Oulton Park, Cheshire Sun 28/05/95

Young star James Thompson rewarded his hard working Vauxhall mechanics by grabbing pole position for round 9 of this year's Auto Trader RAC British Touring Car Championship to be staged at Oulton Park, Cheshire on Bank Holiday Monday.

The 22-year old hot-shoe destroyed his Vauxhall Cavalier in a 128mph accident in official testing on Friday afternoon. With no spare car available his team worked around the clock to totally rebuild and repaint his badly damaged race car. They succeeded just in time and the brilliant Yorkshireman responded in fine style to set the fastest time on the final lap of qualifying.

Thompson, however, failed to make it a double. Both Volvo's championship leader Rickard Rydell and Alain Menu in the leading Williams Renault Laguna, pipped him in the second qualifying session which determines the starting grid for round is, the second of tomorrow afternoon's two 16 lap BTCC showdowns.

Reigning BTCC champion Gabriele Tarquini, who's making a one-off return for the beleaguered Alfa Romeo team this weekend, had a wretched afternoon qualifying a lowly 19th for round 9 and an even more disappointing 21st for round 15.

QUALIFYING TIMES - Round 9 Auto Trader RAC British Touring Car Championship Oulton Park, Cheshire - 28/55/95

1 James Thompson (GB), Vauxhall Cavalier - 1min 42.186 seconds - 97.76mph 2 Rickard Rydell (5), Volvo 855 - 1:42.373s 3 Kelvin Burt (GB), Ford Mondeo - 1:42.555s 4 John Cleland (GB), Vauxhall Cavalier - 1:42.553s 5 Alain Menu (CH), Renault Laguna - 1:42.533s 6 Paul Radisich (NZ), Ford Mondeo - 1:42.599s 7 David Leslie (GB), Honda Accord - 1:42.819s 8 Tim Sugden (GB), Toyota Carina - 1:43.549s 9 Jul ian Bailey (GB), Toyota Carina - 1:43.552s 15 Simon Harrison (GB), Peugeot 455 - 1:43.284s


1 Rickard Rydell, 1 minute 42.626 seconds - 97.34mph 2 Alain Menu, 1:42.721s 3 James Thompson, 1:42.733s 4 John Cleland, 1:42.995s

Message Ref: 1572848U551595 Page 1 (continued) 5 Kelvin Burt, 1:43.461s 6 Jul ian Bailey, 1:43.519s 7 Paul Radisich, 1:43.543s 8 Simon Harrison, 1:43.594s 9 Giampiero Simoni (I), Alfa Romeo 155 - 1:43.671s 10 David Leslie, 1:43.728s

BTCC Rounds 9 and 10 P Oulton Park, Monday 29 May.

Ends Further information: Jonathan Gill, TOCA Media 0860-563000 (weekend) / 0171 384 2121(weekday)

Message Ref: 1572848UBB1B95 Page 2 (last page)