[Author Prev][Author Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Author Index][Thread Index]

{TCar} BTCC: Biela returns

>Return-path: <touringcar@vollans.demon.co.uk>
>Date: Mon, 09 Dec 1996 16:13:11 +0000
>From: Nick Carter <nickc@maxcom.demon.co.uk>
>Subject: {TCar} BTCC: Biela returns
>To: touringcar@vollans.demon.co.uk
>Reply-to: touringcar@pobox.com
>X-Remailer: SmofList Forward Version 1.1b6
>Lines: 56
>Reigning champion Frank Biela will return to defend his and Audi's 
>Auto Trader RAC Touring Car Championship titles in 1997, it was 
>confirmed today (Mon). The 32-year-old German ace will be 
>partnered -- as this year -- by 30-year-old Briton John Bintcliffe. The 
>duo will be bidding to repeat the Audi BTCC 'triple crown' by 
>winning drivers', manufacturers' and team prizes.
>But Biela has warned that he faces an uphill task, given that motor 
>sport governing body the FIA has rubber-stamped the continued 
>imposition of a 95kg weight differential between his four-wheel-drive 
>Audi A4 and the rest of the front-wheel-drive runners. ''I always 
>wanted to come back and defend my British title,'' said Biela, ''but it 
>is going to be very difficult with a 95kg weight penalty for all 24
>Audi Sport boss Dr Wolfgang Ullrich added: ''Overcoming this 
>handicap is a virtually impossible task but Audi has always been 
>eager to take on such challenges.''
>Four-wheel-drive cars will be banned from the Super Touring 
>category from 1998, and the German manufacturer intends to develop 
>a front-wheel-drive contender during '97.
>Biela's confirmation brings to five the number of former BTCC 
>champions who will contest next year's series, which will be the 
>prime focus of the BBC's televised motor sport coverage. The others 
>are John Cleland (1989 and '95, Vauxhall), Will Hoy (1991, Ford); 
>Tim Harvey (1992, Peugeot) and Gabriele Tarquini (1994, Honda). 
>Double FIA Touring Car World Cup Champion Paul Radisich is 
>another contender, for Ford.
>Biela was the 1995 FIA Touring Car World Cup Champion, and has 
>previously won the German and French Super Touring titles. He won 
>eight BTCC races for Audi last year on his way to the title. Bintcliffe 
>finished seventh in the drivers' championship in his debut year.
>Audi is the eighth manufacturer to commit to the Auto Trader 
>Championship for '97; the others are Ford, Honda, Nissan, Peugeot, 
>Renault, Vauxhall and Volvo.
>Alan Gow, Chief Executive of organising body TOCA, welcomed the 
>return of Biela and Audi: ''I am delighted that Frank is returning to 
>defend his title and that Audi will once again be out to win the 
>championship. It is proof -- if more were needed -- that the Auto 
>Trader RAC Touring Car Championship is the most competitive in 
>the world and that it is the series which every manufacturer wants to 
>win above all others.'' 
>Official BTCC website:
>Best in British Motor Sport