Cleland charges through the rain

GWYN DOLPHIN

reports from Brands Hatch

Alain Menu and John Cleland survived pouring rain and three race-stopping accidents to win rounds 11 and 12 of the British Touring Car Championship here. The result gave Cleland the lead of the series, as the former championship leader, Rickard Rydell, rolled his Volvo during the second race.

Menu, who started his Renault from pole position for both of the day's races, led round 11 from start to finish. "Making a good start was the key to victory today. If you were out in front, you didn't have any visibility problems," he said.

Cleland echoed Menu's remarks, having led the third running of the second race from light to flag. Like all the drivers he had been summoned to a start-line lecture from the clerk of the course following the second stoppage of the day. "I think it was misguided to lecture us that way. The accidents that stopped the races were all single car incidents," Cleland said, "and, anyway, how can they imagine what it's like driving a car in this weather?"

BRITISH TOURING CARS CHAMPIONSHIP (Brands Hatch) Round 11 (13 laps): 1 A Menu (Swit) Renault 22 min 34.60sec (ave speed 89.83mph); 2 J Cleland (GB) Vauxhall +1.35sec; 3 T Harvey (GB) Volvo +5.46; 4 W Hoy (GB) Renault +13.72; 5 P Watts (GB) Peugeot +25.22; 6 J Bailey (GB) Toyota +27.13; 7 R Rydell (Swe) Volvo +28.53; 8 D Warwick (GB) Alfa Romeo +29.37; 9 G Simoni (GB) Alfa Romeo +33.13; 10 J Cecotto (Ven) BMW +44. Round 12 (10 Laps): 1 Cleland 17: 39.02 (ave speed 88.39mph); 2 J Thompson (GB) Vauxhall +0.62; 3 Menu +0.97; 4 Hoy +1.70; 5 Harvey +2.22; 6 Bailey +4.60; 7 P Radisich (NZ) Ford +5.35; 8 Watts +10.04; 9 Cecotto +13.36; 10 D Brabham (GB) BMW 16.53. Fastest lap: Cleland 1min 42.12sec (91.66mph).

Drivers' championship: 1 Cleland 160pts; 2 Menu 158; 3 Rydell 146; 4 Harvey 106; 5 Radisich 96; 6 Thompson 94; 7 Hoy 48; 8 Burt 44; 9 Bailey 40; 10 Watts 33. Manufacturers: 1 Volvo 203; 2 Vauxhall 196; 3 Renault 188; 4 Ford 124; 5 Toyota 80; 6 BMW 75; 7 Peugeot 68; 8 Alfa Romeo 59; 9 Honda 39.

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