12th August1999
Weekly Sports



Hat's off to Eddie Irvine but can he stay in front. In spite of Eddie's great success, Mika Hakkinen in hie McLaren is still the number one contender. But what about Michael Schumacher? Will he make it back in time to make a difference? Does he even want to come back? He has so far earned over 100 million so why bother? Let's take a look at his career and see what he's made of. Michael was truly the hottest thing in German kart racing when he burst into the car scene in 1988 as reigning German champion. He was just nineteen years old. Starting in the entry-level Formula Konig series, he dominated that to such a extent that he wrapped the title up early and progressed into Formula Ford, placing second behind Mika Salo in the European Championship and fourth in the German series. Leaping straight up to the Formula Three series in 1989, he finished third, equal on points with team mate Heinz-Harald Frenzen and just one point behind Karl Wendlinger. Michael put his experience to good effect in 1990 and won five times to dominate the German Formula Three series, later topping this by winning the international invitation Formula Three races at Macau and Fuji. He also gained valuable experience in sports cars as a member of the Mercedes junior team, even winning the round in Mexico City. More sports car racing followed in 1991, with a win at Autopolis. But he also made his Formula One debut in the Belgian Grand Prix. He qualified his Jordan seventh, way ahead of team leader Andrea de Cesaris, on a circuit he had never seen before. Following a bitter legal battle, he then switched to Benetton for the next race, finishing fifth at Monza. In his first full season in 1992, his Benetton was outpaced by the Wlliams Renaults, but he proved that not only was he blindingly quick - such as when finishing second place to Nigel Mansell in the soaking Spanish Grand Prix - he was consistent aswell. He visited the podium no fewer than eight times, including the top step in the wet/dry Belgian Grand Prix, to rank third overall. Michael continued in the same vein in 1993. Although William's was once again the class of the field, team leader Alain Prost was occasionally overshadowed by Ayrton Senna in a McLaren, which had the same Ford engine as Michael's Benetton. However, Michael took a superb victory in Portugal, en route to being fourth overall. At the beginning of 94 Michael and Benetton surprised the Grand Prix world by proving faster than Senna and his Williams and after Senna's death, Michael looked to be in an unassailable position as he headed to his first World title. But he and Benetton were almost swamped by allegations of cheating, with disqualifications and bans, and in the end Michael beat Damon Hill to the world championship by a single point after a controversial collision in the final in Austrailia. To show it was no fluke Michael stormed to the 95 title, picking up nine wins in now Renault powered Benetton. Concistant speed aided by superior fitness and outstanding race tactics helped him beat Hill and David Coulthard when their Williams cars looked quicker. He accepted a huge fee to move to Ferrari for 96 and dragged a recalcitrate car to three wins it did not deserve, but he generally couldn't live with the pace of the Williams drivers Hill and Jacques Villeneuve. Ferrari was more competitive in 97, and Michael took his to wins in Monaco, Canada, France, Belgium and Japan to go into the final race at Jerez with a one point advantage over Villeneuve, but he disgraced himself again with a calculated crash into his opponent. He later had his second place in the championship stripped from him by the FIA. In 98 Michael proved himself to be a really great competitor but his Ferrari was out-gunned by Mika Hakkinen's McLaren. This season was looking like one of the most exciting ever until Michael's crash, now the championship is wide open. One thing is for certain Michael Schumacher won't quit. He'll be back and he'll be firing all cylinders.

Mark Skid.


With the start of a new soccer season now only a week away, all our teams have been busy preparing for the big kick off. This year will be fielding almost twenty teams in the local leagues as well as providing coaching and street leagues for the under seven to under ten age group on Saturday morning. This seasons coaching sessions will start on Saturday August 21st with the under nine and under ten age group on from 10 am to 11.30am, while the under seven and under eight groups on from 12noon to 1.30pm. Anyone seeking further information should contact Terry O'Donovan at (891257). This has been an exciting summer for the Corinthians Under Fourteen player Raymond Lally, Ray son of Liam Lally, General Manager of Rochestown Park Hotel, travels next week to Nottingham Forest for a trial with the English First Division Side. Ray has played with Corinthians for the last four years and last season played on the Cork under Thirteen Team which reached the final of the Kennedy cup losing 1-0 to the Dublin Schoolboys League. As a result of some outstanding performances Ray was chosen on the team of the week, a fine achievement given the fact that there was some twenty six inter county teams taking part in the competition. Besides Nottingham Forest, Premier League side Southampton have also offered Ray a trial later this year.

Everyone in Corinthians wishes Ray the best of luck.


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