01.11.2001F1:- Formula One's newcomers Toyota will launch their 2002 car at their Cologne headquarters on December 17. The Japanese team, who will make their Formula One debut in Australia in March, are likely to be the first of the 12 teams to unveil their new car. Toyota will have Scotland's Allan McNish and Finland's Mika Salo driving for them next season. BAR have said they plan to launch their new model in December before a lengthy ban on testing ends on January 1.
The Australian Grand Prix is unlikely to make a profit in 2002, Australian Grand Prix Corporation chairman Ron Walker has said. The race on March 3 is likely to make a loss for the sixth successive year but Walker said economic benefits to Victoria outweigh operating losses.
RALLY AUSTRALIA:- Spain's former world champion Carlos Sainz took the lead of the rally after the opening special stage. Sainz finished the 2.2-kilometre stage in one minute, 30.5 seconds, 0.02 seconds ahead of Didier Auriol. Pasi Hagstrom of Finland was third while Colin McRae was back in 15th and Richard Burns and Tommi Makinen were tied in 17th respectively. The first major leg of the penultimat rally starts on Saturday with McRae and Burns both in contention for the title.
Leading positions after 1 stage:mins sec 1 C Sainz Sp Ford 1:30.5 2 D Auriol Fin Peugeot 1:30.7 3 P Hagstrom Fin Toyota 1:31.2 4 F Delecour Fr Ford 1:31.3 5 P Solberg Nor Subaru 1:31.6 6 N Bates Aus Toyota 1:31.6 7 G Panizzi Fin Peugeot 1:31.7 8 M Gronholm Fin Peugeot 1:31.8 9 H Rovanpera Fin Peugeot 1:31.8 10 P Bourne Fin Subaru 1:31.8 15 C McRae GB Ford 17 R Burns GB SubaruBTCC:- The British Touring Car Championship have confirmed that a new manufacturer, Proton, will compete the 2002 series. Petronas is to back the works squad, which will be called the Petronas Syntium Proton Team and be under the direction of team manager David Wong. Wong's Petronas Primax Team have recorded over 80 wins in Malaysian and Asian-based saloon races. Petronas engineers will be working with Proton to build the race cars with the team based in Malaysia and the UK.
INDY LIGHTS:- Dan Wheldon will be looking to seal a hat-trick of Rookie of the Year titles when the final race of the Indy Lights championship takes place at Fontana. He is two points behind Irishman Damien Faulkner in the race, having won Rookie titles at US F2000 and CART Toyota Atlantic levels in the last two years. The pair are also contesting second place in the overall title race behind Townsend Bell, who has already won it. Practice for the last ever Indy Lights Championship race starts on Friday.
02.11.2001F1:- Minardi's Fernando Alonso has joined Renault as their test driver for next season. The 20-year-old already had a long-term contract with Renault managing director Flavio Briatore and they have now taken up their option. "We have followed up his performance very closely this season. He did an excellent job so we wanted to integrate him quickly," said Briatore. Minardi now need a driver to partner Alex Yoong for next season.
Car makers involved in Formula One racing are setting up a company to lead the negotiations about the future of the series with the German Kirch Group. The major car makers want to keep the races on free television to guarantee maximum exposure to sponsors. But Kirch, who hold a majority in the F1 marketing company SLEC, run a pay TV channel in Germany. If the talks are unsuccessful, the new company will set up a rival series, said DiamlerChrysler's Juergen Hubbert.
RALLY AUSTRALIA:- Richard Burns is proving a major threat to Colin McRae's bid for world glory. Burns, seven points behind McRae and Tommi Makinen in the standings, was in second place at the end of the first leg behind Finland's Marcus Gronholm. McRae surged up the leaderboard having started the day 15th but, after leading briefly, slipped to end the day fourth. Carlos Sainz's hopes were hit when his car twice caught fire after a crash and Tommi Makinen was struggling due to the hairline fracture of his vertebrae.
Colin McRae's chances of glory suffered a major blow after he was punished for turning up late for the start order selection conference. McRae, who is lying in fourth place after the first leg, could be forced to start Leg Two and sweep the road for his championship competitors. McRae's Ford team protested over the decision but then withdrew the appeal after two hours of talks with the FIA. McRae said: "The organisers say that I was late to the selection."
Peugeot are withdrawing from the British Touring Car Championship in order to concentrate on rallying. The French marque had struggled to make a serious impact in the Vauxhall- dominated series this season. As a result, they have decided to put all their efforts into their World Rally Championship challenge. They are rallying's reigning drivers' and manufacturers' champions, and have recruited England's Richard Burns to spearhead next year's campaign.
Leading positions after first leg: hr min secs 1 M Gronholm Fin Peugeot 1:25:56.3 2 R Burns GB Subaru 1:25:59.9 3 D Auriol Fin Peugeot 1:26:00.1 4 C McRae GB Ford 1:26:01.6 5 H Rovanpera Fin Peugeot 1:26:12.2 6 T Makinen Fin Mitsubishi 1:27:14.3 7 P Solberg Nor Subaru 1:27:20.1 8 G Panizzi Fin Peugeot 1:27:27.0 9 F Loix Bel Mitsubishi 1:28:11.6 10 F Delecour Fr Ford 1:28:21.5 12 A McRae GB Hyundai 1:29:09.0 03.11.2001F1:- McLaren team principal Ron Dennis has insisted that there will be no sweeping changes at the team as they bid to become the top outfit in 2002. Ferrari overshadowed McLaren this year by sweeping to the driver and constructor titles. But Dennis said: "Our objective is to win. There is no revolution." Dennis admitted that the team were well into a "programme of detailed self-analysis of each of our operations" and added: "We want to raise our game."
JIM CLARK MEMORIAL RALLY:- Martin Rowe took full championship points when he won the Formula Jim Clark Rally, putting him back in the lead of the overall series. Peugeot driver Justin Dale failed to finish when he broke a driveshaft on stage four allowing the Ford driver to take the lead. Rowe then swopped fastest stage times and the le d with Volkswagen driver David Higgins. Fastest time on the last two stages clinched the winners spot for Rowe.
Martin Rowe's victory meant that Ford have secured the inaugural Formula Rally Manufacturers' Championship. Volkswagen's David Higgins set the fastest time on eight of the 13 stages but it was the Manxman who prevailed. "It turned out to be a great battle when the stages started to dry," said Rowe after his victory. "It's a great result for the team. We are delighted to win with one round remaining," said Ford's team manager Philip Dunabin.
David Higgins had led the Formula Jim Clark Rally on stages 10 and 11 having set fastest times in the Volkswagen. A spin on a bridge on stage 12, Fogo, lost him six seconds when the car stuck and dropped him behind Rowe. In the National A Jim Clark Memorial Rally, Irishman Paedar Hurson took overall honours in his Toyota Celica. Hurson had a close battle with Tim McNulty until a puncture on stage 10 lost McNulty five minutes and any chance of taking the lead.
Formula Rally result (Sat): hr min sec 1 M Rowe Ford 1:39:59.4 2 D Higgins Volkswagen 1:40:30.2 3 P Magaud Ford 1:41:50.6 4 S Mauger Proton 1:44:08.4 5 M McKillan Citroen 1:44:15.0 6 M Andersson Proton 1:45:29.3 7 P Wedgbury Citroen 1:54:02.6 Leaderboard after 13 of 13 stages:hr min sec 1 P Hurson Toyota 1:37:30.8 2 S Fleck Subaru 1:41:45.3 3 B Johnston Subaru 1:42:19.2 4 J Cope Ford 1:42:23.3 5 T McNulty Subaru 1:43:17.6 6 D Brown Ford 1:43:25.1 7 P Walker Mazda 1:43:34.8 8 J Threadgall Ford 1:44:09.5 9 S Clark Peugeot 1:45:59.2 10 P Heatherington Mitsubishi 1:46:13.5 DRIVER STANDINGS 1 M Rowe 40 pts 2 J Dale 38 3 P Magaud 15 4 F Duval 14 5 M Sansom 9 = S Mauger 9 = M Andersson 9 8 D Higgins 7 MANUFACTURER STANDINGS 1 Ford 95 pts 2 Peugeot 85 3 Proton 45 4 Volkswagen 33CAMBRIAN RALLY (Llandudno):- North Wales police have confirmed that three youngsters were injured when a car crashed into a group of spectators on Friday night. Five people were hurt in total - a girl of 13 from Rhyl, a girl of 16, a boy of 16 from Abergele and a 26-year-old man and a 20-year-old woman from Llandudno. All were treated at Glan Clwyd hospital in Bodelwyddan. Police are appealing for witnesses to the accident, particularly anyone with photographic or video evidence.
Positions after 7 stages of 7:mins secs 1 P Littler Hyundai 53.26 2 I Joel Escort 54.32 3 V Wetton Lancer 54.59 4 G Midwinter Escort 55.09 5 L Pesticcio Lancer 55.18 6 R Ceen Impreza 55.24 7 S Petch Hyundai 55.32 8 B Bell Escort 56.18 9 R Watts Escort 57.01 10 P Collins Escort 57.26RALLY AUSTRALIA:- Reigning world champion Marcus Gronholm is on course for victory after the third day of competition Down Under. The Finn has a 34.3-second lead over Briton Richard Burns, while Gronholm's Peugeot team-mate Didier Auriol is in third place. Colin McRae, who like Burns is chasing the title, is in fifth place and Tommi Makinen is sixth. "I went too easy on the first half of the long stage this morning and lost a lot of time to Marcus," said Burns.
Francois Delecour's co-driver Daniel Grataloup is reported to be in a "stable and satisfactory condition" after an accident on stage 13. He was hurt when Delecour's Ford Focus left the road 22.1km into the 45.42km stage, which was then cancelled. The car went sideways into a tree but Delecour was unhurt. Grataloup, 41, was airlifted to hospital with broken ribs, a broken right collarbone, a broken right shoulder blade and a collapsed lung.
Colin McRae remains philosophical after a controversial ruling effectively ended his hopes of victory. He had to run first for much of day three but did maintain his hopes of moving up the field from fifth place. Organisers claimed that McRae was late for a meeting on Friday night at which the top contenders were able to choose the starting order. McRae said: "With Harri Rovanpera less than 30 seconds ahead we must go flat out tomorrow. A lot can still happen."
Positions after 17 stages of 21:hr min secs 1 M Gronholm Fin Peugeot 2:20.01.8 2 R Burns GB Subaru 2:20.36.1 3 D Auriol Fin Peugeot 2:20.56.0 4 H Rovanpera Fin Peugeot 2:21.18.0 5 C McRae GB Ford 2:21.46.8 6 T Makinen Fin Mitsubishi 2:22.48.5 7 P Solberg Nor Subaru 2:22.48.9 8 G Panizzi Fin Peugeot 2:23.35.5 9 C Sainz Sp Ford 2:24.19.9 10 A McRae GB Hyundai 2:25.32.0CART (Fontana):- Kenny Brack was quickest following the two practice sessions for Sunday's Marlboro 500 in California. Brack, who lost out in the title race in Australia last weekend when Gil de Ferran took the crown, secured the day's top speed of 371.031kph. Bruno Junqueira was second quickest and Paul Tracy third, while Briton Dario Franchitti was 12th. Swede Brack has had a series-high six poles and nine front-row starts in 20 races this year.
Marlboro 500 practice times (Fri): secs 1 K Brack Swe Ford 31.676 2 B Junqueira Brz Toyota 31.718 3 P Tracy Can Honda 31.771 4 A Tagliani Can Ford 31.821 5 M Gidley US Toyota 31.901 6 S Nakano Jpn Honda 31.909 7 P Carpentier Can Ford 31.984 8 B Herta US Ford 31.988 9 A Fernandez Mex Honda 32.008 10 C da Matta Brz Toyota 32.022 12 D Franchitti GB Honda 32.069 Driver standings 1 G de Ferran Brz Honda 191 pts 2 K Brack Swe Ford 163 3 H Castroneves Brz Honda 141 4 M Andretti US Honda 141 5 C da Matta Brz Toyota 120 6 D Franchitti GB Honda 105 7 S Dixon NZ Toyota 98 8 M Papis It Ford 90 9 P Carpentier Can Ford 88 10 T Kanaan Brz Honda 83 Manufacturer standings: 1 Honda 332 pts 2 Toyota 288 3 Ford-Cosworth 280WINTER F.FORD (Silverstone):- Tom Gaymor converted pole position into a well-deserved victory after a thrilling battle for the lead. The first three cars were seperated by less than half a second, Steven Kane was second with Mike Conway third.
Leading results (Sat): mins secs 1 T Gaymor Mygale 14:05.564 2 S Kane Van Diemen 14:05.757 3 M Conway Van Diemen 14:05.914 4 G Catt Mygale 14:06.923 5 B Clucas Van Diemen 14:07.195 6 S Hall Van Diemen 14:14.031 04.11.2001RALLY AUSTRALIA:- Colin McRae took an outright lead in the world championship standings after finishing fifth, one minute and 40 seconds behind winner Marcus Gronholm. Fellow Briton Richard Burns came second to stay third in the world standings, two points adrift of McRae and one behind Tommi Makinen. Gronholm did not win any of the final day's four stages but his five stage wins on Saturday proved decisive. The world championship finishes with the Rally of Great Britain this month.
Championship leader Colin McRae insisted the deciding Rally of Great Britain later this month would be a thrilling climax to the season. McRae heads former champion Tommi Makinen by one point and fellow Briton Richard Burns by two points after his fifth place in Australia. "We have everything to go for in Britain," said Scotland's McRae. "With three drivers separated by just two points it's going to be fun. It's simple - the winner takes all."
Final positions: hr min secs 1 M Gronholm Fin Peugeot 3:17.01.3 2 R Burns GB Subaru 3:17.41.7 3 D Auriol Fin Peugeot 3:18.21.4 4 H Rovanpera Fin Peugeot 3:18.32.2 5 C McRae GB Ford 3:18.41.3 6 T Makinen Fin Mitsubishi 3:20.04.0 7 P Solberg Nor Subaru 3:20.42.5 8 C Sainz Sp Ford 3:22.00.5 9 G Panizzi Fin Peugeot 3:22.10.3 10 A McRae GB Hyundai 3:24.33.0 DRIVER STANDINGS 1 C McRae GB Ford 42 pts 2 T Makinen Fin Mitsubishi 41 3 R Burns GB Subaru 40 4 C Sainz Sp Ford 33 5 H Rovanpera Fin Peugeot 30 6 M Gronholm Fin Peugeot 26 MANUFACTURER STANDINGS 1 Peugeot 90 pts 2 Ford 86 3 Mitsubishi 69 4 Subaru 62 5 Skoda 15 6 Hyundai 13CART:- Alex Tagliani of Canada captured pole position for CART's season-ending Marlboro 500 at California Speedway. Only the race will be at stake after Brazil's Gil de Ferran clinched his second successive series championship two weeks ago in Australia. Tagliani has the inside advantage after driving his Ford to a fast lap of 228.727mph (368.090kmh). Cristiano da Matta of Brazil starts in second spot with Kenny Brack of Sweden in third place.
Marlboro 500 qualifying times (Sat): secs 1 A Tagliani Can Ford 31.935 2 C da Matta Brz Toyota 32.009 3 K Brack Swe Ford 32.060 4 B Herta US Ford 32.100 5 C Fittipaldi Brz Toyota 32.117 6 M Papis It Ford 32.124 7 M Jourdain Mex Honda 32.220 8 B Junqueira Brz Toyota 32.270 9 J Vasser US Toyota 32.296 10 S Dixon Aus Toyota 32.330 22 D Franchitti GB Honda 32.653 Driver standings 1 G de Ferran Brz Honda 191 pts 2 K Brack Swe Ford 163 3 H Castroneves Brz Honda 141 4 M Andretti US Honda 141 5 C da Matta Brz Toyota 120 6 D Franchitti GB Honda 105 7 S Dixon NZ Toyota 98 8 M Papis It Ford 90 9 P Carpentier Can Ford 88 10 T Kanaan Brz Honda 83 Manufacturer standings: 1 Honda 332 pts 2 Toyota 288 3 Ford-Cosworth 280INDY LIGHTS:- Dan Wheldon is aiming to end his season on a high in the 12th and final round of the 2001 CART Daytona Indy Lights Championship at Fontana. Wheldon was fifth fastest in qualifying in his Lola-Buick, just 0.443 seconds behind poleman and championship winner Townsend Bell. Wheldon is currently in third place in the Indy Lights Championship. The Englishman is also a close second in both the Rookie of the Year and Oval Track championship standings.
06.11.2001 - FORMULA RALLYFord are bidding to secure their second 2001 title in the series at the Banbury Rally on Saturday. They clinched the manufacturers' crown after claiming their fourth win in Scotland last weekend. Martin Rowe has a two-point lead over rival Justin Dale heading into the final round of the championship. Engineering manager of Ford Racing Philip Dunabin said: "We will be pushing hard in Banbury to help Martin win the drivers' crown."
Martin Rowe knows that a victory in Saturday's Banbury Rally will hand him the drivers' crown. "We had to win in Scotland to boost our championship hopes," he said. "And we came away with 10 hard-won points, the manufacturers' title and the drivers' title lead. The Banbury Rally has lots of short special stages. So we will need to be on maximum pace, going as fast as possible every moment of the event. I am confident we can bring Ford a championship double."
Clive Wheeler and David Bateson are still in with a chance of the Volkswagen Polo Rally Challenge going into the final round. Bateson reduced Wheeler's lead to 10 points with a class win in the Jim Clark Memorial Rally. To have any chance of taking the title Bateson must win in Oxfordshire but Wheeler can still triumph if he finishes second or third. "I am not looking forward to it at all," said Bateson.
07.11.2001F1:- Gary Anderson is to return to Jordan Grand Prix as director of race and test engineering next month after three years away working for Jaguar Racing. Anderson joined Jordan at the start in 1990 and was the technical brain behind cars over an eight-year period. "I am thrilled to be returning," he said. "I am now able to use additional experience to build for the future." Chief executive Eddie Jordan said: "He has been a huge part of our history and are delighted to welcome him back."
French Formula One veteran Jean Alesi is considering moving into the German Touring Car Championship in an effort to prolong his motor racing career. "The DTM series is one possible way forward for me in motor sport," said Alesi after testing for the Mercedes CLK team in Hockenheim. Norbert Haug, the head of the Mercedes team, says it is not a publicity stunt. "He knows that the DTM Championship does not pay the sort of salary he was used to receiving in F1," said Haug.
RALLYING:- Daniel Grataloup, co-driver of France's Francois Delecour, remains in hospital in a "stable condition" four days after a 100kph crash in Rally Australia. Grataloup received broken ribs, a broken right collar bone, a broken right shoulder blade and a collapsed right lung. He was airlifted to hospital after his Ford Focus slammed into trees. A hospital spokesman said it was still not known how long the 41-year-old would need to stay in hospital.
F3:- Jaguar have said that Australian James Courtney, 21, will join the Carlin team as their lead driver in their British Formula Three Championship next season. He will also continue his involvement with the Jaguar team's Formula One testing programme.
08.11.2001RALLYING:- Mitsubishi's title contender Tommi Makinen will have Finland's Kaj Lindstrom as his partner for the final round of the World Championship. Lindstrom takes over from the injured Risto Mannisenmaki who hurt his back in the Corsica Rally last month. The four times champion is a point behind overall leader Colin McRae as the championship reaches its climax in Britain on November 25. Lindstrom won the British Championship title with Tapio Laukkanen in 1999.
Former world rally champion Didier Auriol says he is unsure about who he will be driving for next season. Auriol's long-time co-driver Denis Giraudet has already signed a deal with Citroen where he will aid Swede Thomas Radstrom in next year's championship. "I hope I will have made a decision by the time of the Rally of Great Britain later this month," Auriol said. "I've had a serious approach from Hyundai, and a less concrete offer from Subaru. I should know more next week."
F1:- Former Benetton Formula One team chief designer Peter Wirth has been appointed technical director of Reynard Motorsport, replacing Gary Anderson. Wirth will head up the Reynard technical department overseeing all the various programmes and focusing on the Champ car programme.
SPORTSCARS:- Vic Lee Racing plans to use a Reynard 02S Sportscar to compete in Le Mans 24 Hour race and selected ALMS events as part of its 2002 two-car programme.
09.11.2001NEWS:- Jean Alesi has virtually ruled out a drive in the CART FedEx Championship next year. Alesi, who retired from Formula One last month, told l'Equipe: "One thing is for sure, I will race next season. I am just looking for a category. But I will not be competing in Formula One grands prix any more. I have 99 per cent given up on CART." The Frenchman tested a Mercedes touring car this week and said a move into the German DTM series was a possibility.
F.RENAULT (Rockingham):- Frenchman Julien Piguet topped the times ahead of the opening winter round at the weekend. Briton Alex Kapadia, who has returned after a year away, was second quickest for the Saxon team.
Leading testing times: mins secs 1 J Piguet Fr Chistel 1:37.350 2 A Kapadia GB Saxon 1:37.886 3 A Thompson GB Motoworld 1:38.374 4 D van L'mrn Bel Sl Formula 1:38.997 5 C Hollings GB Saxon 1:39.056 6 J Green GB Fotec 1:39.162WINTER CLIO CUP (Rockingham):- Paul Rivett and Jason Templeman led the way in testing for the opening round of the winter series at the weekend. Newcomer Matt Pinny produced an impressive performance with the fifth fastest time for the Boulevard team.
Leading testing times: mins secs 1 P Rivett Firstair 1:44.955 2 J Templeman TCR 1:44.993 3 J Coffin TCR 1:45.589 4 M Davies MGMR 1:45.657 5 M Pinny Boulevard 1:45.718 6 M Johnson Boulevard 1:45.895CART:- Rockingham will host round 15 of the 2002 CART FedEx Championship on September 14. The series will begin its 2002 European leg at the circuit before moving to Germany a week later for round 16.
11.11.2001F.RENAULT (Rockingham):- Robert Bell recorded his second success of the weekend in Sunday's race, following up his win on Saturday. Martyn Steyn gave the Paston team its first ever podiumm finish and Lewis Hamilton who charged from 10th to 4th.
Sunday result: mins secs 1 R Bell GB Motoworld 19:30.230 2 J Piguet Fr Chistel 19:37.048 3 M Steyn SA Paston 19:39.862 4 L Hamilton GB Manor 19:44.297 5 A Kapadia GB Saxon 19:46.069 6 A Lloyd GB Falcon 19:50.135WINTER CLIO CUP (Rockingham):- Jason Templeman's victory puts him level with Paul Rivett ahead of next weekend's title decider at Donington. At the same corner as on Saturday, Templeman and Matt Pinny again clashed when vying for the lead. Pinny was the one to spin and only finished third.
Result (Sun): mins secs 1 J Templeman TCR 22:38.388 2 P Rivett Firstair 22:39.982 3 M Pinny Boulevard 22:57.867 4 S Clarke Sugden 22:59.776 5 R MacDowall TCR 23:02.655 6 M Davies MGMR 23:06.363 16.11.2001F1:- Jenson Button has been told by Renault boss Flavio Briatore that he must perform next season. Button, on loan from Williams to what was previously the Benetton team, has been under pressure to do better. "Either he shows he is super-good or he leaves the big picture," Briatore told Gazzetta dello Sport. "After an excellent 2000 he spent a winter as a superstar and was then distracted by new toys. He has absolutely to pull himself together."
Brazilian Luciano Burti, who survived a horrendous crash at the Belgian Grand Prix last season, will be a test driver for world champions Ferrari in 2002. A spokesman for the Italian team said that Burti will take up testing duties alongside regular tester Luca Badoer.
F3:- Anthony Davidson is a doubt for Saturday's Macau Grand Prix Formula Three race after hitting the barriers during qualifying. Davidson climbed out of his car but suffered a sore neck in the crash. Sweden's Bjorn Wirdheim took pole for the race, with Britain's Andy Priaulx in sixth spot.
CART:- Bobby Rahal's team will return to the Indianapolis 500, fielding at least one car for the race next year. It will be Rahal's first Indy since 1995.
WINTER CLIO CUP:- Jason Templeman knocked over a second off Donington's best Clio lap to head testing for the title decider over the weekend. Paul Rivett, who is tied on points with Templeman for the series lead, was second fastest.
Leading testing times (Thu):mins secs 1 J Templeman TCR 1:19.336 2 P Rivett Firstair 1:19.688 3 J Coffin TCR 1:19.932 4 R MacDowell TCR 1:20.283 5 A Brakewell Firstair 1:20.756WINTER F.RENAULT (Donington Park):- Jamie Green beat Kimi Raikkonen's best ever Formula Renault lap at Donington to head testing for this weekend's title decider. Robert Bell, who leads the championship after victories in the opening two rounds, secured second fastest.
Leading testing times (Thu): mins secs 1 J Green Fortec 1:07.554 2 R Bell Motaworld 1:07.783 3 A Lloyd Falcon 1:08.066 4 M Howson Manor 1:08.086 5 J Piguet Chistel 1:08.135 18.11.2001MACAU F3 GP:- British champion Takuma Sato dominated the race to give him victory in his final race in the series. The Japanese, who will drive for Jordan next season, defeated Bjorn Wirdheim by less than two seconds after 15 laps around the former Portuguese colony. Sato took the second leg by over four seconds to comfortably take the aggregate victory from Benoit Treluyer. Britain's Andy Priaulx finished fifth in race two, while Derek Hayes and Bruce Jouanny crashed out.
F.FORD (Donington Park):- Tony Rodgers made it four different winners from four races as fifth place for Joey Foster gave the Cornish driver the series lead with one race to go. Steven Kane crashed heavily to bring out the red flags, while Mike Conway retired and Tom Gaynor also exited.
Race result (Sun): mins secs 1 T Rodgers Mygale 13:30.532 2 D Smith Mygale 13:30.668 3 S Hall Van Diemen 13:31.715 4 M Allison Mygale 13:33.523 5 J Foster Ray-Ford Z 13:38.207Mike Conway followed up his opening race victory by taking pole for the second race of the day. Conway headed team-mate Steve Kane and Irishman Tony Rodgers with points leader Ben Clucas fifth.
Leading qualifying times (Sun): mins secs 1 M Conway Van Diemen 1:11.469 2 S Kane Van Diemen 1:11.698 3 T Rodgers Mygale 1:11.993 4 S Hall Van Diemen 1:12.156 5 B Clucas Van Diemen 1:12.286 6 D Smith Mygale 1:12.427WINTER F.RENAULT (Donington Park):- Robert Bell was crowned the winter champion with his fourth straight win after passing early leader Jamie Green. A defensive Andrew Thompson secured third while Lewis Hamilton lost fourth to Julien Piguet at the final corner.
Race result (Sun): mins secs 1 R Bell Motaworld 17:14.351 2 J Green Fortec 17:16.441 3 A Thompson Motaworld 17:28.069 4 J Piguet Chistel 17:31.056 5 L Hamilton Manor 17:31.435 6 A Lloyd Falcon 17:31.573WINTER CLIO CUP (Donington Park):- Jason Templeman crossed the line in bizarre fashion backwards after spinning into a pitwall following a collision with rival Paul Rivett. However, Rivett's second place is enough to secure the championship after Templeman crashed out on Saturday.
Race result (Sun): mins secs 1 J Templeman TCR 20:11.703 2 P Rivett Firstair 20:11.739 3 J Coffin TCR 20:18.901 4 S Clarke Sugden 20:21.090 5 A Brakewell Firstair 20:44.910 20.11.2001RALLY OF GREAT BRITAIN
The 14th and final round of the 2001 World Rally Championship has all the ingredients for a thrilling finish. In the drivers contest, the event will see the closest finale the World Championship has ever seen. Four drivers are mathematically able to take the title, Colin McRae (42pts), Tommi Makinen (41pts), Richard Burns (40 pts) and Carlos Sainz (33pts). But it is the Battle of the Brits between local heroes Burns and McRae that looks set to dominate the event.
The final round of the season in Wales will also see a ding-dong battle for the manufacturers' title. In the race for the constructors crown, Peugeot (90pts) lead the series with Ford (86pts) right on their tail. Subaru (62pts) finished well in Australia and closed the gap on third-placed Mitsubishi (69pts). With 16 points available in the rally, Ford will be hoping to snatch the title from Peugeot, while Subaru is also set to challenge its Japanese rival.
The Rally of Great Britain will be based in Cardiff and will be run over 17 stages, covering over 1600km from Thursday until Sunday. The rally will be won and lost on a compact route in the forests of south and west Wales. It will be run in a series of loops based around Swansea, although it returns to Cardiff each night. The first of three legs is marginally the longest with the last, concentrated near Swansea, the shortest.
Current leader Colin McRae can clinch the drivers championship if he wins his fourth Rally of Great Britain title. Ford Focus driver McRae goes into the final round with a one-point lead in the championship race. McRae narrowly leads the championship from four-times winner Tommi Makinen in a Mitsubishi with England's Richard Burns just a point behind for Subaru. Victory for any of the top three would clinch the title, but if all fail to score points, Carlos Sainz could win.
Colin McRae is under no illusions about the task ahead as he attempts to clinch a second world championship. McRae will have to fight off, among others, fellow Briton Richard Burns if he is to emulate his 1995 success. "This is the toughest situation I've ever been in and for Richard as well," admitted McRae. "One thing I have got as an advantage over him is a bit more experience. I've been in high pressure situations a bit more and generally come out on top."
Colin McRae would have had a more relaxed finale to the season had he won the Rally of Australia, which would have sealed the drivers' championship. As it is, he must now fend off the challenge of his three nearest rivals if he is to clinch the title. "It would have been great to win the championship in Australia," he said. "We could then have relaxed and had a bit of fun, but I'm looking forward to the challenge and I think it's going to be a great finish to the year."
Tommi Makinen enters the final round of the 2001 World Rally Championship, bidding for his fifth world crown. Victory would not only clinch the title for Makinen, but it would also give the Finn a record-breaking 24th World Championship rally win. The Rally of Great Britain is one of four events Makinen has yet to win and there could be no better time than now. In 1997 he needed just one point to clinch the title, and he did that after fighting bad flu during the event.
Tommi Makinen obtained his best result in the Rally of Great Britain last year when he finished in third place. However he knows that this year he will have to improve on that or beat both Colin McRae and Richard Burns if he is to have a chance of another title. This will also be the Finn's last outing with Mitsubishi before he makes the move to Subaru. The rally will also be the last one for Freddy Loix with Mitsubishi before he switches allegiance to Hyundai in 2002.
Tommi Makinen is upbeat about his chances in the cliffhanging finale to the 2001 World Championship. Makinen is just one point behind leader Colin McRae and the four-times world champion is ready for the challenge in a fascinating battle for the title. "I always try to do my best all the time and try to win, that is all the motivation I need," said Makinen. "I think we've done as much as we can, we just have to get out there and make a big fight."
Tommi Makinen's rivals have poured cold water on his hopes of celebrating a fifth World Rally title even though he is only a point off the lead. "I don't see him as a threat," says Richard Burns, the Subaru driver who was Makinen's team-mate at Mitsubishi. "I would think he has virtually written himself out of it, just on pace." Ford's Colin McRae, who heads the other two, said: "You can't discount Tommi but on current form he has not been that competitive."
Richard Burns is the favourite to seal a fourth successive Rally of GB victory when the race starts on Thursday. But the Englishman knows that a win in the final round has the added incentive of giving him his first World Rally Drivers Championship. The Subaru ace has had a great season so far and appears to have a preference for the flowing gravel surface. But he is aware that nothing can be taken for granted with three other drivers capable of denying him glory.
Richard Burns is delighted to return to Wales as he bids to win his first World Rally Championship. Burns, who has won the Rally of GB for the last three years, said: "It's excellent to be back in Wales and on my home event. There is a great atmosphere and I get loads of encouragement from the spectators on the route. I'm going to give all I can. I've got a good momentum and it is going to be a good fight."
Carlos Sainz is the one driver of the four potential World Championship winners whose fate is not in his hands. The Spaniard needs his trio of rivals, Colin McRae, Tommi Makinen and Richard Burns to hit problems to be in with a chance of the title. The Ford driver is currently lying in fourth place, nine points behind leader McRae of Scotland. If Sainz is to become champion, he must not only win the rally, but the other three have to come away pointless.
Carlos Sainz is realistic about his chances of winning a third World Rally Drivers Championship. The Ford driver is currently in fourth place in the standings and his hopes of winning another title are slim. "My chances of winning are quite remote but while there is still a chance, I must be ready to take it," said Sainz. "My main targets are to help the team win the manufacturers' tile and to give every help to Colin McRae. We must make sure we make no mistakes."
Marcus Gronholm knows he has no chance of defending his world championship title in the final rally of the season. But the Finn will still be going flat out to ensure that his Peugeot team can retain the title it won last year. The race for the manufacturers title is as close as that for the drivers title and all hinges on this weekend. Peugeot currently hold a four point lead over their nearest rivals Ford and the destiny of both titles is is hanging on a knife-edge.
Peugeot will also be relying on Harri Rovanpera as well as current world champion Marcus Gronholm to help secure them a second manufacturers title. As in Australia Peugeot will be relying on Rovanpera to secure a few points as they try to hold off Ford's challenge. Last year he finished 10th in the event, while in 1999 he took the third step on the podium. Didier Auriol will aim to end his time with Peugeot on a high as he attempts a first podium finish in Britain.
Alister McRae may not be challenging for the drivers title in the World Championship like brother Colin, but he still hopes to end the season in style. In McRae's first full season as a works driver, he set Hyundai's first fastest stage time in New Zealand and won their first team point in Argentina. McRae is proving to be a natural in the traditions of the famous family. His father Jimmy McRae was five-times British champion while sibling Colin won the 1995 World Rally Championship.
Hyundai's Alister McRae is looking forward to the season's final race. After a tough event in Australia, where the team was crippled by being placed first on the road, McRae is keen to return to a more even playing field. "It will be good to get back on home turf. I always enjoy this event even though it's cold and wet and foggy!" commented the 30-year-old Scot. "It would be good to have the chance to score some more points for Hyundai in the last event of the season."
SEAT UK has entered the very latest version of the SEAT WRC E3 for Gwyndaf Evans in the season-ending finale. Evans and co-driver Chris Patterson will drive the car thanks to a deal made possible by an agreement between SEAT UK and MG Sport and Racing. A similar deal in July led to Evans winning the SEAT Lurgan Park Rally in Northern Ireland in a SEAT WRC. "Just like my entry at Lurgan Park, this is a big and very pleasant surprise," said the Welshman.
Mark Higgins will drive the third official Ford entry in the final round of the 2001 World Rally Championship. Earlier this year Higgins was due to drive the official Ford Focus rally car on each of seven rounds of the 2001 British Rally Championship. However, the series was ultimately cancelled after problems caused by the foot-and-mouth crisis. Higgins won the 1997 British Rally Championship and followed that with Formula Two victories in 1999 and 2000.
This year's rally sees no less than 34 Group N Mitsibushi Lancers do battle, which is 28 per cent of the entry list. Challenging for the fiercely fought Production Class, the Mitisbushi Lancer will be a a dominant force. Rising Welsh star Leon Pesticcio and countryman Howard Davies will be among the favourites after piloting their Lancer Evolution to recent triumphs. The inaugural Mitsubishi UK Evolution Challenge was won by Pesticcio when he scored four wins from four rounds.
Rising rally star Leon Pesticcio will be intending to see the year out on a high in the Production Class battle. So far this year, Pesticcio has claimed the ANCRO, BTRDA and Welsh National GpN titles and also won the Mitsubishi Ralliart UK Evolution Challenge. "It's been an incredible year for us," said the Welshman, who will be the youngest competitor in the rally. "Taking the Evolution Challenge was our main achievement and the other titles have been a tremendous bonus."
There will be no shortage of challengers in the Group N battle for the Production Class title. Apart from the Mitsubishi Evolution Challenge winner, Leon Petsiccio, there are other British drivers to watch for. Olly Clark, son of the legendary Roger Clark, Mike Brown and Nik Elsmore are in the elite group who have won a national rally Group N victory. Natalie Barratt from Prestbury, will be the only female Evolution driver this year.
The rally also marks the final round of the inaugural series for 1600cc front-wheel drive cars, regarded as the junior world championship. Six Ford Puma cars will start, headed by third-placed Martin Stenshorne and sixth-placed Francois Duval. The rally could be the most open of the year with Duval and Britain's Martin Rowe likle to head Ford's challenge. The title, however, has already been clinched by Sebastien Leob who drives a Citroen.
Britain's Niall McShea believes home advantage will be enough for him to fight for his maiden FIA Super 1600 Championship victory. If McShea wins, he will clinch third place in the championship, which is the official World Rally Championship junior feeder category. "It's the final round of the season and I have one goal - victory," he said. "Things have been going well for my co-driver Michael Orr and myself in the past two rounds."
* Four drivers are bidding for the FIA World Championship title this week, Colin McRae, Tommi Makinen, Richard Burns and Carlos Sainz.
* McRae, Makinen and Sainz each have 23 World Championship rally wins to their credit; Burns has 10.
* Makinen has won the World Championship four times (1996 to 1999) but has yet to win the Rally of GB.
* Kaj Lindstrom, 1999 British champion co-driver partners Makinen for the first time.
* Britain's Richard Burns is bidding for an unprecedented fourth consecutive victory but has yet to win the World Rally Championship.
* Spain's Carlos Sainz starts his 151st World Championship Rally since his WRC debut in 1987. His nearest "rival" is Frenchman Didier Auriol, with 135 WRC starts and 20 victories.
* There is only one female driver this year, Natalie Barratt from Prestbury, Cheshire, driving a Mitsubishi Lancer.
* Gavin Cox from Grindleford is the is the event's most experienced amateur British driver starting his 20th consecutive Rally of Great Britain.
* Stig Blomqvist starts his 22nd Rally GB. He won the rally in 1971 and 1983 This year he drives a Mitsubishi.
* The youngest driver is Leon Pesticcio (20) from Bridgend, South Wales, driving a Mitsubishi Lancer. His co-driver is 1996 British champion co-driver, Howard Davies.
* The "elder statesman" of this year's rally is 60-year old Brian Bell from Skegness, driving a Ford Focus WRC.
* This year's Rally of GB is the 57th event since 1932, sponsored for the ninth consecutive year by Network Q and hosted for a second year by Cardiff.
ENTRY LIST Driver/co-driver Nat Team Gronholm/Rautainen Fin Peugeot Auriol/Giraudet Fr Peugeot Sainz/Moya Sp Ford C McRae/Grist GB Ford Burns/Reid GB Subaru Solberg/Mills Nor/GB Subaru Makinen/Lindstrom Fin Mitsubishi Loix/Smeets Bel Mitsubishi Eriksson/Parmander Swe Hyundai A McRae/Senior GB Hyundai Schwarz/Hiemer Ger Skoda Thiry/Prevot Bel Skoda Rovanpera/Pi'lainen Fin Peugeot Higgins/Thomas GB Ford Martin/Park Est/GB Subaru Liatti/Cassina It Hyundai Kresta/Tomanek Cz Skoda Arai/MacNeall Jpn/Aus Subaru G Panizzi/H Panizzi Fr Peugeot Tuohino/Vihavainen Fin Toyota Evans/Patterson GB SEAT Solberg/Menkerud Nor Subaru De Mevuis/Boyere Bel/Fr Peugeot Mortl/Eichhorner Aut Subaru Backlund/Andersson Swe Mitsubishi Wearden/Agnew GB Subaru Blomqvist/Goni Swe/Yug Mitsubishi McHale/Murphy Ire Toyota Breijer/Van Goor Ned Subaru P'mitriou/Harryman Gr/GB Subaru Petch/Richardson GB Hyundai Littler/Marchbank GB Hyundai Higgins/Thorley GB Subaru Brown/Davies GB Mitsubishi Jaio/Cruz Sp Ford Ferreyros/Marin Per/Mex Mitsubishi Jones/Cowan NZ Mitsubishi Cox/Hobbs GB Mitsubishi Jones/Lewis GB Subaru Bell/Spooner GB Ford P B'velds/P B'velds Ned Mitsubishi Easson/Gardner GB Mitsubishi Svedlund/Nillson Swe Mitsubishi Sterckx/Leyh Bel Mitsubishi Stohl/Petrasko Aut Fiat Magaud/Brun Fr Ford Dallavilla/Be'cchini It Fiat Loeb/Elena Fr/MC Citroen Cols/Colebunders Bel Peugeot McShea/Orr GB Citroen Basso/Guglielmini It Fiat Robert/Bedon Fr Peugeot S Vallejo/D Vallejo Sp Fiat Rousselot/Mondesir Fr Ford Fontana/Casazza It Peugeot Valimaki/Honkanen Fin Peugeot Stenshorne/Jenkins Nor/GB Ford Macaluso/Celot It Fiat Galanti/Colon Par/Sp Ford Llovera/Corral And/Sp Fiat Ceccato/Dotta It Fiat Bernardi/Cavalier Fr Peugeot Duval/Fortin Bel Ford Mazlan/Sturla Mal/GB Ford Chemin/Bacchin It Fiat Boland/Nestor Ire Subaru Elsmore/Brown GB Mitsubishi Sperrer/Carlsson Aut/Swe Peugeot McGarrity/O'Gorman Ire Subaru Rowe/Wood GB Ford Bengry/Forsbrook GB Subaru Ginley/Bargery GB Mitsubishi Davis/Williams GB Mitsubishi Ceen/Douglas GB Subaru Pesticcio/Davies GB Mitsubishi Errani/Casadio It Mitsubishi Buckley/Redpath GB Mitsubishi Clark/Pashley GB Mitsubishi Reynolds/Thomas GB Subaru Harron/McCrea GB Subaru Swann/Bowman GB Mitsubishi Middleton/Morgan GB Hyundai Payne/Allsop GB Mitsubishi Willmington/White GB Mitsubishi Stephenson/Whittaker GB Subaru Redhead/Thomas GB Subaru Baldacci/Barone SM/It Mitsubishi Head/Dugdale GB Mitsubishi B Colsoul/T Colsoul Bel Mitsubishi Barratt/Freeman GB Mitsubishi THURSDAY SCHEDULE - LEG ONE Start Cardiff City Hall 1830 SS1 Cardiff Super Special, 1910 1.51 miles Parc Ferme Cardiff City Hall 2010 FRIDAY SCHEDULE - LEG ONE Start Cardiff City Hall 0600 SS2 St Gwynno, 8.49 miles 0826 SS3 Tyle, 6.56 miles 0853 SS4 Rhondda 1, 16.45 miles 0929 SS5 Crychan, 7.83 miles 1240 SS6 Halfway, 10.84 miles 1304 SS7 Brechfa 1, 18.52 miles 1603 SS8 Trawscoed 1, 16.32 miles 1651 Parc Ferme Cardiff City Hall 2012 SATURDAY SCHEDULE - LEG TWO Start Cardiff City Hall 0700 SS9 Resolfen, 28.86 miles 0855 SS10 Margam 1, 17.48 miles 1123 SS11 Brechfa 2, 18.52 miles 1353 SS12 Trawscoed 2, 16.32 miles 1441 SS13 Cardiff Super Special, 1910 1.51 miles Parc Ferme Cardiff City Hall 2010 SUNDAY SCHEDULE - LEG THREE Start Cardiff City Hall 0600 SS14 Rheola 1, 19.56 miles 0758 SS15 Rhondda 2, 16.45 miles 0942 SS16 Rheola 2, 19.56 miles 1218 SS17 Margam 2, 17.48 miles 1336 Finish Cardiff City Hall 1610 Parc Ferme Cardiff City Hall 1620F1:- BMW motorsport team boss Gerhard Berger says they will not start the new season with a number one and number two driver but will wait to see how things emerge. He told Germany's Motorsport Aktuell that Juan Pablo Montoya and Ralf Schumacher would start the season on equal terms with the same resources. "We have two drivers who are similarly strong and they will get the same material," he said. "For some teams having a number one is right but we have no need in our team."
22.11.2001RALLY OF GREAT BRITAIN:- Colin McRae drew first blood in his battle of Britain with Richard Burns as he made a blistering start to the rally after the first stage. The 33-year-old Scot saw off his English rival in their head-to-head on the opening special stage of the rally in Cardiff Bay. Championship leader McRae finished the 1.52mile test 2.5 seconds quicker than Burns to also set the fastest time. Carlos Sainz was third with Burns finishing in 10th place.
Colin McRae got off to the perfect start as he won the first stage ahead of championship rival Richard Burns. McRae, Burns and Tommi Makinen are within two points of each other in the world championship standings as they start the final round of the season. "We have given Richard something to sleep on tonight," McRae said of Burns. Four-time championship winner Makinen had a terrible stage, with his Mitsubishi clattering into the barriers several times before finishing 18th.
Leading positions after stage SS1 (Thu) mins secs 1 C McRae GB Ford 2m10.1 2 P Solberg Nor Subaru @ 0.1 3 C Sainz Sp Ford @ 0.7 4 M Gronholm Fin Peugeot @ 1.1 5 G Panizzi Fr Peugeot @ 1.4 6 D Auriol Fr Peugeot @ 1.7 7 A McRae GB Hyundai @ 2.0 8 K Eriksson Swe Hyundai @ 2.4 = M Martin Est Subaru @ 2.4 10 R Burns GB Subaru @ 2.5 11 G Evans GB SEAT @ 2.7 12 T Arai Jpn Subaru @ 2.8 13 M Higgins GB Ford @ 3.3 14 S Schwarz Ger Peugeot @ 3.4 15 F Loix Bel Mitsubishi @ 3.4 16 H Rovanpera Fin Peugeot @ 3.6 17 B Thiry Bel Skoda @ 3.6 18 T Makinen Fin Mitsubishi @ 4.3 19 J Tuohino Fin Toyota @ 4.6 20 N Wearden GB Subaru @ 4.7F1:- Alain Prost has vowed to get his Formula One team back up and running after they were forced into receivership with debts of $30m. "There is only one way to start on a new basis, by paying our debts," he told a news conference at the team headquarters in Guyancourt. "We must come up with a plan that lets us maintain the presence of the team in the paddock for the whole of 2002. What we need is a big sponsor. That's what's been missing from the start."
Formula One president Max Mosley will today unveil plans to ban tobacco advertising by 2006. Cigarette sponsorship contributes more than £250m - and teams like Ferrari rely heavily on tobacco cash. But the future of several grand prix races are under threat by national tobacco advertising bans. A FIA spokesman said: "We will seek support from this initiative from all countries that host FIA World Championship events."
23.11.2001RALLY OF GREAT BRITAIN:- Richard Burns is on course for a first world championship after he finished the second day in a second place. Burns, who will win the title if he finishes fourth or better, is 36.6 seconds behind leader Marcus Gronholm. The Englishman's hopes were given a huge boost when nearest rivals Colin McRae and Tommi Makinen went out. Burns is 15 seconds ahead of Harri Rovanpera in third place while Carlos Sainz, who has a slim chance of title glory, was in fifth place.
Richard Burns is not counting any chickens as he dreams of clinching his first World Rally Championship after a dramatic second day. Burns, who is in second place, will win the title if he finishes the rally in fourth or better after rivals Colin McRae and Tommi Makinen came unstuck. "There is still a long way to go. This is a very high pressure situation for everybody," said Burns. "It's tough if you're trying to win or you're trying to finish fourth."
Richard Burns rebuked a devastated Colin McRae as his dream of being the first Englishman to win the World Rally title remained on track. Burns told McRae he only had himself to blame after the Scot crashed out of contention while leading the rally. "I was following his marks and he was obviously taking some risks before he went off," said Burns. "I am surprised Colin was taking big risks on that stage and he's paid the price," he added.
Leading positions after stage SS8 (Fri) hr min secs 1 M Gronholm Fin Peugeot 1:20.15.2 2 R Burns GB Subaru @ 36.6 3 H Rovanpera Fin Peugeot @ 52.4 4 D Auriol Fr Peugeot @ 2.10.0 5 C Sainz Sp Ford @ 2.26.9 6 A McRae GB Hyundai @ 2.37.6 7 M Higgins GB Ford @ 3.41.9 8 A Schwarz Ger Skoda @ 3.51.9 9 K Eriksson Swe Hyundai @ 3.52.4 10 F Loix Bel Mitsubishi @ 4.17.5 11 N Wearden GB Subaru @ 5.03.4 12 B Thiry Bel Skoda @ 5.03.7 13 G De Mevius Bel Peugeot @ 6.24.7 14 T Arai Jpn Subaru @ 6.52.9 15 H Solberg Nor Subaru @ 8.50.2 16 R Ferreyros Per Mitsubishi @ 9.49.2 17 K Backlund Swe Mitsubishi @10.00.5 18 D Higgins GB Subaru @10.37.1 19 S Loeb Fr Citroen @11.22.5 20 S Blomqvist Swe Mitsubishi @11.52.0 Leading retirements: T Makinen SS2 broken wishbone P Liatti SS2 broken clutch P Solberg SS2 fuel pressure problem C McRae SS4 rolled into ditch G Panizzi SS4 co-driver injured M Martin SS5 engine problemFord driver Colin McRae's title bid is in the balance after he crashed out of the event. The Scot barrel-rolled into a ditch on the fourth stage. McRae still leads the championship by one point but fellow Briton Richard Burns can take the crown for the first time if he finishes at least fourth. Tommi Makinen went out on stage two and Carlos Sainz, who only has an outside title chance, was given a 40-second penalty following a puncture.
Scottish star Colin McRae was taken to hospital for a precautionary scan after his exit from the rally but was given the all-clear. His vision was briefly blurred after the incident, which thirty-three-year-old McRae revealed was his fault. "I made a mistake and we paid the penalty," he confirmed. "We cut a fast right-hand bend and the car hit a hole on the edge of the road. "I am devastated. I am so sorry for the team who have put in so much effort."
Colin McRae has refused to give up on the drivers' title ` despite going out of the final world championship round. The Scot said: "Obviously the pressure is off Richard Burns now but his car has still got to go for three days." McRae's co-driver Nicky Grist cut his lip and suffered a stiff neck when their Ford Focus rolled into a ditch. Grist said: "We have to remember a couple of years ago when Tommi Makinen won the championship after he had retired so it is not over yet."
Ford boss Malcolm Wilson has admitted that Colin McRae's title hopes are bleak after he went out on stage four. "He and Nicky Grist were doing a fantastic job until that point," confirmed Wilson. "It would seem that the championship is over." Co-driver Grist added: "We cut into a right-hand corner and something launched the car into the air. We rolled about four or five times and the car is badly damaged. It is not nice when it ends like this."
Tommi Makinen's hopes of winning his fifth drivers' crown ended when he had to retire from the event after hitting a rock in his Mitsubishi. Makinen had resumed the rally back in 18th place after a poor display in Thursday's opening stage when he hit the barriers and banking five times. The 37-year-old Finn has had a disappointing record in Britain. And in his final event for Mitsubishi before joining Subaru next year he was left stranded in the forests.
Tommi Makinen was understandably gutted after his title chances came to an end on the second stage. The Finn, who has never finished higher than third in Britain, stated: "We are very disappointed. It was some silly problem in the left suspension. We hit a boulder, the wheel was broken. We continued to the service area but it took too long and there was no point in continuing. We seem to be very, very unlucky here. It is a difficult sport sometimes."
French co-driver Herve Panizzi was taken to hospital after being struck by a stone thrown up by another car. Panizzi, who won last month's Sanremo Rally and was second in Corsica with his brother Gilles in a Peugeot, was hurt after stopping on stage four. He was hit by a fist-sized piece of rock and although the abdomen injury is not serious the hospital wanted to detain him overnight for observation. Gilles Panizzi was eighth in the World Championship before this final round.
The Volkswagen Racing UK team's hopes of finishing the rally with a flourish have been thwarted when the Polo GTI Super 1600 made an early exit. After a promising start which saw Finnish driver Kosti Katajamaki rise to 10th place in the class, transmission problems brought his charge to a halt. "Things were going very well after the third stage and I was making good progress," said Katajamaki. "But on stage four we had problems with the clutch and we could not go on."
Natalie Barratt, the only woman taking part in this year's rally, showed true grit in the forests of Wales. Barratt held 63rd position after just five stages before she suffered mechanical problems in the next stage. But her co-driver Roger Freeman managed to re-attach the propshalf with bolts from a seat bracket and they were able to get back to the Felindre service. The total time loss dropped Barratt down to 87th position before she was able to head for the final two stages.
Group N positions after stage SS8 (Fri) hr min secs 1 R Ferreyros Per Mitsubishi 1:30.04.2 2 K Backlund Swe Mitsubishi @ 11.3 3 D Higgins GB Subaru @ 47.9 4 S Blomqvist Swe Mitsubishi @ 2.02.8 5 R Jones NZ Mitsubishi @ 5.41.9 6 M Baldacci SM Mitsubishi @ 5.48.3 S1600 positions after stage SS8 (Fri) hr min secs 1 S Loeb Fr Citroen 1:31.37.5 2 A D'lavilla It Fiat @ 2.07.5 3 N McShea GB Citroen @ 2.37.2 4 M Ste'horne Nor Ford @ 4.17.1 5 C Robert Fr Peugeot @ 4.28.4 6 L Cols Bel Peugeot @ 5.04.6 7 A Galanti Par Ford @ 8.07.5 8 B Rousselot Fr Ford @ 8.45.7 9 M Ceccato It Fiat @ 9.33.1 10 C Chemin It Fiat @12.45.1F1:- BAR Honda have announced a long-term extension of their partnership with Bridgestone after a productive relationship over the last three years. Three-time Formula One champion Jackie Stewart has been knighted by Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace.
24.11.2001 RALLY OF GREAT BRITAIN Leaderboard after stage SS13 (Sat): hr min secs 1 M Gronholm Fin Peugeot 2:21.34.2 2 R Burns GB Subaru 2:22.59.6 3 H Rovanpera Fin Peugeot 2:23.18.8 4 A McRae GB Hyundai 2:25.48.9 5 A Schwarz Ger Skoda 2:27.30.9 6 K Eriksson Swe Hyundai 2:27.44.3 7 D Auriol Fr Peugeot 2:28.32.1 8 B Thiry Bel Skoda 2:29.14.4 9 G De Mevius Bel Peugeot 2:31.50.7 10 T Arai Jpn Subaru 2:32.48.1 Leading retirements: N Wearden SS10 went off the road C Sainz SS11 withdrew from event M Higgins SS11 withdrew from eventA total of 13 people were injured after being struck by a car during the special stage 11 in Brechfa Forest. The Ford Focus of Spain's Carlos Sainz went off the road into a spectator area during the stage near Carmarthen. Ambulances were called to the scene and organisers stopped the stage and cancelled the next one. The casualties, including two children aged 12 and 14, were taken to hospital but none of the injuries are considered to be life-threatening.
Ford Racing's European director Martin Whitaker said they would launch a probe into the crash of Carlos Sainz's car. "We are keen to work with the authorities to understand exactly what happened and why," he said. "We are genuinely upset that spectators were injured in an accident involving one of our cars and as a result we have decided to withdraw from the event." Sainz said: "The first four hours were not very nice until we realised the people involved were not badly hurt."
Peugeot have retained their World Rally constructors title following Ford's decision to pull Carlos Sainz out. Ford withdrew Sainz from the rally following his accident on stage 11 in which 13 spectators were injured. Sainz's car left the road in the Brechfa Forest and ploughed into the spectators. Two-time world champion Sainz was unhurt in the accident and was able to continue although the stage and the following one have been scrapped.
Richard Burns suffered a scare as he resumed his World Championship quest at the start of day three. Burns, who needs to finish in the top four to win the title, was briefly delayed when his Subaru refused to start after the overnight halt. He was forced to push the car out of Parc Ferme with co-driver Robert Reid before they could replace spark plugs. "It was not a pleasant way to start but the main thing was that we made it to service on time," said Burns.
Group N positions after stage SS8 (Fri) hr min secs 1 R Ferreyros Per Mitsubishi 1:30.04.2 2 K Backlund Swe Mitsubishi @ 0.11.3 3 D Higgins GB Subaru @ 0.47.9 4 S Blomqvist Swe Mitsubishi @ 2.02.8 5 R Jones NZ Mitsubishi @ 5.41.9 6 M Baldacci SM Mitsubishi @ 5.48.3 S1600 positions after stage SS8 (Fri) hr min secs 1 S Loeb Fr Citroen 1:31.37.5 2 A D'lavilla It Fiat @ 2.07.5 3 N McShea GB Citroen @ 2.37.2 4 M Ste'horne Nor Ford @ 4.17.1 5 C Robert Fr Peugeot @ 4.28.4 6 L Cols Bel Peugeot @ 5.04.6 7 A Galanti Par Ford @ 8.07.5 8 B Rousselot Fr Ford @ 8.45.7 9 M Ceccato It Fiat @ 9.33.1 10 C Chemin It Fiat @12.45.1F1:- Australian Grand Prix organisers have detailed safety improvements for 2002 after the death of a marshal this year. Graham Beveridge was killed by debris after a collision between Jacques Villeneuve and Ralf Schumacher. The FIA has said that it considers the fatality to have been a freak accident and made next year's race conditional on the result of an enquiry next month. The organisers said the current openings in fences would be replaced by two new specially designed types.
25.11.2001 RALLY OF GREAT BRITAIN Final leaderboard after stage SS17 hr min secs 1 M Gronholm Fin Peugeot 3:23.44.8 2 H Rovanpera Fin Peugeot @ 2.27.1 3 R Burns GB Subaru @ 3.27.0 4 A McRae GB Hyundai @ 6.48.8 5 A Schwarz Ger Skoda @ 7.31.3 6 K Eriksson Swe Hyundai @ 8.11.0 7 D Auriol Fr Peugeot @ 8.21.1 8 B Thiry Bel Skoda @10.55.6 9 G De Mevius Bel Peugeot @14.17.7 10 T Arai Jpn Subaru @15.06.4 11 D Higgins GB Subaru @21.11.0 12 R Ferreyros Per Mitsubishi @21.14.7 13 H Solberg Nor Subaru @23.51.4 14 A Ginley GB Mitsubishi @26.47.9 15 S Loeb Ger Skoda @26.52.5 16 S Blomqvist Swe Mitsubishi @26.56.4 17 N McShea GB Citreon @28.56.2 18 G Jones GB Subaru @33.11.7 19 P Bijvelds Ned Mitsubishi @34.12.4 20 E Boland Ire Subaru @34.22.9 21 O Clark GB Mitsubishi @35.09.4 22 L Cols Bel Peugeot @35.40.3 23 R Jones NZ Mitsubishi @38.00.2 24 N Buckley GB Mitsubishi @39.19.9 25 P Steph'son GB Subaru @44.30.3 FINAL DRIVER STANDINGS 1 R Burns GB Subaru 44 pts 2 C McRae GB Ford 42 3 T Makinen Fin Mitsubishi 41 4 M Gronholm Fin Peugeot 36 = H Rovanpera Fin Peugeot 36 6 C Sainz Sp Ford 33 FINAL MANUFACTURER STANDINGS 1 Peugeot 106 pts 2 Ford 86 3 Mitsubishi 69 4 Subaru 66 5 Skoda 17 = Hyundai 17Britain's Richard Burns has won the World Rally Championship in a Subaru after he finished third in the final round of the season. Finland's 2000 World Champion Marcus Gronholm won the rally for the first time, two minutes and 27.1 seconds ahead of compatriot Harri Rovanpera. Burns became the first English driver and only the second Briton to take the World Rally Championship. Peugeot had already retained the manufacturers' title.
Richard Burns was relieved to have sealed his first World Rally title after finishing in third place. "It is a shame we could not win the rally, but all I was thinking about was the Championship," said the Englishman. "We had a terrible first half of the season, but the second half has been just fantastic. There was a huge amount of pressure on myself and all of us before this rally. It becomes high risk so it is a relief to come through."
Richard Burns was the favourite to win his fourth successive Rally of Great Britain before the start. But a third-place finish was enough to give Burns his first-ever World Rally Championship win and he was thrilled to achieve it in his home event. "It's great that it happened here," said Burns, as he became the first Englishman to clinch the world crown. Despite winning the title, Burns has already decided to leave Subaru to join Peugeot in 2002.
Richard Burns did not score a point in the first two rounds of the season but came good in the end. Burns was given a massive boost on the second morning when both his nearest rivals, Colin McRae and Tommi Makinen were early casualties. As a consequence, Burns only needed a fourth place finish to win his first-ever World Championship. His third place was enough as he ended the campai n on 44 points with McRae on 42 and Makinen on 41.
Outgoing World Champion Marcus Gronholm may have lost his crown but he had the sweetener of winning his first Rally of Great Britain title. Gronholm held off the challenge of his compatriot Harri Rovanpera and his world title successor Richard Burns. The Finn came second last year when Burns notched a hat-trick of victories and was delighted with the result. "I am glad to have won - I said last year that I would be back to win it," said Gronholm.
Colin McRae paid tribute to Richard Burns after the Englishman had won the race for the World Rally Championship. McRae, who had led the tandings going into the final round, saw his hopes nosedive after he crashed out early on the second day. "Congratulations to Richard - he has done a great drive and deserves the title," said the Scotsman. "But we will be back next year stronger and better and all the more determined to take that title."
There was some consolation for the McRae family in the season's final race which had its share of drama. Colin McRae went into the race as leader of the World Championship but his dream ended on the second day when he crashed out of the event. But younger brother Alister finished fourth in his final rally for Hyundai before he joins up with Mitsubishi. Germany's Armin Schwarz was fifth in a Skoda with Sweden's Kenneth Eriksson sixth for Hyundai.
Didier Auriol finished just outside of the points, but still managed to end the season on a high note. The Frenchman finished in seventh place after setting the second best time ahead of Harri Rovanpera and Alister McRae in the final stage. Armin Schwarz was fifth in a Skoda with Kenneth Eriksson of Sweden ending the rally in sixth place in a Hyundai. Eighth place went to Bruno Thiry while Gregoire de Mevuis finished ninth ahead of Toshi Arai in a Subaru.
Natalie Barratt, the only woman driver in this year's rally, can reflect on a superb season with no lack of courageous determination. Barratt and co-driver Roger Freeman did their best to overcome transmission problems on the first two days. The pair managed to battle on, but at the start of stage 14 with a broken driveshaft, the cluch expired in their Mitsubishi which forced them to retire. "It was one of those events where one problem led to another," said Barratt.
An investigation is under way into the incident which left 13 people injured in an accident on stage 11 on Saturday. Two people, including a 13-year-old girl, will undergo surgery for injuries after the car of Carlos Sainz ploughed into the spectators in Brechfa Forest. Nine people who suffered minor injuries were discharged from West Wales General Hospital in Carmarthen on Saturday. The investigation will be carried out by the Motor Sports Association and a report will be made to the FIA.
David Higgins clinched a superb win for Subaru in the Group N category after a dominating display in his Impreza. Higgins and co-driver Craig Thorley were the quickest Group N car on every stage since Saturday morning. The pair secured Subaru's first win in Group N for two years in any World Championship Rally. Higgins finished 2.8 seconds ahead of Ramon Ferreyros in a Mitsubishi Lancer but Kenneth Backlund, who was lying in third place, was forced to retire.
Group N positions after stage SS17 (Final) hr min secs 1 D Higgins GB Subaru 3:44.56.7 2 R Ferreyros Per Mitsubishi @.02.8 3 A Ginley GB Mitsubishi @ 5.36.0 4 S Blomqvist Swe Mitsubishi @ 5.44.5 5 P Bijvelds Ned Mitsubishi @13.00.5 6 O Clark GB Mitsubishi @13.57.5 7 R Jones NZ Mitsubishi @16.48.3 8 N Buckley GB Mitsubishi @18.08.0 9 B Colsoul Bel Mitsubishi @23.47.8 10 P P'tillion Fr Mitsubishi @26.30.8Niall McShea ended the inaugural FIA Super 1600 Championship with a season's best second place finish. The result secured him a superb third overall in the championship, the official feeder category for the manufacturer teams. McShea went into the final stage in Margam head-to-head with Andrea Dallavilla for the runner-up spot. Setting fastest time in his Citroen Saxo, McShea prevailed after his Italian rival slid off the road.
S1600 positions after stage SS17 (Final) hr min secs 1 S Loeb Fr Citroen 3:50.37.3 2 N McShea GB Citroen @ 2.03.7 3 L Cols Bel Peugeot @ 8.47.8 4 A Galanti Par Ford @17.54.0 5 S Mazlan Mal Citroen @18.52.5 6 M Ceccato It Fiat @19.05.1 7 N Bernardi Fr Peugeot @25.21.7 8 C Chemin It Fiat @28.33.0WINTER F.FORD (Brands Hatch):- Steve Kane won the race but Joey Foster's fourth place was enough to give him the title. Kane's points total gave him the Class 1 award, with Foster taking Class 2 honours and Neil Doran winning the Newcomers' Cup award.
Round five result (Sun): mins secs 1 S Kane 13:36.591 2 T Gaynor 13:36.748 3 C Murray 13:41.184 4 J Foster 13:45.226 5 M Conway 13:48.077 6 B Clucas 13:50.635 28.11.2001 - RALLYINGBruno Thiry has signed an eight-rally deal with Peugeot Belgium which will keep him in the World Rally Championship next season.