Sainz out of Le Mans chance

Carlos Sainz' chances of racing for Toyota in the Le Mans 24 Hours race have gone away, after the new rally callendar just published means a clash of events for the Spaniard. The Acropolis Rally ends on the day of Le Mans qualifying.

Tobacco barons go to court

Rothmans, BAT, Gallaher & Imperial Tobacco have won the right in the British Courts to challenge the legality of the tobacco advertising ban in the European Court of Justice. The Tobacco Manufacturers Association has said the ban has no legal basis.

Pedro impresses at Arrows

Pedro de la Rosa has impressed the Arrows F1 team during testing, finishing only 0.3 seconds behind team-leader Salo. The team was also impressed with the quality of his feedback. Pedro said he doesn't know if it will lead to a drive: 'I've not spoken with anyone about that yet. If they don't want me I would like to know soon, but after this test I hope I can get close to Arrows.'

2000 Super Tourers to phase in?

It has been reported that teams in the BTCC have been given the option of running new cars with '99 engines - if they are having problems meeting the new rules in time. Alan Gow has said that '99% of the teams say they'll have no problem making the switch'.

Japan tourers to debut June

The new Japanese Super Silhouette series is expected to start in June. Toyota have completed their car, with Honda, Mazda, Subaru and Mitsubishi all expected to join the series.

The new series uses cars with identical chassis, but the bodywork must look like a current model of the manufacturers. It is a cheaper version of the series proposed by Bernie Ecclestone in the late 80's. Cars are expected to cost around £150,000.

New Renault Laguna for BTCC

Enrique Scalabroni - ex Ferrari and Williams F1 designer - is working on the Renault Laguna for the WIlliams touring car team. However, the car is not an update but a completely new car for the final season of the current Super Touring rules. The car is not expected to debut until March, with the first race just a few weeks away. The move could prove to be decisive to their championship chances, as most teams are expected to update their current cars for a set of rules with only one season left.

Portman Arrows as normal

Despite the problems surround the TWR Arrows concern, their junior outfit - Portman Arrows - are continuing preparations for their entry in the International F3000 championship.

Larsson to F3?

Fredrik Larsson looks set to move from Indy Lights to British Formula 3 next season. During testing for Alan Docking Racing last week at Pembrey, he impressed the team with his professionalism.