Rally drivers face ban for speeding



The world's top rally drivers - including Richard Burns, Colin McCrae and Carlos Sainz - are facing being banned from driving on roads in the UK after being caught speeding.

The big names were all driving between competition stages during the British leg of the world championships last year when they were clocked by speed cameras, a court has heard.

Some 20 big names competing in the rally were caught breaking the 30mph limit while making their way along country roads to the next stage of the rally in the Neath area on November 14 last year.

Others those caught on camera were Finn Tommi Makinen, four times world champion and German Armin Schwarz, a former European champion.

Only Schwarz pleaded guilty to five charges of speeding at Port Talbot Magistrates court.

Richard Burns, who was reigning world champion when he took part in last year's rally, and former world champion Colin McRae, along with 17 others, were represented at the court by solicitor Paul Trotman.

He told the court: "Some of my clients face disqualification and would be making out a case for not being disqualified on the grounds that they would suffer exceptional hardship."

Magistrates adjourned the case to November 10, when many of those accused will be in the country for the 2003 event.

A spokesman for the sport's governing body, the FIA, insisted that a ban would not stop drivers competing in events.