News from the Auto Trader RAC British Touring Car Championship Thruxton 9/4/98 THOMPSON TOPS FINAL THRUXTON TEST Honda's James Thompson set the pace this afternoon (Thurs) at Thruxton in final official testing for Monday's opening rounds...
News from the Auto Trader RAC British Touring Car Championship Thruxton 9/4/98
THOMPSON TOPS FINAL THRUXTON TEST
Honda's James Thompson set the pace this afternoon (Thurs) at Thruxton in final official testing for Monday's opening rounds of the 1998 Auto Trader RAC British Touring Car Championship.
Thompson, 23, bettered the lap record for the Hampshire track by more than half a second, and went three-tenths quicker than reigning champion Alain Menu, whose Renault set the pace yesterday in the rain.
Said Thompson: "I'm very happy and morale within the team is high - I hope I'm still in front come Monday evening, but although I have a car which works really well for one hot lap at Thruxton it's going to be a very different matter, and very hard work, repeating that feat over 32 laps of the Feature Race. You're right on the limit here..." Thompson won his maiden BTCC race at Thruxton in 1995.
Sweden's Rickard Rydell confirmed the Volvo team's pre- season pace with third-best time today. Other strong showings came from the Peugeot, Vauxhall and Nissan teams, and from Ford - Will Hoy setting sixth-best time in his Mondeo.
There was further trouble for the Audi team - victor of three of last year's four Thruxton races. John Bintcliffe, who damaged his car yesterday, went off again early today and had to sit out the rest of the session while his team-mate Yvan Muller ended the day well outside the top 10.
Official qualifying for Easter Monday's twin rounds of the Auto Trader RAC British Touring Car Championship takes place at Thruxton on Sunday.
Auto Trader RAC British Touring Car Championship Official testing / Thruxton, Hampshire / 9 April 1998 1 James Thompson GB Honda Accord 1m 16.549s 110.80mph 2 Alain Menu SWI Renault Laguna 1m 16.899s 3 Rickard Rydell SWE Volvo S40 1m 17.111s 4 Jason Plato GB Renault Laguna 1m 17.172s 5 Derek Warwick GB Vauxhall Vectra 1m 17.551s 6 Will Hoy GB Ford Mondeo 1m 17.572s 7 Tim Harvey GB Peugeot 406 1m 17.599s 8 John Cleland GB Vauxhall Vectra 1m 17.625s 9 Anthony Reid GB Nissan Primera 1m 17.739s 10 David Leslie GB Nissan Primera 1m 17.745s
-- Official BTCC website www.btcc.co.uk