NEWS FROM THE AUTO TRADER RAC TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP, 30/7/97 Rydell quickest in Knockhill tests
SWEDE Rickard Rydell -- who on Sunday will bid to clinch Volvo's first Auto Trader RAC Touring Car Championship race victory of the season -- emerged quickest in today's (Weds) official test sessions at
Rydell, who claims the Fife circuit as his 'home' track because it's the closest to Sweden, bettered his own qualifying record by four- hundredths of a second, and was five-hundredths quicker than his nearest rivals, the Audi duo of Frank Biela and John Bintcliffe.
Sunday will see rounds 15 and 16 of the Auto Trader Championship played out before the live TV cameras of BBC Grandstand, and Rydell -- a victor at Knockhill in '95 and '96 -- is among the favourites. Top Scot today was Anthony Reid, eighth fastest for Nissan. His team-mate David Leslie was 11th and John Cleland (Vauxhall) 12th quickest. Championship leader Alain Menu was fifth. Swiss star Menu, who celebrates his 34th birthday next week, could clinch the Auto Trader Championship drivers' title at Knockhill. After 10 victories from 14 races he enjoys a 106-point lead in the title race. There's further testing at the Fife circuit tomorrow (Thurs), with official qualifying scheduled for Saturday and the twin races on Sunday afternoon. Auto Trader RAC Touring Car Championship Official testing, Knockhill, 30/7/97 1 Rickard Rydell (Swe), Volvo S40, 52.749s, 87.35mph; 2 Frank Biela (Ger), Audi A4, 52.811s; 3 John Bintcliffe (GB), Audi A4, 52.898s; 4 James Thompson (GB), Honda Accord, 52.915s; 5 Alain Menu (Switz), Renault Laguna, 52.940s