Motor Racing: Title goes to Aiello despite Rydell win

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RICKARD RYDELL gave Volvo a sparkling end to its British Touring Car Championship involvement, when he won both the final two rounds in tricky and sometimes treacherous conditions here. Laurent Aiello was one who tripped up on the wet track, but the little Frenchman nevertheless did enough to win the drivers' title.

Appalling track conditions in the sprint race brought it to an early end. "Any of us could have gone off at any time," Rydell, the winner, said. "There were five or 10 moments on every lap, when you had no control over the car." Surprisingly few cars did actually crash, but after eight of the scheduled 15 laps, the race was stopped.

The drama had started even before the start, when pole position man Aiello took an extra warming-up lap and was sent to the back of the grid. Then Jason Plato's Renault, which had qualified second refused to fire up.

Rydell's superb start from what was effectively the second row of the grid took him straight into the lead ahead of James Thompson's Honda and Matt Neal's Nissan. Neal spun off while trying to challenge Thompson and Vauxhall's Yvan Muller moved up to third. Aiello's ninth place clinched the title.

In the later feature race Aiello made it to the first corner in the lead, but then sailed straight off into the gravel trap and retirement. That left Rydell ahead again and bound for victory.

n Sir Jack Brabham, the Formula One legend, escaped injury when he crashed during the Goodwood revival meeting yesterday. The 73-year-old three-times world champion, was driving a 1967 McLaren when he was involved in a collision with a car driven by Jackie Oliver.

Results, Digest, page 11