Schumacher Races to Second Consecutive Formula One Title

From Staff and Wire Reports

Michael Schumacher won his second consecutive Formula One championship, getting a victory Sunday in the Pacific Grand Prix at Aida, Japan, but no handshake on the podium from bitter rival Damon Hill.

Schumacher, who needed no better than a fourth-place finish in any of the final three races, overcame Hill's blocking tactics but didn't forget afterward.

"This is something between me and Damon," the German said. "We should sort it out ourselves."

The drivers had crashed into each other twice this year.

"Michael told me a few times after the race that he was unhappy about my driving," Hill said.

Schumacher, 26, is the youngest driver to win consecutive titles.


Ward Burton's victory in the AC-Delco 400 at Rockingham, N.C., his first Winston Cup victory, was overshadowed by the tightening championship duel between series leader Jeff Gordon and runner-up Dale Earnhardt.

Two weeks ago, Gordon led Earnhardt by 302 points. After Sunday's 400-mile race at North Carolina Motor Speedway, Earnhardt trails by 162 with two races remaining.

The race ended in confusion after an official's mistake forced NASCAR to put out the yellow flag.

Earnhardt was running sixth when he made his final scheduled pit stop under the green flag on lap 326 of the 393-lap event on Rockingham's 1.017-mile oval.

As he drove away, a NASCAR inspector thought he saw only four of the five required lug nuts on one of Earnhardt's tires. NASCAR brought Earnhardt in to put on a lug nut that turned out to be in place.

Earnhardt fell to 14th and his crew was irate.

NASCAR chose to put out a caution flag, keep pit road closed and placed Earnhardt back into the proper position. It took from lap 372 to lap 384 to get it all straightened out.

The last nine laps were run under green, with Earnhardt winding up seventh and Gordon, who ran into Darrell Waltrip on the last turn of the race, finishing in 20th place.

Burton led the final 60 laps.


South African Wayne Ferreira surprised top-seeded Pete Sampras, ending the American's bid for a fourth title at the Lyon Open in Lyon, France with a 7-6 (7-2), 5-7, 6-3 victory. . . . Michael Chang defeated Renzo Furlan of Italy, 7-5, 6-3, to win the Salem Open in Beijing for the third consecutive time. . . . Filip Dewulf became the first Belgian in two decades to win an ATP Tour singles title by stunning Austrian Thomas Muster, 7-5, 6-2, 1-6, 7-5, at the $500,000 CA Trophy in Vienna, Austria. . . . Mary Joe Fernandez defeated South Africa's Amanda Coetzer, 6-4, 7-5, to win the Brighton International tournament in England. . . . Sweden's Stefan Edberg, rediscovering his touch, defeated Italian Andrea Gaudenzi, 6-3, 6-1, 7-6 (7-3), to win the $760,000 Marlboro Championship in Hong Kong for the second consecutive year.

College Football

Northwestern broke into the Top 10 for the first time in 32 years at No. 8, and Notre Dame moved up to No. 12 in the Associated Press poll after defeating USC.

Northwestern kicker Sam Valenzisi will sit out the rest of the season because he tore an anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the sideline celebration.

Florida State and Nebraska remained 1-2 in the poll.

USC dropped eight notches to No. 13 and UCLA re-entered the poll at No. 23.

Glenn Freitas ran for two touchdowns and Tony Thomas rushed for a career-high 118 yards Saturday night as Hawaii (3-3) crushed Division I-AA Central Florida, 45-14, at Honolulu.


Liz Hjorth and her crew from the California Yacht Club won the last three of five races to win the fourth annual Women's One-Design Challenge run by the Long Beach Yacht Club.

Junior Randy Wright scored four goals as UCLA's fifth-ranked water polo team upset top-ranked California, 10-9, at Berkeley.

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