the first three grands prix of 2000. David Coulthard denied Schumacher the chance of a seventh staight win by taking the 10 points in Brazil. So the German will be doubly keen to get his title defence back on track.

David Coulthard triumphed in Brazil and knows a second successive win could see him claim the lead in the standings if Michael Schumacher fails to shine. Coulthard is currently only six points behind the German following his victory in the last round. The Scot has already savoured a triumph in Imola ` he won from pole position in the 1998 campaign. He was third last year and with limited opportunities to overtake knows a good qualifying position will be vital.

Former world champion Mika Hakkinen goes into the fourth race of the season being in the unusual position of having only gained one point so far. The Finn grabbed pole position in San Marino last year but eventually finished runner-up to close rival Michael Schumacher. Hakkinen's McLaren team had a good record at the circuit between the 1984 and 1991 seasons. The team won six of the eight races during that period.

Jordan driver Heinz-Harald Frentzen is relishing the first round of the European section of the season. "It is good to go to San Marino as it is the start of the European season, which is good for the teams and drivers," he confirmed. "Italy, the tifosi and the circuit always remind me of my first win in 1997. This track is a rollercoaster ride for the drivers. But, having said that, the track has special flair."

Italian Jarno Trulli will be bidding to give the home supporters something to cheer about on Sunday. But he admitted: "Everyone assumes that Imola is my home race, which is true because I am Italian, but I have not actually raced in Italy very much. I feel good about going to Imola. My supporters in Italy are hoping for a good result and I would like to give them that." His Jordan team have scored points in each of the three races so far in 2001.

Ralf Schumacher will be keen to build on his total of two points after failing to add to that tally in the last round in Brazil. The German said: "I think that we are well prepared for the Grand Prix of San Marino. The combination of fast and slow corners is very attractive. I am looking forward to travelling to Italy as I love Italian food and the fantastic atmosphere around the track. I hope that I can finish the race and collect as many points as possible."

Juan Pablo Montoya is looking to put the disappointment of Brazil behind him and make a mark in Imola. He had to retire when leading the race in Interlagos after Jos Verstappen seemingly tried to hitch a ride on the back of his Williams. "After the performance in Brazil I think we definitely proved what we can do. I am looking forward to giving it another go," commented the Colombian. "I have raced in San Marino before in Formula 3000."

Briton Jenson Button achieved promising results in the recent Benetton tests in Jerez and will be hoping that it reaps dividends on Sunday. His team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella concentrated on tyre evaluation and the team have a new Michelin compund, which they hope to use in Imola. Button, meanwhile, worked on the development of the B201 engine and the traction control systems. Fisichella gave the team their first 2001 point in the last race in Brazil.

Jaguar driver Luciano Burti has little knowledge of the circuit at Imola but believes he can still make a mark. "I do not know the track but it does not strike me as being too difficult to learn as far as the layout is concerned," he stated. "Getting through the chicanes well and understanding how to tackle the kerbs is important at Imola. We have not yet got the outright speed that we need and our ability to produce a good set-up will be critical."

Eddie Irvine looks ahead to the race.
Q: What does Italy mean to you?
A: It is one of my homes so I guess I like it. I learned a lot when I was driving for that well-known Italian team. Not just about motor racing but about life. I suppose the one aspect I appreciate about Italy more than anything else is the weather. Coming from the UK I realised what I had been missing in terms of not being cold or wet all year round and being able to eat outside.

Q: Do you still have a lot of fans in Italy?
A: Oh yes. The tifosi have long memories - as long as you have done a good job for them. You only have to look at all the banners hanging over the fence opposite the pits at Imola. I bet there will still be loads for Alesi and Berger. I cannot say I like being gawped at in restaurants but it is nice when people call your name and wave in the streets.

Q: What are the challenges of the Imola track?
A: In the old days it used to be hard on fuel consumption but that is no longer a problem. Instead, the brakes, gearbox and transmission can take a pounding. It is an anti-clockwise track but we should be used to that after Brazil. There are not too many places to overtake so a good start is essential. On the strategy side, I guess it should be a two-stopper.

Q: How do you think the R2 will go in Imola?
A: It is very hard to say. Twelfth place on the grid is pretty much where we are in the pecking order and that will not change overnight. In last week's test in Jerez I did tyre testing with encouraging results and we also have new aerodynamic bits, which improved front-end stability. On a track that often sees a high retirement rate, the fact that the R2 is a reliable old girl might pay off.

Sunday's race is scheduled to last for 62 laps (189.937 miles). Heinz-Harald Frentzen holds the lap record for Imola. His time of one minute, 25.531 seconds was set in 1997 with Williams. Mika Hakkinen had the fastest lap in last year's race. The Finn clocked a time of one minute, 26.523 seconds. Imola is the only track other than Interlagos in Brazil to run in an anti-clockwise direction. It was opened in 1952 but underwent changes in 1994.

BTCC (Brands Hatch):- The British Touring Car Championship gets underway on Easter Monday and a revamped championship promises new excitement for fans. Technical changes will see compulsory standard parts in all cars to lower costs and bring major teams and private runners in line with one another. The series also has new organisers, British Motorsport Promoters. It now forms part of the TOCA Tour Race Series, which also includes Lotus and Formula Renault/Clio events.

As well as technical changes, the 2001 British Touring Car Championship also sees the qualifying schedule altered. The traditional Friday test session has been scrapped, and cars will not be out on the track until the qualifying session the day before the race. In qualifying, the best two times will determine grid positions, with the one set ealier used for the sprint and the later one used for the main race. Qualifying for the first round is on Easter Sunday.

The Vauxhall team enter the first round of this year's campaign with confidence and believe that the changes brought in will be good for the series. "This is the first year of the new regulations and I think the technical side is spot-on," said Vauxhall Motorsport manager Mike Nicholson. Driver Jason Plato added: "The cars will definitely be more exciting to watch and they sound fantastic. I am impressed with the Astra Coupe. It's going to be a mean machine!"

Peugeot return to the series after a two-year absence but their drivers believe Vauxhall are the team to beat. Last year's Independents Champion Matt Neal drives alongside Steve Soper and Dan Eaves and knows it will be tough. "Vauxhall are coming out with all guns blazing and although they're ahead of everyone else we'll give them a good run," he said. Team manager Vic Lee said: "When it's a new formula and a new sheet of paper you can't underestimate anyone."

A famous face from two wheels will appear later in the series after World Superbike star Aaron Slight agreed to drive for Peugeot. The New Zealander will drive in the last five faces of this year's series with a view to competing in the entire campaign in 2002. "Driving a factory Peugeot in the BTCC is a dream come true," he said. Slight underwent brain surgery last year and added: "Maybe it's time for a fresh start."

2001 Touring Class entry list:
 2 A Reid        GB  MG Sport & Racing
 4 Y Muller      Fr  Vauxhall M'trsport
 5 J Plato       GB  Vauxhall M'trsport
 8 M Neal        Den Peugeot Sport UK
 9 J Thompson    GB  Team Egg Sport
14 D Malkin      GB  JSM
15 D Pinkney     GB  JSM
20 W Hughes      GB  MG Sport & Racing
22 D Eaves       GB  Peugeot Sport UK
27 P Bennett     GB  Team Egg Sport
41 K Luby        GB  ABG Motorsport
42 T Erdos       Brz ABG Motorsport
44 S Soper       GB  Peugeot Sport UK

F3000 (Imola):- Britain's Justin Wilson will be looking for his second straight win of the season on Saturday after triumphing in the opening round in Interlagos. The Coca-Cola Nordic Racing Team driver admitted: "We normally start our season here so it is nice to come here with 10 championship points already in the bag. "We tested here recently in an official FIA F3000 test and I came away as the fastest driver. I am looking to turn that experience into a strong qualifying position."

BRITISH GT'S (Snetterton):- The Hayles Racing team are in an optimistic mood as they prepare for the second round of the series this Sunday. Tim Harvey and partner Rob Wilson took pole position at Silverstone two weeks ago and were within five seconds of victory in their debut race. "Second was good at Silverstone but we want to get onto the top step of the podium this time," Harvey said. "I'm feeling pretty confident about this race. The pre-season test there went very well."

EUROPEAN LE MANS SERIES:- (Donington Park):- The opening round of the European Le Mans Series gets underway this Easter Saturday at Donington Park. The grid will boast 30 of the world's best sports cars with an international line-up of drivers in the UK's first major international event of the year. The race will be held over two and three quarter hours on the 2.5 mile circuit, commencing at midday. The European Le Mans Series is the forerunner for the 69th edition of the Le Mans 24 hour race on June 16/17.

Rinaldo Capello and Tom Kristensen will start the race on Saturday determined to make it three wins in a row. The pair have already notched victories at Texas and Sebring in the American series and are intent on winning again. Pushing them hard will be Frank Biela and Emanuelle Pirro, both of whom have experience of the Leicestershire track. French ace Yannick Dalmas is paired with Olivier Beretta while the women are representd by Venezuela's Milka Duno alongside co-driver John Graham.

F.RENAULT (Croft):- Carl Breeze beat the race lap record to set the fastest time in testing. American Richard Antinucci and karting graduates Heikki Kovalainen and Colin Brown were next quickest.

Testing times (Sat):         mins secs
1 C Breeze                    1:18.549
2 R Antinucci                 1:18.743
3 H Kovalainen                1:18.931
4 C Brown                     1:18.941
5 D Watts                     1:18.947
6 L Walker                    1:19.277

NASCAR:- Richard Burns has been named the patron of the Formula Rally national championship for Super 1600 rally cars. The first round of the Championship starts with the Rally of Wirral on May 12 with further rounds through the UK culminating in the Rally of Oxford.

NASCAR:- Dale Earnhardt died because his head whipped violently forward and not as a result of a faulty seat belt, according to an independent medical expert. Questions were raised after Earnhardt was killed instantly on February 18 when his car crashed into a wall at 190mph during the Daytona 500. But Dr Barry Myers said "the restraint failure does not appear to have played a role in Mr Earnhardt's fatal injury." NASCAR will also investigate the driver's crash.


Ferrari team-mates Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello delighted the Italian fans by setting the pace in Friday's second practice session. Schumacher edged out his Brazilian colleague by 0.27 seconds with a best lap of one minute, 25.096 seconds. David Coulthard had a disappointing day, spinning off in the first session and then finishing back in 11th. Eddie Irvine was seventh with Jenson Button back in 17th while technical problems left Juan Pablo Montoya last.

David Coulthard said he was still in with a chance of winning despite a double setback in practice. The Scot, who won the last race in Brazil to move within six points of championship leader Michael Schumacher, twice slid off the track. Coulthard said: "I went off the first time because I was trying to find the limit of the car in the wet. In the second session when it was drier I just ran too wide at the corner and that was more terminal."

Friday's practice times:     mins secs
 1 M Schumacher  Ger Ferrari  1:25.096
 2 R Barrichello Brz Ferrari  1:25.372
 3 R Schumacher  Ger Williams 1:25.829
 4 M Hakkinen    Fin McLaren  1:26.341
 5 O Panis       Fr  BAR      1:26.535
 6 K Raikkonen   Fin Sauber   1:26.552
 7 E Irvine      GB  Jaguar   1:26.599
 8 J Villeneuve  Can BAR      1:26.739
 9 J Trulli      It  Jordan   1:26.923
10 L Burti       Brz Jaguar   1:26.933
11 D Coulthard   GB  McLaren  1:27.132
12 N Heidfeld    Ger Sauber   1:27.142
13 H-H Frentzen  Ger Jordan   1:27.406
14 J Alesi       Fr  Prost    1:27.437
15 G Fisichella  It  Benetton 1:28.322
16 G Mazzacane   Arg Prost    1:28.586
17 J Button      GB  Benetton 1:28.902
18 F Alonso      Sp  Minardi  1:28.931
19 E Bernoldi    Brz Arrows   1:29.273
20 T Marques     Brz Minardi  1:29.589
21 J Verstappen  Ned Arrows   1:29.750
22 JP Montoya    Col Williams 1:39.812

F3000 (Imola):- Britain's Justin Wilson will be looking for his second straight win of the season on Saturday after triumphing in the opening round in Interlagos. The Coca-Cola Nordic Racing Team driver admitted: "We normally start our season here so it is nice to come here with 10 championship points already in the bag. We tested here recently in an official FIA F3000 test and I came away as the fastest driver. I am looking to turn that experience into a strong qualifying position."

BRITISH GT'S (Snetterton):- The Hayles Racing team sent out a warning to the rest of the field by setting the pace in Friday's testing The team's leading Chrysler Viper in the hands of Tim Harvey came out on top, beating the lap record.

Leading test times (Fri):    mins secs
1 T Harvey     Chrysler Viper 1:05.145
2 B Verdon-Roe TVR            1:05.744
3 M Jordan     Lister         1:06.432
4 P Hindley    Marcos Mantara 1:07.191

F3 (Silverstone):- Australian James Courtney of the Jaguar Racing team notched up a stunning victory in his British F3 Championship debut on Friday. In the morning race, Courtney caught and passed Paul Edwards before breaking the lap record to go clear at the front of the field. He said: "The first couple of laps were like a blur. The car was working really well so I pushed hard to get a gap." Team Avanti's F3 veteran Matt Davies recorded victory in race two.

EUROPEAN LE MANS:- Tom Kristensen starts his Audi from pole in the opening round of the series at Donington Park on Easter Saturday. The Dane clocked a fastest time of 1min 21.122 secs to average over 110mph around the 2.5-mile circuit.

Leading testing times (Fri):mins secs
1 Kristensen   Audi         1:21.122
2 Pirro        Audi         1:21.281
3 Smith        Audi         1:21.687
4 Beretta      Chrysler     1:22.721
5 Redon        Courage      1:23.899
6 Lunberg      Ascari       1:24.117

CLIO CUP (Brands Hatch):- Tim Mullen headed final testing ahead of Monday's opening round to record the fastest ever Clio Cup lap at the Brands Hatch circuit. The next four drivers were also under the old record.

Leading testing times (Fri):
1 T Mullen     Firstair    52.523secs
2 D Vercoe     Mardi Gras  52.578
3 D Buxton     Sugden      52.615
4 J Templeman  TCR         52.616
5 J Rivett     Stancombe   52.634
6 V Martin     Martin      52.900


David Coulthard made the most of drying conditions in Italy to deny Michael Schumacher a record-equalling eighth successive pole position. The Scot clocked one minute, 23.054 seconds to pip his McLaren teammate Mika Hakkinen, with Schumacher having to settle for fourth place. Ralf Schumacher in a Williams stole third place from his brother in the final seconds of the session. The Jaguar of Eddie Irvine was 13th and Jenson Button's Benetton was 21st.

Michael Schumacher admitted surprise after David Coulthard's faster time prevented the F1 champion from landing his eighth pole position in a row. "Perhaps we were wrong in coming out too early," said the Ferrari driver. "We also possibly used a wrong brand of tyres for the final laps while McLaren made the right choice. "I still think I can win the race. I would bet on myself and my brother Ralf for the race," added Schumacher who is aiming for his third Imola win in a row.

David Coulthard was a happy man but knows there is still work to do after getting pole for Sunday's race. "I didn't expect this but I'm delighted. We had a problem on the car and the guys worked really hard to get it ready," said the Scottish driver. "It was great to get pole but this is only one part of the weekend. There is still a long way to go in the race, and as I've already shown this season, you don't have to be on pole to win," he added.

Saturday's qualifying times:
 1 D Coulthard   GB  McLaren  1:23.054
 2 M Hakkinen    Fin McLaren  1:23.282
 3 R Schumacher  Ger Williams 1:23.357
 4 M Schumacher  Ger Ferrari  1:23.593
 5 J Trulli      It  Jordan   1:23.658
 6 R Barrichello Brz Ferrari  1:23.786
 7 JP Montoya    Col Williams 1:24.141
 8 O Panis       Fr  BAR      1:24.213
 9 H-H Fr ntzen  Ger Jordan   1:24.436
10 J Raikkonen   Fin Sauber   1:24.671
11 J Villeneuve  Can BAR      1:24.769
12 N Heidfeld    Ger Sauber   1:25.007
13 E Irvine      GB  Jaguar   1:25.392
14 J Alesi       Fr  Prost    1:25.411
15 L Burti       Brz Jaguar   1:25.572
16 E Bernoldi    It  Arrows   1:25.872
17 J Verstappen  Ned Arrows   1:26.062
18 F Alonso      Sp  Minardi  1:26.855
19 G Fisichella  It  Benetton 1:26.902
20 G Mazzacane   Arg Prost    1:27.750
21 J Button      GB  Benetton 1:27.758
22 T Marques     Brz Minardi  1:28.281

F3000 (Imola):- Britain's Darren Manning claimed his first points of the season with second place behind Australia's Mark Webber. Manning started from third on the grid but moved up to second early on and held on throughout the 31-lap race to finish 3.3 seconds behind Webber. "I tried to get at Mark at the start... but it is so difficult to overtake here - but I am happy with the six points," said Manning. Britain's Justin Wilson maintained his overall lead by coming sixth.

BRITISH GT'S (Snetterton):- Despite the cold and overcast weather, the pace was as hot as ever in the qualifying session. Tim Harvey and Rob Wilson took two seconds off the lap record to achieve the leading time. These were not improved upon in the second session.

Leading positions (Sat):     mins secs
1 T Harvey     Chrysler Viper 1:05.197
2 M Jordan     Lister         1:05.567
3 B Verdon-Roe TVR            1:05.642
4 P Hindley    Marcos         1:08.458

F3 (Silverstone):- With the damp track getting wetter by the minute, the red flags were flown five times in a frantic shortened session, with Paul Edwards fastest. In the Scholarship class, Robbie Kerr set a scorching pace, lapping nearly a second faster than Michael Keohane.

Leading times:   mins secs
1 P Edwards       1:12.415
2 A Priaulx       1:12.487
3 T Sato          1:12.684
4 D Hayes         1:12.690
5 N Kiesa         1:12.861

EUROPEAN LE MANS (Donington):- Tom Kristensen took advantage of his pole position to lead Audi to its 11th consecutive endurance victory. The best-placed British driver was Guy Smith, who delighted the 13,000-strong crowd by coming third.

Leading times:               mins secs
1 Capello/Kristensen Audi     1:22.043
2 Biela/Pirro        Audi     1:22.251
3 Johansson/Smith    Audi     1:22.493
4 Boullion/Redon     Courage  1:25.228
5 Cochran/Boss       Panoz    1:26.964

CLIO CUP (Brands Hatch):- Tim Mullen headed final testing ahead of Monday's opening round to record the fastest ever Clio Cup lap at the Brands Hatch circuit. The next four drivers were also under the old record.

Leading testing times (Fri):
1 T Mullen     Firstair    52.523secs
2 D Vercoe     Mardi Gras  52.578
3 D Buxton     Sugden      52.615
4 J Templeman  TCR         52.616
5 J Rivett     Stancombe   52.634
6 V Martin     Martin      52.900

F.RENAULT (Brands Hatch):- Leighton Walker set the fastest ever Formula Renault lap around Brands Hatch in final testing for Monday. Mark McLoughlin, Richard Antinucci were also under the old mark, set by Kimi Raikkonen.

Leading testing times (Fri):
1 L Walker     Manor       44.564secs
2 M McLoughlin Motaworld   44.583
3 R Antinucci  Manor       44.647
4 C Breeze     Motaworld   44.749
5 C Brown      DFR         44.776
6 D Watts      Falcon      44.849

PORSCHE CUP (Snetterton):- Peter Chambers made it three wins from three starts when he negotiated some treacherous conditions at Snetterton. Adrian Slater took an early lead but he was overhauled by the in-form Chambers.

Leading results:
1 P Chambers
2 A Slater
3 B Armstrong
4 N Rice

F.FORD (Snetterton):- Robin Rudholm took pole position on a gruelling day for the drivers, beset by inclement conditions. A number of front runners were caught out by the sudden showers.

Leading qualifying times:  mins secs
1 R Rudholm    Van Diemen   1:15.667
2 C England    Van Diemen   1:16.186
3 A Danielsson Vector       1:16.213
4 R Scott      Vector       1:16.258
5 A Carroll    Van Diemen   1:16.267

FORD FIESTA’S (Snetterton):- Colin Turkington claimed his second consecutive pole. Pre-season title favourite Alan Blencowe could only manager seventh.

Leading qualifying times:  mins secs
1 C Turkington              1:27.294
2 M Pinny                   1:27.681
3 N Padley                  1:28.019
4 T Clark                   1:28.088
5 C Ryan                    1:28.342


Ralf Schumacher drove a superb race to record his first Grand Prix victory ahead of Britain's David Coulthard. But second place was enough to put Coulthard level on points with Michael Schumacher in the drivers' standings. World champion Schumacher suffered a puncture on lap 24 and was forced to retire on the next lap. Rubens Barrichello finished third but Eddie Irvine was forced to retire while Jenson Button's poor start to the season continued as he finished last.

Ralf Schumacher was thrilled after securing his first Grand Prix victory with a faultless performance. Schumacher, who led from start to finish, said: "Everything went perfect. I was lucky when David (Coulthard) gave me the space at the start. "I couldn't believe it. But from then on it was a pretty long race and it took ages to be honest." Schumacher's win was also the first for Britain's Williams team since September 1997.

Ralf Schumacher felt on top of the world after securing his first Grand Prix victory in fine style. "It's fantastic to have finally won. I hope it will be one of many," said the delighted brother of Michael. "I have seen my brother win so many times in the past and it was very emotional for me to be able to finally do the same. But I've waited a long time for this and it has taken a lot of work since I joined Williams to achieve this."

Ralf Schumacher feels it could be the start of good times again for his Williams team after his first GP win. "This could be the beginning of something for Williams," said an optimistic Schumacher. "We have had a lot of bad luck in recent races even though we have been looking strong. We have a lot of work to do but if we can keep improving we will be able to compete with the likes of Ferrari and McLaren for the championship."

Team chief Frank Williams hailed Ralf Schumacher's performance after his win gave the team their first taste of GP success since September 1997. Schumacher's victory was also the first time in 23 races that a driver from a team other than Ferrari or McLaren had won a Grand Prix. "Ralf triumphed magnificently today. He had it well under control all the time," said Williams. "He has reached the ranks of winners and I think he will make his own mark."

Ralf Schumacher's triumph was also the perfect boost for his Williams team as they recorded their first Grand Prix victory since September 1997. The German's joy was matched by that of Williams' technical director Patrick Head, who admitted afterwards: "I was a bit twitchy towards the end. "It's good to be back. Ralf drove a faultless race and did not put a foot wrong," he added. "We'd like to continue from this and we will be out to do our best."

Gerhard Berger, motorsport director of Williams' partners BMW, saluted Ralf Schumacher's superb victory. Ralf's win ensured that the the two Schumachers are the first brothers to win Formula One races. "He is doing a brilliant job this year. He seems to have the same potential as his brother Michael," said Berger. It was also the first win for Michelin tyres since the company returned to Formula One this season after an absence of 17 years.

David Coulthard was delighted with his second place behind Ralf Schumacher after the German had cruised home. The Briton's runner-up spot brought him level on 26 points at the top of the drivers' standings with Schumacher's brother and world champion, Michael. "In terms of balance, this was probably the hardest race of the year," admitted Coulthard at the press conference. "But if you can pick up six points at the end of the race to put you level at the top, then that has to be great."

David Coulthard did not make the best of starts from pole position as Ralf Schumacher swept past him and never looked back on the way to victory. "I moved a little bit before the start and had to stop the car and that's when the lights went on," said the Scot. "I thought I'd be swamped and had to make sure there was enough space for us all. I sensed Ralf was on the inside. I was interested to see how quick he would be in the race and he was very quick! My congratulations to him."

Michael Schumacher spoke of his delight when his brother Ralf secured his first Grand Prix victory in convincing style. "I am very happy for Ralf. He has shown strongly in the past and he has also had some bad luck," said Schumacher. "But this time everything went well and he did it in style. As for myself, you can't win all the races. This is the first time that two brothers have won a Grand Prix. We have both achieved our goal and our parents will be very proud."

Michael Schumacher was delighted for his brother Ralf despite having to drop out himself with problems. The world champion's exit meant he did not score any points for the first time since last year's German Grand Prix. "There was a puncture and there was something else wrong which damaged the rim," said Schumacher, who was forced out on lap 25 while in seventh place. "The start wasn't perfect and we had a problem with gear selection at one time. It wasn't a great weekend."

Rubens Barrichello salvaged some joy for Ferarri on a day when Michael Schumacher was forced to drop out. The Brazilian drove a steady race to finish in third place as Ferrari stayed ahead in the constructors' standings. "We had a slow start. I suffered from too much wheelspin and it is very difficult to overtake at Imola. But it was a good race for me after starting from so way back," he added, on a day that belonged to Schumacher's brother Ralf.

Eddie Irvine was frustrated at once again having to suffer a setback as he dropped out on lap 42. "What can I say? I had a good start despite carrying a heavy fuel load. The one-stop strategy was absolutely right for the race conditions," said Irvine. "I was making good progress through the field and pushing hard for what I believed would be a points finish. Again we have come so close yet remain so far. There is no miracle cure and we will continue to push hard."

Jenson Button was at least relieved to have finished the race behind dominant winner Ralf Schumacher. "In the first few laps I managed to catch up with some cars," said the Briton, who was last in 12th place. "But then I had a setback as no fuel went into the car at the first pitstop, so it wasn't an amazing start for me. I have had problems with my shoulder and racing an anti-clockwise circuit puts more strain on it than usual but I am glad we managed to finish."

Ralf Schumacher made the day for his Williams team but for their other driver, Juan Pablo Montoya, it was one of frustration in the final quarter. Montoya had hoped to earn points as well but he did not bargain for a pit stop which put paid to that. The troubled pit stop cost him one minute eight seconds when the fuel line got stuck and then the engine died. "Up to then the race was going well. It was not the best in the world but we were going to score points," he said.

Canada's Jacques Villeneuve was deeply upset after leaving the track in a cloud of smoke. The 1997 world champion was forced to drop out as he approached the halfway mark, leaving him still looking for his first points of the season. "It was looking like we were finally going to get some points this year," said the BAR driver. "We worked hard to get up to sixth and to have a mechanical failure was very frustrating," he added.

Reports in the Sunday Telegraph say that the BAR team may be sold by their owners British American Tobacco. The paper says the company have asked investment bank Goldman Sachs to look at ideas for selling off all or part of the team. BAR have made an undistinguished start to the new season, with former world champion Jacques Villeneuve failing to win any points so far. Olivier Panis, who joined this season, won three points in the Brazilian GP.

Result after 62 laps         hr min sec
 1 R Schumacher  Ger Williams 1:30.44.8
 2 D Coulthard   GB  McLaren  1:30.49.1
 3 R Barrichello Brz Ferrari  1:31.19.5
 4 M Hakkinen    Fin McLaren  1:31.21.1
 5 J Trulli      It  Jordan   1:32.10.3
 6 H-H Frentzen  Ger Jordan    @ 1 lap
 7 N Heidfeld    Ger Sauber    @ 1 lap
 8 O Panis       Fr  BAR       @ 1 lap
 9 J Alesi       Fr  Prost     @ 1 lap
10 E Bernoldi    Brz Arrows    @ 2 laps
11 L Burti       Brz Jaguar    @ 2 laps
12 J Button      GB  Benetton  @ 2 laps

Retirements:                laps completed
   T Marques     Brz Minardi      50
   JP Montoya    Col Williams     48
   E Irvine      GB  Jaguar       42
   G Fisichella  It  Benetton     31
   J Villenueve  Can BAR          30
   G Mazzacane   Arg Prost        28
   M Schumacher  Ger Ferrari      24
   K Raikkonen   Fin Sauber       17
   J Verstappen  Ned Arrows        6
   F Alonso      Sp  Minardi       5

Fastest lap: R Schumacher  Ger Williams   1:25.524
(average speed 207.646kph)

 1 M Schumacher  Ger  Ferrari   26 pts
 = D Coulthard   GB   McLaren   26
 3 R Barrichello Brz  Ferrari   14
 4 R Schumacher  Ger  Williams  12
 5 N Heidfeld    Ger  Sauber     7
 6 H-H Frentzen  Ger  Jordan     6
 7 M Hakkinen    Fin  McLaren    4
 = J Trulli      It   Jordan     4
 9 O Panis       Fr   BAR        3
10 K Raikkonen   Fin  Sauber     1
 = G Fisichella  It   Benetton   1

1 Ferrari       40 pts
2 McLaren       30
3 Williams      12
4 Jordan        10
5 Sauber         8
6 BAR            3
7 Benetton       1

BRITISH GT'S:- Tim Harvey and Rob Wilson mastered the poor weather at Snetterton to take the second round of the GT Championship. Their Chrysler outpaced early leaders Mike Jordan and David Warnock. Marino Franchitti and Kelvin Burt came third.

Final placings (GT category)  hr mins
1 Harvey/Wilson  Chrysler     1:01.00
2 Jordan/Warnock Lister       1:01.13
3 Lockie/Welz    Porsche      44 laps

(GTO category)
1 Fr'chitti/Burt Porsche      44 laps
2 Rymer/Simmons  Porsche       "
3 Short/Barff    Porsche       "

F3 (Silverstone):- Matt Davis made it two wins out of three on Sunday as he survived a safety car and challenge from Takuma Sato to edge out Derek Hayes to win. Dutchman Robert Doornbos recoreded his debu Scholarship class win, holding off a late challenge from Matt Gilmore.

Leading times (Champs class)
                 mins secs
1 M Davies       20:01.785
2 D Hayes        20:02.052
3 G Bruni        20:03.497
4 R Dalziel      20:04.830

Super Production qualifying: mins secs
 1 P Knox        Ned BMW      2:18.761
 2 N Simon       Ger BMW      2:20.038
 3 S Gabellini   It  BMW      2:20.500
 4 P-G Andersson Swe BMW      2:20.599
 5 T Ferrier     GB  BMW      2:21.032
 6 T Masini      It  Alfa     2:22.098
 7 G Morbidelli  It  BMW      2:22.962
 8 D Huisman     Ned BMW      2:22.984
 9 L Villamil    Sp  Alfa     2:23.074
10 T Rustad      Nor Nissan   2:23.362

Super Touring qualifying:    mins secs
 1 F Giovanardi  It  Alfa     2:19.354
 2 G Tarquini    It  Honda    2:20.356
 3 R Colciago    It  Audi     2:20.544
 4 F Walfisch    Fr  Honda    2:20.787
 5 S Sardelli    It  Nissan   2:21.074
 6 N Larini      It  Alfa     2:21.428
 7 G De Lorenzi  It  BMW      2:22.445
 8 R Bernardoni  It  Alfa     2:22.659
 9 M Pigoli      It  Audi     2:23.838
10 E Toccacelo   It  Alfa     2:23.968

CLIO CUP (Brands Hatch):- Tim Mullen and Paul Rivett got in quick laps early on before the rain fell to secure front row starting positions for Monday's first round. The downpour caught out several big names, including Simon Clarke and Jim Edwards Sr.

Leading times (Sun):
1 T Mullen     Firstair    52.730secs
2 P Rivett     Stancombe   52.780
3 D Buxton     Sugden      52.822
4 D Vercoe     Mardi Gras  53.030
5 M Byford     Z Speed     53.114
6 M Nordon     Bintcliffe  53.131

F.FORD (Snetterton):- Sweden's Richard Goransson took his second Formula Ford win of the season in a race shortened when rain drenched the track. Starting from seventh on the grid, Goransson moved through to the lead by the time the race had to be stopped.

Race result(after six laps)mins secs
1 R Goransson  Swe         10:06.224
2 A Danielsson Swe         10:06.856
2 C England    Eng         10:07.378
4 R Scott      Bel         10:07.561
5 A Carroll    Swe         10:08.147

FORD FIESTA’S (Snetterton):- Colin Turkington claimed his second consecutive win of the season after holding off a spirited challenge from Nick Padley and Matt Pinny. The 19-year-old started from pole but was pushed all the way to the line.

Race result (Sun):         mins secs
1 C Turkington             20:40.248
2 N Padley                 20:41.148
3 M Pinny                  20:41.581
4 E Murray                 20:56.938
5 C Stancombe              20:58.284


F1:- David Coulthard is determined to keep up the pressure on Michael Schumacher after his second place at Imola means the pair are level in the championship. "It's good to be leading the championship with Michael," said the 30-year-old Scot. "I have got myself into a good position now and I want to stay there. I know that if I want to win the title then I have got got to keep scoring points," added Coulthard, who has been on the podium in every race this season.

BTCC (Brands Hatch):- Title favourite Yvan Muller led the whole way round, coming in 0.71 seconds ahead of rival Jason Plato in the first round of the AA.com Championship. Plato began in third place and passed second placed James Thompson on the first corner but failed to catch up with Muller during the 12 lap race. Muller's only problem was Peugeot driver Steve Soper who refused to let him pass after a pit stop. "I don't know why he did that, we used to be team mates" said Muller.

James Thompson followed up his third place in the main race to win the feature race and claim a surprise share of the series lead. Starting in third place he was the first of the front three to take his obligatory pit stop and capitalised on Yvan Muller's engine problems. With Muller forced out, Thompson was in a duel with Jason Plato. He passed him on lap 24 and stayed out in front. Thompson was left with two runners-up places in the two races of the day.


Race Results (Mon):
 1 Bouchut/Belloc   Chrysler
 2 Vosse/D'bourg    Chrysler
 3 H'zmans/Bl'mole  Chrysler
 4 Walter/Dean      Lister
 5 Naspetti/Sc'lla  Ferrari
 6 Bielinger/Duez   Ferrari
 7 Belmondo/Def'rny Chrysler
 8 Daems/Illes      Chrysler
 9 Riccitelli/Q'ter Porsche
10 Terrien/Pes'tori Ferrari

CLIO CUP (Brands Hatch):- Paul Rivett outgunned Tim Mullen to the first corner as held on to win the opening round. Several drivers suffered spins in what was an action packed race, notably Jason Templeman and Daniel Buxton who ended up seventh and eighth.

Result (Mon):              mins secs
1 P Rivett     Stancombe   26:28.671
2 T Mullen     Firstair    26:29.237
3 D Vercoe     Mardi Gras  26:34.064
4 M Nordon     Bintcliffe  26:48.634
5 M Davies     Bintcliffe  26:50.861
6 V Martin     Martin      26:52.280

F.RENAULT (Brands Hatch):- Carl Breeze led all the way to hold off the challenge of Richard Antinucci after the safety car was used twice. Leighton Walker held off Danny Watts to come third but Mark McLoughlin had a disaster. His engine died on the grid.

Result (Mon)              mins secs
1 C Breeze     Motaworld   23:18.58
2 R Antinucci  Manor       23:19.04
3 L Walker     Manor       23:20.86
4 D Watts      Falcon      23:21.94
5 C Brown      DFR         23:23.94
6 R Coleman    DFR         23:25.61


F1:- A deal to keep the British Grand Prix at Silverstone for the next 15 years has been referred to the Competition Commission for investigation. Trade secretary Stephen Byers said the they would look at the case after Octagon Sports acquired assets of the British Racing Drivers Club. Under the deal Octagon was granted a 15-year lease to manage the circuit. Byers said the deal 'raises competition concerns in respect of the market for the provision of circuits for racing."

Formula Three champion of France Jonathan Cochet has been signed as the official test driver for the Prost-Acer team in 2001. "We are delighted to welcome Jonathan into the stable. We've been watching with interest his remarkable progress," said team owner Alain Prost. "By giving him the chance to become a test driver we are reaffirming our commitment to support French talent." The 24-year-old joins compatriot Stephane Sarrazin as a test driver.

Juan Pablo Montoya began three days of testing for Williams at Silverstone with 20 completed laps. German Ralf Schumacher, who drove to a first Grand Prix win at the weekend, will join the team on Thursday.

List of times:
H-H Frentzen  Jordan      1:23.01
A Wurz        McLaren     1:23.62
T Sato        BAR         1:23.92
P de la Rosa  Jaguar      1:24.86
J Montoya     Williams    1:25.15
G Mazzacane   Prost Acer  1:25.83

BTCC:- James Thompson has warned British Touring Car Championship title favourites Yvan Muller and Jason Plato that he too is bidding for glory. Vauxhall factory drivers Muller and Plato have been tipped to shine this year but Thompson earned a win and a third place at Brands Hatch on Monday. He drives a Vauxhall for the Egg:Sport team and said: "I am definitely a realistic title contender. I have equal equipment to the works cars and there are no team orders."

RALLYING:- Ford will be racing two Focus cars in July's Rally of Germany. Both Francois Delecour and Raimund Baumschlager will be competing as Germany lay their claim to host a future round of the World Rally series. Ford Racing European director Martin Whitaker said: "We are delighted to bring our cars to Germany for this significant event. Top-class rallying outside the world championship can provide a splendid platform for us."

18.04.2001 - F1

Luciano Burti will be replaced at Jaguar next season by Spaniard Pedro de la Rosa. Brazilian Burti had been tipped to lose the drive after it was announced recently that de la Rosa had earned a drive with the team for 2002. Team boss Niki Lauda has decided that de la Rosa will partner Eddie Irvine. Burti said on the Jaguar website: "The team informed me about this in San Marino but to be honest it has not been a big surprise."

Jackie Stewart is disappointed that the deal to keep the British Grand Prix at Silverstone has been referred to the Competition Commission. Trade secretary Stephen Byers said the acqusition of certain assets of the British Racing Drivers Club by Octagon Sports "raises competition concerns." But BRDC president Stewart said the decision had been taken "in the interests of the whole of our sport. This referral is a complication that needs to be dealt with promptly."


F1:- Jaguar have confirmed that Luciano Burti will be joining the Prost team for next week's Spanish Grand Prix. He will be replaced by current test driver Pedro de la Rosa who will make his racing debut alongside Eddir Irvine at next week's Spanish Grand Prix. "I'm grateful to Jaguar for giving me a chance to show my skills but I'd prefer to develop long term," Burti said on his personal website. De la Rosa said: "This is a wonderful opportunity for me."

Jagaur team prinicpal Bobby Rahal says he does not believe the Formula 1 team owners are bluffing with their threats of setting up a rival breakaway tour. The manufacturers' suggestion was initially thought by many to be a move to call the bluff of the groups involved in the television rights row. "I've seen nothing to suggest it's just posturing. It costs teams too much not to want more revenue share," he said. The current revenue sharing deal expires in 2006.

F1 TESTING: Finland's former world champion Mika Hakkinen continued to set the fastest times at testing at Silverstone Scotland's David Coulthard, Hakkinen's McLaren team-mate, was just behind in second place.

Testing times              mins secs
1 M Hakkinen   McLaren      1:22.321
2 D Coulthard  McLaren      1:22.514
3 O Panis      BAR          1:22.655
4 J Villeneuve BAR          1:23.457
5 HH Frentzen  Jordan       1:23.538
6 R Schumacher BMW          1:23.757

CLIO CUP (Thruxton):- Tim Mullin pipped first-round winner Paul Rivett in testing. The pair and third-placed Martin Byford beat the fastest Clio lap times at the Thruxton circuit.

Testing times              mins secs
1 T Mullin     Firstair     1:24.502
2 P Rivett     Rivett       1:24.713
3 M Byford     Z-Speed      1:24.770
4 D Vercoe     Mardi Gras   1:24.884
5 V Martin     Martin       1:25.314
6 J Templeman  TCR          1:25.404

F.FORD (Castle Combe):- Belgian Jan Heylan was the surprise fastest driver after the first official test at the Wiltshire circuit. Heylan was one of six drivers to set record-breaking sub-68 second laps as nine-tenths of a second covered the top 16 competitors.

Testing times              mins secs
1 J Heylan     Van-Diemen   1:07.614
2 R Goransson  Van-Diemen   1:07.654
3 R Bremer     Mygale       1:07.759
4 R Rudholm    Van-Diemen   1:07.798
5 A V-D Merwe  Mygale       1:07.801

F.RENAULT (Thruxton):- Colin Brown made a sensational track debut by heading the testing times with a mark faster than Kimi Raikkonen's pole position last year. Richard Antinucci, another Thruxton debutant, was second.

Testing times              mins secs
1 C Brown      GB  DFR      1:11.744
2 R Antinucci  US  Manor    1:11.828
3 C Breeze     GB  Motaw'd  1:11.926
4 D Watts      GB  Falcon   1:11.994
5 L Walker     GB  Manor    1:12.020


F1 TESTING (Silverstone):- Mika Hakkinen was once again the leading driver during testing at Silverstone on Friday. His McLaren team-mate David Coulthard was second while Eddie Irvine came in ninth in his Jaguar.

Friday's testing times:     mins secs
1 M Hakkinen   Fin McLarea   1:22.32
2 D Coulthard  Sco McLaren   1:22.50
3 O Panis      Fr  BAR-Honda 1:22.65
4 J Villeneuve Can BAR-Honda 1:23.37
5 HH Frentzen  Ger Jordan    1:23.53
9 E Irvine     GB  Jaguar    1:25.57

F.NISSAN:- Tomas Scheckter, who came second in the 2000 British Formula Three Championship was the fastest in practice at Estoril for Sunday's Formula Nissan race. The 20-year-old is combining a racing campaign with the Vergani Racing team with his job as a test driver for Jaguar Formula One team.


BTCC:- Vauxhall's Jason Plato clocked the fastest time in official testing for rounds three and four at Thruxton. Plato said: "We had a very good day today - we made some changes to the car, some of which were very positive." The British driver came in just ahead of Vauxhall team-mate Yvan Muller, with Team Egg Vauxhall driver Jamie Thompson in third. Steve Soper of Team Peugeot Sport overcame car problems through the day to finally come home in fifth.

Round three test times (Fri): mins secs
 1 J Plato       GB  Vauxhall  1:17.704
 2 Y Muller      Fr  Vauxhall    @0.340
 3 J Thompson    GB  Vauxhall    @0.585
 4 P Bennett     GB  Vauxhall    @1.028
 5 S Soper       GB  Peugeot     @2.277
 6 D Eaves       GB  Peugeot     @3.156
 7 R Moen        Nor Peugeot     @4.426
 8 D Pinkney     GB  Alfa Romeo  @4.633
 9 R Collard     GB  Renault     @5.086
10 J Kaye        GB  Honda       @5.094

TARGA RALLY:- Five-time 500cc motorcycle champion Michael Doohan escaped unhurt after rolling his Mercedes-Benz on his rallying debut in Tasmania. Doohan has been competing in the Targa Rally, which runs from April 28 to 24, and was in 13th position on day three. Australian Doohan, who retired from motorcycling in 1999, said: "We have been having some brake problems. I came into the turn and the car did not want to go the way I wanted and it hit a bank and rolled over."

RALLY LUXEMBOURG:- Irishman Ian Greer held off a resolute challenge from Rocco Theunissen to keep his overall lead at the end of day one. Greer, on his first rally outside Ireland said: "After the first few stages we found the going difficult. "Then we relaxed and the times really came, everything flowed, we've had no problems since." Eamonn Boland has kept a very steady pace to maintain his 4th position, and reports no troubles. Irishman Sean Keenan retired with a blown turbo.

Unofficial leader board after Stage 10
(end of leg 1)                 hr min s
 1 I Greer           Corolla   1:27.38
 2 R Theunissen      Corolla   1:28.13
 3 H Stacey          Impreza   1:28.46
 4 E Boland          Impreza   1:30.53
 5 P Bijvelds        Lancer    1:31.54
 6 M Maaskant        Lancer    1:33.00
 7 J Deen            Lancer    1:33.19
 8 F Duval           Lancer    1:34.22
 9 E Abbring         Celica    1:34.40
10 J de Winkel       Golf      1:34.49

F.NISSAN (Estoril):- Tomas Scheckter continued his dominance of the Open Telefonica meeting by taking pole for both Sunday's races. The 20-year-old South African was fastest in testing on Friday and took both poles for the Vergani Team.

Race 1                       min sec
1 T Scheckter  SA  Vergani  1:32.123
2 M Giao       Por Scuderia 1:32.542
3 J Cochet     Fr  V'tini   1:32.700

Race 2
1 T Scheckter  SA  Vergani  1:32.515
2 A Belicchi   It  Doors    1:32.633
3 J Cochet     Fr  V'tini   1:32.654


Ian Greer took victory by over a minute but he was fortunate that rival Rocco Theunissen had problems late on. Belgian champion Theunissen stalled the engine on a couple of occasions during the final stage and then in his own words "decided to walk it". Greer commented "It was a tough rally, there was big stress on the tyres, the brakes, the lot. This has to be one of my most important wins." Patrick Elliott was just outside the leaderboard in his first Subaru trip.

Unofficial leaderboard after final stage (18)
                             hr min s
 1 I Greer           Corolla  2:36.31
 2 R Theunissen      Corolla  2:37.34
 3 H Stacey          Impreza  2:38.13
 4 P Bijvelds        Lancer   2:44.33
 5 F Duval           Lancer   2:44.34
 6 J Deen            Lancer   2:45.49
 7 E Abbring         Celica   2:47.33
 8 De Winkel         Golf     2:48.16
 9 B Colsoul         Lancer   2:48.12
10 B Briant          Lancer   2:49.18


NEWS:- Former Formula One driver Michele Alboreto has been killed in a crash during tests for the Le Mans 24-Hour at a circuit in Germany. The 44-year-old was driving on the Eurospeedway in Lausitz near Dresden. His Audi R8 spun and somersaulted several times for an unknown reason before coming to a halt. Alboreto won five grands prix in 194 races between 1981 and 1994 and was a member of the Audi team that finished third in last year's Le Mans race.

David Coulthard is hoping to improve on his second place finish in San Marino in this weekend's race in Spain. The Scot's performance put him joint top of the drivers' standings alongside Michael Schumacher. "I am looking forward to the race where I hope to build on the results achieved so far this season," he said. "We test regularly at the circuit so we know it well. It is fairly technical with a good mix of corners and straights," added the McLaren driver.

Michael Schumacher feels Ferrari can bounce back from their disappointment in San Marino with the newly-legal electronic aids in their cars. Schumacher failed to finish the last race while team-mate Rubens Barrichello was third. "This will enable us to drive faster and closer for more time," he said. "We had some very good tests here a month ago and were the only top team to test there with the new car and this should give us an advantage," he added.

Ralf Schumacher arrives in Spain fresh from the first Grand Prix victory of his career in San Marino two weeks ago. However the German refused to predict a repeat performance in Barcelona. "We still have some work to do to improve our traction control and we'll just have to wait and see what will happen," he said. "Barcelona is quite interesting and demanding. Last year I finished fourth here and I was fifth in 1999 so this is a circuit which normally suits me."

Formula One newcomer Juan Pablo Montoya will be seeking the first finish of his fledging Grand Prix career in Spain. The Colombian former CART driver has retired in each of this season's four races but is sure he can stop the rot on Sunday. "Spain will be almost like a home GP for me and I am sure plenty of my fans will be there," he said. "I raced on this track in Formula 3000 in 1998 and I won although I think this will be quite a tough race."

Eddie Irvine said that the Circuit de Catalunya held no secrets for the Grand Prix drivers this weekend. "We have all tested so much here that we pretty much know what to expect from this track," he said. Irvine will have a different Williams team-mate alongside him after Pedro de la Rosa replaced Luciano Burti. "I was sorry to see Luciano go as he brought a lot to the team but Pedro has been with us a while and understands the task at hand."

Mika Hakkinen will be bidding to ensure history repeats itself and kickstarts his season in Barcelona on Sunday. Hakkinen has just four points so far this year but has a good record in Spain where he has led a McLaren one- two finish for the past three years. "The results so far this year have not been ideal for me but the championship is still in a very open situation," the Finn said. "No-one is too far ahead and there are still plenty of points to be scored."

Jenson Button will be determined to land an upturn in fortunes in his first season with Benetton. Button is under contract to Williams until 2004 and they have an option to take him back from Benetton in 2002. The Briton is still searching for his first points of the season after a disappointing opening to the year. Last season in Barcelona he finished 17th and will hope for a better showing this time around and getting some points on the board.

Pedro de la Rosa makes his debut for Jaguar in Spain and gives his views:
Q: How big will expectations be during your home race and debut?
A: I hope people don't expect anything from me. I know this is unrealistic but I have nothing in mind other than to give it 100%. I want to finish the weekend knowing I did the best possible job both for Jaguar and for myself. My debut must be taken in the context of the team's capabilities.
Q: This time last week you were a test driver and now you're full-time again so do you adopt a different approach?
A: You must step up another gear but one part of you remains as a test driver due to the development responsibility. You must consistently prove your competiveness and that means pushing very hard at race level. I haven't raced competively since last year and can't wait.
Q: Eddie Irvine is a different character to you. How well do you think you will work with him?
A: He's very different from your average F1 driver but I've never had a problem with a team-mate and he's no different. We must work well together and not against each other. We share the mutual goal of taking this team forward and I've seen nothing from Eddie to worry me in this respect.
Q: The race shares nothing in common with the test team you've been with so does it feel like joining a different team?
A: It's the first time I've arrived at a meeting and not known the team who are around me. There are lots of new components and it will take time to fit into place. That's the challenge we face. The building blocks for the future are being laid down now.

The 65-lap race gets under way at 1.00pm BST, 12.00 local time. A total race distance of 307.323km (191 miles) will be covered at the Catalunya Circuit (4.728km, 2.938 miles). The lap record for the circuit is held by Giancarlo Fisichella of Italy who clocked a time of one minute, 22.242 seconds in 1997. World champion Michael Schumacher won the race twice in consecutive years in the mid-1990s but has failed to finish better than fifth since.

F3000:- Darren Manning will hope to follow up his second place at Imola with another impressive display in Barcelona as he continues to await his first win. Manning's Arden International team tested at the Barcelona circuit earlier this year and after two recent days of testing in Monza, he is raring to go. "I started badly here last year but came seventh, just outside the points. Hopefully I'll improve," he said. "Testing shows I can start nearer the front, maybe even on pole."


F1:- Dr Wolfgang Ullrich of Audi Sport has spoken of the team's shock at the news of Michele Alboreto's death when test driving their A8 racing sportscar. The crash occurred on Wednesday afternoon at a track in Germany. "It is an incomprehensible tragedy. We will do everyhing in our power to find the reason for it but now our thoughts are with his family," said Dr Wolf. The car, which had already been heavily tested, left a straight piece of track and rolled over.

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo was one of the first people to pay tribute to the team's former driver Michele Alboreto after his death at 44. Alboreto was killed when he crashed in testing for the Le Mans 24 Hour race at the Eurospeedway circuit in Germany. "He played an important role as a driver in the history of Ferrari," he said on the Ferrari website. "His death has been a hard blow to take and has filled me with deep sadness. He drove with a great passion."

Federico Bendinelli, the former head of the firm who own the Imola Formula One circuit, was clearly upset at the news of Alboreto's death. Alboreto was a key player in the aftermath of the accident at Imola that killed Ayrton Senna in 1994. "I'm deeply saddened by Alboreto's death," he said. "At the time of the trial over the death of Senna he was an authoritative, precise and important witness, a person of very great moral standing."

Three-time world champion Niki Lauda paid tribute to ex-Formula One rival Michele Alboreto, who was killed while testing for the Le Mans 24-hour race. "I knew Michele from my racing days and he was a really nice guy," said Lauda. "I don't know anybody who would say anything wrong about him. He was well- educated and a real gentleman. But people have to realise that motor racing is dangerous. It is sad but we all know the risks involved," the Austrian added.

CYPRUS RALLY:- The sixth event of the world rallying championship, the Cyprus Rally 2001, is to be held around Limassol from June 1- 3, race organisers have confirmed. They will be hoping for an impressive race because despite last year's race being highly praised, their slot on the calender is threatened by Germany. Last year's race winner Carlos Sainz will be back, along with world champion Marcus Gronholm, and Tommi Makinen. There are 22 stages over mountainous terrain speaced out over three days.


David Coulthard set the pace for the opening practice session for Sunday's grand prix with Eddie Irvine clocking the second fastest time. Coulthard made the most of the first practice session since 1993 to see the use of traction control to record a best time of 1 min 20.107 seconds. Irvine boosted Jaguar's prospects by lapping a fastest time of 1:20.615. The Ferraris of Rubens Barrichello and Michael Schumacher finished the day third and fifth repectively.

Friday's opening practice times:
 1 D Coulthard   GB  McLaren  1:20.107
 2 E Irvine      GB  Jaguar   1:20.615
 3 R Barrichello Brz Ferrari  1:20.823
 4 O Panis       Fr  BAR      1:20.826
 5 M Schumacher  Ger Ferrari  1:20.880
 6 M Hakkinen    Fin McLaren  1:20.894
 7 P de la Rosa  Sp  Jaguar   1:21.184
 8 R Schumacher  Ger Williams 1:21.259
 9 J Villeneuve  Can BAR      1:21.401
10 J Trulli      It  Jordan   1:21.647
11 K Raikkonen   Fin Sauber   1:21.786
12 N Heidfeld    Ger Sauber   1:21.808
13 JP Montoya    Col Williams 1:22.020
14 H-H Frentzen  Ger Jordan   1:22.221
15 J Alesi       Fr  Prost    1:22.843
16 E Bernoldi    Bra Arrows   1:22.888
17 J Verstappen  Ned Arrows   1:22.962
18 G Fisichella  It  Benetton 1:22.971
19 J Button      GB  Benetton 1:23.201
20 F Alonso      Sp  Minardi  1:23.801
21 L Burti       Bra Prost    1:23.885
22 T Marques     Br  Minardi  1:25.540

RALLYING:- Nik Elsmore will compete in next weekend's Wallonie Rally in Belgium to make up for a frustrating break in the season caused by foot-and-mouth. Elsmore hopes to shake the rust off by getting in some competitive stage miles at the event on May 5/6.

F3000 (Barcelona):- Justin Wilson gave his title hoops a boost by grabbing the first pole position of his career. The Sheffield racer, who won the opening race in Brazil, claimed top spot by just 0.022 seconds from Nordic Racing team-mate Tomas Enge. Fellow Yorkshireman Darren Manning took sixth spot. "It's great to be on pole for the first time, but now we have to convert this into one-two for Nordic Racing in the race," Wilson said.

Qualifying times (Fri):      mins secs
 1 J Wilson      GB  Nordic   1:33.931
 2 T Enge        Cz  Nordic   1:33.953
 3 B Leinders    Bel KTR      1:34.226
 4 M Haberfeld   Brz Sup Nova 1:34.263
 5 D Saelens     Bel Minardi  1:34.428
 6 D Manning     GB  Arden    1:34.597
 7 P Friesacher  Aut Red Bull 1:34.635
 8 A Pizzonia    Brz Petrobas 1:34.692
 9 R Sperafico   Brz Petrobas 1:34.696
10 G Pantano     It  A'mega   1:34.879

BTCC:- Reigning Independents champion Matt Neal has lost his Peugeot drive in this year's Touring Car championship as the team cannot afford to run three cars. "I am naturally disappointed as I felt that my engineers and I were contributing substantially to the development of the car," he said. "I shall miss my fans, friends and colleagues who have supported me." Neal will now make three appearances in the European Touring Car Championship, including the British round on May 13.


Michael Schumacher outclassed his rivals to claim his fourth pole position of the season in Catalunya. The world champion set a blistering time of one minute, 18.201 seconds to beat David Coulthard's early pace. But the Briton was edged out for second place by Mika Hakkinen ` winner of the last three Spanish races - who set a last-gasp time of 1:18.286. Schumacher's Ferrari team-mate Rubens Barrichello was fourth while Eddie Irvine was 13th and Jenson Button 21st.

Michael Schumacher insisted that Ferrari's problems had not been too bad recently after claiming pole position for Sunday's race. Schumacher won the opening two races of the season but has seen his advantage pegged back in the last two races. But he countered: "I would not say we were in a slump. But we are back up where we wanted to be. Although things do look good it is very tight. Mika got close to me at the end - but not close enough."

Mika Hakkinen said he has a good feeling about Barcelona after winning the last three races at the circuit. "In one sense you have a completely different approach to a Grand Prix because you have extremely nice memories of the place. You have a a different attitude and feeling about this. I did a big push at the end. I was disappointed not to get pole, but I lost a bit of time at one of the corners," said Hakkinen.

David Coulthard looked good for second spot until a late surge by team-mate Mika Hakkinen dropped him to third. The joint leader in the driver standings completed the same race last year with cracked ribs after a plane crash and finished second. "I did not get the maximum out of the car today," he said. "Getting the time Michael set was possible, but now we will just have to think about what to do in the race," the McLaren driver added.

Eddie Irvine knows he will be struggling in Sunday's race after qualifying 13th fastest. The Jaguar driver, who was second-fastest in practice on Friday, said: "I couldn't have done any better today. We extracted everything we could from the car and 13th place is what we expected at this circuit. Given the aerodynamic demands of Catalunya we always envisaged a difficult weekend. We're in for another hard race chasing a chance of a point."

Qualifying times:            mins secs
 1 M Schumacher  Ger Ferrari  1:18.201
 2 M Hakkinen    Fin McLaren  1:18.286
 3 D Coulthard   GB  McLaren  1:18.635
 4 R Barrichello Brz Ferrari  1:18.674
 5 R Schumacher  Ger Williams 1:19.016
 6 J Trulli      It  Jordan   1:19.093
 7 J Villeneuve  Can BAR      1:19.122
 8 H-H Frentzen  Ger Jordan   1:19.150
 9 K Raikkonen   Fin Sauber   1:19.229
10 N Heidfield   Ger Sauber   1:19.232
11 O Panis       Fr  BAR      1:19.479
12 J-P Montoya   Col Williams 1:19.660
13 E Irvine      GB  Jaguar   1:20.326
14 L Burti       Brz Prost    1:20.585
15 J Alesi       Fr  Prost    1:20.601
16 E Bernoldi    Brz Arrows   1:20.696
17 J Verstappen  Ned Arrows   1:20.737
18 F Alonso      Sp  Minardi  1:21.037
19 G Fisichella  It  Benetton 1:21.065
20 P de la Rosa  Sp  Jaguar   1:21.338
21 J Button      GB  Benetton 1:21.916
22 T Marques     Brz Minardi  1:22.522

Jenson Button could miss the Austrian Grand Prix in two weeks time because of a shoulder injury. The Briton's management team and Benetton outfit will decide whether he will take part after seeing how he copes with the Spanish Grand Prix. "We will consider all the options after seeing how Jenson is after this race," said David Robertson, one of Button's managers. Button said the injury was "getting better all the time."

Jenson Button was disappointed after qualifying second last on the grid for the second race running. The Benetton driver has been struggling with a shoulder injury and said: "I did not test after Imola and have had a couple of weeks off which has helped. "I'm disappointed. Starting from where I am will make the race very difficult. My main task now is to bring the car home and gather as much information as possible so that we can learn for the future," the Briton added.

CART (Texas):-Kenny Brack produced the fastest lap in opening practice for Sunday's race. Brack clocked 233.785mph, just 0.24 seconds ahead of Tony Kanaan and 0.115 faster than Paul Tracy. Of the 28 drivers, 25 finished within a second of each other as the Texas track lived up to predictions of being a tough, fast circuit. This season's points leade Cristiano da Matta said: "The track is not physical like a road or street course but the loads are pretty high."

F3000 (Barcelona):- Justin Wilson clung onto the lead of the championship despite a disappointing third-place finish. The Briton, who started fron pole for the first time in his career, missed a gear in the opening few seconds and slipped from first to third. He finished the 32-lap battle 3.2 seconds behind Coca-Cola Nordic Racing team-mate Tomas Enge, who is now one point behind him in the standings. "It was not the result I was looking for," said Wilson.

Result (Sat):                 mins secs
 1 T Enge        Cz  Nordic   52:00.457
 2 B Leinders    Bel KTR      52:02.667
 3 J Wilson      GB  Nordic   52:03.662
 4 M Haberfeld   Brz Sup Nova 52:09.720
 5 D Saelens     Bel Minardi  52:20.587
 6 A Pizzonia    Brz Petrobas 52:21.291
 7 M Webber      Aus Sup Nova 52:22.095
 8 P Friesacher  Aut Red Bull 52:23.012
 9 G Pantano     It  A'mega   52:29.712
10 A Garcia      Sp  Red Bull 52:30.097

INDY LIGHTS:- Dan Wheldon will line-up fifth on the grid for Saturday's third round of the 2001 CART Dayton Indy Lights Championship at Fort Worth, Texas. The 22-year-old British driver is currently leading the Rookie of the Year points standings.

BRITISH F3 (Donington Park):- German racer Andre Lotterer took his second pole position in one day as he completed a perfect day. Second fastest was Matt Davies with Takuma sato and Derek Hayes finishing close behind.

LEADING TIMES:       min secs
1 A Lotterer         1:28.460
2 M Davies           1:28.636
3 T Sato             1:28.642
4 D Hayes            1:28.805
5 A Davidson         1:28.864
6 J Courtney         1:29.003

BRITISH GT'S (Donington Park):- Rob Wilson and Tim Harvey will start from pole for Viper as a heavy downpour washed out any chance of a second round of qualifying.

LEADING TIMES, GT category    min secs
1 Wilson/Harvey  Chrysler      1:35.800
2 Warnock/Jordan Lister        1:36.900
3 Rowland/Ward   TVR           1:40.063
4 Quaife/Hopkins Quaife R4     1:40.520

LEADING TIMES, GTO category    min secs
1 Burt/Franchitti Porsche      1:38.371
2 Short/Barff     TVR          1:39.113
3 Balfe/Sumpter   Porsche      1:39.853
4 Turner/Horner   Porsche      1:29.395

PORSCHE CUP (Donington Park):- Adrian Slater steered clear of the early drama to win the sprint race. Slater swept ahead of Nigel Rice after an incident on the first lap eliminated Peter Chambers and Barbara Armstrong. Chris Heeley took the class two race despite a spin on the opening lap.

1 A Slater        GT3 Cup
2 N Rice          GT3 Cup
3 M Salmon        GT3 Cup
4 R Bernberg      993 Cup

F.FORD (Donington Park):- Championship leader Richard Goransson claimed pole position for Sunday's third-round race. Goransson moved to the head of the times once a dry line emerged after a torrential shower.

Qualifying times:    min secs
1 R Goransson        1:50.984
2 M Davies           1:51.251
3 T Sato             1:51.338
4 D Hayes            1:51.353
5 A Davidson         1:51.451
6 J Courtney         1:51.527

FORD FIESTA'S (Donington Park):- Colin Turkington maintained his 100 per cent pole-position record for the third round race on Sunday. The 19-year-old student from Northern Ireland, who has also won the first two races, was nearly three-quarters-of-a- second ahead of Nick Padley.

Qualifying times:   mins secs
1 C Turkington       2:03.501
2 N Padley           2:04.234
3 T Clark            2:04.380
4 A Blencowe         2:04.542
5 C Stancombe        2:04.669
6 M Pinny            2:04.972


Michael Schumacher stole in to win the race when leader Mika Hakkinen's McLaren broke down on the last lap. Hakkinen had looked set to clinch his fourth straight Spanish win and his first victory of 2001 after staying ahead following his second stop. Juan-Pablo Montoya finished in second spot and Jacques Villeneuve was third. David Coulthard, who started last after stalling on the warm-up lap, was fith, Jenson Button was 15th and Eddie Irvine was hit by a retirement.

Michael Schumacher has admitted that he sought out Mika Hakkinen after pipping the Finn to victory because of the McLaren star's last-lap car misery. Schumacher stated: "I was sorry for him. We both had a good race. He jumped me at the last pitstop because I was in traffic and had a little trouble, probably the tyres. Seeing him retire was shocking. He had one everything right. It is not the way I like to win a race but it has happened to me as well."

Mika Hakkinen had seemed set for a win when he gained the upper hand over Michael Schumacher after a second stop. He went ahead of Michael Schumacher after the German's second visit to the pits and the Finn stayed in front when he emerged from his second pitstop. Hakkinen seemed set to become the most successful driver in the Spanish race with a fourth successive win. But a suspected clutch problem ended those hopes and he was officially classified as finishing ninth.

McLaren's Mika Hakkinen was understandably gutted after losing his chance of victory on the final lap of the race. After his retirement, he said: "It was super disappointing. It could have been a fantastic finish for me. I was going so well and was not pushing and in fact I was cruising. It would have been wonderful to have won a fourth race in a row here but it is just one of those things. It just did not work for me."

McLaren chief Ron Dennis has revealed that Mika Hakkinen's last-lap retirement was probably down to a clutch problem. He confirmed: "It is a little early to say but it looks like it may well have been a clutch problem - but I am not 100 per cent sure. It happened without warning. It is disappointing for everyone ` the company and the team. It is just something that you have to live with."

David Coulthard's attempt to take over at the top of the driver championship got off to the worst possible start. The Scot stalled his car and was left on the grid for the formation lap and it meant that he had to begin the race from the back of the field. Then he damaged his McLaren when he shunted Enrique Bernoldi at the start and had to come in for a new nose cone. Before the race, Coulthard ` who eventually finished fifth ` and Michael Schumacher jointly led the series.

Heinz-Harald Frentzen, who had scored points in three out of the four races before this one, went out on lap seven. He tried to overtake Pedro de la Rosa but collided with the Spaniard and both drivers were forced to retire. Frentzen had also suffered bad luck at the start when he was left standing on the grid for several seconds. The German had started in eighth place but was 18th on the second lap. Meanwhile, de la Rosa was taking part in his first race for Jaguar.

David Coulthard's team were forced to back down after initially blaming him for the computer glitch that sent him to the back of the grid for the start. The Scot eventually battled back to finish fifth but McLaren team boss Ron Dennis blamed Coulthard for the fault with the traction control system. But Dennis later said: "At first we thought David was responsible for stalling on the grid. But it turned out to be the software and David recovered well in the race."

Juan-Pablo Montoya, who was hit by bad luck in earlier races this season, was delighted after claiming his first points by finishing second. The Colombian enthused: "It is really exciting. In the first four races I had a very hard time. I had not expected to be up there in this race after my qualifying performance on Saturday." But the Williams driver added: "We still have a lot of work to do before the next race in Austria."

Former champion Jacques Villeneuve was again able to savour jumping on to the podium again after finishing third. The British American Racing driver commented: "It is great. The whole team have worked really hard for the last three years. To finally get on the podium is great and is the boost we needed. We could not have gone any faster. It was obviously a bit difficult for everybody and we were a bit lucky. The team did a great job."

Jordan driver Heinz-Harald Frentzen felt Pedro de la Rosa was at fault for the lap-seven collision that ended the race for both drivers. After hearing Jaguar driver de la Rosa's claim that he did not see the German, Frentzen said: "I do not know what helmet he was wearing. It was clear that it was my corner. His front wheel touched my rear wheel. It was a a racing accident but it happened after I did not have a very good start."

Ralf Schumacher, who won the last grand prix in San Marino, went out of the race on the 21st lap after his Williams slid into a gravel trap. The German admitted that he did not know what was wrong with the car. He confirmed: "It was totally strange. I tried to brake and all of a sudden the rear came out. We will have to check it out. It was a bit strange. It would not usually spin out in that position. It is a shame but these things happen."

Eddie Irvine remained upbeat even though he retired on lap 48. Irvine insisted: "Despite my exit from the race this was our most positive overall team performance this season. "The car felt pretty good throughout the race and I did not suffer from too many problems until the engine decided to let go. The team radioed me about 25 laps from the end and informed me of an oil problem. I used less revs but it was no surprise when the car stopped."

Jenson Button's miserable season continued in Barcelona, with the Briton finishing in 15th place. "What can I say? I am repeating myself but we just have to hang in there and be patient, even though the only thing we want to do is win," said Button. However he confirmed he would compete in Austria despite a shoulder injury. "I am sure the problem will have cleared up by then. I had an injection in it about 10 days ago as I've had a problem with it since Malaysia."

Result after 65 laps:        hr min sec
 1 M Schumacher  Ger Ferrari  1:31.03.3
 2 J-P Montoya   Col Williams    @ 40.7
 3 J Villeneuve  Can BAR         @ 49.6
 4 J Trulli      It  Jordan      @ 51.2
 5 D Coulthard   GB  McLaren     @ 51.6
 6 N Heidfeld    Ger Sauber   @ 01.01.8
 7 O Panis       Fr  BAR      @ 01.04.9
 8 K Raikkonen   Fin Sauber   @ 01.19.8
 9 M Hakkinen    Fin McLaren   one lap
10 J Alesi       Fr  Prost     one lap
11 L Burti       Brz Prost     one lap
12 J Verstappen  Ned Arrows    two laps
13 F Alonso      Sp  Minardi   two laps
14 G Fisichella  It  Benetton  two laps
15 J Button      GB  Benetton    3 laps
16 T Marques     Brz Minardi     3 laps

NOT CLASSIFIED:           Laps completed
   R Barrichello Brz Ferrari    49
   E Irvine      GB  Jaguar     47
   R Schumacher  Ger Williams   20
   E Bernoldi    Brz Arrows      8
   P de la Rosa  Sp  Jaguar      5
   H-H Frentzen  Ger Jordan      5

 1 M Schumacher  Ger  Ferrari   36 pts
 2 D Coulthard   GB   McLaren   28
 3 R Barrichello Brz  Ferrari   14
 4 R Schumacher  Ger  Williams  12
 5 N Heidfeld    Ger  Sauber     8
 6 J Trulli      It   Jordan     7
 7 H-H Frentzen  Ger  Jordan     6
 = J-P Montoya   Col  Williams   6
 9 M Hakkinen    Fin  McLaren    4
 = J Villeneuve  Can  BAR        4
11 O Panis       Fr   BAR        3
12 K Raikkonen   Fin  Sauber     1
 = G Fisichella  It   Benetton   1

1 Ferrari       50 pts
2 McLaren       32
3 Williams      18
4 Jordan        13
5 Sauber         9
6 BAR            7
7 Benetton       1

F3000 (Barcelona):- Justin Wilson clung onto the lead of the championship despite a disappointing third-place finish. The Briton, who started fron pole for the first time in his career, missed a gear in the opening few seconds and slipped from first to third. He finished the 32-lap battle 3.2 seconds behind Coca-Cola Nordic Racing team-mate Tomas Enge, who is now one point behind him in the standings. "It was not the result I was looking for," said Wilson.

Result (Sat):                 mins secs
 1 T Enge        Cz  Nordic   52:00.457
 2 B Leinders    Bel KTR      52:02.667
 3 J Wilson      GB  Nordic   52:03.662
 4 M Haberfeld   Brz Sup Nova 52:09.720
 5 D Saelens     Bel Minardi  52:20.587
 6 A Pizzonia    Brz Petrobas 52:21.291
 7 M Webber      Aus Sup Nova 52:22.095
 8 P Friesacher  Aut Red Bull 52:23.012
 9 G Pantano     It  A'mega   52:29.712
10 A Garcia      Sp  Red Bull 52:30.097

BRITISH F3 (Donington Park):- Japan's Takuma Sato won the fifth round after taking the lead from German Andre Lotterer in the middle of the race. He said: "It is a good feeling to win. The last two rounds have been hard for me and the team and now we have won."

RESULTS (13 laps):
1 T Sato
2 A Lotterer         + 1.4 secs
3 G Bruni            + 4.9 secs
4 D Hayes            + 8.4 secs
5 P Edwards          + 9.4 secs
6 J Jones            +11.1 secs

Andre Lotterer won the sixth round with a convincing drive that saw his team mate James Courtney finish second.

RESULTS               14 laps
1 A Lotterer         20:52.182
2 J Courtney         20:56.702
3 D Hayes            20:58.330
4 A Prilaux          21:37.326

1 R Kerr             21:34.269
2 M Keohane          21:36.936
3 M Gilmore          21:37.326
4 A Blair            21:45.479

BRITISH GT'S (Donington Park):- Mike Jordan and David Warnock's Lister Storm powereed in to the lead on the last of the 37 laps to secure victory in a race of changing fortunes.

LEADING TIMES, GT category  mins secs
1 Warnock/Jordan  Lister      60:08.227
2 Wilson/Harvey   Chrysler    60:10.502
3 V-Roe/Caine     TVR          36 laps
4 C'gham/Wright   Porsche      35 laps

1 Rymer/Simmons   Posrche      36 laps
2 Burt/Franchitti Porsche      36 laps
3 Hayles/Devlin   Chrysler     36 laps
4 G Jones/D Jones Porsche      36 laps

PORSCHE CUP (Donington Park):- Adrian Slater completed a superb weekend by winning the feature race. Slater saw off the challenge of Nigel Rice to win with Robert Babikan finishing third. Robi Bernberg won a battle with Mike Salmon to go fourth

FEATURE RACE RESULT:          mins:secs
1 A Slater        GT3 Cup     21:02.227
2 N Rice          GT3 Cup     21.03.604
3 R Babikan       GT3 Cup     21:10.051
4 R Bernberg      993 Cup     21.18.140

F.FORD (Donington Park):- Sweden's Richard Goransson completed a hat-trick of victories this season as he led from pole to win uncontested. Robert Bell recovered from falling back to sixth place to finish second two laps from the end.

Provisional race result:
                     min secs
1 R Goransson       20:36.537
2 R Bell            20:38.464
3 A van der Merwe   20:39.087
4 R Bremer          20:40.299
5 A Carroll         20:44.214
6 G Catt            20:47.464

INDY LIGHTS:- Dan Wheldon's first CART Dayton Indy Lights race ended in disappointment when a clash with Townsend Bell on lap 53 of 67 ended his race. Wheldon had been third at the time of the incident in which he was unhurt. The 2000 Formula Palmer Audi champion Damien Faulkner won his first ever oval race after leading for all but two laps of the event.


CART (Texas):- The inaugural Texas 600 has been postponed after drivers complained of dizziness in practice and qualifying at speeds approaching 240mph. Drivers concerned over their safety met with series officials before the scheduled start. They complained that extreme G-forces were causing dizziness on the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway oval which has 24- degree banking on all four turns. CART chief executive officer Joe Heitzler announced the decision.

Michael Andretti praised CART organisers for postponing the Texas 600 race after fears over safety. Andretti, CART's career leader with 40 victories, said: "In my 20 years of auto racing I've never experienced the kind of forces I experienced here. I've got to applaud CART for standing up for the drivers and safety and trying to find a solution and not going ahead with the event at this time. This isn't something we could predict."

Team owner Barry Green welcomed the decision to postpone the Texas 600 after drivers' safety concerns. "It was a medical decision. It was the right decision," Green said. "CART has learned a lot this weekend. Because of the speeds we're running and G-forces the drivers are experiencing, we're operating in a whole new area. "So as a community - CART, teams, drivers, manufacturers, suppliers and sponsors - we decided it was best to postpone the race until we can learn."

F1:- Mika Hakkinen has refused to admit defeat in the race for the Formula One world title despite his last lap disaster in Spain on Sunday. The Finn is 32 points behind current championship leader Michael Schumacher and even though there are 12 races left his chances of a fightback are slim. "My situation in the world championship looks very sad now but the game is not over yet, I can't think that," he said. "When it's mathematically impossible, then I'll change my targets."

NEWS:- Audi team specialists have confirmed that the testing crash that killed Michele Alboreto was caused by a sharp object bursting one of the tyres. This was the initial verdict of a group of independent investigators working for the public prosecutor's office in Cottbus, near to where it happened. "It seems a sharp object went into the left rear tyre causing pressure loss," said team chief Dr Wolfgang Ullrich. "Investigations show it was an external object and not a mechanical fault."