Reigning Formula 1 champion Niki Lauda, winless on the 1985 circuit, announced in Zeltweg, Austria, he will retire from race driving at season's end. Lauda, 36, said he needs to pay more attention to his airline, Lauda Air.
"During the last 11 years I have spent half my life on the fascination of Formula 1, driving through curves at 300 kilometers per hour," the triple champion told a news conference a day before the Austrian Grand Prix.
"I have come to the conclusion that it is now time to do something else," he said. "I did this already once (quit in 1979), but this time I have considered (this step) much better."
Lauda was bumped from a front-row starting spot in today's Grand Prix by Nigel Mansell in qualifying yesterday. Alain Prost retained the pole . . .
At Long Pond, Pa., Rick Mears broke his qualifying record with 203.532 mph to gain the Pocono 500 pole position for the third time in four years. Mears, who is hobbled by leg injuries and drives only oval tracks, set the previous record at Pocono Raceway last year.
And Mears' colleague on car owner Roger Penske's team, Indianapolis 500 champion Danny Sullivan, will line up alongside him on the front row for today's 1 p.m. start after posting a 202.125. Al Unser Sr., the third Penske driver, will be on the outside of the second row based on a sixth-best of 201.041.