NEWS FROM THE AUTO TRADER RAC TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP Thruxton, 12/4/96
AFTER two days of official Auto Trader RAC Touring Car Championship testing at the Thruxton circuit in Hampshire, the Volvo pairing of Kelvin Burt and Rickard Rydell emerged comfortably the quickest in dry running, with Rydell topping the timesheets in the wet.
Burt smashed the qualifying lap record by more than half a second in yesterday's (Thurs) dry conditions, his Swedish team-mate Rydell just two-thousandths of a second slower, ahead of Alain Menu (Renault), Frank Biela (Audi) and reigning champion John Cleland (Vauxhall). The top eight recorded times under the record.
This afternoon (Fri), the exceptionally wet weather had been expected to favour the four-wheel-drive Audi A4 of championship leader Biela, but instead it was Rydell on top, almost half a second clear of Cleland and Biela.
The beleaguered Ford team suffered further problems at Thruxton, new boy Steve Robertson crashing and causing light damage to his Mondeo. Next rounds of the Auto Trader RAC Touring Car Championship are next Sunday (Apr 21) at Brands Hatch. There is testing at Brands on Monday and Friday.
Dry testing times, 11/4/96 1 Kelvin Burt (GB), Volvo 850, 1m 17.558s, 109.35mph; 2 Rickard Rydell (Swe), Volvo 850, 1m 17.560s; 3 Alain Menu (Switz), Renault Laguna, 1m 17.583s; 4 Frank Biela (Ger), Audi A4, 1m 17.682s; 5 John Cleland (GB), Vauxhall Vectra, 1m 17.990s; 6 John Bintcliffe (GB), Audi A4, 1m 17.994s; 7 Roberto Ravaglia (It), BMW 320i, 1m 18.013s; 8 Jo Winkelhock (Ger), BMW 320i, 1m 18.047s; 9 David Leslie (GB), Honda Accord, 1m 18.280s; 10 James Kaye (GB), Honda Accord, 1m 18.285s.
Wet testing times, 12/4/96 1 Rydell, 1m 28.551s; 2 Cleland, 1m 28.935s; 3 Biela, 1m 29.063s; 4 Will Hoy (GB), Renault Laguna, 1m 29.674s; 5 Patrick Watts (GB), Peugeot 406, 1m 29.981s; 6 James Thompson (GB), Vauxhall Vectra, 1m 30.339s; 7 Bintcliffe, 1m 30.424s; 8 Leslie, 1m 30.774s; 9 Ravaglia, 1m 30.823s; 10 Burt, 1m 30.853s.
-- Official BTCC website: Best in British Motor Sport http://www.demon.co.uk/racing