OFFICIAL NEWS FROM TOCA Snetterton, 28/8/95 JOHN Cleland this afternoon (Mon) moved further ahead in the race for the Auto Trader RAC British Touring Car Championship title as his chief rival, Sweden's Rickard Rydell, failed to score a single...
OFFICIAL NEWS FROM TOCA
Snetterton, 28/8/95 JOHN Cleland this afternoon (Mon) moved further ahead in the race for the Auto Trader RAC British Touring Car Championship title as his chief rival, Sweden's Rickard Rydell, failed to score a single point.
Cleland himself failed to take any points after the weather intervened in the first race of the day, but came back to take third place in the second race as Rydell crashed out of the running.
Winners at Snetterton were Ford's Kelvin Burt -- taking his maiden victory -- and Will Hoy for Renault.
Snetterton's first event of the day -- round 20 of the championship -- was a race for the gambler. As the cars lined up on the grid for the start, the heavens opened and the drivers were given a free choice of tyres. Those who opted for slick, dry-weather rubber, or intermediate grooved tyres, stacked the odds in their favour as the track surface dried rapidly at mid-distance in the race.
Pole position man Rydell led away from the green light but lost his advantage before the end of the opening lap to Cleland. The Swede was quickly relieved of second place also, this time by the charging Kiwi Paul Radisich (Ford), and it was Cleland's turn to feel the heat.
Radisich found a way past the Vauxhall man at the start of lap nine but, by this time, all the wet-tyre runners -- Cleland and Radisich included -- were beginning to feel the strain. By the end of that lap, it was Radisich's slick-shod Ford team-mate Kelvin Burt in command.
>From there on in, Burt enjoyed a largely trouble-free run to his maiden outright BTCC victory, but behind him there was a six-car squabble for second.
Cleland's Vauxhall team-mate, South African Champion Mike Briggs, was another to opt for intermediate tyres, and he held second place from the 11th lap to the final tour, when a three-abreast charge involving Briggs, David Leslie (Honda) and Patrick Watts (Peugeot) culminated in a spin down to eighth place for Briggs.
Leslie won the last-lap sprint to the flag to claim second for Honda -- the Japanese manufacturer's best-yet BTCC placing -- ahead of Watts.
Fourth was 1990 Champion Robb Gravett, earning the best-ever race placing for a privateer runner, in his Ford Mondeo. Reigning Champion Gabriele Tarquini (Alfa) was fifth, ahead of Richard Kaye (Ford), Tim Sugden (Toyota) and Briggs.
Radisich soldiered on on wet tyres to ninth, ahead of Johnny Cecotto (BMW), who made a mid-race pit stop to switch to slicks and came back to post fastest lap.
Title protagonists Cleland and Rydell were 13th and 14th respectively, with Alain Menu (Renault) a non-finisher after a clash with Julian Bailey's Toyota.
A dry track for round 21 saw pole man Rydell take an immediate lead in the race, pursued by his team-mate Tim Harvey as Menu spun to the back of the field at the first corner.
Menu's team-mate, Will Hoy, took up the Renault baton to unseat Harvey from second, and set about a breathless pursuit of the runaway Rydell.
But Rydell spun his race -- and possibly championship -- chances away on lap 15 when his Volvo left the track at Sear. That left Hoy to claim his second victory in a fortnight, ahead of Harvey and Cleland - - happy to settle for third with neither of his chief title rivals scoring well.
Privateer Matt Neal (Ford) emulated Gravett's earlier achievement by claiming fourth, ahead of Briggs, Bailey and Sugden. Menu put in the drive of the race to capture 10th place, and a single point.
RESULTS 1995 Auto Trader RAC British Touring Car Championship, round 20 Snetterton, Norfolk, 28/8/95 18 laps -- 35.14 miles 1 Kelvin Burt (GB), Ford Mondeo Ghia, 23m 57.61s, 87.98mph; 2 David Leslie (GB), Honda Accord, +20.17s; 3 Patrick Watts (GB), Peugeot 405, +20.68s; 4 Robb Gravett (GB), Ford Mondeo Ghia, +22.26s; 5 Gabriele Tarquini (It), Alfa Romeo 155, +24.89s; 6 Richard Kaye (GB), Ford Mondeo Ghia, +25.02s; 7 Tim Sugden (GB), Toyota Carina E, +26.17s; 8 Mike Briggs (ZA), Vauxhall Cavalier 16V, +28.28s; 9 Paul Radisich (NZ), Ford Mondeo Ghia, +37.59s; 10 Johnny Cecotto (Venez), BMW 318i, +49.00s. Total Cup Privateers: Gravett. Fastest lap: Cecotto, 1m 14.95s, 93.75mph. Pole position: Rickard Rydell (Swe), Volvo 850 20V, 1m 12.369s, 97.10mph.
Round 21 20 laps -- 39.04 miles 1 Will Hoy (GB), Renault Laguna, 24m 42.79s, 94.78mph; 2 Tim Harvey (GB), Volvo 850 20v, +0.50s; 3 John Cleland (GB), Vauxhall Cavalier 16V, +1.57s; 4 Matt Neal (GB), Ford Mondeo Ghia, +11.03s; 5 Briggs, +23.00s; 6 Julian Bailey (GB), Toyota Carina E, +23.20s; 7 Sugden, +23.81s; 8 Leslie, +27.07s; 9 James Kaye (GB), Honda Accord, +27.45s; 10 Alain Menu (Switz), Renault Laguna, +28.57s. Total Cup Privateers: Neal. Fastest lap: Rydell, 1m 13.13s, 96.09mph. Pole position: Rydell, 1m 12.137s, 97.41mph.
Championship positions Drivers: 1 Cleland, 294 points; 2 Rydell, 242; 3 Menu, 215; 4 Harvey, 163; 5 Hoy, 135; 6 Radisich, 130. Manufacturers: 1 Vauxhall, 340; 2 Volvo, 325; 3 Renault, 323. Total Cup Privateers: 1 Matt Neal (GB/Ford), 348.
Next round: Oulton Park, 10/9/95
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