01.06.94 - F1The Argentine Grand Prix has been called off to allow improvements to be made to the Buenos Aries track. The race was due to be held in October, but F1 Constructors' Association president Bernie Ecclestone said they hoped it would now take place next Marc h. In a television interview he said: "We decided to postpone the race for this year. It would be stupid to rush things." The course was virtually derelict until a few years ago.
The new downforce regulations used at the Spanish Grand Prix are set to be approved by FIA on Thursday. The new configuration reduces downward pressure on the cars by 25 per cent, thereby forcing drivers to drive more carefully. Motor racing sources sa id the measures were almost certain to be agreed in the light of the tragic events this year. Other proposals, including longer cockpit openings which would force teams to make structural changes, could be brought in at a later date.
02.06.94 - PERTH SCOTTISH RALLYMalcolm Wilson returns from World Championship duty in Greece to head the entry for the Perth Scottish Rally, starting on Friday. He is hoping to repeat his win at the recent Pirelli International but championship leader Stephen Findlay offers stiff oppos ition. The Ulsterman is making his debut in the event and admitted: "Most of the stages are new to me." There will also be a strong Scandinavian challenge headed by Norwegian Binger Gundersen and Finnish newcomer Marcus Grondholm.
03.06.94F1:- The FIA have confirmed several new measures to increase safety as a result of the spate of recent accidents in Formula One. They are to raise weight limits and introduce new fuel requirements and engine power restrictions from the Canadian Grand Prix on June 12. FIA president Max Mosley added that headrests must be slightly modified for better shock absorption and to cut the risk of head injuries. The Argentinian race on October 16 has been switched from Buenos Aires to Spain while safety is improved .
PERTH SCOTTISH RALLY:- Favourite Malcolm Milson set a fast early pace to lead the Perth Rally at the end of the first leg. Driving a Ford Escort Cosworth, Cumbrian Wilson set the quickest time on three of the four special stages to lead the third round of the Championship by six seconds. Finland's Marcus Gronholm drove his Toyota Celica into second place with overall Championship leader Stephen Finlay third. The rally continues on Saturday with tests in the Highlands.
Positions after 4 of 25 stages: Penalty 1 M Wilson Ford Escort 6.37 2 M Gronholm Toyota 6.43 3 S Finlay Ford Escort 6.47 4 J Milner Ford Escort 6.51 5 M Rowe Ford Escort 6.56 6 D Watson Ford Escort 6.57 7 M Grierson Subaru 7.03 8 D Llewellyn Vaux Astra 7.06 9 P Dyas Ford Escort 7.09 10 A McRae Nissan Sunny 7.11 04.06.94INDYCAR:- Nigel Mansell was still fuming about last weekend's Indy 500 crash as he led the way in practice for Sunday's Indycar race in Milwaukee. The defending champion produced a lap of 22.851 secs in his Lola Ford Cosworth around the one-mile oval at W isconsin State Fairgrounds. But Mansell was still angry about last Sunday's crash, saying: "In my whole racing career it was the most disgraceful display. I was going 50mph and it was like a missile coming out of the sky."
F1:- Karl Wendlinger has regained consciousness more than three weeks after crashing during practice for the Monaco Grand Prix. The 25-year-old Austrian had been in a semi-artificial coma at a hospital in Nice but has now been able to talk with relatives. A Team Sauber spokesman said: "We are very relieved and pleased for the relatives. It's a very important step but we shall have to wait to know more."
HISTORIC RACING:- Swiss driver Freddy Kumschick overcame treacherous conditions to win the Trupart Historic Formula Racing Car Championship on day one of Brands Hatch's Superprix.
PERTH SCOTTISH RALLY Positions after 18 of 25 stages:Penalty 1 M Wilson Ford Escort 1:28:31 2 S Finlay Ford Escort 1:32:30 3 M Gronholm Toyota Celica 1:33:18 4 M Grierson Subaru Legacy 1:36:41 5 P Young Ford Escort 1:38:16 6 T Makinen Nissan Sunny 1:38:27 7 M Rowe Ford Escort 1:39:46 8 N Worswick Ford Sierra 1:41:34 9 D Llewellin Vauxhall Astra 1:43:28 10 G Smith Ford Escort 1:44:29Overnight leader Malcolm Wilson continued to dominate the Perth Rally as the cars headed towards the end of the second leg. The Cumbrian ace set the fastest time on every stage of the tough Highlands section and improved his lead to nearly four minutes. C hampionship leader Stephen Findlay has tucked into second place in pursuit of teammate Wilson. Finn Marcus Gronholm, making his debut in Britain, slipped from second to third place after the car exhaust set fire to the bumper.
05.06.94INDYCAR:- Nigel Mansell could only finish ninth in qualifying for today's 200-mile Indycar race in Milwaukee. The defending champion had handling problems with his Lola Ford Cosworth and could manage a time of only 22.752 seconds. Brazil's Raul Boesel too k pole in a Lola Ford Cosworth with a lap time of 22.310. Canadian Paul Tracy (22.394) was second fastest in a Penske Ilmor, followed by American Robby Gordon (22.545) in a Lola Ford Cosworth.
F2:- Jose Luis Di Palma won the second round of the British Championship at Silverstone, ahead of Phil Andrews.
F3:- Denmark's Jan Magnussen won round nine of the series at Oulton Park to extend his huge championship lead. Gareth Rees was second while Jeremie Dufour finished third.
FORMULA OPEL EUROSERIES:- Nicola Crocioni claimed a comfortable victory in the seventh round at Osterreichring in Austria, as Briton Richard Westbrook came third.
HISTORIC RACING:- Leicestershire's Simon Hadfield sealed a historic win driving a Lotus 72 in the 15-lap Thoroughbred Grand Prix Cars Trophy Race at Brands Hatch.
HILLCLIMBING:- Mark Colton won the seventh round of the Gulf Oil RAC Championship at Shelsley Walsh to extend his series lead to 16 points.
EUROCARS:- Paul Radisich scored a double victory in the second round of the EUROCAR Super Saloon series at Mallory Park after being invited to compete as a guest.
PERTH SCOTTISH RALLY RESULT: Penalty 1 M Wilson Ford Escort 2:10:39 2 S Finlay Ford Escort 2:15:14 3 M Gronholm Toyota Celica 2:16:06 4 M Grierson Subaru Legacy 2:20:59 5 P Young Ford Escort 2:23:54 6 T Makinen Nissan Sunny 2:24:56 7 M Rowe Ford Escort 2:25:50 8 N Worswick Ford Sierra 2:29:50 9 P Dyas Ford Escort 2:31:39 10 D Llewellin Vauxhall Astra 2:31:51 CH'SHIP STANDINGS AFTER 3 OF 5 ROUNDS: 1 S Finlay 67 points 2 M Wilson 50 3 M Rowe 41Malcolm Wilson produced a stunning performance to win the Perth Scottish Rally for the second time. The 38-year-old Cumbrian, driving a Ford Escort Cosworth, set fastest times on 22 of the 24 special stages to win by 4 mins 35 secs. Teammate Stephen Finla y took second spot after a gruelling three days to extend his Championship lead to 17 points after three rounds. Philip Young won the production car category and Tommi Makinen took the two-wheel drive Formula 2 class.
06.06.94 - INDYCARSFrustrated Nigel Mansell could do no better than fifth as the Penske Ilmor team dominated the Wisconsin 200 at Milwaukee. Al Unser junior scored his third successive win with team-mates Emerson Fittipaldi and Paul Tracy completing a Penske 1-2-3. Mansell' s chances were not helped by a misfiring problem in the engine of his Lola Ford. "We are not even playing in the first league. It's a clear demonstration of how good the Penskes are," he admitted.
Result of Wisconsin 200 at Milwaukee: (Reduced to 192 miles due to rain) 1 A Unser jr US Penske Ilm 192 lps 2 E Fit'paldi Brz Penske Ilm 192 lps 3 P Tracy Can Penske Ilm 192 lps 4 M Andretti US Reynard F 189 lps 5 N Mansell GB Lola Ford 189 lps 6 R Gordon US Lola Ford 189 lps 7 B Rahal US Lola Honda 189 lps 8 R Boesel Brz Lola Honda 189 lps 9 J Vil'neuve Can Reynard F 187 lps 10 B Herta US Lola Ford 187 lps 07.06.94 - F1Karl Wendlinger has returned to Austria after three weeks in a Nice hospital following his near-fatal crash at the Monaco Grand Prix. The Sauber driver is now out of a coma he fell into following the accident, which occurred during practice at Monaco. Doc tors at Nice's Saint-Roch hospital felt his recovery would be aided by Wendlinger being nearer to his family at Innsbruck.
08.06.94JOHN WATSON ON THE CANADIAN GRAND PRIX
Further regulation changes come into effect this weekend in the wake of the tragedies at Imola last month. The first conscious steps towards reducing horsepower will be seen in Canada, with two major changes. The first requires teams to use petrol which i s the equivalent of what you buy in service stations as opposed to 'rocket fuel.' The second is that the airbox atop the engine will have holes in it to reduce pressure, rather than being a sealed chamber.
The outcome of the latest changes is a reduction of around 60hp and this may help the smaller teams who have never had the opportunity to use exotic fuel blends. Altogether the changes are a basic step in the right direction. The other new regulations are:-
* new definition of headrest
* measures to avoid front wheel making contact with drivers' head
* a minimum weight of 515kg
* larger cockpit opening
* pit lane speed limit of 80kph in practice
The other change this weekend apart from the cars is at the Gilles Villeneuve circuit in Montreal. At the hairpin there used to be a right-left-right Esses which used to be driven flat out and could be potentially very dangerous. Now there's a much slo wer Esses including part of the original pit complex of the circuit. The outcome will be a reduction of 8-10 seconds per lap - the upside is it provides another overtaking opportunity on the circuit.
As for this weekend's Grand Prix there is no reason to believe that anyone will get a sniff of Michael Schumacher or Benetton. The nearest threat is Williams and McLaren - with the balance in terms of performance slightly in favour of Damon Hill and Da vid Coulthard. McLaren have made performance gain every race - their move forward is measurable. Ferrari will be in a bit of a two and eight because they will lose most in horsepower - something they have relied on this season.
The Canadian Grand Prix will be a race about finishing - partly due to new changes and partly because past races here suggest so. It is a race hard on cars and physically demanding on drivers. The changes will make it so. The best news of the week so f ar has been Karl Wendlinger regaining consciousness. It will give Sauber an enormous emotional lift which I am sure his stand-in Andrea de Cesaris will benefit from in his 200th GP drive.
TOURING CARS:- Gabriele Tarquini and Gianpiero Simoni in the Alfa Romeos topped the leaderboard in testing for Sunday's races at Donington Park. Tarquini, winner of three races so far, lapped the 2.5-mile circuit in 1 min 39.24 secs, 90.68mph, but will ne ed to watch Paul Radisich. He heads the points with three wins in the Ford Mondeo and was only half a second slower, with team leader Andy Rouse matching his time. Alan Menu, winner last time out in his Renault Laguna, is also on the pace as is Patrick Wa tts (Peugeot).
09.06.94F1:- Formula One driver Karl Wendlinger should make a complete recovery from the head injuries suffered in an accident four weeks ago. Wendlinger crashed during practice for the Monaco Grand Prix and was kept in an artificial coma for three weeks to aid h is recovery. His doctor said the Sauber Mercedes driver was fully awake and able to speak, eat and read. "It is expected he will recover as far as possible, maybe completely.. he will be just the way his family have always known him," he said.
TOURING CARS:- Alfa Romeo have been given the all-clear to continue in the series which moves to Donington Park for a double round this weekend. A recent ruling outlawed the front spoilers due to their positioning but officials have had a re-think. Italia n ace Gabriele Tarquini has had his wins at Snetterton and Silverstone re-instated, taking his total to five. He now leads the Championship by 24 points. Tarquini could extend his advantage after clocking the fastest lap in practice at an average 90.68mph .
F2:- Robbie Stirling in his McNeil Lola bids to catch series leader Phil Andrews and second-placed Jose Luis Di Palma in round three of the Venson British F2 Championship at Oulton on Saturday.
ARGENTINE RALLY:- Ari Vatanen replaces the injured Francois Delecour in the Mobil Ford Escort Cosworth for the Rally of Argentina at the end of June. He will be co-driven by Italy's Fabrizia Pons.
10.06.94MANSELL:- Former world champion Nigel Mansell looks set for a return to Formula One with the Williams team. Rumours are rife at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, the venue for Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix, that he is set for a comeback. "We have talked to Ni gel, as we have talked to many other drivers, but I am not prepared to add to that comment at all," said team boss Frank Williams. Mansell is currently driving in Indy Cars for the Newman-Haas team.
F1:- Frenchman Jean Alesi outpaced championship leader Michael Schumacher on Friday to claim provisional pole. Alesi driving a Ferrari, has never qualified for a race better than third on the grid. Schumacher finished second on the overnight grid despite blowing his engine in the final minutes of the session. Finland's Mika Hakkinen, in a McLaren, was third-fastest ahead of Austrian Gerhard Berger.
Friday's qualifying times: mins secs 1 J Alesi Fr Ferrari 1:26.277 2 M Schumacher Ger Benetton 1:26.820 3 M Hakkinen Fin McLaren 1:27.616 4 G Berger Aut Ferrari 1:27.652 5 U Katayaama Jp Tyrrell 1:27.827 6 D Hill GB Williams 1:28.011 7 H Frentzen Ger Sauber 1:28.048 8 M Brundle GB McLaren 1:28.451 9 R Ba'chello Brz Jordan 1:28.612 10 D Coulthard GB Williams 1:28.636 11 G Morbidelli It Footwork 1:28.730 12 E Irvine Ire Jordan 1:28.843 13 M Blundell GB Tyrrell 1:29.108 14 C Fittipaldi Brz Footwork 1:29.493 15 O Panis Fr Ligier 1:29.530 16 JJ Lehto Fin Benetton 1:29.580 17 M Alboreto It Minardi 1:29.597 18 E Comas Fr Larrousse 1:29.653 19 P Martini It Minardi 1:29.793 20 A De Cesaris It Sauber 1:29.793 21 J Herbert GB Lotus 1:30.063 22 E Bernard Fr Ligier 1:30.806 23 O Beretta Mon Larrousse 1:31.167 24 A Zanardi It Lotus 1:31.698 25 D Brabham Aus Simtek 1:32.376 26 B Gachot Fr Pacific 1:32.838 27 P Belmondo Fr Pacific 1:32.291TOURING CARS:- Touring car ace Tim Harvey walked away from the wreckage of his Renault Laguna after a 130mph crash during testing at Donington Park. Harvey was on the fast, twisting downhill Craner Curves section when his car went out of control and barre l-rolled four times before ending on its roof. Harvey faces a tough battle with the flying Alfa Romeos in Sunday's double round of the British Touring Car Championship. The Alfas have just been reinstated after a dispute over spoilers.
11.06.94F1:-THE CANADIAN GRAND PRIX
Championship leader Michael Schumacher roared onto pole position for Sunday's race by overhauling Jean Alesi. Alesi driving a Ferrari, claimed second, his highest-ever place on a starting grid, having been on provisional pole on Friday. The German clocked 1 min 26.178 secs in his Benetton for his third successive pole as he aims for his fifth win of the season. Austrian Gerhard Berger, in the second Ferrari was third with Britain's Damon Hill fourth fastest.
Final qualifying times: mins secs 1 M Schumacher Ger Benetton 1:26.178 2 J Alesi Fr Ferrari 1:26.277 3 G Berger Aut Ferrari 1:27.059 4 D Hill GB Williams 1:27.094 5 D Coulthard GB Williams 1:27.211 6 R Ba'chello Brz Jordan 1:27.554 7 M Hakkinen Fin McLaren 1:27.616 8 E Irvine NI Jordan 1:27.780 9 U Katayaama Jp Tyrrell 1:27.827 10 H Frentzen Ger Sauber 1:27.977 11 G Morbidelli It Footwork 1:27.989 12 M Brundle GB McLaren 1:28.197 13 M Blundell GB Tyrrell 1:28.579 14 A De Cesaris It Sauber 1:28.694 15 P Martini It Minardi 1:28.847 16 C Fittipaldi Brz Footwork 1:28.882 17 J Herbert GB Lotus 1:28.889 18 M Alboreto It Minardi 1:28.903 19 O Panis Fr Ligiers 1:28.950 20 JJ Lehto Fin Benetton 1:28.993 21 E Comas Fr Larrousse 1:29.039 22 O Beretta Mon Larrousse 1:29.403 23 A Zanardi It Lotus 1:30.160 24 E Bernard Fr Ligier 1:30.493 25 D Brabham Aus Simtek 1:31.632 26 B Gachot Fr Pacific 1:32.838 27 P Belmondo Fr Pacific DNQINDYCAR:- Nigel Mansell broke his own track record to grab pole in the final qualifying for Sunday's race. The former Formula One world champion pushed his Lola Ford-Cosworth around the 2.1 mile 14 turn course at an average speed of 108.649 mph. "I'm a th oroughbred race driver," said Mansell who ended the hot streak of the Penskes. They claimed the next three spots on the grid behind Mansell who spent the rest of the day denying claims he was rejoining Formula One.
Final qualifying times for the Detroit GP at Belle Isle Park: mph 1 N Mansell GB Lola Ford 108.649 2 A Unser jr US Penske Ilm 107.965 3 P Tracy Can Penske Ilm 107.845 4 E Fit'paldi Brz Penske Ilm 106.542 5 M Gugelmin Brz Reynard Fd 106.300 6 B Rahal US Lola Honda 106.192 7 J V'leneuve Can Reynard Fd 105.984 8 T Fabi It Reynard Ilm 105.711 9 M Andretti US Lola Ford 105.700 10 B Gordon US Lola Ford 105.605 TOURING CARS:- Final qualifying times at Donington: mins secs 1 P Radisich Ford Mondeo 1:39.69 2 G Tarquini Alfa Romeo 1:39.86 3 J Cleland Vauxhall Cav 1:40.01 4 A Menu Renault Laguna 1:40.03 5 A Rouse Ford Mondeo 1:40.09 6 T Harvey Renault Laguna 1:40.09 7 G Simoni Alfa Romeo 1:40.11 8 P Watts Peugeot 405 1:40.31 9 J Allam Vauxhall Cav 1:40.42 10 R Rydell Volvo 850 1:40.49Ford's Paul Radisich bounced back from losing his Championship lead to grab pole for Sunday's double header at Donington. The Kiwi lapped the Leicestershire circuit in 1 min 39.69 secs, more than two seconds inside the record for his first pole of the sea son. Championship leader Gabriele Tarquini lines up alongside Radisich for the first of two 15-lap races. John Cleland added further spice as he qualified in third.
F2:- Phil Andrews has won the third round of the British Formula Two Championship at Oulton Park. Andrews dominated the race from his pole position start to finish 14.25 seconds ahead of Jose Luis Di Palma in a time of 37 minutes 01.41 secs.
12.06.94 F1:- THE CANADIAN GRAND PRIX Result after 69 laps: 1 M Schumacher Ger Benetton 39.0s 2 D Hill GB Williams 3 J Alesi Fr Ferrari 4 G Berger Aut Ferrari 5 D Coulthard GB Williams 6 C Fittipaldi Brz Footwork Retirements: M Brundle lap 5 H Frentzen lap 6 A DeCesaris lap 26 E Irvine lap 42 U Katayama lap 47 G Morbidelli lap 52 M Hakkinen lap 63 DRIVERS:- 1 M Schumacher Ger 56 pts 2 D Hill GB 23 3 G Berger Aut 13 = J Alesi Fr 13 5 R Bar'chello Brz 7 6 N Larini It 6 = M Brundle GB 6 8 M Hakkinen Fin 4 = U Katayama Jpn 4 = K Wendlinger Aut 4 = M Blundell GB 4 = C Fittipaldi Brz 4 CONSTRUCTORS:- 1 Benetton Ford 56 points 2 Ferrari 32 3 Williams Renault 25 4 Jordan Hart 11 5 McLaren Peugeot 10 6 Tyrrell Yamaha 8 7 Sauber Mercedes 6 8 Footwork Ford 4 9 Minardi Ford 3 10 Larrousse Ford 1German ace Michael Schumacher stormed home in Montreal to take his fifth GP win out of six with another commanding performance. Schumacher was never in trouble as he powered away from pole and typically pulled away in the seemingly unstoppable Benetton . Britain's Damon Hill battled up from fourth but had to settle for second, some 39 seconds behind in the Williams. Jean Alesi took third, while Scotland's David Coulthard picked up his first points with fifth spot.
Runaway Championship leader Michael Schumacher turned yet another Grand Prix into a Sunday afternoon stroll with victory in Montreal. Mechanical trouble wrecked his chances in Barcelona - though he still took second - but there were no problems this ti me. His lead in the Championship looks unassailable, even with 10 races still to go. Damon Hill, in second, stuck to his task stoicly but ultimately only a Schumacher slip-up would have allowed him a second straight win.
Scotland's David Coulthard showed his burgeoning talent as he picked up his first Grand Prix points with a superb fifth place. The Williams driver even had the audacity to push teammate Damon Hill into fifth early on before succumbing after nine laps. A slow pit-stop seemed to have hit his chances but the Scot oozes confidence and he was back in sixth after Gianni Morbidelli retired. Coulthard went fifth five laps from the finish as Mika Hakkinen had to retire with engine trouble.
Damon Hill was reasonably happy to settle for second behind Michael Schumacher - and he paid tribute to Williams teammate David Coulthard. Coulthard finished fifth and Hill said: "David's done a fantastic job all weekend. He is very promising. I enjoye d the race - the only small drawback is that we didn't win. We'll have to work harder and push harder to beat Benetton." Schumacher said: "The car performed fantastic. I had all the gears this time and I could do what I wanted."
Championship leader Michael Schumacher is hoping Nigel Mansell will make a Formula One comeback to add spice to the season. Rumours are rife that Mansell will replace David Coulthard for the French GP at Magny-Cours on July 3. Schumacher said: "I think it would be good for Formula One if Nigel returned. It would bring more competition and I would like that." Unconfirmed reports suggest that a package for Mansell's return has already been worked out.
French flier Jean Alesi equalled his best finish of the season so far with a hard-fought third place. He looked good in the Ferrari all weekend and his only slip came on the last lap when he appeared to miss the new chicane. Eddie Irvine, in the Jordan , was sixth early on but his race ended on lap 42 when he hit a wall, but he escaped unscathed. Johnny Herbert (Lotus) was ninth with Mark Blundell (Tyrrell) 11th and David Brabham (Simtek) 15th. Martin Brundle retired on lap five.
TOURING CARS:- RACE ONE mins secs 1 J Cleland Vauxhall Cav 25:31.99 2 P Radisich Ford Mondeo 25:36.36 3 G Tarquini Alfa Romeo 25:40.01 4 A Rouse Ford Mondeo 25:42.48 5 A Menu Renault Laguna 25:49.07 RACE TWO 1 J Cleland Vauxhall Cav 25:22.11 2 P Radisich Ford Mondeo 25:24.06 3 J Allam Vauxhall Cav 25:40.94 4 A Menu Renault Laguna 25:44.62 5 J Bailey Toyota Carina 25:47.57John Cleland won both races at Donington Park on Sunday with Paul Radisich twice finishing second. The Vauxhall Cavalier driver closed the gap at the top of the leaderboard to 18 points. Radisich, in the Ford Mondeo, became joint leader with Gabriele Tarq uini on 132 points after the Alfa Romeo driver had problems. Tarquini was third in the first race but suffered engine problems and did not start the second.
13.06.94 - F1/MANSELLNigel Mansell flew into England Monday amid denials from Williams that his visit was anything to do with a return to Formula One. "At the moment, Nigel Mansell has nothing whatsoever to do with this team and we have no details of his trip," a Williams spo keswoman said. "From our point of view, absolutely nothing has altered over the past couple of weeks," she added. A Mansell press aide said Mansell and family were on a trip that was planned before speculation began.
15.06.94 - JOHN WATSON ON THE LE MANS 24 HRSLe Mans 1994 is without the quality factory team entries of the past but it boasts the biggest, broadest entry for many years. It is a race in isolation, allowing the organisers to include a range of classes within the 24-hour event. This means the now ou t-of-date Group C turbo cars can compete, along with the fast-developing Grand Touring classes, GT1 and GT2. Finally, as an enticement to the American market, the race includes an IMSA GTS category for US-spec cars, the silhouette GT cars.
Toyotas provide two of the leading entries, both in the Group C class. Favourite is the Toyota Team Sard car driven by F1 star Eddie Irvine, Jeff Krosnoff and Mauro Martini but they face a major challenge from the Nisso Thrust Racing Toyota. Another st rong entry is the Le Mans based Courage team, with two of their Porsche-powered cars. British interest in the Group C category will centre on the Gulf Racing Kremer Porsche which will be driven by Derek "this is definitely my last time" Bell.
One Ferrari F40, one Bugatti supercar and two factory Porsches - thinly-disguised 962 models - are among the GT1 competitors. There are also two massive 8-litre Dodge Vipers with V10 engines which should ensure a high level of noise at the circuit this weekend. The GT2 class has a plethora of Porsche Carrera RSRs as usual to be challenged by works Honda NSXs, as driven by former winners Christophe Buchut and F1's Bertrand Gachot. Hugh Chamberlain's two Lotus Esprit 300s celebrate a year's development.< p> Pure racing cars with the looks of a regular GT car can be seen in the IMSA GTS category where the two Nissan 300ZXs pose a major threat. The Mazda RX7 could also be among the front-runners but, if an IMSA car should clinch victory overall, I believe i t will be a Nissan. They are both powerful, handle well and are reliable. They have already won the Daytona 24-Hour race and the Sebring 12-Hour event. Each category at Le Mans runs within its own regulations in an effort to equalise performance.
Each category in the race has its own regulations governing minimum weight, horsepower and size of tank. The GT1 cars, such as the factory Porsches, are the most favoured being allowed 650hp, 1,000kg weight and 120 litres of fuel on board. By contrast, the Group C cars must weigh 950kg, produce no more than 500-550hp and carry just 80 litres of fuel which will mean more stops. The biggest problem for the GT1 cars could come from restrictions on wheel and tyre size, especially if the weather is hot as e xpected.
All-in-all the "infernal ronde" will be a fascinating event. With new categories in place this year, picking the winner will be down to an educated guess. My vote still goes to the Sard Toyota led by Eddie Irvine but, if it falls by the wayside, the IM SA Nissans would be my outside bet. We will know the outcome for sure by 4pm on Sunday.
17.06.94THE LE-MANS 24HRS
French trio Henri Pescarolo, Alain Ferte and France Lagorce claimed pole position in the Courage Porsche C32 LM. They clocked 3 mins 51.05 secs around the 8.45 mile circuit, an average of 131.1 mph, 17 mph slower than Peugeot's pole time last year. Britai n's Derek Bell, Robin Donovan and German Jurgen Lassig line up second in the Kremer Porsche 962, seven tenths behind. Ten cars were under 4 minutes but last year's record distance of 375 laps should not be challenged.
Leading final practice times: mins secs 1 H Pescarolo/A Ferte/F Lagorce Fr Courage 3:51.05 2 D Bell/R Donovan/J Laessig GB/GB/Ger Porsche 3:51.75 3 P Petit/M Rostan/P Gonin Fr Peugeot 3:52.58 4 E Irvine/M Martini/J Krosnoff NI/It/US Toyota 3:53.01 5 H Stuck/D Sullivan/T Boutsen Ger/US/Bel Porsche 3:53.71 6 PH Raphanel/P Fabre/L Robert Fr Courage 3:54.25 7 Y Dalmas/H Haywood/M Baldi Fr/US/It Porsche 3:54.85 8 S Andskar/G Fouche/B Wollek Swe/SA/Fr Toyota 3:55.02 9 S Millen/J O'Connell/J Morton NZ/US/US Nissan 3:57.09 10 JF Yvon/H regout/JP Libert Fr/Bel/Bel Peugeot 3:59.94ASIA PACIFIC RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP - British rally champion Richard Burns holds an eight second lead over teammate Possum Bourne of New Zealand after the first day of the Rally of Indonesia. The Subaru pair are chased by the Mitsubishi of Swede Kenneth Eriks son, a further 14 secs adrift.
18.06.94 - ASIA PACIFIC RALLY CHAMPIONSHIPBritish champion Richard Burns was forced to retire from the Rally of Indonesia when his car was hit by engine trouble. Sweden's Kenneth Eriksson finished the day with a two-minute lead. Scots Dom Buckley and Alistair McRae lie fourth and fifth. David Gi llanders will be the first driver away in Sunday's Kerridge Rally in Wales, the fourth round of the Mintex National series. Raymond Munro, Chris Mellors and David Mann are among his rivals.
19.06.94THE LE-MANS 24 HRS
Irishman Eddie Irvine saw victory snatched from his grasp as Porsche scored their first win since 1987 in the historic endurance test. Irvine's Toyota held a commanding lead with less than two hours to go when it was hit by gearbox trouble. Co-driver Jeff Krosnoff managed to get it to the pits, but it dropped them to third. Irvine took over and drove superbly to take second in the closing moments but Yannick Dalmas, who won for Peugeot two years ago, was out of reach in the leading Porsche.
Formula One star Eddie Irvine was left to rue his ill-luck after a gear linkage problem denied him a famous win for Toyota. "I was really disappointed with the gear change breaking," said Irvine, who battled back to grab second from Thierry Boutsen's P orsche. "We were able to pull him in slowly but surely and make a desperate dive on the inside," he added. "I had no third gear and thought it would be impossible for me to overtake but Thierry was slowed by traffic and I was able to make it."
Five-times winner Derek Bell bade a fond farewell to Le Mans with a highly creditable sixth place in the Gulf Kremer Porsche. He said: "The last laps were pretty emotional. I thought it was my last time here and it came to my eyes while I was driving r ound. I came here 24 times in the last 25 years and it has a very special place in my heart. It's like a second home." He added: "I felt great and enjoyed it, but when I see the young guys coming up, I feel it's time to go."
Final result: laps 1 Y Dalmas/H Haywood/M Baldi Fr/US/It Porsche 344 (2,907.6 miles; average speed 121.4 mph) 2 E Irvine/M Martini/J Krosnoff GB/It/US Toyota 343 3 H Stuck/D Sullivan/T Boutsen Ger/US/Bel Porsche 343 4 S Andskar/G Fouche/L Revert Swe/SA/Fr Toyota 328 5 S Millen/J O'Connell/J Morton US Nissan 317 6 D Bell/R Donovan/J Lassig GB/GB/Ger Porsche 316 7 JL Ricci/A Evans/P Olczyk Fr/US/Bel Courage 310 8 D Dupoy/J Pareja/C Palau Fr/Sp/Sp Porsche 307 9 E Calderari/L Bryner/F Mastropietro It/Swi/It Porsche 299 10 P Husman/C Euser/M Tomlje Ger/Ger/Slo Porsche 295ASIA-PACIFIC RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP:- Mitsubishi driver Kenneth Eriksson won the Indonesian Rally, the opening round of the Asia-Pacific Championship, in 4 hrs, 15.26 mins. Possum Bourne was second, while Scotland's Alistair McRae steered his Opel into fifth spot.
KERRIDGE NATIONAL RALLY:- Chris Mellors drove his Ford Sierra to victory in the Kerridge National Rally after leading from the start. He finished over 20 seconds clear of Mitsubishi driver Steve Hill, with Jeremy Easson's Escort third.
21.06.94 - TOURING CARSItalian driver Giampiero Simoni set the fastest time in Tuesday's official TOCA test in preparation for rounds 10 and 11 of the RAC Auto Trader British Championship.
22.06.94F1:- Ferrari have ended speculation about the future of Austrian driver Gerhard Berger by renewing his contract for the 1995 season. The moved ends media suggestions that Berger was contemplating retirement from Formula One. Berger is a member of the safe ty group set up to inspect circuits in the wake of recent tragedies which have rocked the sport. He was a close friend of Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger, who both died following high-speed crashes at Imola in May.
TOURING CARS:- Paul Radisich and Gabriele Tarquini resume their wheel to wheel title battle in Sunday's double header at Brands Hatch. Tarquini won the first five races of the season for Alfa Romeo but Radisich has a win and five second places from the la st six races. They are locked together at the top of the points table but will be looking anxiously over their shoulders at John Cleland. The Vauxhall ace cut their lead dramatically with back to back wins at Donington Park last time out.
25.06.94INDYCARS:- Nigel Mansell put the Penske team in the shade by taking provisional pole for Sunday's race at Portland in his Newman Haas Lola-Ford. The reigning Indy champion outpaced Paul Tracy, Al Unser junior and Emerson Fittipaldi in the second half of t he qualifying session. He stayed in the pits for the first ten minutes of the session after oil from a supporting race made the track slippery. "I know we've got to work to make the car a little better in race trim," the Briton commented.
Friday's leading qualifying times at Portland: mph 1 N Mansell GB Lola Ford 114.768 2 P Tracy Can Penske Ilm 114.745 3 A Unser jr US Penske Ilm 114.463 4 E Fit'paldi Brz Penske Ilm 114.313 5 R Gordon US Lola Ford 114.222 6 J Vasser US Reynard Fd 113.852 7 J Vil'neuve Can Reynard Fd 113.757 8 M Gugelmin Brz Reynard Fd 113.039 9 A Zampedri It Lola Ford 112.948 10 S Johansson Swe Penske Ilm 112.877 TOURING CARS:- Leading times from opening practice at Brands Hatch: mins secs 1 G Simoni Alfa Romeo 1:30.86 2 G Tarquini Alfa Romeo 1:31.35 3 P Radisich Ford Mondeo 1:31.81 4 P Watts Peugeot 405 1:31.82 5 A Menu Renault Laguna 1:31.82 6 A Rouse Ford Mondeo 1:31.83 7 S Soper BMW 318 1:31.86 8 T Harvey Renault Laguna 1:31.90 9 J Lammers Volvo 850 1:31.98 10 J Winkelhock BMW 318 1:32.01F3:- Championship leader Jan Magnussen smashed half a second off the Donnington Park lap record as he claimed pole for Sunday's F3 Championship 10th round.
26.06.94TOURING CARS:- Gabriele Tarquini scored a double triumph at Brands Hatch as Alfa Romeo dominated the 10th and 11th rounds of the championship. The Italian, who was followed home in both races by teammate Giampiero Simoni, now holds a 48-point lead in the drivers' standings. Chief rival Paul Radisich failed to finish the first race after a last lap collision with the Peugeot of Patrick Watts, who finished third. Blistered tryes put paid to the Ford race in round 11, with Watts again following the Alfas hom e.
Result of round 10 at Brands Hatch: mins secs 1 G Tarquini Alfa Romeo 28:02.22 2 G Simoni Alfa Romeo 28:02.42 3 P Watts Peugeot 405 28:06.60 4 S Soper BMW 318 28:06.77 5 J Cleland Vauxhall Cav 28:08.79 6 A Rouse Ford Mondeo 28:14.19 7 J Lammers Volvo 850 28:18.10 8 J Winkelhock BMW 318 28:19.49 9 A Menu Renault Laguna 28:22.02 10 R Rydell Volvo 850 28:22.46 Result of round 11 at Brands Hatch: mins secs 1 G Tarquini Alfa Romeo 28:00.41 2 G Simoni Alfa Romeo 28:00.67 3 P Watts Peugeot 405 28:02.36 4 J Cleland Vauxhall Cav 28:07.14 5 A Rouse Ford Mondeo 28:13.17 6 A Menu Renault Laguna 28:14.04 7 J Winkelhock BMW 318 28:16.88 8 R Rydell Volvo 850 28:18.63 9 J Bailey Toyota Carina 28:19.91 10 J Allam Vauxhall Cav 28:20.75F3:- Championship leader Jan Magnussen won the 10th round of the F3 championship at Donnington Park. Magnussen won the 17-lap race in a time of 25:54.91. HILL CLIMBING:- Defending champion David Grace of Banbury won the ninth round of the Gulf Oil Hill Climb Championship at Fintray, near Aberdeen, to close the gap on series leader Mark Colton to 11 points. 27.06.94 - F1 Nigel Mansell's predicted return to Formula One is likely to be confirmed on Tuesday morning. The Williams team will announce their driver line-up for the French GP at Brands Hatch and Mansell is expected to take the drive from David Coulthard. Mansell's Indycar boss Carl Haas said: "There is a possibility Nigel can do the French GP, but I don't know whether he will do the three races at the end of the season. It's too premature to talk about next year." 28.06.94 - F1: MANSELL Nigel Mansell will make his Formula One comeback at this weekend's French Grand Prix. Williams have confirmed that the former world champion will return to the team at Magny Cours and he will earn œ650,000 for his efforts. Mansell quit Formula One afte r winning the drivers' title in 1992 and became Indy Car champion in the US last year. He is still retained by the Newman Haas Indy team but is expected to drive in further races for Williams when dates do not clash. Nigel Mansell looked forward to an exciting week after confirming his "guest appearance" for Williams at the French Grand Prix. "The Newman Haas (Indy) team have given the Williams team permission for me to compete this weekend. I think it's good for t he sport, good for the fans and good for TV," said the 1992 Formula One champion. "I don't think many drivers have the chance to drive in the two largest series in the world simultaneously, so there's a lot of excitement there," he added. Nigel Mansell suffered a spin on the second of his 60 practice laps of testing for Williams at Brands Hatch but typically shrugged it off. Mansell said: "I was just pushing it to it's limits." "It was fantastic here this morning. I had honestly expected it to be quiet but there were over eight thousand people." Mansell officially opened a new œ3m pits complex which will be known as the Nigel Mansell Centre. Nigel Mansell insisted his return to Formula One at this weekend's French Grand Prix had not been motivated by financial reward. "I have a lot of personal friends and you can count on more than the fingers of your hand the people who have passed away d oing this job. The motivation, gentlemen, is not the money," he told a packed press conference at Brands Hatch. "You can draw your own conclusions but the most precious thing in life is life - and this game is not something to be played with." Team boss Frank Williams was a happy man after securing Nigel Mansell's services for the French Grand Prix at Magny Cours. "Nigel is a true racer and I know everyone is looking forward to working with him again. I am confident he will do a great job fo r us," he commented. Bleary-eyed Mansell faced the world's media after flying from Portland where he finished fifth in an Indy Car race on Sunday. "It's a little bit like a dream," he confessed. Frank Williams spared a thought for David Coulthard after replacing the talented young Scot with Nigel Mansell for the French Grand Prix. "We've got to give ourselves the opportunity of winning races and scoring maximum points every time. That's not to take anything away from David, but it's obvious that the man with 10 years of Grand Prix experience has a better chance of scoring points than a man with two races," Williams said. Coulthard finished fifth in Canada earlier this month. Damon Hill will be looking after number one at this weekend's French Grand Prix despite having Nigel Mansell as his Williams teammate. "If Nigel's comeback adds interest to Formula One, then that's great," Hill commented. "But I'm second in the World C hampionship and I still think it is possible to beat Michael Schumacher. You might call me mad but it is what I aim to do and I'll just have to beat Nigel as well," he added. 29.06.94 - JOHN WATSON ON THE FRENCH GRAND PRIX This weekend we are off to Magny Cours for round seven of the 1994 FIA F1 World Championship. Here, where Williams Renault have made their home, we have seen three wins in three years for the team and it could well be four on Sunday. As the whole world kn ows, 1992 world champion Nigel Mansell is back, boosting Williams' hopes of victory and bringing with him his personality, skill and experience. Since the death of Ayrton Senna there has been no-one in the team with the stature of Mansell. Magny Cours is the ideal track on which to make an F1 comeback - and Nigel Mansell knows it. The nature of the circuit will mean it is easier for him to adjust to the more nervy and sensitive F1 car. His return will also benefit Damon Hill, giving him an experienced teammate again and the chance to concentrate on his driving without the burden of being team leader. Hill cannot lose. If he is quicker than Mansell everyone will be impressed and, if he is slower, he will have something at which to aim. The Nigel Mansell Roadshow will be the big story of the weekend and, ironically, this could benefit Ferrari, McLaren and Benetton. These three teams can get on with the job, quietly in the background. Even win. It will be a big help to Michael Schumach er to be out of the spotlight for once. Benetton have won five of the last six races and expect to win again. The only change could be in their driver line-up with Jos Verstappen, their Dutch test driver, expected to replace "resting" JJ Lehto. McLaren will be looking forward to the trip to Magny-Cours where they will introduce the first of the Phase 2 Peugeot V10 engines. These are more powerful than the Phase 1 version and will not be effected by overheating problems which have plagued the team. Ferrari are convinced that they have now reached a level of chassis performance to match their engine, the most powerful in Formula One. Jean Alesi dreams of a first GP win. Victory here, in front of his home crowd, would be very sweet. Behind the Premier Division of F1, the squabbling between Tyrrell, Sauber and Jordan will be largely determined on reliability. It will be a mentally frustrating race with only one overtaking spot, at the Adelaide Hairpin at the end of the long straigh t and even this is very easily defended. However, as we move towards the mid-point of the season, expect to see the racing becoming much more competitive and entertaining. The timing of Nigel Mansell's F1 return is surely no coincidence... David Coulthard will be back in the Rothmans Williams Renault team in place of Nigel Mansell for the British Grand Prix on July 10. Mansell, who makes his comeback for Williams at the French Grand Prix on Sunday, is unavailable for the British event at Silverstone. Mansell is committed to driving in the Indycar series for the Newman-Hass organisation. Coulthard, the team's test driver is currently driving on a race to race basis and partners Damon Hill in his third race for the team.