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The Inside Track | NEWSWIRE

Schumacher Prevails in British Grand Prix

July 08, 2002|From Staff and Wire Reports

Once again, Michael Schumacher proved that he's the best Formula One driver, winning the British Grand Prix for his seventh victory of the season and the 60th of his career. Next, he'll try to match a racing legend.

Schumacher beat intermittent rain with timely tire changes and smart driving during the 60-lap race on the Silverstone, England, circuit Sunday, winning his second British Grand Prix and moving closer to his fifth series title.

Rubens Barrichello, Schumacher's Ferrari teammate, finished second. It was the fourth 1-2 finish for Ferrari this season. Juan Pablo Montoya of BMW Williams was third.

The victory gave Schumacher a decisive 54-point lead over Barrichello with seven races left. He could match Juan Manuel Fangio's record of five titles at the French Grand Prix in two weeks or at the German Grand Prix on July 28.

Asked if he was thinking about clinching in two weeks, Schumacher feigned ignorance: "Can I? I don't know. I haven't calculated my points yet."

Said Montoya: "He doesn't really have to think about it. He's got it in his pocket already."

"Thank you. But let's wait and see," Schumacher replied.

BAR Honda's Jacques Villeneuve was fourth, followed by teammate Olivier Panis and Nick Heidfeld of Sauber. Villeneuve, the 1997 season champion, earned his first points since last year's Italian Grand Prix.

Schumacher considers the British Grand Prix among his most important victories.

"This is a very special win for me for the circumstances, the conditions," said Schumacher, who won the race in 1998. "I have not finished first here very often and this was my 60th. We were not expecting rain and I struggled a little bit in the wet."

*

Cristiano da Matta just keeps on winning. He led from start to finish in the Toronto Molson-Indy, matching the CART record of four consecutive victories and extending his series points lead.

Da Matta started from the pole and led all 112 laps on the 1.755-mile, 11-turn street course.

He was virtually unchallenged, building leads of up to 12 seconds and driving his Toyota-powered Lola across the finish line 4.398 seconds--about half a straightaway--ahead of Kenny Brack.

"The Newman-Haas team is just working well together right now," Da Matta said. "We're just collecting the fruits that have been growing since last year."

Brack finished just ahead of Christian Fittipaldi, Da Matta's teammate on the team owned by actor-racer Paul Newman and Chicago businessman Carl Haas.

The victory was Da Matta's fifth of the season and seventh in the last 10 races. The four in a row match the CART record set by Al Unser Jr. in 1990 and tied by Alex Zanardi in 1998.

*

Airton Dare can thank Tomas Scheckter's bad luck for his first Indy Racing League victory and A.J. Foyt's first win as an owner in three years.

Dare took advantage of a second-chance restart after Scheckter's late crash--the only wreck of the day--and passed Sam Hornish Jr. with less than three laps left to win the Ameristar Casino 200 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan.

Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves finished third, followed by Felipe Giaffone and Gil de Ferran. Castroneves leads De Ferran by eight points and Hornish, the defending IRL champion, by 19 in the season's standings.

Miscellany

Harvard won three titles on the final day of the Henley Regatta at Henley-on-Thames, England, beating a second Crimson team in one of the finals.

Its top eight beat Molesey from London by 2 3/4 lengths to win the Ladies' Plate, the event's No. 2 international eights race.

Earlier, the Harvard "B" crew crossed the line 1 3/4 lengths ahead of its "A" crew in the first-ever all-American and one-club final of the Britannia Cup for coxed fours. The Crimson also won the Temple Cup for college eights.

*

Jay Gruden threw six touchdown passes and the Orlando Predators converted four turnovers into 21 points in a 55-48 victory over the Tampa Bay Storm in an Arena League game at Tampa, Fla.

Tampa Bay (4-8) got within 41-34, but the Predators (6-6) held the Storm to a long field goal attempt, which was wide and returned to the Orlando 19-yard line. Gruden then threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Junior Lord with 55 seconds left.

*

American Adam Saathoff won his second medal at the shooting world championships in Lahti, Finland, placing third in the running target mixed runs. Hungary's Josef Sike finished first with 390 points. Michael Jakosits of Germany tied Saathoff with 387 points, but had a better score in the final round and finished second.

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