CLELAND TAKES FOURTH WIN IN A ROW CHAMPIONSHIP leader John CLELAND this afternoon (Sunday) underlined his and Vauxhall's advantage in the Auto Trader RAC British Touring Car Championship with a win from pole position at a streaming wet ...
CLELAND TAKES FOURTH WIN IN A ROW
CHAMPIONSHIP leader John CLELAND this afternoon (Sunday) underlined his and Vauxhall's advantage in the Auto Trader RAC British Touring Car Championship with a win from pole position at a streaming wet Silverstone-
It was a fourth straight win for Cleland - who celebrated his 43rd birthday yesterday - and extends his championship advantage to 52 points with 10 rounds remaining-
But the Scotsman did not have things all his own way in the race, which immediately followed the British Grand Prix. From the off he duelled with Kiwi Paul Radisich in the Ford Mondeo, with Renault's Swiss driver AIain Menu in close attendance- Cleland and Radisich swapped the lead countless times, until Cleland made his move stick towards the end of lap four-
With Menu (and Volvo driving Swede Rickard Rydell) pitting for attention to a steamed-up windscreen, Will Hoy in the second Renault had assumed third place and he followed Cleland past Radisich to take up second spot. But there was little Hoy, the 1991 Champion, could do to catch the runaway Cavalier - his Laguna's windscreen wiper had fallen off, and he was struggling to see the track- "Visibility was very poor," said Hoy- "I was driving blind and when it started to rain at the end I couldn't have done another lap!"
Radisich meanwhile slipped back and into the clutches of Tim Harvey (Volvo). James Thompson (Vauxhall) Kelvin Burt (Ford) and Julian Bailey (Toyota), who staged a titanic duel for third place for several laps. Harvey slithered off the track at Club Corner on lap 11 handing third to Thompson as Radisich slipped down the order- Bailey took fourth place. right in Thompson's wheel tracks.
Victor in the Total Cup for Privateers was 1990 Champion Robb Gravett, making a triumphant return to the championship in a new Ford Mondeo.
Cleland, who now looks forward to racing at home, at Knockhill, at the end of the month, said of today's race; "It was a credit to everybody that they produced such a spectacular race when the conditions were 50 treacherous- There are 10 rounds to go in the championship now and, while I'm pleased none of my main rivals scored points today, I'm not getting complacent."
RESULTS 1995 Auto Trader RAC British Touring Car Championship, round 15 Silverstone, Northants, 16/07/95 15 laps-47.13 miles
1 John Cleland (GB). Vauxhall Cavalier 16V, 33m 47.705, 83.07mph; 2 Will Hoy (GB), Renault Laguna. +7.57s; 3 James Thompson (GB), Vauxhall Cavalier 16V. +9.26s; 4 Julian Bailey (GB), Toyota Carina E, +9.78s; 5 Kelvin Burt (GB). Ford Mondeo, +13.94s; 6 Paul Radisich (NZ). Ford Mondeo, +27.81s; 7 David Brabham (AUS), BMW 318i, +35.58s; 8 Tim Sugden (08), Toyota Carina E, +37.29s; 9 Derek Warwick (GB), Alfa 155, +43.93s; 10 Patrick Watts (GB). Peugeot 405, +46.025.
Total Cup Privateers; Robb Gravett (GB), Ford Mondeo.
Fastest lap; Bailey. 2m 13.39s. 84.79mph.
Pole position: Cleland. 1 m 59.647s.
Drivers; 1 Cleland. 232 points; 2 Alain Menu (Switz), Renault, 180; 3 Rickard Rydell (Swe). Volvo, 170; 4 Radisich. 126, 5 Thompson, 124; 6 Tim Harvey (GB). Volvo. 107.
Manufacturers; 1 Vauxhall. 268: 2 Volvo. 231; 3 Renault, 230; 4 Ford. 166; 5 Toyota. 108; 6 BMW, 87.
Total Cup Privateers; 1 Matt Neal (GB). Ford. 216.
Next round: Knockhill, Fife, 30//07/95.
-- Stephen M Baines
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