MOTOR RACING ROUNDUP : Unser Makes Quick Work of Field

From Associated Press

Al Unser Jr. made it look easy again Sunday, leading from start to finish and beating Nigel Mansell by nearly 24 seconds in the Cleveland Grand Prix.

Unser's unofficial average speed of 138.30 m.p.h. was a record for the 2.37-mile temporary course at Burke Lakefront Airport, the fastest road course on the Indy-car series.

It was Unser's fifth victory in eight Indy-car races this year, and the seventh win in a row on the circuit for Marlboro Team Penske. Paul Tracy was third.

Unser won from the pole for the second consecutive race, moving to the front at the start and steadily pulling away in his Ilmor-powered Penske racer. Mansell spent most of the afternoon battling Emerson Fittipaldi for second place, until the back of Fittipaldi's car caught fire 20 laps from the end.

Meanwhile, Eddie Lawson, who had the fastest laps in the morning warm-up, swept past pole-sitter Pedro Chaves late in the race and won the Buick Challenge of Cleveland for PPG-Firestone Indy Lights.

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Damon Hill took advantage of a controversial penalty against Michael Schumacher in Silverstone, England and won the British Grand Prix, a race that his father, Graham, a two-time world champion, never won.

Hill took the lead on the 27th lap as leader Schumacher, shown the black flag five laps earlier, finally pulled into the pits for a five-second penalty imposed for passing on the warm-up lap before the start.

Schumacher was fined $25,000 and his team reprimanded for ignoring the black flag.

"I'm unhappy about this," Schumacher said. "It's nothing I want to talk about."

Hill, who had been trailing by two seconds before the German was pulled, built a huge advantage as Schumacher's Benetton Ford spent 35.5 seconds in the pits--the penalty plus braking and accelerating time.

Hill, driving a Williams-Renault, won the 61-lap race by 18.778 seconds. The winning time was one hour 30 minutes 3.640 seconds.

"I think this is the best day of my life," Hill said after winning the race for the first time. "I feel this has completed the hole that my father left in his record and I'm sure that he'd be delighted."

Schumacher retained a 33-point lead over Hill in the world championship standings.

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Ricky Rudd, averaging 87.619 m.p.h., posted his first victory as an owner-driver and Dale Earnhardt took advantage of Ernie Irvan's late crash to grab the Winston Cup points lead in the wreck-filled Slick 50 300 in Loudon, N.H.

Earnhardt, who finished about four car lengths behind Rudd's Ford Thunderbird, moved into the Winston Cup lead by four points, 2,511-2,507, over Irvan, who spun and crashed hard between turns one and two moments after a restart on lap 276 of the 300-lap event. Irvan finished 30th.

There were 17 caution flags for a total of 83 laps. Despite it all, there were no injuries.

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