Motor Racing: Cleland outpaces Radisich

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The Independent Online
JOHN CLELAND scored back-to- back victories in the eighth and ninth rounds of the British Touring Car Championship to give Vauxhall its first wins of the season at Donington Park yesterday. The Scot also became the first British driver to win a round this year.

Starting the first of the two 15- lap races from third place on the grid, he quickly left behind the Alfa Romeo of the championship leader, Gabriele Tarquini, and set a lap record as he chased the Ford Mondeo of the pole sitter, Paul Radisich. He finally squeezed past on the eighth lap to win by more than four seconds. Tarquini battled home third but the engine on his Alfa Romeo blew up as he crossed the finishing line, forcing the Italian to miss the second race.

As a similar fate befell Tarquini's team-mate, Giampiero Simoni, the second race again developed into a duel between Cleland and Radisich, the Ford leading the early laps before the Vauxhall took control.

There was some consolation, however, for Radisich: his two second places take him to the top of the championship alongside Tarquini.

AUTO TRADER RAC BRITISH TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP (Donington) Eighth round: 1 J Cleland (GB) Vauxhall Cavalier, 25min 31.99sec; 2 P Radisich (NZ) Ford Mondeo 25:36:36; 3 G Tarquini (It) Alfa Romeo 25:40.01; 4 A Rouse (GB) Ford Mondeo 25:42.48. Ninth round: 1 Cleland 25:22.11; 2 Radisich 25:24.06; 3 J Allam (GB) Vauxhall Cavalier 25:40.94; 4 A Menu (Swit) Renault Laguna 25:44.62. Championship positions: 1= Tarquini and Radisich 132pts; 3 Cleland 114; 4 Menu 78.