Touring cars: Menu angered by tactics of his rivals

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The Independent Online
RICKARD RYDELL cemented his lead in the Auto Trader RAC British Touring Car Championship with two second places at Oulton Park as the defending champion, Alain Menu, was twice involved in incidents with the Peugeot driver Paul Radisich and missed out on a double victory.

Menu did win the shorter sprint race, but the second of his run-ins with Radisich lost him the lead of the feature race to team-mate Jason Plato, who became the sixth BTCC winner in this season's first 10 rounds.

"With two second places and Menu only winning one race, I'm really pleased," said Rydell at the end of the day. His mood was a sharp contrast to Menu's: "It's a shame, because I should have had I don't know how many more points than Rydell. It's not good at all," he complained.

Menu's round nine win was straightforward as he led all the way from pole position. The only change in the top positions came when James Thompson's Honda dropped out of fourth place with a blown engine. Rydell was second, Nissan's David Leslie third and Plato fourth.

Round 10 was altogether more exciting. Anthony Reid was on pole position and he took his Nissan straight into the lead, chased by Menu, Leslie, Plato, Thompson and Rydell.

The big shake-up came with the compulsory pit stops. Both Nissans lost out, dropping behind Rydell, who had already passed Thompson.

The real drama came when Menu, who was leading those who had stopped came up behind Radisich. The Peugeot driver was intent on bagging a point for leading the race before making his stop and blocked Menu. They touched, Radisich was pushed wide and Menu almost lost his place to Plato.

Five laps later Menu again came up behind Radisich. This time Menu slid wide and Plato and Rydell went past.

Menu recovered in third place, but later lost that to Reid in another move involving body damage. "Radisich was completely out of order, and Reid too," raged Menu. His rivals begged to differ.