Rydell regains the lead as Radisich pushes hard

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The Independent Online
GWYN DOLPHIN

reports from Silverstone

Rickard Rydell, of Sweden, regained the lead of the British Touring Car Championship following his victory in the seventh round of the series here yesterday. However, the Volvo driver had to be content with second place in the eighth round behind the New Zealander Paul Radisich in a Ford.

Although Rydell qualified on pole position for both of the races, Radisich led the first event for 22 of the 25 laps. Rydell sat on his tail looking for a gap to squeeze by. "He was really putting the pressure on me and eventually I just couldn't hold him back," Radisich said.

In the second race, Radisich quickly pulled clear of his rival and established a substantial lead. Although Rydell closed the gap, he overtaxed his tyres and had to settle for second which assured him of the championship lead. "I tried hard to push him like I had in the first race, but he had pulled out too much of a gap. I'm really pleased to be winning again and think that the next few race-tracks will really suit our cars," Rydell said.

The Vauxhall driver John Cleland, celebrating his 100th start, took third in the first race while Tim Harvey claimed the position in the second race. The former series leader, Alain Menu, retired his Renault from the first event of the day with a gearbox problem but managed to take fourth in the second race.

Auto Trader RAC British Touring Car Championship (Silverstone, 25 laps, 41.05 miles): Round 7: 1 R Rydell (Swe) Volvo 850 20V 25min 58.88sec (ave speed 94.79mph); 2 P Radisich (NZ) Ford Mondeo Ghia +1.50sec; 3 J Cleland (GB) Vauxhall Cavalier 16V +7.64; 4 J Thompson (GB) Vauxhall Cavalier 16V +8.33; 5 W Hoy (GB) Renault Laguna +11.72; 6 P Watts (GB) Peugeot 405 +12.83; 7 T Harvey (GB) Volvo 850 20V + 16.63; 8 D Brabham (Aus) BMW 318i +16.90; 9 D Leslie (GB) Honda Accord + 19.29; 10 J Kaye (GB) Honda Accord +21.65. Fastest lap: Radisich 1:01.29 (96.44mph).

Round 8 (22 laps, 36.12 miles): 1 Radisich 22:51.41 (94.82); 2 Rydell +0.43; 3 Harvey +7.29; 4 A Menu (Swit) Renault Laguna +8.75; 5 Cleland +10.72; 6 T Sugden (GB) Toyota Carina E +11.42; 7 K Burt (GB) Ford Mondeo Ghia +12.05; 8 Leslie +12.61; 9 G Simoni (It) Alfa Romeo 155 +13.04; 10 Watts +13.52. Fastest lap: Radisich 1:01.50 (96.11mph).

Drivers' Championship: 1 Rydell 100pts; 2 Cleland 88; 3 Menu 86; 4 Radisich 84; 5 Harvey 83; 6 Thompson 60; 7 Burt 38; 8 Hoy 28;

9 Brabham 27; 10 Watts 22.

Manufacturers' Standings: 1 Volvo 137; 2 Vauxhall 124; 3 Renault 110; 4 Ford 106; 5 BMW 57; 6 Toyota 48; 7 Peugeot 44; 8 Alfa Romeo 34; 9 Honda 28.

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