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BTCC Knockhill results...
NEWS FROM THE AUTO TRADER
RAC TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP
FRANK BIELA edged closer to the Auto Trader RAC Touring Car
Championship drivers' title with a
win and a second place for Audi at a spectator-packed Knockhill this
afternoon (Sun), with Volvo's
Rickard Rydell winning his second BTCC race of the season to re-
establish his claim to the overall
Biela's victory -- his sixth of the season -- came in round 17 of the
country's premier motor racing
series, on the tight and twisty Fife circuit which was always going to
favour the four-wheel drive
system of his Audi A4.
With eight rounds remaining, German ace Biela enjoys a 58-point
advantage over Rydell in the fight
for the drivers' championship. Rydell said after his round 18 win: 'To
win the championship now I
need Frank not to finish the next three of four races, as well as a lot
of luck. I shall try my best to win
the next races [at Oulton Park] and then we'll see...'
Round 17 of the championship saw Rydell assume command from
pole position, pursued by Biela, the
BMWs of Roberto Ravaglia and Jo Winkelhock, and John Bintcliffe
in the second Audi. Bintcliffe
made the earliest move of the race, displacing Winkelhock from
fourth at the end of the first lap.
The top five circulated bumper-to-bumper until half-distance, when
Rydell -- apparently beginning to
suffer tyre deterioration -- slipped into Biela's clutches at the
and the Audi took the lead. The
following lap, Bintcliffe followed his team leader's example and
passed Ravaglia for third. After a
further 10 laps on Rydell's tail, Bintcliffe moved past to make it an
The Volvo team's woes were compounded two laps from the end
when Kelvin Burt was forced into
retirement with accident damage; the same lap, Rydell lost third
place to Ravaglia. At the flag, Biela
was two-and-a-half seconds clear of Bintcliffe, with Ravaglia, Rydell
and Winkelhock in close
attendance. Silverstone winner David Leslie (Honda) was sixth and
top Scot on home turf.
The championship's other Scottish frontrunner, reigning champion
John Cleland, was a disappointed
non-finisher, spinning out on lap four after his Vauxhall collected a
Round 18 saw Rydell again hold the advantage from pole position --
but this time he held off Biela's
advances all the way to the chequered flag. The two were never
separated by more than a bumper's
width throughout the 35-lap event, and finished just 0.35s apart. Said
Rydell, who only just made it
on to the grid after lengthy revisions were required to his Volvo: 'We
made it into the race with only
five minutes to spare. And I don't think I have ever driven such a
close race.' Biela added: 'Rickard
drove a very good race, with no mistakes. I couldn't have passed him
without having an accident.'
Ravaglia finished third for BMW, ahead of Bintcliffe and
Winkelhock. Cleland reversed his fortunes
of the earlier race to displace Leslie from sixth four laps from home.
The weekend's events were a disaster for the Renault team and Alain
Menu, who previously had held
second spot in the championship. A succession of engine problems
blighted his testing and qualifying
runs, and his Laguna expired from round 18 at mid-distance with
another powerplant failure -- the
team's sixth in Scotland.
The Total Cup for Privateers battle was won by Richard Kaye in
round 17; Kaye led again in round 18
until spinning almost within sight of the flag and handing honours to
Matt Neal, the reigning Total
Cup Champion claiming his first victory of the year.
Auto Trader RAC Touring Car Championship, round 17
35 laps -- 45.5 miles / 73.15km
1 Frank Biela (Ger), Audi A4, 31m 52.62s, 85.64mph/137.82kmh;
2 John Bintcliffe (GB), Audi A4, +2.46s;
3 Roberto Ravaglia (It), BMW 320i, +5.76s;
4 Rickard Rydell (Swe), Volvo 850, +6.58s;
5 Jo Winkelhock (Ger), BMW 320i, +8.06s;
6 David Leslie (GB), Honda Accord, +13.99s;
7 Paul Radisich (NZ), Ford Mondeo, +34.53s;
8 James Kaye (GB), Honda Accord, +40.87s;
9 Alain Menu (Switz), Renault Laguna, +43.57s;
10 Will Hoy (GB), Renault Laguna, +44.40s.
Total Cup Privateers: Richard Kaye (GB), Vauxhall Cavalier.
Fastest lap: Biela, 53.51s, 87.46mph/140.75kmh (record).
35 laps -- 45.5 miles / 73.15km
1 Rydell, 31m 44.90s, 85.95mph/138.38kmh;
2 Biela, +0.35s;
3 Ravaglia, +1.00s;
4 Bintcliffe, +1.42s;
5 Winkelhock, +22.87s;
6 John Cleland (GB), Vauxhall Vectra, +25.72s;
7 Leslie, +29.72s;
8 James Kaye, +30.68s;
9 Radisich, +32.08s;
10 Kelvin Burt (GB), Volvo 850, +32.60s.
Total Cup Privateers: Matt Neal (GB), Ford Mondeo.
Fastest lap: Bintcliffe, 53.52s, 87.44mph/140.72kmh.
Drivers: 1 Biela, 198 points; 2 Rydell, 140; =3 Menu & Winkelhock,
118; 5 Ravaglia, 117; 6
Manufacturers: 1 Audi, 208; 2 BMW, 193; 3 Volvo, 175; 4 Renault,
163; 5 Vauxhall, 126; 6 Honda,
114; 7 Ford, 59; 8 Peugeot, 54.
Total Cup Privateers: 1 Lee Brookes (GB/Toyota), 214; 2 Richard
Official BTCC website:
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