NEWS FROM THE AUTO TRADER RAC TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP, 19/4/97
THE Williams Renault team this afternoon (Saty) maintained its stranglehold on the Auto Trader RAC Touring Car Championship with drivers Jason Plato and Alain Menu claiming respective pole positions for tomorrow's third and fourth rounds of the championship.
Plato -- double pole-sitter at Donington last month -- was quickest in qualifying for round three, his Laguna lapping the revised Silverstone International circuit in 1m 22.607s, two-tenths faster than Menu's best. The Swiss driver turned the tables in round four qualifying, however, edging out his nearest pole rival by nearly three-tenths of a second with a time of 1m 22.625s.
Menu will tomorrow be bidding to stage a repeat of the Donington double victory which put him on top of the drivers' championship table by a 16-point margin.
The only crumb of comfort on offer to Renault's rivals at Silverstone today was the fact that James Thompson in the Honda Accord managed to split the Lagunas and will line up alongside Menu on the front row of the grid for the second of tomorrow's races.
Auto Trader RAC Touring Car Championship Official qualifying, Silverstone, 19/4/97 Round 3 1 Jason Plato (GB), Renault Laguna, 1m 22.607s, 98.14mph; 2 Alain Menu (Switz), Renault Laguna, 1m 22.819s; 3 James Thompson (GB), Honda Accord, 1m 22.884s; 4 Gabriele Tarquini (It), Honda Accord, 1m 23.003s; 5 Rickard Rydell (Swe), Volvo S40, 1m 23.119s
Round 4 1 Menu, 1m 22.625s, 98.12mph; 2 Thompson, 1m 22.916s; 3 Plato, 1m 22.960s; 4 Tarquini, 1m 23.165s; 5 Rydell, 1m 23.229s
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