RACE REPORT Rounds Venue Date 19/20 of 26 Knockhill August 14/15 KNOCKHILL, August 15, 1999: Alain Menu romped away to an emphatic pole-to-flag victory in round 20 of the Auto Trader British Touring Car Championship at...
Rounds Venue Date 19/20 of 26 Knockhill August 14/15
KNOCKHILL, August 15, 1999: Alain Menu romped away to an emphatic pole-to-flag victory in round 20 of the Auto Trader British Touring Car Championship at Knockhill today, to take Ford Team Mondeo's first victory this season.
Menu had spun his wheels away from the lights, giving fellow front row sitter Jason Plato an opportunity to make a challenge, but staved off the initial challenge to pull away lap after lap from the chasing pack to finish the race 22 seconds ahead, the largest winning margin of the season.
Menu, celebrating his thirtieth win in the BTCC Championship, enthused: "I have always said the Ford Mondeo is competitive. We have proved today that when we qualify at the front, we can convert that in to a win. I look forward to many more wins with Ford Team Mondeo."
Dave Benbow, Team Manager commented: "I'm extremely pleased for the whole team. It just goes to show that hard work pays off in the end. It was a fitting tribute to Paul Mepham who sadly died a week ago after his fight against cancer."
Anthony Reid had a more disappointing race after qualifying fifth on the grid. He was put on the grass on the first lap after a clash with Jean Christophe Boullion and then David Leslie, relegating him to the back of the queue. He fought his way back to ninth place taking Will Hoy, Mark Blair, Vincent Rademecker and Yvan Muller at the hairpin over a five lap period. He then fought nose-to-tail with John Cleland until finally overtaking him at MacIntyre, but the manoeuvre gave Gabrielle Tarquini the chance to close right up on Reid.
A disappointed Reid said: "Tarquini broke on the inside line approaching the Hairpin and bumped me off. I'm very disappointed because the car has been running so well as Alain's victory proves."
In the Sprint Race, Anthony Reid started from the front row of the grid after an excellent lap in the One Shot Showdown put him second on the grid. He spun his wheels at the lights allowing Gabrielle Tarquini to draw alongside, force him wide and take his second place in the dash for the first corner. An incident behind them involving the chasing Leslie, Rydell and Kox on the approach to Butcher's affected the entire field except for his teammate, who managed to skillfully guide his Mondeo through the traffic to take fourth. On lap seven, Reid struggling with gear selection problems, let Menu through at the hairpin. Menu and Reid chased Tarquini to the chequered flag to take third and fourth places respectively, collecting a valuable 18 points for the team.
A pleased Menu said: "I'm very pleased having only qualified in sixth place. I managed to get through the argy bargy on the first lap to take fourth and then Anthony let me through as my car seemed to be running quicker than his."
Ford Team Mondeo will return in rounds 21 and 22 of the Auto Trader British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch, on August 29/30.
1999 AUTO TRADER BRITISH TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP PROVISIONAL RESULTS (ROUND 19/20)
Round 19 (Sprint Race)
1 Laurent Aiello Nissan Primera 2 Gabrielle Tarquini Honda Accord 3 Alain Menu Ford Mondeo 4 Anthony Reid Ford Mondeo
Round 20 (Feature Race)
1 Alain Menu Ford Mondeo 2 Peter Kox Honda Accord 3 David Leslie Nissan Primera DNF Anthony Reid Ford Mondeo
Total Manufacturers Total 1. Laurent Aiello 190 1. Nissan 390 2. David Leslie 171 2. Honda 236 3. James Thompson 124 3. Volvo 203 10. Alain Menu 82 6. Ford 136 12. Anthony Reid 53