NEWS FROM THE AUTO TRADER RAC TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP, 12/6/97 WITH less than a second covering the top 12 runners in final official testing for Sunday's (Jun 15) twin rounds of the Auto Trader RAC Touring Car Championship at Donington Park, the scene is set for a closely fought battle as the championship reaches its mid-point.
Alain Menu -- winner of seven of the first 10 races -- was once again the man in form, his Renault Laguna lapping Donington's National circuit in 1m 11.150s, slightly slower than he achieved in last week's test. Volvo's Kelvin Burt was second fastest, just ahead of the second Renault of Jason Plato and James Thompson's Honda.
There was further encouragement for the Peugeot team with Tim Harvey clocking fifth-best time.
Fastest of the Total Cup for Independents runners was Matt Neal, who has swapped his Ford Mondeo for a Nissan Primera for the remainder of the season. Neal clocked 1m 12.698s. Following the success of the first live BTCC telecast from Brands Hatch last month, BBC Grandstand's live cameras will again be present at Donington for rounds 11 and 12 -- the half-way point in the Auto Trader Championship -- on Sunday (Jun 15). Official qualifying takes place on Saturday. Auto Trader RAC Touring Car Championship Official testing, Donington Park, 12/6/97 1 Alain Menu (Switz), Renault Laguna, 1m 11.150s; 2 Kelvin Burt (GB), Volvo S40, 1m 11.294s; 3 Jason Plato (GB), Renault Laguna, 1m 11.482s; 4 James Thompson (GB), Honda Accord, 1m 11.487s; 5 Tim Harvey (GB), Peugeot 406, 1m 11.505s --------- www.btcc.co.uk