NEWS FROM THE AUTO TRADER RAC TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP Official Testing: Oulton Park, 9/5/96 THE Volvo team and number one driver Rickard Rydell continued their superb testing form in today's (Thurs) official preliminaries at the Oulton Park circuit in Cheshire. Swede Rydell -- who has beaten his rivals at every BTCC test so far this season yet has still to win a race -- lapped the Oulton long circuit in 1m 40.340s, more than two- tenths quicker than the BMW of 1993 champion Jo Winkelhock. Rydell's time was a second and a half inside the circuit qualifying record.
Rydell's team-mate Kelvin Burt went third quickest to underline the Volvo pace, with championship leader Frank Biela's Audi fourth fastest. James Thompson outpaced his Vauxhall team-mate, the reigning champion John Cleland, to claim fifth spot.
Next race outing for the touring car brigade is at Silverstone on May 19.
* The championship technical committee met at Oulton Park for two- and-a-half hours this afternoon to discuss weight differentials between the runaway four-wheel-drive Audi A4s and their two- wheel-drive and rear-drive BTCC rivals. No decision was reached and the committee has been asked to formulate a proposal by 5pm on Monday (May 13) to put before Alan Gow, Chief Executive of championship organiser TOCA. OFFICIAL TESTING TIMES 1 Rickard Rydell (Swe), Volvo 850, 1m 40.340s, 99.56mph; 2 Jo Winkelhock (Ger), BMW 320i, 1m 40.618s; 3 Kelvin Burt (GB), Volvo 850, 1m 40.809s; 4 Frank Biela (Ger), Audi A4, 1m 40.910s; 5 James Thompson (GB), Vauxhall Vectra, 1m 41.285s; 6 Will Hoy (GB), Renault Laguna, 1m 41.389s; 7 John Cleland (GB), Vauxhall Vectra, 1m 41.395s; 8 David Leslie (GB), Honda Accord, 1m 41.499s; 9 Roberto Ravaglia (It), BMW 320i, 1m 41.541s; 10 Alain Menu (Switz), Renault Laguna, 1m 41.637s; 11 Tim Harvey (GB), Peugeot 406, 1m 41.659s; 12 John Bintcliffe (GB), Audi A4, 1m 41.741s. -- Official BTCC website: Best in British Motor Sport http://www.demon.co.uk/racing