F1: Olivier Panis returned to testing for BAR and set the quickest time in testing at Catalunya. Panis, who joined BAR from McLaren in the close season, set a best lap of one minute 19.769 seconds. Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello was second-quickest with Italian Jarno Trulli third, fractionally ahead of Sauber driver Nick Heidfeld. Pablo Montoya drove the new Williams car for the first time and recorded the eighth quickest lap.
Thursday times: mins secs 1 O Panis Fr BAR 1:19.769 2 R Barrichello Brz Ferrari 1:20.279 3 J Trulli It Jordan 1:20.386 4 N Heidfeld Ger Sauber 1:20.427 5 K Raikkonen Fin Sauber 1:20.726 6 E Bernoldi Brz Arrows 1:21.161 7 J Villeneuve Can BAR 1:21.177 8 JP Montoya Col Williams 1:21.604 9 G Fisichella It Benetton 1:21.676 10 J Button GB Benetton 1:22.355RIPONIAN STAGES RALLY:- The rally starts in Ripon on Sunday morning and takes in 10 stages at both Lightwater Valley Theme Park and the forests around Thirsk and Helmsley. Spectators can catch the action at Lightwater Valley at 9.15am before the cars return around 3.20pm. Ducati Team owner Paul Bird and co-driver Larry Carter will be hoping to continue their recent good form. The pair finished in the top 10 of their last two events and start the 140-mile race seeded at number eight.
WYEDEAN FOREST RALLY:- The rally celebrates its 26th birthday when the event gets underway on Saturday with 175 cars taking part. Even with such a huge turnout the organisers have still been forced to open a reserve list. Among those certain to start is Nik Elsmore, whose father Graham, won the first three Wyedean Rallies. The Wyedean is now the only rally to utilise the forest tracks in the Forest of Dean. The race starts in Coleford at 8.30am and ends in Chepstow at 2.45pm.
F3000:- Super Nova Racing have announced that Mark Webber and Mario Haberfeld will drive for them in the F3000 series.
RENAULT UK CUP:- Julian Rouse, son of the most succesful driver in British
Touring Car Championship history, Andy, will race in this year's Renaultsport
UK Cup. The 19-year-old will be prepared by his father's famous Rouse-Hall
Motorsport team in Coventry.
F1:- Ferrari's Brazilian driver Rubens Barrichello set a new lap record during the final day of testing at the Montmelo circuit. Barrichello clocked 1 min 18.605 sec after 58 laps to beat the previous best set by Frenchman Jean Alesi driving for the Prost team on January 30. German Nick Heidfeld, driving a Sauber was back in second place. Barrichello's compatriot Enrico Bernoldi, who signed for the Arrows team earlier this week, was third.
Saturday times: mins secs 1 R Barrichello Brz Ferrari 1:18.605 2 N Heidfeld Ger Sauber 1:19.156 3 E Bernoldi Brz Arrows 1:19.569 4 H-H Frentzen Ger Jordan 1:20.089 5 O Panis Fr BAR 1:20.974 6 K Raikkonen Fin Sauber 1:21.134 7 J Button GB Benetton 1:21.808 8 D Manning GB BAR 1:22.108 9 G Fisichella It Benetton 1:22.551WYEDEAN FOREST RALLY: - Local driver Nik Elsmore led from start to finish to claim victory in Wales. Elsmore finished 30 seconds clear to record his first win in an event won by his father Graham on three successive occasions between 1975-77. He and co-driver Jim Holder set the fastest time on the first of the ten stages and never looked back. Mitsubishi teammates Mark Perrott and Vince Wetton were second and third. Chris and Jo Tooze won the 1400cc category in their Peugeot 106.
Result after 10 stages: mins:secs 1 N Elsmore Mitsubishi Lancer 44:20 2 M Perrott Mitsubishi Lancer 44:50 3 V Wetton Mitsubishi Lancer 45:09 4 J Thompson Ford Escort Cos 45:11 5 I Joel Ford Escort Cos 45:14 6 B Bell Ford Escort WRC 45:26 7 D Humphreys Mitsubishi Lancer 45:38 8 T Bengry Mitsubishi Lancer 45:42 9 D Mann Subaru Impreza 45:43 10 R Wright Ford Escort Cos 45:46RIPONIAN STAGES RALLY:- The rally starts in Ripon on Sunday morning and takes in 10 stages at both Lightwater Valley Theme Park and the forests around Thirsk and Helmsley. Spectators can catch the action at Lightwater Valley at 9.15am before the cars return around 3.20pm. Ducati Team owner Paul Bird and co-driver Larry Carter will be hoping to continue their recent good form. The pair finished in the top 10 of their last two events and start the 140-mile race seeded at number eight.
DAYTONA 24-HOURS:- Allan McNish starts the race from the second row
of the 84-car grid later on Saturday afternoon. The Scot is aiming to win
the epic event in a privately-entered Ferrari, having finished second at
the legendary Florida circuit two years ago. James Weaver captured pole
position for the fourth consecutive year on the 3.6- mile banked circuit.
McNish's busy Toyota Formula One testing commitments will only allow him
to contest this race during 2001.
04.02.2001 - DAYTONA 24-HOURS
The Corvette CR5 car of Americans Ron Fellowes, Chris Kneifel, Franck
Freon and Johnny O'Connell won this year's Daytona 24-hour race. The team
covered 656 laps, seven more than the second-placed White Lightning Porsche
of Mike Fitzgerald, Lucas Luhr, Randy Pobst and Christian Menzel. Scotsman
Allan McNish saw his Ferrari overheat with just eight hours left. The 31-year-old,
who finished second in the race two years ago, had led this year's race
at one point.
F1:- Three-time world champion Niki Lauda has confirmed that he has joined Jaguar as head of their racing division. The 51-year-old will work with team principal Bobby Rahal. Jackie Stewart resigned from the post of Jaguar racing chief last year. The Austrian's last direct involvement in Formula One was five years ago as an advisor to Ferrari. Lauda won his driver titles in 1975, 1977 and 1984 before retiring the following year after 171 races.
Niki Lauda said he was delighted to be back in Formula One as the head of Jaguar's racing division. "It is good to be back in racing on a full-time basis and I am looking forward to immediately getting started on the challenge ahead," he said. "I can't do much to influence what happens in the current season. But after that we can correct any mistakes. Last year we spent a lot but achieved little," he added. "We want success as quickly as possible."
Alain Prost has confirmed that he is interested in signing Spain's Pedro de la Rosa as a test driver for his Ferrari-engined Prost team. The 29-year-old was dropped by Arrows in favour of Enrique Bernoldi of Brazil last week, but his sponsors want him to stay in F1 if possible. "What happened to Pedro doesn't give Formula 1 a good image," said Prost. "He's a good driver and we're keen on him. I've talked to his backers and I hope something can be arranged soon."
Benetton unveiled their car for 2001 with a lavish show in Venice but then admitted that they are not chasing championship glory this season. "Winning the championship in 2001 is not our goal," said team principal Flavio Briatore. "Our goal is to put the right people with the right tools and a development programme in place to lay the foundations for our future challenge." Jenson Button and Giancarlo Fisichella are driving for Benetton this year.
Bernie Ecclestone has been told he must pay $60m by the end of next month to ensure the long-term broadcasting and commercial rights to Formula One. The FIA said Ecclestone failed to deliver an initial payment for the rights last year and had now been given six weeks to deliver the money. "Mr Ecclestone must pay by March 22 or we may make other arrangements," FIA president Mosley said. FIA denied it was holding Ecclestone to ransom, as the businessmann suggested.
Spaniard Fernando Alonso will drive for Minardi in the forthcoming season, according to his agent. Adrian Campos claimed that Minardi would confirm the news on Wednesday.
RALLY SWEDEN:- Sweden plays host to the second round of the 2001 World Championship and begins with a ceremonial start on Thursday and finishes on Sunday. Rally Sweden is based in Karlstad but, in an effort to ensure there is more snow, the stages have been moved further north. And the traditional test on the frozen lake at Torsby has been scrapped. The drivers will tackle 17 stages in total, covering 380.62km in a route of 1924.97km.
Colin McRae has revealed that Rally Sweden has made a favourable impression on him down the years. The Ford Focus driver made his World Championship debut in Sweden in 1987. And the 32-year-old Scot said: "If it stays cold we will get plenty of snow and then I think all the drivers will be happy. In those conditions the effect of the studded tyres is incredible and the speeds are remarkably fast. The cars are enormous fun to drive in the snow."
Scot Colin McRae will be hoping for better luck in Karlstad after being forced to retire from the opening round in Monte Carlo. McRae and co-driver Nicky Grist led for much of the rally in Monaco before having to pull out on the final day. "The weather is the most unpredictable factor in Sweden," admitted McRae. "In Sweden you can often get away with making a mistake because snow banks help keep the car on the road. You can use the snow to your advantage."
Britain's Richard Burns is keen to put the disappointment of his Monte Carlo retirement behind him in the second round of the World Championship. He told Subaru's website: "I am feeling good and positive ahead of this rally. The mechanical problem that sidelined me in Monte Carlo has been identified and sorted and this rally is one of my favourites in the championship. It is a very high-speed event and I enjoy those the best. You have to adapt your driving style quite a lot."
No driver from outside the Nordic nations has won Rally Sweden in its 50- year history but Spaniard Carlos Sainz has come close. Sainz has been second four times ` from 1996 to 1999. And he stated: "With the improvements we have made I hope I can be the person to end that Nordic record. We tested in Sweden before Christmas when Pirelli introduced some improvements to their snow tyres which worked well."
Tommi Makinen was second in Sweden last year so will be hoping to go one better this time around. The four-time champion was somewhat overshadowed last season as fellow Finn Marcus Gronholm took the crown but you can never write off Makinen. Makinen won in Monte Carlo and will be keen for a repeat showing. However, Gronholm will also be bidding to keep up the Nordic nations' record of victories in Sweden after suffering a non-finish in Monaco.
Finn Jani Paasonen will drive a Ford Focus in six rounds of the World Championship this season, beginning with Rally Sweden. He will contest four gravel rallies and two asphalt events. After starting his career in 1995, Paasonen won four junior category rallies in Finland and in 1997 won the Finnish ice racing crown. "I will need some time to get used to the car and the Swedish Rally will be used very much as a test," he said.
Armin Schwarz came close to giving Skoda their first World Championship podium place in Monte Carlo but he is cautious about his Swedish chances. The German confirmed: "Only the Scandinavians can come to terms with the speeds required in Sweden. To make it harder the first few cars through a stage cut ruts in the ice, which makes it almost impossible for those behind to take the perfect line. But my good Monte Carlo result means I will start the rally in fourth place."
Bruno Thiry has scored points in his two previous outings for Skoda so will be looking for a similar performance. Thiry, who rejoined the team after making an impressive guest appearance for Skoda at the end of 1999, said: "I really enjoy this event. But it is difficult because the speeds are so high and everything looks white. Having had so little time in the car I found the tricky conditions in Monte Carlo hard to master but the Swedish test went really well."
DRIVER STANDINGS 1 T Makinen Fin Mitsubishi 10 pts 2 C Sainz Sp Ford 6 3 F Delecour Fr Ford 4 4 A Schwarz Ger Skoda 3 5 T Gardemeister Fin Peugeot 2 6 F Loix Bel Mitsubishi 1 AMENDED MANUFACTURER STANDINGS 1 Mitsubishi 13 2 Ford 6 3 Skoda 5 4 Hyundai 2
F1:- McLaren driver David Coulthard has revealed that he has high hopes for the team's car this season. Speaking at the launch of the new car in Valencia, the Scot enthused: "I am the most confident I have ever felt about a car." And he described the first test session in it as "the best roll-out I have had since I have been at McLaren." His team-mate Mika Hakkinen has yet to drive the MP4-16 but the duo will share the one finished car until February 23.
McLaren's David Coulthard has shelved his wedding plans for the time being in order to concentrate on winning the Formula One title. The Scot had planned to marry American model Heidi Wichlinski this year but at the launch of McLaren's new car he said that his title bid must come first. He said: "To do the job properly doesn't allow a great deal of time for other things. And that means that planning weddings is on the back-burner."
Jenson Button has admitted that he faces a tough task if he is to outgun Giancarlo Fisichella at Benetton during the 2001 campaign. The Briton will begin his two-year loan spell with the team on an equal footing with the Italian but Fisichella has had four years with Benetton. Button confirmed: "There will not be a number one or two driver. Giancarlo is a pretty quick driver. He is going to be a tough team-mate but we will push each other forward."
Minardi have confirmed that Spaniard Fernando Alonso will drive for the team in 2001. The 19-year-old was fourth in the FIA International Formula 3000 Championship last year. Jean Todt will remain Ferrari team director until the end of 2004, the world champions announced. Technical director Ross Brawn, engine department head Paolo Martinelli and chief designer Rory Byrne will also stay for the same period.
TESTING (Estoril): Wednesday's top testing times:mins secs 1 E Bernoldi Brz Arrows 1:22.997 2 J Alesi Fr Prost 1:24.484 3 J Verstappen Hol Arrows 1:24.568 4 G Fisichella It Benetton 1:24.585
F1:- New Minardi driver Fernando Alonso feels that he is unlikely to achieve great success in the sport this year. "I know that it will be very difficult to achieve anything notable yet," the 19-year-old admitted. "I hope people will have patience with me because I will be starting from the back row of the grid. My only aim is to drive well and finish races." Alonso expressed disappointment that Pedro de la Rosa will not feature: "I could have learned a lot," he said.
TESTING (Estoril): Thursday's top testing times:mins secs 1 J Alesi Fr Prost 1:19.600 2 E Bernoldi Brz Arrows 1:21.506 3 M Webber GB Benetton 1:21.925 4 G Fisichella It Benetton 1:23.055 5 J Verstappen Hol Arrows 1:23.190FIA chairman Max Mosley says Kimi Raikkonen should not have been given a super-licence for the coming season and the system should be changed. The Finn has only competed in 23 single-seater races so far but will be driving for Sauber this coming season. "It's known I'm the only one who voted against giving him a licence. He's a very good driver but we have criteria which he hasn't met," said Mosley. "The super-licence system is probably in need of an overhaul, I think."
Minardi's European F3000 team have named up and coming Italian racer
Andrea Piccini for the 2001 season. The 22-year-old will also be the official
test driver for the European Minardi F1 team.
F1:- World champion Michael Schumacher has hinted he could remain at Ferrari after his contract with the team finishes at the end of 2002. The 32-year-old German has said Ferrari's decision to re-sign its technical team might have an influence on his own decision. "It is an important decision for the whole team, because it guarantees stability for several years," he said. "It might have an influence over a possible lengthening of my contract."
TESTING (Estoril):- The Benetton testing programme was halted because of bad weather conditions. Low loud and rain prevented the safety helicopter from flying.
RALLY SWEDEN:- Carlos Sainz opened up a 13 second lead at the end of the first day on Friday while a series of mishaps ended the hopes of three of his leading rivals. Engine trouble forced out reigning champion Marcus Gronholm early on. Richard Burns and Colin McRae were left trailing way behind after their cars slid into snowbanks, with McRae recovering to 20th and Burns 31st. Ford driver Sainz completed the day's six stages with a slender advantage over Finn Harri Rovanpera.
World champion Marcus Gronholm suffered his second straight rally exit after being hit by a problem on stage three. Gronholm had made a storming start by winning the first special stage but in the next his water pump failed ` the same problem that hit him in Monaco. He started the third stage hoping to make it to the technical assistance zone at the end but his engine overheated and he had to retire. The Finn won his first World Championship event here last year.
Richard Burns was bitterly disappointed after losing more than 13 minutes when his car became trapped on a snowbank during the second stage of the day. The 30-year-old worked frantically with to dig the car free but despite posting a fastest stage time later in the day, the pair were still struggling in 31st. He said: "We were 10km into the stage going into a third gear corner and I knew our entry speed was too high. I ended up with the car perched on top of a bank some way off the road."
LEADERBOARD after 6 stages: (end of day one) hr mn sec 1 C Sainz Sp Ford 1:19.08.7 2 H Rovanpera Fin Peugeot 1:19.21.9 3 T Radstrom Swe Mitsubishi 1:19.28.0 4 D Auriol Fr Peugeot 1:19.41.0 5 T Makinen Fin Mitsubishi 1:19.44.3 6 K Eriksson Swe Hyundai 1:19.50.3 7 F Delecour Fr Ford 1:19.58.6 8 P Solberg Nor Subaru 1:20.20.9 9 T G'meister Fin Peugeot 1:20.26.8 10 D Carlsson Swe Toyota 1:20.55.8RALLYING:- John Price will lead the field when the Apex Cheviot National Rally gets underway on the Otterburn Ranges near Newcastle on Sunday. The rally marks the start of the 2001 Safety Devices National Rally Championship season.
INDY LIGHTS:- Dan Wheldon is stepping up to the CART Dayton Indy Lights Championship this season and will start with testing next Monday, February 12.
SPORTSCARS:- Reigning American Le Mans Series champion Allan McNish
says he cannot defend his title this year. The 31-year-old Scot will take
part in the Daytona 24 Hour race this weekend, but is concentrating on
testing Toyota's new Formula One car. "The Toyota test programme is my
total focus this year," he said. "I'll be so busy I cannot defend my ALMS
10.02.2001 - RALLY SWEDEN
Harri Rovanpera holds a slender 7.3 second lead over fellow Finn Tommi Makinen at the end of the penultimate day of the Swedish Rally. Local driver Thomas Radstrom ended the day in third place, with overnight leader Carlos Sainz back in fourth place almost 30 seconds off the lead. Subaru's Richard Burns and Colin McRae both fell victim to the heavy snow. The scene is set for a final day battle between Makinen and a Peugeot car after beating Marcus Gronholm last year.
LEADERBOARD after 12 stages: hrs mn sec 1 H Rovanpera Fin Peugeot 2:33.09.9 2 T Makinen Fin Mitsubishi @ 7.3 3 T Radstrom Swe Mitsubishi @ 12.4 4 C Sainz Sp Ford @ 28.5 5 F Delecour Fr Ford @ 1:22.0 6 D Auriol Fr Peugeot @ 1:28.6 7 P Solberg Nor Subaru @ 1:34.1 8 T G'meister Fin Peugeot @ 2:00.7 9 D Carlsson Swe Toyota @ 2:56.5 10 K Eriksson Swe Hyundai @ 3:14.2 11 C McRae GB Ford @ 3:59.4
F1:- A major European car-making consortium has joined the race for control of Formula One, report the Sundat Times. The European Automobile Manufacturers' Association are in talks with Grand Prix boss Bernie Ecclestone about taking a 25 per cent stake in the sport The Association represents BMW, Ferrari, Jaguar, Mercedes and Renault. They have joined a competitive race for the shares made available by Slec, the Ecclestone family trust, which owns 50 per cent of the sport.
RALLY SWEDEN:- Finland's Harri Rovanpera clinched his first world championship series success with this win in the Swedish Rally. He finished 27.9 seconds clear of second placed Thomas Radstrom who enjoyed his first outing for Mitsubishi Rovanpera coasted home on the final stage after nearest challenger Tommi Makinen rolled his Mitsubishi and retired 19 kilometres from the finish. Spaniard Carlos Sainz, the Ford driver had to settle for third spot, 37 seconds behind Rovanpera.
Harri Rovanpera was delighted after his first world championship victory in Sweden on Sunday. He powered through the five stages of the final leg to clinch the win ahead of Thomas Radstrom. He said: "I am so happy as some of the stages on the final leg were difficult because of the heavy snow. I had a few problems with choosing the wrong tyres and stalling at the start of a stage so I am delighted to have kept the others behind me."
Scotland's Colin McRae produced a storming comeback to finish the Rally of Sweden in ninth place. A crash on the first day saw him at one stage languish in 49th position, but his run of seven fastest times gave him a top 10 spot. He said: "After losing so much time on the first day it is quite satisfying to score points for the Ford team. It was an exciting rally and during our run of fastest times, the feeling was fantastic."
FINAL LEADERBOARD hrs mn sec 1 H Rovanpera Fin Peugeot 3:27:01.1 2 T Radstrom Swe Mitsubishi 3:27:29.0 3 C Sainz Sp Ford 3:27:38.1 4 T G'meister Fin Peugeot 3:29:06.4 5 F Delecour Fr Ford 3:29:26.3 6 P Solberg Nor Subaru 3:29:49.6 7 D Carlsson Swe Toyota 3:30:19.3 8 K Eriksson Swe Hyundai 3:30:36.9 9 C McRae GB Ford 3:31:29.9 10 B Thiry Bel Skoda 3:32:24.7 16 R Burns GB Subaru 3:37:59.9 DRIVER STANDINGS 1 C Sainz Sp Ford 10 pts 2 T Makinen Fin Mitsubishi 10 3 H Rovanpera Fin Peugeot 10 4 F Delecour Fr Ford 6 5 T Radstrom Swe Mitsubishi 6 6 T Gardemeister Fin Skoda 5 MANUFACTURER STANDINGS 1 Mitsubishi 23 2 Ford 14 3 Skoda 6 4 Hyundai 5 5 Subaru 4CHEVIOT NATIONAL RALLY:- John Price has won the Cheviot National Rally, the opening event of the National Rally Championship, for the sixth time in seven years. Price's victory was part of a good day for the MG team, with Jon Mercer and John Brodie making it a 1-2-3. Breaking the MG domination was Andy Fenwick whose Sapphire Cosworth was fourth, while Bob Cowe's Mitsubishi came in fifth. 1999 champion Chris Wood retired after losing his front suspension.
FINAL LEADERBOARD hrs mn sec 1 J Price GB Metro 6R4 1:14:55 2 J Mercer GB Metro 6R4 1:16:29 3 J Brodie GB Metro 6R4 1:17:53 4 A Fenwick GB Sapphire C 1:18:05 5 B Cowe GB Mitsubishi 1:21:47 6 I Dixon GB Escort C 1:22:38 7 D Holland GB Escort RS 1:22:44 8 K Knox GB Escort M1 1:22:46 9 R Binyon GB Mitsubishi 1:23:45 10 R Wheeler GB Escort WRS 1:24:05
F1:- Minardi owner Paul Stoddart has admitted that he is not expecting his team to achieve a sudden upturn in fortunes during 2001. The Australian businessman, who took over Minardi last month, said: "We expect nothing this year. I must admit that I do not expect anything from the first three races. Just getting there has been like swimming The Channel 20 times. Just getting to Melbourne is like winning a grand prix."
TESTING (Valencia) Monday's times: min secs 1 D Coulthard * GB McLaren 1:13.423 2 A Wurz * Aut McLaren 1:13.443 3 H-H Frentzen Ger Jordan 1:14.195 4 E Bernoldi Brz Arrrows 1:14.499 5 J Trulli It Jordan 1:14.800 6 N Heidfeld Ger Sauber 1:15.715 7 J Verstappen Ned Arrows 1:15.789 8 K Raikkonen Fin Sauber 1:15.902 9 E Irvine Ire Jaguar 1:15.973 10 L Burti Brz Jaguar 1:16.127 * both beat existing track record TESTING (Kyalami) Monday's times: min secs 1 R Schumacher Ger Williams 1:19.517 2 JP Montoya Col Williams 1:19.526 3 J Villeneuve Can BAR 1:21.184 TESTING (Estoril) Monday's time: min secs 1 J Button GB Benetton 1:21.097F3:- With only six weeks to go before the start of the British Formula Three season, the championship is looking exceptionally strong. Recent signings include Andy Priaulx for Alan Docking Racing, while Gianmaria Bruni is having a second season with Fortec Motorsport. Promatceme have signed Atsushi Katsumata from the scholarship class and also Frenchman Bruce Jouanny. Jamie Spence, and probably Gary Paffet, will be with Duma Racing.
RALLYING:- Richard Burns and Colin McRae are confident that they can
kickstart their championship challenge in Portugal next month after a poor
start to the season. Burns was 16th in Rally Sweden at the weekend and
fellow Briton McRae finished ninth. "We proved that the car is quick and
reliable so I am confident we can get off the mark with a win next month,"
said Burns. McRae added: "It is too early to say about the championship."
F1:- Tyre suppliers Bridgestone have named Hisao Suganuma as technical manager in place of Yoshihiko Ichikawa. The company supply champions Ferrari, McLaren, Jordan, British American Racing, Sauber and Arrows. Ferrari test driver Luca Badoer has returned to work for the team after recovering from a crash last month. Badoer suffered whiplash injuries when his car somersaulted at the end of the main straight in Barcelona on January 21 and was told to rest for two weeks.
Tuesday test (Estoril): 1 P De La Rosa Sp Prost 1:20.399 2 G Mazzacane Arg Prost 1:22.124 3 J Button GB Benetton 1:23.001 Tuesday test (Valencia): 1 D Coulthard GB McLaren 1:13.309 2 J Trulli It Jordan 1:14.085 3 A Wurz Aut McLaren 1:13.108 4 H-H Frentzen Ger Jordan 1:14.161 5 L Burti Brz Jaguar 1:14.395 6 E Bernoldi Brz Arrows 1:14.603 7 K Raikkonen Fin Sauber 1:15.252 8 N Heidfeld Ger Sauber 1:15.270 9 J Verstappen Ned Arrows 1:15.732 10 E Irvine GB Jaguar 1:16.080F3000:- Belgian driver David Saelens has completed Minardi's driver line-up for the 2001 Formula 3000 Championship. Saelens, who will partner Andrea Piccini, has had stints in Formula Renault and Formula Three. He won both the French Formula Three Championship and Marlboro Masters Formula Three event in 1998. "I am delighted to have concluded such a deal," said Saelens. "I know from watching Minardi at work last year that they are very competitive."
ALMS:- American entrepreneur Don Panoz wants to add Perth to a new Asia
Pacific Le Mans sportscar championship. The series made its Australian
debut in Adelaide on New Year's Eve and Panoz sees western Australia's
capital Perth as a future possible venue. He sees it as the venue for the
opener of a six or seven race series, which may also take in Malaysia,
Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, New Zealand and China. Panoz is keen to extend
the Asia Pacific series.
F1:- Minardi have dismissed rumours linking Nigel Mansell to a Formula One return with the team. Reports had suggested that Minardi, who were recently taken over by Australian businessman Paul Stoddart, wanted to tempt the ex-champion back to F1. Forty-seven-year-old Mansell, who won the drivers' crown in 1992, is a friend of Stoddart. He may be asked to drive the team's two-seater car at promotional events but no more than that.
Scotland's Allan McNish is hoping to grab the second drivers spot with new Formula One team Toyota as he helps test their cars. McNish recently won the American Le Mans Sportscar title and hopes to break into Formula One after missing out in the late 80s. He would be the same age as Damon Hill, at 31, when the Englishman started. "I've spoken to Damon and he said coming into F1 at such an age made him better equipped to cope," he said.
HERBERT:- Ex-Formula One driver Johnny Herbert is aiming to compete in the Indianapolis 500 and Le Mans 24-Hour race this year. As regards the Indy 500, which is part of the Indy Racing League, Herbert revealed: "It looks good. I have got a drive if we can get the budget." Former Jaguar driver Herbert left Formula One in 2000 after 12 years. He also wants to compete in the Le Mans race with Bentley. He won the event with Mazda in 1991 and added: "We have more or less agreed everything."
INDY LIGHTS:- Dan Wheldon has started the build-up to his first Dayton Indy Lights race on March 11 by testing his PacWest Racing Lola in Sebring, Florida. Briton Wheldon, who was the Toyota Atlantic rookie of the year for 2000, posted a time of 58.1 seconds. The first race is in Monterrey, Mexico, and 22-year-old Wheldon said: "It was really good to be back in the car. We were pretty slow on the straights but were not here for optimum lap times. We were here to test."
CLIO CUP:- Elf Clio Cup champion Jim Edwards Jnr will race in this year's British Touring Car Championship production class in a Total Control Racing Honda. TCR will also field four cars in the Clio Cup, including one for Edwards' father Jim Edwards Snr.
F.RENAULT:- Brazilian Luis Fernando Mussi will drive for Motaworld Racing in this year's Formula Renault Championship. South Africa's reigning Group N saloon champion Martyn Steyn has signed up with Paston Racing.
NEWS:- Motor Sports Association chief executive John Quenby has decided to exercise the option to retire at the end of October at the age of 60. Quenby has spent more than a decade in the post. To ensure that the handover of roles is a smooth transition, Colin Hilton will be appointed MSA chief executive from March 30 2001. Australian legend Alan Jones will wave the chequered flag at the end of the season's first Grand Prix in Melbourne.
F3:- The British F3 Championship welcomes back two of its former pupils
for the coming season, starting on April 1. Tim Spouge is set to return
with the new Menu Motorsport team after quitting the series last season
on the eve of the first test session. Jamie Spence, who made his debut
in 1993, returns for new team Duma Racing. Promatecme UK Ltd have confirmed
Japan's Atsushi Katsumata and Frenchman Bruce Jouanny as their drivers
for the forthcoming campaign.
F1:- Jaguar's Eddie Irvine has admitted he is not happy with how his new car performed in preseason testing. He has also attacked the new technical restrictions being imposed on cars for next season, but said Niki Lauda's arrival at Jaguar would be a boost. "He's clever, with a good brain and we need to use that for the best. We all need to use him well," he said. "Traction control is bad news, though. Fans want to hear roaring engines, not misfires. It takes away too much."
SNOWMAN RALLY:- Newlyweds Andrew and Ann Wood start the defence of their New Pig Scottish Rally Championship when they tackle the Snowman Rally in Inverness on Saturday. The Melrose couple, who clinched the title last season in their ageing Audi S2 quattro, have tied the knot since being crowned champions. Brian Lyall, a past Scottish and Mintex National champion, is one of the favourites to lift this year's title. Jon Burn and local hero Ray Munro will also be among the top contenders.
Top 10 seeds for Saturday's race: 1 A Wood Audi 2 B Lyall Subaru 3 J Burn MG Metro 4 R Munro Subaru 5 N Buckley Mitsubishi 6 J Carty MG Metro 7 J McKeown Sierra 8 T Bardy Nissan 9 B Groundwater Mitsubishi 10 A Kelly MitsubishiKALL KWIK RALLY:- Ducati British Superbike Team Owner Paul Bird heads back to Yorkshire again for the third consecutive time. Fresh from third place on the Christmas Stages event and seventh in the Ripon Rally, Bird and co-driver Larry Carter will be hoping to do well here. The pair currently lead the Stage Rally Championship after three rounds. "If we can get another good run, then the top six is a definite possibility. I'll be hoping to upstage some of the more experienced drivers," said Bird.
Top 10 seeds for Saturday's race: 1 Petch/Rich'son Ford 2 D'worth/B'field Subaru 3 Payne/Thorley Mitsubishi 4 Milner/Beech Toyota 5 Bell/Morris Ford 6 Ginley/Haynes Mitsubishi 7 Moore/Heaton Mitsubishi 8 Elliott/Wilcox MG Metro 9 Bird/Carter Subaru 10 Dykes/Pulleyn FordF.PALMER AUDI:- Formula Palmer Audi is set to add another two races to its calendar with a double header at Mondello Park in Ireland on July 1.
INDY LIGHTS:- Dayton Indy Lights driver Dan Wheldon clocked 57.8 seconds on the second day of testing at the 1.6-mile Sebring International Raceway in Florida.
F3000 TESTING (IMOLA) Thursday's best test times: mins secs 1 J Wilson GB Nordic 1:37.85 2 J Melo Br Durango 1:37.85 3 M Webber Aus Supernova 1:38.23 4 P Freisacher Aut Red Bull 1:38.43 5 M Haberfeld Brz Supernova 1:38.45 6 RoSperafico Br Coloni 1:38.48 7 T Enge Cze Nordic 1:38.51 8 D Manning GB Arden 1:38.56 9 A Pizzonia Brz Petrobras 1:38.63 10 RiSperafico Br Petrobras 1:38.67
F1:- World champion Michael Schumacher ran into problems on his second day of testing at Mugello, Italy on Saturday. Schumacher's Ferrari had to coast into the pits after his installation lap and an engine change cost him three hours of running time. Schumacher, who was joined by Sauber's Kimi Raikkonen, posted a quickest lap time of one minute 23.780 seconds from the 45 laps he covered. "Despite the one stoppage, the results of the work were satisfying," he said.
SNOWMAN RALLY:- Newlyweds Andrew and Ann Wood began the defence of their title with a win in the Snowman Rally in Inverness. The Melrose cruised to a 47-second triumph ahead of the MG Metro 6R4 of Jon Burn, while Neil Buckley finished in third place in his Mitsubishi. Andrew Wood said: "We knew we had to go out right from the start and put the rest of the guys under pressure and that is exactly what we did." One of the series favourites Brian Lyall retired with a fuel pump problem.
Saturday's result: hr min sec 1 A Wood/A Wood Audi 0:58.12 2 J Burn/S Quirk MG Metro 0:59.00 3 N Buckley/D R'dpth M'tsbishi 1:00.07 4 A McSk'mng/A Stark MG Metro 1:00.37 5 B Gr'wter/J Wylie M'tsbishi 1:00.55 6 J Morrison/A M'kay M'tsbishi 1:02.23 7 R Munro/N Ewing Subaru 1:02.36 8 M Nicol/M Forrest M'tsbishi 1:03.02 9 A Reid/S Robson Ford Es 1:03.13 10 A Barr/B B'llntyne Subaru 1:05.06
18.02.2001 - F1
Jaguar have insisted that driver Eddie Irvine will not be replaced by Prost test driver Pedro de la Rosa for the 2001 campaign. Reports in Spain had suggested that Jaguar were ready to bring in the Spaniard after Irvine criticised the performance of the new R2 chassis. But a Jaguar spokesperson said: "There is absolutely no truth in the rumour that Eddie will be replaced this year. The driver line-up for 2001 will be Eddie Irvine and Luciano Burti."
World champion Michael Schumacher has voiced his concern over the proposal
to sell a 25 per cent stake in SLEC to German media giants EM-TV and Kirch.
SLEC is Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone's family trust, which holds
the commercial rights to the sport. The proposed deal would give the companies
a 75 per cent stake in SLEC. Schumacher said he feared Kirch would switch
Formula One to pay-per-view TV and said: "Much of the audience would not
be able to follow that."
F1:- Rubens Barrichello set a lap record during testing at Mugello in Italy. The Ferrari star beat the previous best mark, set by Sauber's Nick Heidfeld on Sunday, by more than a second with a time of one minute, 22.139 seconds. Brazilian Barrichello said: "This was my last day of testing before the Australian Grand Prix on March 4." His team-mate Michael Schumacher was less than 0.8 seconds behind and the German added: "Today's times confirm that the car is very quick."
RALLYING:- World championship driver Alister McRae and his co-driver Ian Grindrod escaped unhurt from a high-speed testing crash in northern Spain. The Scot was on his second run of the day when he wrote off his Hyundai Accent WRC when it rolled over. McRae said: "I Just ran a little wide in a sixth-gear corner and the car touched a bank by the side of the road and it started to roll. But the test had gone very well up to that point."
NASCAR:- American motor racing legend Dale Earnhardt Snr died in a 180mph
crash during the Daytona 500 race. The crash was on the final lap of the
43-lap race His son Dale Jr came second in the race behind Michael Waltrip,
who was driving a car ironically owned by the seven- time Winston Cup champion.
"He had life-ending injuries, we could do nothing," said Steve Bohannon,
one of the first doctors on the scene. President Bush, a family friend,
phoned his widow Teresa with his condolences.
20.02.2001 - F1
Jaguar has confirmed that Pedro de la Rosa is to join the team as a test driver for the 2001 season. The 29-year-old, who was dropped by Arrows in January, was thought to be joining Prost as a test driver but has agreed a one-year deal with Jaguar. "Pedro is a quick and able driver and his input will be invaluable," said Jaguar chief executive Bobby Rahal. De la Rosa will join 20-year-old South African Thomas Scheckter, who was made Jaguar's development driver last year.
Some teams have failed safety tests ahead of the new Formula One campaign, which starts in Australia on March 4. FIA president Max Mosley admitted: "By no means have all the teams passed safety tests. The biggest problem has been the side impact tests. Some people have failed that and other tests but I feel that they are likely to have that sorted out by Melbourne." Mosley also said that new speed limits would be introduced in 2002 and 2003 to aid safety after accidents.
FIA boss Max Mosley has warned Silverstone that the British Grand Prix
will be removed from the calendar if the scenes of last year are repeated.
The 2000 event was switched to April and weeks of wet weather turned the
grass car parks into quagmires which caused chaos for spectators. "If Silverstone
want to be part of the World Championship then they know they have to up
their game," said Mosley. The event has been moved back to its traditional
July date for this year.
F1:- The Minardi Formula One team confirmed Brazilian Tarso Marques as their second driver for the 2001 season. The 25-year-old will partner 19-year- old Spaniard Fernando Alonso when the new season gets under way in Australia on March 4. "I'm very glad to return to Formula 1, particularly with Minardi," said Marques, who drove 12 races for the team in 1996 and 1997 as a replacement. He has spent the last two years competing on the American CART circuit.
Jaguar test driver Pedro de la Rosa, threatened with legal action by Prost Grand Prix, has insisted he never signed a contract with the French team. Prost announced on February 6 that De la Rosa was joining their team after being discarded by Arrows. However, he then signed a contract with Jaguar, claiming: "In the end, it all comes down to racing. In four or five years Jaguar will be fighting for the world title with the McLarens and Ferraris."
Formula One team Benetton have dismissed safety claims and insisted that Jenson Button will be able to start the new season. Reports had suggested that the cars of Button and BAR's Jacques Villeneuve were believed to be among eight drivers whose cars have failed stringent tests. But a Benetton statement said: "All necessary crash tests have been passed. The team are fully prepared to compete in the Formula One Championship which begins in Australia."
TESTING (Barcelona): Wednesday times: Best time laps 1 A Wurz McLaren 1:21.014 78 2 JP Montoya Williams 1:22.468 67 3 D Coulthard McLaren 1:45.363 4NASCAR:- Driver Sterling Marlin has received death threats for his role in the accident that led to the death of American racing legend Dale Earnhardt. Police have patrolled Marlin's Team Sabco garage base in Earnhardt's home area after threats were made by fans blaming Marlin for their hero's death. "Maybe it's people looking for someone to blame. There was nothing on my part, it was a total accident," he said. "The focus should be on supporting his family but I needed to speak out."
F1: PREVIEW OF THE AUSTRALIAN GP
Mika Hakkinen believes problems with the new McLaren may affect his chances of winning in Australia but he still feels it will not hinder his title bid. The MP4-16 has been hit by reliability problems but former world champion Hakkinen confirmed: "That does not make me too optimistic for Melbourne. But I have complete confidence in McLaren and I know that the car will enable me to fight for the title. Even if I lose points to Ferrari in Melbourne it will not be a problem."
David Coulthard wants to break the hold Michael Schumacher and Mika Hakkinen have had on the sport recently. Critics of the Scot would say this could be his last chance of securing the title and he is certainly taking a more single-minded approach this year. "I proved last year that I can beat Michael and Mika but I know that I will have to do it again more consistently if I want to be world champion. I feel a relaxed enthusiasm for 2001 but there is no point in saying more."
Since McLaren earned an Australian one- two in 1998, Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard have not finished the race and they have car problems this year. The MP4-16 has been quick in tests but problems with the Mercedes-Benz V10 engine have cut short some sessions. McLaren managing director Martin Whitmarsh admitted: "We are disappointed that we have experienced a few reliability issues." Sunday will mark a century of races for the McLaren-Mercedes partnership.
Ralf Schumacher is optimistic about Williams' chances in 2001 after they made consistent headway last year and finished third overall. "I feel good travelling to Melbourne because of our ever-improving form," stated the German. "We have extensive data about the FW23 from the winter testing sessions. It is, however, difficult to give a prognosis about our position among the teams because they have been testing on different tracks during the winter."
Sir Frank Williams is once again playing down his team's chances. Ralf Schumacher was third in Melbourne last year and Williams commented: "Last year here at 4pm on Sunday we realised how fortunate we had been. It was a major achievement but again this year we are not expecting to reach that stage immediately. We have new tyres and I do not assume that in the first few races Michelin will be on the front row but they will be competitive as the year goes on."
Jenson Button has admitted that he would love to put one over on Williams but he feels it will take more than a year for Benetton to really shine. Williams have loaned last season's rookie to Benetton and Button stated: "It would be great to finish in front of Williams in every race. It will be tough because the new engine is so radical but it will be special when it works properly.
British American racing driver Jacques Villeneuve is hoping that last season's form improvements will lead to the team fighting for victories in 2001. After a pointless first season in Formula One, BAR notched 20 last year. And the Canadian said: "The target is the same as every year - to try and be as competitive as possible. This year we need to get podiums and hopefully fight for wins. It is going to be difficult. We will just have to work very hard."
Heinz-Harald Frentzen wants to kickstart his season with a points finish in Australia. "I am looking forward to going to Australia," he said. "It is a great country with a wonderful atmosphere and I am particularly excited about racing again and being back in action after the winter break. We have had some good results in pre- season testing so I think we can do well in Melbourne as it is an important race and my aim is to get points."
Jarno Trulli has insisted that he has not set himself any aims after his hopes were dampened in 2000. The Jordan driver said: "I have not set myself any goals for this year as I have done so in the past and it does not always work out. So this year there are no targets in my mind, just the aim to get out there and race. Being in the car in hot conditions for the duration of the race will certainly be testing after the winter break."
Enrique Bernoldi cannot wait for his Formula One debut on Sunday. Ahead of his first race for Arrows, the former Sauber test driver said: "This is a brand new experience for me in many ways. Although I am quite at home in a Formula One car I have some new circuits to learn. I have never even been to Australia, let alone raced at Albert Park. But I am ready for the challenge. I have put in lots of miles in winter testing."
Eddie Irvine is hopeful that Jaguar have gone some way to beating the reliability problems of last year. He confirmed: "From our own test programme it is obvious that our car appears to run reliably and that is an important starting point. Contrary to recent media speculation, my commitment and focus towards racing remains high. The team's relentless approach towards getting it right is all the motivation I need right now."
New Jaguar driver Luciano Burti will contest only his second grand prix in Melbourne on Sunday. Burti, who has replaced Johnny Herbert, said: "I have studied telemetry and on- board footage to help strengthen my understanding of Albert Park. "It is impossible to make any predictions. The R2 certainly feels a lot better than last year's car." Burti's one race came last year when he stood in for Eddie Irvine, who could not compete because of illness.
QUESTION AND ANSWERS WITH JUAN PABLO MONTOYA
Q: Are you happy to be back in F1?
A: I have always dreamed of it and have worked hard for this. I believe F1 is the absolute pinnacle of motor sport and I have always wanted to be here. I did think something would come from my testing for Williams in 1998. But when Frank Williams told me he was going to sign Ralf Schumacher and then he signed Alex Zanardi I thought 'damn, I am done'. F1 was everything and suddenly it had all disappeared.
Q: What are the main differences between Champ Cars and F1?
A: These cars are a lot different to what I am used to. It is in the incredibly fast corners. They are pretty wild and pretty exciting in an F1 car. The immediate difference is that you have to be a lot smoother and smarter driving F1 cars. You can throw them around more than the ones I have been driving in America but they are not as forgiving as Champ Cars. I am not too apprehensive.
Q: What are your expectations for this first season in F1?
A: This is going to be a huge challenge for me. I do not know what to expect. I have to learn from other people and play it really smart. It is a learning time. Although you want to win all the time sometimes you do not have the car. Race wins depend on the driver as much as on the quality of the car, engine and tyres package. The only thing I know is that I will go out there and give 100 per cent.
Q: What is your relationship with the BMW Williams team personnel?
A: Great. I already knew quite a lot of them having been the team's test driver in 1998. But some new faces have joined the team and I think I know most of them now. During the winter I have been going very often to the factory to meet people working on the car. In the composites department, in the workshop, in the race bay, in the marketing and media department and we had some nice times together.
Q: What is your feeling about replacing Jenson Button at Williams?
A: I was surprised when Frank Williams chose me ahead of Button. Jenson did a great job in his first year and I thought with a second season in the team it would have been even better with him. I obviously liked Frank's decision and hope I can live up to what is expected of me. I am here in F1 to be myself, not another Button.
Q: You are arguably Colombia's most famous sportsman. How did you feel
about it at the beginning?
A: I did not really believe it at first. CART races were - and still are - broadcast live in my country. And certainly motor sport is rivalling football in the nation's affection. I remember going home after one CART race and it was amazing. People were freaking out. Little kids would see me and start crying.
Q: How about Ralf Schumacher, your new team-mate?
A:It is important for us to have a good relationship because that will help the team. Ralf is quick, which is good because we will push each other. In a team where there is no number one and number two driver each one must gain the respect through his results. I think a lot of the so-called problems came from the press claiming that he said this and I said that. I am sure we will get on well.
Q:In your F3000 times you were well known for being quite hot-headed.
It looked like you would either win or crash. have you changed?
A: I must admit I used to be like that but I am not any more. I learned that to finish first, first you have to finish.
Q: Who would you thank the most for your career in motor sport?
A: I owe everything to my father Pablo. If it was not for him I would not be here today. Since I started racing he supported me in everything.
Sunday's race is scheduled to last for 58 laps (307.574km). Melbourne is seen as the traditional starting point for the championship having held its first race in 1996. Rubens Barrichello set the fastest lap time in last year's Australian Grand Prix with a time of one minute, 31.481 in his Ferrari. Heinz-Harald Frentzen holds the lap record in Melbourne. The German clocked 1:30.585 in a Williams-Renault during the 1997 campaign.
Ferrari or McLaren have won every race since September 1999 when Stewart's Johnny Herbert won at The Nurburgring. Six of the 11 teams in 2001 have yet to win a race ` BAR, Arrows, Sauber, Jaguar (one win as Stewart), Prost (nine wins as Ligier) and Minardi. Arrows hold the record of 354 grands prix entered without a victory. The winner of the opening race has gone on to be world champion in nine of the last 11 years, the exceptions being David Coulthard and Eddie Irvine.
Minardi's Fernando Alonso, 19, will be the third youngest driver in Formula One history when he makes his debut. Only New Zealand's Mike Thackwell and Mexican Ricardo Rodriguez were younger. Eight of the drivers on the 2001 grid have yet to score a point. Minardi and Prost have not scored a point since 1999. Giancarlo Fisichella and Jos Verstappen are the most experienced drivers without a victory - after 74 races.
Ferrari: The team clinched the driver and constructor titles in 2000 and world champion Michael Schumacher is confident they can repeat the feat. He has been impressed with the car and Rubens Barrichello could make more of a mark after a season with the team.
McLaren: Mika Hakkinen will be desperate to win back the title after his efforts were thwarted last season. David Coulthard has said that the MP4-16 is the best car he has driven and is focusing on a serious title bid.
Williams: Williams played down their chances last season but finished third behind the big two. The rivalry between Ralf Schumacher and new boy Juan Pablo Montoya could push them closer to Ferrari and McLaren.
Benetton: Jenson Button is keen to make a point after being loaned by Williams. Ditto Giancarlo Fisichella, who had a disappointing second half of 2000. Rebuilding and consolidation could be the watchwords for the team this year.
British American Racing: The team enter their third season looking for their first pole position and first victory. That may still be slightly out of their reach but both engine suppliers Honda and former champion Jacques Villeneuve are not in the sport to be also-rans.
Jordan: A crunch season for drivers Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Jarno Trulli after a disappointing 2000 campaign. Reliability and consistency are needed if Jordan are to be in the running for third place in the constructors' race.
Arrows: The decision to replace Pedro de la Rosa with the inexperienced Enrique Bernoldi appears to have more to do with cash than logic. Bernoldi's sponsorship money alone though may not be able to prevent the team failing to build on last year's creditable display.
Sauber: Kimi Raikkonen, 21, who has had only 23 single-seater races, will have a lot to prove. He and Nick Heidfeld, 23, look to be heading for a bedding down campaign.
Jaguar: New team chief Bobby Rahal - a success in IndyCars and CART - and chief advisor Niki Lauda face a tough challenge after joining the team. Ford, who bought out the old Stewart team, are believed to be prepared to give him time and finishes - let alone points ` will boost the team.
Minardi: The team are just relieved to be on the starting grid after being saved by a Paul Stoddart takeover. Even ambitious businessman Stoddart is not expecting a transformation yet.
Prost: Deemed a make-or-break season for a team who were battling for the wooden spoon rather than podium places last season. However, they are now powered by Ferrari engines and Jean Alesi, in particular, has been quick in testing.
ALMS:- Britain's Johnny Mowlem begins his quest for class honours in the American Le Mans Series in Texas on Sunday. The 31-year-old will drive for the factory-supported White Lightning Porsche team. He is the only Briton racing in the full ALMS Championship.
NASCAR:- Steve Park, driving a Dale Earnhardt-owned car, won the NASCAR event in North Carolina on Tuesday. The race, postponed from Monday because of rain, completed a week of memorials following Earnhardt's death.
SPORTSCARS:- Martin Brundle will drive Bentley's second car at this year's Le Mans 24-Hours event. The former Formula One driver won the French classic with Jaguar in 1990.
RALLYING:- The Wrexham Rally on March 10, part of the new Formula Rally Championship, has been postponed due to the foot and mouth crisis, it has been confirmed.
This weekend's Ilkeston Co-Op Robin Hood Forest Stages Rally has been
postponed as a result of the foot-and-mouth crisis. Leighton Walker topped
the first official Formula Renault test of the season at Snetterton. Mark
McLoughlin was second before snow ended the test.