Touring Cars: Leslie compensated for skirmish

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The Independent Online
A pair of newcomers, albeit two of the most experienced drivers in the series, claimed wins in rounds 15 and 16 of the British Touring Car Championship at Silverstone's Grand Prix meeting.

The Italian Robert Ravaglia won Saturday's encounter, which had 50,000 fans cheering from the stands, while the Scotsman David Leslie broke Honda's duck to win yesterday.

Leslie could have reasonably expected to score two wins, having taken pole position for each of the 15-lap races. However, Ravaglia beat him away from the line in the first race, then at the end of the first lap the Volvo driver Rickard Rydell nudged Leslie, who dropped to fourth place.

"His move was ridiculous. I'm sure I could have won otherwise," said Leslie, though the stewards deemed the incident accidental.

Rydell then pushed Ravaglia all the way to the finish, but the former world champion used all his BMW's power to stay ahead. It was his first win in Britain.

The series leader, Frank Biela, was a close third for Audi, just ahead of Leslie. Further back, the reigning champion John Cleland's tussle with Will Hoy ended in tears when they twice collided on the last lap.

Leslie more than made up for his disappointment with a fine win on Sunday. Although Biela outstripped him into the corner, Leslie soon got by and held on to win from a train of cars comprising the Audi, Ravaglia and Rydell. "The pressure was intense but nobody hit me this time and I didn't make any mistakes," he said.

Biela's second place revitalised his title hopes, with his nearest rival, Menu, in fifth place, ahead of Hoy, James Thompson, Kelvin Burt and Paul Radisich.

Results, Digest, page 19