Donington Park, 25/3/96 CHAMPIONSHIP newcomer Audi and the team's number one driver, reigning Touring Car World Cup Champion Frank Biela, led the way at Donington Park this afternoon (Monday) in the first official test session for the 1996 Auto Trader RAC Touring Car Championship. German ace Biela, 31, and his four-wheel-drive Audi A4 made the best of bitterly cold conditions to lap the Grand Prix circuit at the Derby venue in a time of 1 minute 36.372 seconds, nearly a second and a half inside the qualifying record set by reigning British Touring Car Champion John Cleland last season. Biela's closest challenger today was Volvo's Rickard Rydell, who posted a time of 1m 36.717s, with 1993 Champion Jo Winkelhock third for BMW with a time of 1m 36.808s. Cleland finished the day 10th with the new Vauxhall Vectra. There is one further official test session scheduled before the Auto Trader RAC Touring Car Championship resumes in earnest, at Donington Park on Easter Monday (April 8). TOP TESTING TIMES 1 Frank Biela (Ger), Audi A4, 1m 36.372s, 93.38mph; 2 Rickard Rydell (Swe), Volvo 850, 1m 36.717s; 3 Jo Winkelhock (Ger), BMW 320i, 1m 36.808s; 4 Alain Menu (Switz), Renault Laguna, 1m 37.167s; 5 Robert Ravaglia (It), BMW 320i, 1m 37.264s; 6 Kelvin Burt (GB), Volvo 850, 1m 37.458s; 7 David Leslie (GB), Honda Accord, 1m 37.700s; 8 John Bintcliffe (GB), Audi A4, 1m 38.164s; 9 James Kaye (GB), Honda Accord, 1m 38.178s; 10 John Cleland (GB), Vauxhall Vectra, 1m 38.210s; 11 James Thompson (GB), Vauxhall Vectra, 1m 38.333s; 12 Peter Kox (NL), BMW 320i, 1m 38.528s; 13 Gary Ayles (GB), Nissan Primera, 1m 39.032s; 14 Richard Kaye (GB), Vauxhall Cavalier, 1m 39.149s; 15 Paul Radisich (NZ), Ford Mondeo, 1m 39.825s.

-- official BTCC website