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Motor Racing: Warwick on top of world

DEREK WARWICK, of Britain, and his French co-driver, Yannick Dalmas, won the world sportscar drivers' championship and took the team title for Peugeot with a victory in Suzuka, Japan, yesterday.

Warwick and Dalmas share the title after also driving together in victories at Silverstone and Le Mans, plus a second place at Donington Park. They finished the 1,000-kilometre race in 5hr 30min 09.627sec, at an average speed of 182.228kph (113.234 mph), a lap ahead of the Toyota of Britain's Geoff Lees and his co-drivers, Jan Lammers, of the Netherlands, and Australia's David Brabham.

Third, in another Peugeot, were Mauro Baldi, of Italy, and the Frenchman Philippe Alliot, who had led for 20 laps until a 14- minute pit stop to repair a power- steering pump.

Peugeot, who established their sportscar team at Velizy only two years ago and finished second to Jaguar last season, have won four of this season's five races. Jaguar have been absent this year. 'We have done what we set out to do, to win the 24 hours Le Mans and then the sportscar world championship,' Jean Todt, director of Peugeot Talbot Sport, said.

The company's director-general, Frederic Saint-Geours, said Peugeot wanted to remain in the world sportscar series, but if it collapses they could switch to Formula One. 'We want to compete on a global basis in a championship which attracts good interest from the media and the public,' he said. 'We have a winning team, and we would want to compete with our own car and our own engine.'

Fisa, motor sport's world governing body, has been forced to cancel the Spanish and Mexican rounds of the championship because of problems with the circuits, cutting an eight-round series, which very nearly failed to start, to six. The final race is at Magny-Cours, France, on 18 October.

Results, Sport in Short, page 23