BTCC: Silverstone report

RENAULT this afternoon (Sun) snatched the Auto Trader RAC British Touring Car Championship manufacturers' title with a pair of dominant race victories at Silverstone. Alain Menu and Will Hoy shared the wins in their Renault Lagunas to beat ...

RENAULT this afternoon (Sun) snatched the Auto Trader RAC British Touring Car Championship manufacturers' title with a pair of dominant race victories at Silverstone. Alain Menu and Will Hoy shared the wins in their Renault Lagunas to beat Vauxhall into second place in the points table, despite the best efforts of newly crowned drivers' champion John Cleland. Renault finished the season with 419 points -- five more than Vauxhall, with Volvo beaten into third place. The first of the afternoon's races was a lights-to-flag demonstration run by Swiss ace Menu, who took advantage of pole man Cleland's poor start to drive home his car's superiority on the opening lap, chased by team-mate Hoy, Cleland, Julian Bailey (Toyota) and Kelvin Burt (Ford). Bailey faded fast at one-third distance with accident damage, leaving Burt to bring the challenge to Cleland. The Ford man slipped past him and into third place on lap 12, holding the champion off until three laps from home, when Cleland outbraked him into Luffield corner. But by this time the Renaults were well in command, Menu finishing just over a second ahead of Hoy, with Cleland third a further four seconds down. Burt was fourth ahead of David Leslie's Honda and Mike Briggs in the second Vauxhall. With Cleland starting from sixth on the grid in the 25th and final round of the championship, and with Menu on pole, the Vauxhall man was always going to have his work cut out. Nonetheless, the Scot tried his hardest, fighting through to fourth place by mid-distance. At the front, the battle was between Hoy, Menu and Leslie, the Honda man snatching second from Menu to split the Renaults on lap 11. For six laps it looked as though Leslie might manage to get on terms with leader Hoy, but then Menu reasserted Renault's superiority to follow his team-mate home for their second one-two of the day. Leslie then fell into Cleland's clutches with four laps remaing. Menu's second place was enough to confirm him as runner-up in the drivers' championship to Cleland. Third place was not enough, however, for Cleland to prevent the Renault bid for the manufacturers' title -- but it did give the Vauxhall Sport squad the teams' prize. Leslie hung on for fourth ahead of Bailey and Tim Sugden in the second Toyota. Total Cup privateers' honours went to Richard Kaye (Ford) in the first race and Matt Neal (Ford) in the second. Neal had already wrapped up the Total Cup honours, with Kaye finishing the season as his runner-up.

RESULTS 1995 Auto Trader RAC British Touring Car Championship, round 24 Silverstone, Northants, 24/9/95 29 laps -- 47.62 miles 1 Alain Menu (Switz), Renault Laguna, 32m 34.72s, 87.69mph; 2 Will Hoy (GB), Renault Laguna, +1.11s; 3 John Cleland (GB), Vauxhall Cavalier 16V, +5.75s; 4 Kelvin Burt (GB), Ford Mondeo Ghia, +6.72s; 5 David Leslie (GB), Honda Accord, +15.39s; 6 Mike Briggs (South Africa), Vauxhall Cavalier 16V, +16.65s; 7 Rickard Rydell (Swe), Volvo 850 20v, +19.72s; 8 Derek Warwick (GB), Alfa Romeo 155, +21.43s; 9 David Brabham (AUS), BMW 318i, +24.48s; 10 Tim Harvey (GB), Volvo 850 20v, +26.05s. Total Cup Privateers: Richard Kaye (GB), Ford Mondeo Ghia. Fastest lap: Menu, 1m 01.43s, 96.22mph. Pole position: Cleland, 1m 00.677s, 97.42mph.

Round 25 28 laps -- 45.98 miles 1 Hoy, 31m 55.43s, 86.41mph; 2 Menu, +0.54s; 3 Cleland, +3.19s; 4 Leslie, +5.80s; 5 Julian Bailey (GB), Toyota Carina E, +7.56s; 6 Tim Sugden (GB), Toyota Carina E, +18.05s; 7 Harvey, +19.59s; 8 Patrick Watts (GB), Peugeot 405, +20.21s; 9 James Kaye (GB), Honda Accord, +20.85s; 10 Warwick, +22.26s. Total Cup Privateers: Matt Neal (GB), Ford Mondeo Ghia. Fastest lap: Menu, 1m 01.26s, 96.49mph. Pole position: Menu, 1m 00.713s, 97.36mph.

Final championship positions Drivers: 1 Cleland, 348 points; 2 Menu, 305; 3 Rydell, 255; 4 Hoy, 195; 5 Harvey, 176; 6 Paul Radisich (NZ/Ford), 130. Manufacturers: 1 Renault, 419; 2 Vauxhall, 414; 3 Volvo, 359; 4 Ford, 236; 5 Toyota, 172; 6 BMW, 144. Total Cup Privateers: 1 Neal, 430; 2 Richard Kaye, 342; 3 Nigel Smith (GB/Vauxhall), 298.

-- Max Communications Best in British Motor Sport website: http://www.demon.co.uk/racing/index.html

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