NEWS FROM THE AUTO TRADER RAC TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP, 18/4/97 THE Renault team upped the pace at Silverstone this afternoon (Fri), underlining the early-season pace of their Williams-run Lagunas. In the final official test session for Sunday's third and fourth rounds of the Auto Trader RAC Touring Car Championship, series newcomer Jason Plato again came out on top, shaving half a second from his best time of yesterday, with Renault team leader Alain Menu hot on his heels in second place.
Swiss ace Menu will bid on Sunday to repeat the form he showed in the BTCC's opening rounds at Donington Park over Easter, both of which he won at a canter.
Third and fourth fastest today were the Hondas of James Thompson and 1994 champion Gabriele Tarquini, with Rickard Rydell fifth for Volvo, just ahead of Tim Harvey's Peugeot. Official qualifying for rounds three and four of the Auto Trader RAC Touring Car Championship take place at Silverstone tomorrow (Sat), with the races scheduled for 1230 and 1530 on Sunday. Auto Trader RAC Touring Car Championship Official testing, Silverstone, 18/4/97 1 Jason Plato (GB), Renault Laguna, 1m 22.075s; 2 Alain Menu (Switz), Renault Laguna, 1m 22.168s; 3 James Thompson (GB), Honda Accord, 1m 22.508s; 4 Gabriele Tarquini (It), Honda Accord, 1m 22.752s; 5 Rickard Rydell (Swe), Volvo S40, 1m 22.754s. -------- BTCC97 www.demon.co.uk/racing/