Motor racing:; Rydell's double enables him to break clear of the pack

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RICKARD RYDELL and Volvo moved into a small but significant series lead ahead of their Auto Trader RAC British Touring Car Championship rivals with two wins on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit. The 30-year-old Swede led both races away from pole position and was ahead throughout.

Rydell's two wins, added to his consistency over the season so far, have given him a 15-point lead in the points standings and although that is not a big margin in itself and Rydell insisted that he and the team would not be thinking about the championship until early September, his performance brings him the first serious break from the pack in what has so far been an extremely open series.

The only serious challenges to Rydell's superiority came over the opening laps of each race. In the shorter Sprint race Anthony Reid's Nissan was the car filling Rydell's mirrors, while in the Feature race it was the Honda of James Thompson. In each case, Rydell had the greater pace in the later stages.

Reid was the day's second top scorer, taking a second and then a third place, while reigning champion Alain Menu was also in the points with third and fourth places. James Thompson remains in second place in the points table after finishing runner-up in the Feature race.

The series remains open and Rydell is not alone in thinking that there will continue to be a variety of winners. Menu agreed and added: "Volvo and Nissan were stronger than us here, but hopefully next weekend we will be stronger. You just have to try to gain as many points as possible when your car is strongest."