Surprisingly small things can make a big difference in a 24-hour sports car race at Daytona Beach, Fla.
The final margin between the winning Riley & Scott Mark III and the runner-up Ferrari 333SP in the 37th Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway was just under two laps--one lap less than the second-place car spent in the pits Sunday morning because of a jammed brake rotor.
"It was just a matter of luck," said Italian driver Max Angelelli, making his first start in Daytona.
The Riley & Scott, co-driven by team-owner Rob Dyson, splashed to victory with Butch Leitzinger behind the wheel in the final hour.
Also taking their turns--and enduring the worst of the weather--were Elliott Forbes-Robinson and Englishman Andy Wallace.
After a warm, sunny start Saturday, rain developed overnight. As Leitzinger drove it to the finish, water pelted into the open cockpit.
Leitzinger was able to cruise through the final hour with that fortunate two-lap lead over the runner-up Ferrari of Angelelli, Allan McNish of Scotland, Wayne Taylor of South Africa and Didier de Radigues of Belgium. The official margin was one lap plus 1 minute, 55.69 seconds.
The winners covered 708 laps--2,520.48 miles--on the 3.56-mile, 11-turn road course. They averaged 104.9 mph.
Former Laker great Magic Johnson and baseball Hall of Famer Frank Robinson are among investors interested in buying the Oakland Athletics.
John Kehriotis, part-owner of the NBA's Sacramento Kings, said he has been speaking with Robinson and Johnson for months about joining him in making a probable $120-million bid.
Describing as "rubbish" some of the personal attacks against him over the Olympic corruption scandal, International Olympic Committee President Juan Antonio Samaranch said only the committee's members are in a position to judge whether he should stay in office.
"Maybe some people they are very tired to see me as president after 18 years, mainly some people outside the IOC," Samaranch said in Lausanne, Switzerland. "But I would like to repeat: I put my position to the IOC members. It is up to them. My position belongs to them."
Samaranch announced last week that he will put his leadership to a vote of confidence at a special general assembly March 17-18.
A proposed international agency to combat drugs in sports should be run by Prince Alexandre de Merode, the head of IOC's medical commission, Samaranch said.
Critics have called for the group to be fully independent, saying the agency would lack credibility if it's run by the IOC, especially since the corruption crisis.
Track and Field
The arbitration hearing into the drug suspension of distance runner Mary Slaney was surprisingly adjourned at Monte Carlo until April 24. The International Amateur Athletic Federation gave no reason for the adjournment.
Derrick Adkins, the 1996 Olympic 400-meter hurdles champion, will compete in the 500-yard race at the Los Angeles Invitational indoor meet Feb. 13 at the Sports Arena.
World bronze medalists Shae-Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz claimed their seventh consecutive national ice dance title at the Canadian figure skating championships in Ottawa. . . . Olympic silver medalist Samppa Lajunen of Finland completed the cross-country skiing portion in 47 minutes 33.4 seconds to beat American Todd Lodwick by 10.4 seconds in winning his first World Cup Nordic combined event of the season in Le Brassus, Switzerland. . . . American Christine Witty finished second in 1:18.35 to Olympic champion Marianne Timmer (1:18.17) in the women's 1,000 meters at the speedskating World Cup at Berlin. . . . Italian Armin Zoeggeler won the men's singles race in 1:35.556 at the World Luge Championships at Koenigssee, Germany. Because of the tricky course, several racers crashed, including the top American, Adam Heidt, and Germany's Olympic champion George Hackl. The U.S. team got a bronze in men's doubles from Mark Grimmette and Brian Martin.
Fernando Ibarra of Laredo, Texas, remained in critical condition at St. Louis with a brain injury after being knocked out by the International Boxing Federation's No. 1 junior-flyweight contender Ratanachai Vorapin of Thailand on Friday night. . . . World Boxing Council middleweight champion Hassini Cherifi, who was to defend his title Saturday night in a rematch against Keith Holmes, has withdrawn from the bout after suffering a back injury in his final sparring session in France.