NEWS FROM THE AUTO TRADER RAC TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP, 31/7/97 BIELA ON TOP FORM IN KNOCKHILL TESTS
Reigning champion Frank Biela and his re-engined four-wheel-drive Audi A4 left his rivals standing at Knockhill this afternoon (Thurs) in final official testing for Sunday's twin Auto Trader RAC Touring Car Championship races.
German ace Biela lapped the twisty Fife track in 52.452s, nearly three-tenths of a second faster than yesterday's best time, set by Volvo's Rickard Rydell. All the top runners improved their times today with the exception of Rydell, who suffered transmission problems. James Thompson (Honda) was Biela's closest challenger, with the second Audi of John Bintcliffe third fastest ahead of title-chasing Alain Menu and his Renault.
Top Scot was Nissan's Anthony Reid (eighth quickest), with David Leslie 10th and John Cleland 12th. Total Cup points leader Colin Gallie was fourth fastest out of the five Independent runners.
Official qualifying is set for Saturday, with rounds 15 and 16 of the Auto Trader Championship taking place before BBC Grandstand's live TV cameras on Sunday afternoon. Auto Trader RAC Touring Car Championship Official testing, Knockhill, 31/7/97 1 Frank Biela (Ger), Audi A4, 52.452s, 87.85mph; 2 James Thompson (GB), Honda Accord, 52.571s; 3 John Bintcliffe (GB), Audi A4, 52.575s; 4 Alain Menu (Switz), Renault Laguna, 52.771s; 5 Rickard Rydell (Swe), Volvo S40, 52.800s