April 5, 1999 MENU SCORES SECOND PLACE FINISH AT DONINGTON PARK
Alain Menu scored his first points for Ford Team Mondeo by finishing an impressive second in a thrilling Sprint Race - Round 1 of the 1999 Auto Trader British Touring Car Championship.
Menu, who proved the ability of the 1999 Mondeo by qualifying in third place, made a terrific start to the race, leaping one place into the first corner and going on to consolidate his second position under pressure from Jason Plato.
This result puts Menu in fourth place in the Drivers Championship with a solid 12 points and provides a useful 12 Manufacturers' points for Ford.
Alain said: " We have proved we are on the pace. I am very pleased to have brought the blue oval back to the podium. The team can be very proud of what it has achieved so far."
Menu had to retire in the Feature Race as the car stuck in fourth gear whilst trying to avoid the swerving Vauxhall Vectra of Yvan Muller.
Despite suffering mechanical problems in both of his opening two races, team mate Anthony Reid was very encouraged by the performance of the Ford Mondeo and still managed to make his own mark by setting the fastest lap of the Feature Race.
He said: "I have had a couple of disappointing episodes this weekend - I had to start at the back of the grid for the Feature Race and then the clutch broke in the Sprint Race, but the bigger picture looks tremendous. With Alain coming second in the first race, I think we are on a really solid footing for the start of the season and things can only get better."
Mark Deans, Brand Manager, Medium Car and Motorsport, Ford Motor Company summed up the weekend by saying: "To achieve a podium finish first time out of the box really is something special. This really does vindicate the decisions we made to make radical changes to the team and to the driver structure this year, and it just sets the scene for what we can expect for the rest of the championship."
The next two rounds of the Championship are at Silverstone on April 17 and 18.
1999 AUTO TRADER BRITISH TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS (ROUND 1 / 2)
Round 1 (Sprint Race)
1 James Thompson Honda Accord 2 Alain Menu Ford Mondeo 3 Jason Plato Renault Laguna DNF Anthony Reid Ford Mondeo
Round 2 (Feature Race) 1 Matt Neal Nissan Primera 2 James Thompson Honda Accord 3 Jason Plato Renault Laguna DNF Alain Menu Ford Mondeo DNF Anthony Reid Ford Mondeo
Drivers Championship Total Manufacturers Total 1. James Thompson 29 1. Honda 33 2. Matt Neal 23 2. Nissan 29 3. Jason Plato 20 3. Renault 25 4. Alain Menu 12 5. Ford 12 14. Anthony Reid 0