BTCC: testing Silverstone 12/9/97

NEWS FROM THE AUTO TRADER RAC TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP, 12/9/97 JASON PLATO'S hopes of finishing series runner-up to his Renault team-mate Alain Menu in the Auto Trader RAC Touring Car Championship received a boost this afternoon (Fri)...

NEWS FROM THE AUTO TRADER RAC TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP, 12/9/97 JASON PLATO'S hopes of finishing series runner-up to his Renault team-mate Alain Menu in the Auto Trader RAC Touring Car Championship received a boost this afternoon (Fri) when he topped the timesheets at Silverstone in testing for next Sunday's (Sep 21) final rounds.

Plato's Laguna lapped the Silverstone International track in 1minute 23.258seconds, slightly slower than his own qualifying record for the circuit but more than two-tenths of a second ahead of Menu's best time today.

Gabriele Tarquini's Honda was third fastest behind Menu, with Rickard Rydell -- victor at Brands Hatch last weekend -- fourth fastest for Volvo. Plato's chief opponent for second in the championship is Audi's Frank Biela. As expected, his four-wheel-drive A4 proved not well suited to Silverstone and he did not make today's top 10. There's further BTCC testing at Silverstone next Friday (Sep 19), with official qualifying scheduled for the day after and the final rounds in the 1997 Auto Trader Championship set for Sunday September 21. Auto Trader RAC Touring Car Championship Official testing, Silverstone, 12/9/97 1 Jason Plato (GB), Renault Laguna, 1m 23.258s, 97.37mph; 2 Alain Menu (Switz), Renault Laguna, 1m 23.515s; 3 Gabriele Tarquini (It), Honda Accord, 1m 23.598s; 4 Rickard Rydell (Swe), Volvo S40, 1m 23.599s; 5 James Thompson (GB), Honda Accord, 1m 23.695s;

-- www.btcc.co.uk/

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