NEWS FROM THE AUTO TRADER RAC TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP Snetterton, 15/6/96 GERMANY'S Jo Winkelhock scored a double top at Snetterton this afternoon (Saty), taking pole position for both of tomorrow's (Sun) rounds of the Auto Trader RAC Touring Car Championship.
The BMW team leader and 1993 BTCC Champion was in unbeatable form in Norfolk, edging out Swede Rickard Rydell (Volvo) in qualifying for round 11 of the championship by three-hundredths of a second, and following that up in round 12 qualifying by eclipsing Renault's Will Hoy by nearly a tenth of a second.
They were Winkelhock's third and fourth pole positions of the season; on both previous occasions this year when he has started from top spot on the grid, 'Smokin' Jo' has gone on to race victory. With three race wins under his belt already this season, Winkelhock holds sixth place overall in the championship.
Said Winkelhock: 'I am very confident for the races tomorrow. We did a full race distance yesterday in testing with no problems and I set my times today on race tyres, so we are in good shape.'
Rydell -- who will race solo for the Volvo team tomorrow after team- mate Jamie Davies destroyed his car in a testing accident yesterday -- was third quickest in the second qualifying session. Davies, pronounced fully fit after being knocked unconscious in the crash, was a spectator at the circuit.
Hoy's second place on the grid for round 12 came as some consolation for a poor performance earlier in the day, when his Renault broke a driveshaft and left him down in 12th spot for round 11.
Other good performances today came from the Vauxhall team, which enjoyed its best-yet qualifying placings for the new Vectra touring car: James Thompson and John Cleland claimed fourth spot on the grid respectively for rounds 11 and 12. The championship-leading Audi team was in subdued form, Frank Biela claiming fifth and 10th spots in respective sessions.
Tomorrow's twin rounds of the Auto Trader RAC Touring Car Championship are expected to attract record crowds to Snetterton. OFFICIAL QUALIFYING: ROUND 11 1 Jo Winkelhock (Ger), BMW 320i, 1m 11.637s / 98.09mph; 2 Rickard Rydell (Swe), Volvo 850, 1:11.671; 3 Roberto Ravaglia (It), BMW 320i, 1:11.734; 4 James Thompson (GB), Vauxhall Vectra, 1:11.946; 5 Frank Biela (Ger), Audi A4, 1:11.962; 6 Alain Menu (Switz), Renault Laguna, 1:12.095; 7 James Kaye (GB), Honda Accord, 1:12.266; 8 David Leslie (GB), Honda Accord, 1:12.278; 9 John Cleland (GB), Vauxhall Vectra, 1:12.289; 10 John Bintcliffe (GB), Audi A4, 1:12.330. OFFICIAL QUALIFYING: ROUND 12 1 Winkelhock, 1m 11.899s; 2 Will Hoy (GB), Renault Laguna, 1:11.975; 3 Rydell, 1:11.993; 4 Cleland, 1:12.045; 5 Menu, 1:12.082; 6 Ravaglia, 1:12.147; 7 Thompson, 1:12.211; 8 Leslie, 1:12.220; 9 Paul Radisich (NZ), Ford Mondeo, 1:12.385; 10 Biela, 1:12.404. -- Official BTCC website: Best in British Motor Sport http://www.demon.co.uk/racing