NEWS FROM THE AUTO TRADER RAC TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP Donington Park, 7/9/96 SWEDEN'S Rickard Rydell this afternoon (Saty) further boosted his hopes of claiming second position in the Auto Trader RAC Touring Car Championship by taking pole position for both of tomorrow's rounds of the championship at Donington Park.
Rydell's Volvo lapped well inside his own official qualifying record for the Derby track in both of today's official qualifying sessions to collect his fourth and fifth pole positions of the season. With four races remaining, including tomorrow's rounds 23 and 24, Rydell holds second place in the title fight, 19 points ahead of Renault's Alain Menu.
Rydell will share the front row of the grid for round 23 with Menu's team-mate Will Hoy, with Menu in third position and Volvo's second driver, Kelvin Burt, fourth. Honda's David Leslie was second fastest for round 24, with Menu third and BMW's Roberto Ravaglia fourth.
Newly crowned champion Frank Biela suffered problems in first qualifying, posting only 12th best time in his Audi A4. He recovered to fifth place in qualifying for round 24.
There were problems also for Honda's James Kaye, who spun off the track in the second session, sustaining light damage to his car and halting the session. OFFICIAL QUALIFYING: ROUND 23 1 Rickard Rydell (Swe), Volvo 850, 1m 36.340s, 93.41mph / 150.34kmh; 2 Will Hoy (GB), Renault Laguna, 1:36.712; 3 Alain Menu (Switz), Renault Laguna, 1:36.738; 4 Kelvin Burt (GB), Volvo 850, 1:36.744; 5 David Leslie (GB), Honda Accord, 1:36.760; 6 Roberto Ravaglia (It), BMW 320i, 1:36.786; 7 James Kaye (GB), Honda Accord, 1:36.927; 8 James Thompson (GB), Vauxhall Vectra, 1:36.937; 9 Jo Winkelhock (Ger), BMW 320i, 1:37.157; 10 Peter Kox (Neth), BMW 320i, 1:37.167. OFFICIAL QUALIFYING: ROUND 24 1 Rydell, 1:36.443, 93.31mph; 2 Leslie, 1:36.477; 3 Menu, 1:36.624; 4 Ravaglia, 1:36.642; 5 Frank Biela (Ger), Audi A4, 1:36.867; 6 Hoy, 1:36.886; 7 Thompson, 1:37.094; 8 Gary Ayles (GB), Nissan Primera, 1:37.163; 9 Kaye, 1:37.242; 10 Kox, 1:37.247. -- Official BTCC website: Best in British Motor Sport http://www.demon.co.uk/racing