Motorsport news bits 98-05-13

5/13 Scheckter for BTCC? Jodie Scheckter has confirmed that he is in talks about taking part in the "live" BTCC races with Nissan and Honda. 5/13 Benetton to stay with Mecachrome Dave Richards has ...

5/13 Scheckter for BTCC? Jodie Scheckter has confirmed that he is in talks about taking part in the "live" BTCC races with Nissan and Honda.

5/13 Benetton to stay with Mecachrome Dave Richards has confirmed that the team will continue with Mecachrome units next year.

5/13 Mecachrome to supply three teams Mecachrome has indicated that it may supply three teams next year. It has been said that there is an "understanding" about only supplying two teams, but no contractual obligation.

5/13 Revised Prost for France The Prost team is redesigning the rear of the AP2 in time for the French GP. In a separate move the car will have a new rear-breaking system that apparantly is legal as it brakes both rear wheels.

5/13 Stand by me! The Stewart GP team has given support to Alan Jenkins and said that is no substance to stories linking Mike Gascoyne from Tyrrell to the team. Magnussen, however, is not so safe - he is now reported to be on a race by race deal, and the only obstacle to being replaced by Jos Verstappen were money and contractual demands.

5/13 Stewards blame Fisi The Stewards of the Spanish GP apportioned blame for his crash with Irvine squarely at his feet, and fined him £4500 for his trouble. The general feeling is that the move is more indicative of the problem of overtaking in F1 than anything else.

5/13 No extra race this year? The chances of a 17th race this season have receded. The October 11th date is now unlikely to be filled, leaving a 5 week gap between the last two races.

5/13 Williams - "Canada" The improvements to the Williams will now be fitted for the Canadian GP. It features a new rear end, rear suspension, diffuser and a longer wheelbase - other than that, the rear is fine. There was no word on changes to the "electronic fuel flap".

5/13 Takagi for Jordan? The Jordan team is reported to be very interested in landing Tora Takagi for the team next year. Whilst it would be popular with Honda, the team is reported to have no obligation. A separate story links Ralf Schumacher with H2F's Williams drive.

5/13 New front wing for Ferrari Ferrari are set to introduce a new front wing in time for the Canadian GP. The team, however, still lays its gap to McLaren "70-75%" at Goodyear's door.

5/13 Counterfeit McLaren Mika Hakkinen's retirement at Imola was caused by counterfeit gearbox bearings which ended up on the car. The team doesn't know how the parts found their way into the supply chain, but Dennis didn't think it was a deliberate attempt to hit the team.

5/13 Hand bags at dawn in F1 Over the race weekend most of the talk at Imola was of the various tiffs going on down the pit lane, involving Irvine and Fisi (see separate story), and the Hill-H2F battle, which reached its climax with Hill describing Frentzen as "a brick short of a full load".

5/13 VW/Rolls Royce/BMW/Cosworth/Ford problems The bid for Rolls Royce, originally not of much interest to F1, has become a major problem for nearly everyone involved. With VWs bid reported to include a bid for Cosworth, this would hit Ford. BMW wouldn't supply a VW owned Rolls Royce, whilst VW say they would use Cosworth engines. Ford, meanwhile, as reported last week has said it would have to find a new tuner. In the end, all that will matter to Vickers shareholders is the bottom line....

5/13 US GP - deal close Chris Pook has said that an anouncement about the US GP will be made later this year by BCE. San Francisco is now the favourite, with a battle between a Golden Gate Park race or one based around Presido miliatary base. Don Panoz's Georgia track is still in the frame, as is Dallas and Las Vegas. The latter depends on planning permission.

5/13 BTCC Peugeots wait The BTCC Peugeots are still awaiting a decision from France on whether they can use the GTCC demon engines.

5/13 Bathurst "World Cup" The Bathurst race has moved into the frame as the favourite for the Touring Car World Cup. Alan Gow, boss of TOCA, has said that as the race is going ahead it makes sense for it go on. South Africa has pulled out of hosting the event due to lack of funds. This also will affect its bid for a GT race later this year.

5/13 Nissan Germany wins The same engines that have won for Nissan in the BTCC - last years - have repeated the feet in the German series. More engines to last years spec are to built by IES. Engine Developments problems continue.

5/13 Zytek continues The Zytek engine concern will continue to supply engines to F3000 until 2001. The only other bidder was Engine Developments - maker of the Yamaha F1 engine, and the junked touring car Hondas.

5/13 Dijon Safety Drivers have expressed concern at safety at the Dijon-Prenois circuit which will host the FIA GT race in July.

5/13 Muller or Piro for Le Mans Yvan Muller or Emanuelle Piro are set to drive GTC McLarens at the Le Mans 24 hours next month.

5/13 Electric Panoz goes testing The Electric Panzo, which failed to prequalify for Le Mans, is set for the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta in October. In the meantime development of the car will hot up.

5/13 Bitter for GTs The Bitter GT car is set to take part in the Silverstone GT race this weekend. This takes the GT1 field up to 13 cars. 32 cars are expected this weekend.

-- Stephen M Baines

"[The Autosport sticker] started to peel off in the middle of Eau Rouge and it distracted me. In fact it was the first thing to hit the barrier" Tiff Needell - Jaguar XJR-15 Challenge - Interview with Autosport


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About this article
Series Formula 1 , General
Drivers Ralf Schumacher , Jos Verstappen , Mika Hakkinen , Tiff Needell , Yvan Muller , Chris Pook , Don Panoz , Mike Gascoyne , Alan Gow
Teams Ferrari , McLaren , Williams , Benetton , Jordan