BTCC: Brands Hatch testing

NEWS FROM THE AUTO TRADER RAC TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP Brands Hatch, 12/9/96 Honda's David Leslie reconfirmed his late-season pace by posting the fastest ever Super Touring lap time on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit this afternoon (Thurs)...

NEWS FROM THE AUTO TRADER RAC TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP Brands Hatch, 12/9/96

Honda's David Leslie reconfirmed his late-season pace by posting the fastest ever Super Touring lap time on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit this afternoon (Thurs) in official testing for next weekend's (Sep 22) final rounds of the Auto Trader RAC Touring Car Championship.

Leslie lopped more than half a second from the Kent track's qualifying record, posting a time of 45.183s -- a tenth of a second quicker than his nearest rival today, BMW's Jo Winkelhock. Race winner last time out, at Donington Park, Leslie will be hoping for further success next Sunday to confirm his status as top British driver in the championship.

Less than a second covered the top 20 drivers at Brands today, with 1995 Champion John Cleland showing well for Vauxhall in third place, ahead of Volvo's Rickard Rydell and Renault's Alain Menu.

There's still much to play for in the championship -- Rydell and Menu are fighting for the honour of finishing runner-up to Audi's Frank Biela in the drivers' championship, and there's a three-way duel between BMW, Volvo and Renault for second place behind Audi in the manufacturers' championship.

Biela was absent from today's test -- he's in Italy, where he is due this weekend to bolster Audi's attempt to clinch the Italian Touring Car Championship.

OFFICIAL TESTING TIMES BRANDS HATCH, SEPTEMBER 12 1 David Leslie (GB), Honda Accord, 45.183s, 95.89mph; 2 Jo Winkelhock (Ger), BMW 320i, 45.325s; 3 John Cleland (GB), Vauxhall Vectra, 45.358s; 4 Rickard Rydell (Swe), Volvo 850, 45.364s; 5 Alain Menu (Switz), Renault Laguna, 45.412s; 6 James Kaye (GB), Honda Accord, 45.423s; 7 James Thompson (GB), Vauxhall Vectra, 45.505s; 8 Will Hoy (GB), Renault Laguna, 45.540s; 9 Roberto Ravaglia (It), BMW 320i, 45.604s; 10 Peter Kox (Neth), BMW 320i, 45.614s.

-- Official BTCC website: Best in British Motor Sport http://www.demon.co.uk/racing

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