April 18, 1999

MONDEOS ON THE PACE BUT MISS THE PODIUM AT SILVERSTONE

Alain Menu was on course for the second podium finish of his 1999 season in the Feature Race - round four of the Auto Trader British Touring Car Championship - today at Silverstone, when he was sidelined by driveline troubles.

Qualifying fifth on the grid, Menu made a terrific start to the race leaping one place at Copse on the first lap before passing Aiello and Rydell shortly after to take second position. Menu said, "The car was going very well. I started the race on slick tyres in poor weather and moved through the leaders quickly as the conditions improved, but couldn't translate it into a result as I had to retire on the 12th lap."

Menu's earlier Sprint Race was put to an end when he was forced off the track at Abbey corner on the opening lap. He rejoined the race, but finished 13th.

Fellow Ford Team Mondeo driver, Anthony Reid, started the Feature Race from the pit lane as his rear right door blew open during the warm up laps. "It gave me the opportunity to change to intermediate tyres as the track was wet, but it soon dried and I began to lose time", said Reid.

During the pit stop, Reid incurred a drive-through time penalty and was excluded from the results for speeding in the pit lane. "Despite a few disappointments today, I have now completed two races in the car. It is a new package, there is still some work to be done on the chassis and the rate of development is excellent. I'm looking forward to the next race already", he added.

This result puts Menu in 11th place in the Drivers Championship with 12 points and Reid in 13th with six points.

Team manager Dave Benbow concluded: "Everyone is bitterly disappointed at the eventual outcome, which does not reflect the encouraging pace of the car through the races. We were cost our places by a combination of race incidents and mechanical troubles."

The next two rounds of the Championship are at Thruxton on May 3.

1999 AUTO TRADER BRITISH TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP PROVISIONAL RESULTS (ROUND 3/4)

Round 3 (Sprint Race)

1  Laurent Aiello                Nissan Primera
2  David Leslie                        Nissan Primera
3  Rickard Rydell                Volvo S40
7  Anthony Reid                        Ford Mondeo
13 Alain Menu                        Ford Mondeo

Round 4 (Feature Race)

1  Jason Plato                        Renault Laguna
2  Yvan Muller                        Vauxhall Vectra
3  J C Boullion                        Renault Laguna
UNC Anthony Reid                Ford Mondeo
DNF Alain Menu                        Ford Mondeo

Championship Points

Drivers Championship          Total                Manufacturers        Total
1.  James Thompson        43                1. Nissan        65
2.  Jason Plato                41                2. Renault        60
3.  Matt Neal                31                3. Honda        58
11. Alain Menu                12                6. Ford                19
13. Anthony Reid        6