NEWS FROM THE AUTO TRADER RAC TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP: Official testing, Silverstone, 30/4/96 Volvo's Rickard Rydell continued his excellent testing form when he made the running at the new Silverstone International circuit today (Tues) in official testing for the Auto Trader RAC Touring Car Championship. The 28-year-old Swede lapped the Northants track in 1m 25.061s, nearly a tenth of a second quicker than his nearest rival, hugely experienced Italian former champion Roberto Ravaglia (BMW).
Rydell has now topped the testing timesheets at every circuit visited by the British touring cars, but has yet to translate this into race- winning performances. He is currently joint third in the title hunt.
Championship leader Frank Biela was third fastest today for Audi, just ahead of fellow German Jo Winkelhock in the second BMW. Top Brit was sixth-placed Kelvin Burt, Rydell's Volvo team-mate. Reigning Champion John Cleland was ninth quickest in the Vauxhall Vectra, only just ahead of Richard Kaye, who was at the wheel of Cleland's car from last year, the Vauxhall Cavalier.
After today's shakedown at Silverstone International -- which will be raced on for the first time by the touring car teams on May 19 -- the Auto Trader RAC Touring Car Championship circus heads next for Thruxton in Hampshire, where the world's fiercest saloon racing battle will be continued in rounds five and six of the series on Bank Holiday Monday (May 6). Official BTCC testing times Silverstone, 30/4/96 1 Rickard Rydell (Swe), Volvo 850, 1m 25.061s, 93.74mph; 2 Roberto Ravaglia (It), BMW 320i, 1:25.156; 3 Frank Biela (Ger), Audi A4, 1:25.240; 4 Jo Winkelhock (Ger), BMW 320i, 1:25.358; 5 Alain Menu (Switz), Renault Laguna, 1:25.433; 6 Kelvin Burt (GB), Volvo 850, 1:25.508; 7 Will Hoy (GB), Renault Laguna, 1:25.624; 8 David Leslie (GB), Honda Accord, 1:25.753; 9 John Cleland (GB), Vauxhall Vectra, 1:25.785; 10 Richard Kaye (GB), Vauxhall Cavalier, 1:25.959; 11 Paul Radisich (NZ), Ford Mondeo, 1:25.961; 12 James Kaye (GB), Honda Accord, 1:25.988; 13 Tim Harvey (GB), Peugeot 406, 1:26.188; 14 John Bintcliffe (GB), Audi A4, 1:26.192; 15 Patrick Watts (GB), Peugeot 406, 1:26.472.
-- Official BTCC website: Best in British Motor Sport http://www.demon.co.uk/racing