Rounds 21/22 of 26 Brands Hatch August 30

BRANDS HATCH, August 30, 1999: Ford Team Mondeo came away with just four points after their excellent run of form was interrupted at Brands Hatch in the Auto Trader British Touring Car Championship.

In the Sprint Race, Anthony Reid made a clean getaway from the lights to steal into eighth place having beaten Peter Kox in the dash for the first corner. His striking blue and yellow Mondeo then remained full in the mirrors of the two Renaults for the rest of the race, who were embroiled in their own battle for sixth and seventh place. He finished the race in eighth place, however, despite lapping as quickly as David Leslie, who finished fourth. Reid said: "The car felt good. I gained a place on the first lap and, had we qualified higher up the grid, I think I would have stayed there as I had the pace of everyone except the first three."

Teammate Alain Menu, however, started the race from eleventh after a poor qualifying lap started with a slide at the Paddock Hill bend. He became caught up in the first lap tussles, eventually losing out at Clearways when Vincent Radermecker hit the side of his Mondeo causing damage to the suspension, forcing him to retire from the race. Menu said: "After the incident, the car began to understeer so badly I had to retire."

In the Feature Race, Menu began from ninth, and was again involved in the first lap shakeout as he and Plato raced each other into Druids. Menu managed to hold off his initial advances, but at the Paddock Hill Bend the two clashed causing Menu to spin off. His race was over and the safety car had to join the race for several laps while Menu's badly damaged car was cleared from the track. Menu said: "I am very disappointed to have finished the weekend with two non-finishes. Before the weekend, I could have contended for fifth place in the Drivers Championship after my recent win and podium finishes, but that now looks slim."

Reid began the Feature Race from tenth place, moving in to eighth place on the first lap. He raced with Plato for the first part of the race again, losing his place before the mandatory pit stop. But the team decided to take advantage of the good tyre wear of the Mondeo to pit last. This strategy seemed to work well with a quick 5.7 second stop, having changed only the front tyres. Reid re-entered the race back in eighth place again ahead of Plato, but he span off at Clearways shortly after to put him to the back of the pack. Reid said: "The car felt more balanced than in the first race, but after the pit stop I lost third gear, then span off because the front tyres had good grip, but the rears went off. I'm disappointed because I was running well despite being in eighth place."


Round 21 (Sprint Race)

1       Rickard Rydell  Volvo S40
2       Laurent Aiello  Nissan Primera
3       James Thompson  Honda Accord
8       Anthony Reid    Ford Mondeo
DNF     Alain Menu      Ford Mondeo

Round 22 (Feature Race)

1       Laurent Aiello  Nissan Primera
2h      David Leslie    Nissan Primera
3       James Thompson  Honda Accord
12      Anthony Reid    Ford Mondeo
DNF     Alain Menu      Ford Mondeo

Championship Points

Drivers Championship Total Manufacturers Total 1. Laurent Aiello 214 1. Nissan 432 2. David Leslie 192 2. Honda 268 3. James Thompson 144 3. Volvo 231 10. Alain Menu 82 6. Ford 141 12. Anthony Reid 57