Hoy loses sight of 'Flying Scotsman' Demi Head Demiy18

Motor Racing
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The Independent Online
Motor Racing

Victory in the rain at Silverstone, his fourth consecutive race win, gave Scotland's John Cleland a 50-point lead in the British Touring Car Championship. The Vauxhall driver saw off the early threat of Ford's Paul Radisich and pulled clear of Will Hoy's Williams-Renault to win.

Torrential rain soaked the track shortly before the race but most of the grand prix crowd stayed behind to watch the entertainment. From the start Cleland and Radisich kept them on their toes, swapping places for the first four laps.

"I seemed to have the advantage in the slower corners but Paul was better in the faster ones," Cleland said. "It was a good battle. We made contact a couple of times, swapping mirrors, but generally it was a clean fight."

Soon Cleland was ahead for good and Radisich, his tyres wearing away, slipped back to finish sixth. Cleland's championship hopes were boosted by the poor performances of his rivals, Alain Menu and Rickard Rydell, whose cars suffered misfiring problems.

The chase of the Flying Scotsman fell to Hoy, turning in his best performance of the year for Renault. He passed Rydell on the first lap and was soon closing on Cleland. However, any hopes he had of taking the lead were lost when the Renault's windscreen wiper flew off.

In fact Hoy was nearly caught on the last lap by James Thompson's Vauxhall. Thompson, who in turn had Julian Bailey's Toyota on his tail, made a bad start but fought back by passing Tim Harvey's Volvo four laps from the end.

BRITISH TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP: 1 J Cleland (Vauxhall) 33min 47.7sec (83.67mph); 2 W Hoy (Renault) +7.57sec; 3 J Thompson (Vauxhall) +9.26; 4 J Bailey (Toyota) +9.78; 5 K Burt (Ford) +13.94; 6 Paul Radisich (Ford) +27.81. Drivers' Championship (after 15 rounds): 1 Cleland, 232pts; 2 Menu 180; 3 Rydell 170; 4 Radisich 128; 5 Thompson 124; 6 Harvey 107; 7 Hoy 69; 8 Burt 66. 9 Bailey 60. 10 Brabham 36. Manufacturers' Championship: 1 Vauxhall 268pts; 2 Volvo 233; 3 Renault 230. 4 Ford 162; 5 Toyota 108; 6 BMW 91; 7 Peugeot 74; 8 Alfa Romeo 68; 9 Honda 54.

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