BTCC: Biela excluded from race 4

NEWS FROM THE AUTO TRADER RAC TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP, 21/4/96 BIELA EXCLUDED AT BRANDS HATCH AUDI team leader Frank Biela was this evening (Sunday) excluded from the results of round four of the Auto Trader RAC Touring Car Championship.

NEWS FROM THE AUTO TRADER RAC TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP, 21/4/96

BIELA EXCLUDED AT BRANDS HATCH

AUDI team leader Frank Biela was this evening (Sunday) excluded from the results of round four of the Auto Trader RAC Touring Car Championship. He had finished fourth in the race, at Brands Hatch, but was excluded after a protest of his car's suspension system. Audi is appealing the ruling.

As is mandatory in such situations, Biela has not only been docked the points he scored for fourth place in the race but also is penalised a further two maximum scores (30 points). This has the effect of promoting Renault driver Alain Menu to the head of the drivers' points table, which will remain provisional until Audi's appeal is heard. Renault is now provisionally the leader of the manufacturers' championship.

The protest against the suspension of Biela's car was made by the Vauxhall Sport team, which issued the following statement: 'We are delighted to have Audi Sport competing in the Auto Trader RAC Touring Car Championship, but regrettably we feel obliged to lodge a protest in order to clarify the wording of the FIA Technical Regulations... If the wording allows certain areas to be exploited, then we -- and our rivals -- would like permission to be able to do so as well.'

Vauxhall's protest was upheld by the Clerk of the Course. Audi appealed this decision but the Stewards of the Meeting upheld the ruling. Audi has now appealed to the governing body of British motor sport, the RACMSA.

In a separate ruling, Renault driver Will Hoy was excluded from the results of round four (in which he finished ninth on the road) as the result of an incident on lap 12 of the race in which he and David Leslie (Honda) were in collision. Leslie's car was sidelined in the incident.

Revised provisional results, Auto Trader RAC Touring Car Championship round 4 Brands Hatch, 21/4/96 1 Jo Winkelhock (Ger), BMW 320i, 29m 43.61s, 92.31mph / 148.56kmh; 2 Alain Menu (Switz), Renault Laguna, +4.19s; 3 Rickard Rydell (Swe), Volvo 850, +11.46s; 4 John Bintcliffe (GB), Audi A4, +15.41s; 5 Roberto Ravaglia (It), BMW 320i, +15.72s; 6 James Thompson (GB), Vauxhall Vectra, +21.31s; 7 Paul Radisich (NZ), Ford Mondeo, +22.59s; 8 Tim Harvey (GB), Peugeot 406, +29.37s; 9 Patrick Watts (GB), Peugeot 406, +30.96s; 10 James Kaye (GB), Honda Accord, +38.34s.

Revised provisional points positions Drivers: 1 Menu, 35 points; =2 Rydell & Winkelhock, 29; 4 Will Hoy (GB), 24; 5 Bintcliffe, 21; 6 Ravaglia, 19; 7 Frank Biela (Ger), 16; 8 John Cleland (GB), 15; 9 Kelvin Burt (GB), 14; 10 Radisich, 13. Manufacturers: 1 Renault, 48; 2 Volvo, 38; 3 BMW, 37; 4 Vauxhall, 27; 5 Audi, 23; =6 Peugeot & Ford, 15; 8 Honda, 13.

-- Official BTCC website: Best in British Motor Sport http://www.demon.co.uk/racing

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Series BTCC
Drivers Frank Biela , Tim Harvey , James Thompson , Kelvin Burt , Paul Radisich , John Cleland , James Kaye , Rickard Rydell , Will Hoy , Roberto Ravaglia , Alain Menu , Patrick Watts