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BTCC results from Oulton Park...
NEWS FROM THE AUTO TRADER
RAC TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP
Oulton Park 27/5/96
BMW and Volvo edged out the Audi team at Oulton Park this
afternoon (Mon) to take victory in rounds nine and 10 of the Auto
Trader RAC Touring Car Championship. It was the first time this
season that Audi and championship leader Frank Biela have come
away from a BTCC meeting without at least one win under their
Jo Winkelhock won round nine for BMW after stealing the lead from
Biela, with Rickard Rydell repeating the trick in his Volvo in round
10. The day's first race was brought to a premature halt after a violent
crash involving Rydell's Volvo team-mate Kelvin Burt.
The ninth round saw drama even before the start as Audi mechanics
struggled to complete the car of number two driver John Bintcliffe
after it had suffered damage in a warm-up session crash. Then the
power steering system of James Thompson's Vauxhall failed
moments before the green lights and the hapless Vectra driver was
pushed away from his fifth-place grid slot.
As the Audi of championship leader Biela sped into the lead from
pole position, a first-corner crash further down the field involving the
cars of Will Hoy (Renault), Paul Radisich (Ford) and Tim Harvey
(Peugeot) saw all three sidelined -- none of the drivers was injured.
The Safety Car was brought into play for a lap while the debris was
cleared and, at the restart, third-placed Winkelhock leapfrogged
Bintcliffe to snatch second into Old Hall.
By the Chicane that same lap the 1993 Champion had closed on
Biela too, and made a brave manoeuvre to wrest the lead from the
Audi. Once past the four-wheel-drive car -- now carrying an extra
30kg weight penalty -- Winkelhock stormed into a handsome lead,
smashing the circuit lap record twice as he went.
Biela and Bintcliffe trailed the BMW to collect second and third
places respectively. The battle for fourth was between Rickard Rydell
(Volvo), Alain Menu (Renault) and Burt, and culminated in Burt's
lap 12 100mph collision at Cascades, which brought out the red flags
to halt the race. The results were declared final after 11 laps.
Burt was unconscious as marshals cut him free from the wreckage of
his Volvo, but regained consciousness after 15 minutes. He was
evacuated to Chester Hospital as a precautionary measure, suffering
from severe concussion. It's believed he was saved from more serious
injury in the 7g impact by the Volvo 'survival cell', developed to meet
strict safety rules imposed by championship organiser TOCA.
Round 10 saw a repeat performance by Biela as he sped into the lead
from the pole, pursued by Bintcliffe after an excellent start from
fourth on the grid, ahead of Winkelhock, Rydell and Menu. An
ambitious overtaking manoeuvre on Bintcliffe by Winkelhock at the
chicane on lap one saw the BMW man spin into retirement.
Rydell was the next to challenge Bintcliffe, the Volvo driver
managing to squeeze past the Audi at Cascades on lap three. Within
three laps the Swede managed to narrow the gap between himself and
Biela and, as they approached Lodge Corner, he squeezed past and
into a lead he was never to lose. Biela held on for second, with
Bintcliffe third after managing to keep a horde of two-wheel-drive
rivals behind him all the way to the chequered flag. Menu led the
train into fourth, ahead of Roberto Ravaglia (BMW), Hoy and David
Said Rydell after his victory: 'It was nice to hear from the hospital
before the race that Kelvin was OK -- it made it easier for me to
concentrate. I hope Kelvin gets well soon; we need him if we are to
win this championship.'
Lee Brookes (Toyota) won the Total Cup privateers' battle, avenging
his defeat in round nine by Richard Kaye.
After 10 rounds, Biela enjoys a 43-point lead over Rydell in the
drivers' championship, with Audi 19 points clear of BMW in the
manufacturers' title race.
Auto Trader RAC Touring Car Championship, round 9
11 laps -- 30.58 miles / 49.17km
1 Jo Winkelhock (Ger), BMW 320i, 20m 42.90s,
2 Frank Biela (Ger), Audi A4, +4.95s;
3 John Bintcliffe (GB), Audi A4, +5.57s;
4 Rickard Rydell (Swe), Volvo 850, +6.23s;
5 Alain Menu (Switz), Renault Laguna, +6.75s;
6 Kelvin Burt (GB), Volvo 850, +7.22s;
7 Roberto Ravaglia (It), BMW 320i, +7.61s;
8 David Leslie (GB), Honda Accord, +9.44s;
9 Richard Kaye (GB), Vauxhall Cavalier, +15.76s;
10 Steve Robertson (GB), Ford Mondeo, +20.79s.
Total Cup Privateers: Kaye.
Fastest lap: Winkelhock, 1m 41.96s, 97.97mph/157.68kmh (record).
Pole position: Biela, 1m 51.276s, 89.77mph/144.48kmh.
16 laps -- 44.48 miles / 71.52km
1 Rydell, 27m 35.69s, 96.53mph/155.36kmh;
2 Biela, +5.98s;
3 Bintcliffe, 9.22s;
4 Menu, +9.37s;
5 Ravaglia, 9.70s;
6 Will Hoy (GB), Renault Laguna, +10.13s;
7 Leslie, +10.43s;
8 Tim Harvey (GB), Peugeot 406, 11.64s;
9 John Cleland (GB), Vauxhall Vectra, +12.20s;
10 Owen McAuley (GB), Nissan Primera, +21.67s.
Total Cup Privateers: Lee Brookes (GB), Toyota Carina E,
Fastest lap: Rydell, 1m 42.08s, 97.86mph/157.49kmh.
Pole position: Biela, 1m 51.163s, 89.86mph/144.62kmh.
Drivers: 1 Biela, 122 points; 2 Rydell, 79; 3 Ravaglia, 70; 4
Bintcliffe, 69; 5 Menu, 63; 6 Winkelhock, 60.
Manufacturers: 1 Audi, 124; 2 BMW, 105; 3 Volvo, 104; 4 Renault,
96; 5 Vauxhall, 63; 6 Honda, 53; 7 Peugeot, 34; 8 Ford, 29.
Total Cup Privateers: 1 Brookes, 115; 2 Richard Kaye, 100.
Official BTCC website:
Best in British Motor Sport