BTCC Round 2 report - Brands Hatch

FEATURE RACE - Round 2

BTCC Round 2 report - Brands Hatch

An incident packed Feature Race thrilled the Brands Hatch spectators and live BBC Grandstand television audience. The original 28-lap distance was extended to 33 laps after the Safety Car was sent out three times due to racing incidents. On lap 16, Honda's James Thompson lost control of his Accord at the famous Dingle Dell Corner , where the cars leap over a brow, and it went into the barriers directly in front of a BBC film crew.Fortunately both the cameramen and Thompson escaped with minor cuts and bruises.

Earlier, Class B's Alan Morrison went out of the race in an incident at the next corner, Stirlings Bend while Matt Neal and Honda's Tom Kristensen both retired from the action when Neal lunged down the inside to attempt a passing move at the same corner on lap three.

At the start, pole-sitter Alain Menu had threatened a repeat performance of the Sprint Race when he blasted off the grid to maintain his lead into the first corner. He led the race until he came in for his mandatory pit-stop on lap 14 when team-mate Rickard Rydell took over. Ford completed a hat-trick of leaders a lap later when Rydell went into the pits and Anthony Reid hit the front in his Mondeo.

Following the final Safety Car outing, Honda's Gabriele Tarquini briefly led the pack but he still had to make his stop and when he entered the pits Vauxhall's Jason Plato, emerged at the front, the Vauxhall team's strategy of bringing him in early for his stop, on lap nine, paying dividends. He was, however, closely followed by the Ford trio - Reid, Menu and Rydell and they put him under intense pressure for the first few laps after the Safety Car withdrew. But the Oxford-based Vectra driver held them off and opened up a one second lead over second-placed Reid to take the win.

Yvan Muller, who had endured a problem with his front left wheel on the grid and then with his front spoiler early in the race which caused him to make two pit-stops, finished third after a brilliant fight-back drive. The Frenchman found himself at the back of the pack after his second pit-stop but stormed through the field, picking off his team-mate Vincent Radermecker, Menu and Rydell in the space of three laps. Although he pressured Reid in the final laps he could not find a way through.

Newcomer to the series Colin Blair took victory in the Michelin Cup for Independents after a steady drive in his Nissan Primera and Honda Accord driver James Kaye won the Class B honours after a good race-long battle with his team-mate Mark Lemmer.

Vauxhall, who claimed the Teams' and Manufacturers' honours in the race, also won the first Michelin Pit-Stop Challenge with Vincent Radermecker completing the fastest pit-stop. For their efforts, the team won a £500 cash prize.

Plato: "The pit-stops certainly worked in our favour as we hoped when we planned the strategy. I had qualified badly so I had nothing to lose by coming in early. The idea was to give me some space on the track and then for me to put some quick laps in and that worked. It's great to win for the team and me. The car is great in the race; we just have to work on qualifying. There is still plenty more to come from the car."

Reid: "We've been strong all weekend which is a good sign for the championship and I'm glad to have made the podium. The team has made great progress during the winter. Last year was the first year for everyone with the Mondeo and it was very much a development year, but a lot of hard work has gone in during the last six months and we've seen the results today."

Muller: "I tried everything to get past Reid in the last few laps but he closed the door, like he has to do, and it was all done very well without any touching. I had a few problems in the race but I'm the only person to be on the podium twice today and that is a great start to the season."

Blair: "I had a gearbox problem in the Sprint Race but the team sorted that out for the Feature and the car was much better. It's a big learning curve, but it's great to be racing in the BTCC."

Kaye: "I think the Class B drivers and the Super Touring drivers all did a great job today and proved they can race together. It was a very good race - the most exciting thing for me was being overtaken by the Super Touring cars."

Results Race 2


























































Pos


Driver


Car


Time


1


Plato


Vauxhall Vectra


58.45.206s


2


Reid


Ford Mondeo


+1.179s


3


Muller


Vauxhall Vectra


+1.492s


4


Rydell


Ford Mondeo


+12.666s


5


Radermecker


Vauxhall Vectra


+16.071s


6


Tarquini


Honda Accord


+39.664s


7


Menu


Ford Mondeo


+1:12.298s


8


Blair


Nissan Primera


+1:13.886s


9 B


Kaye


Honda Accord


1 Lap


10 B


Lemmer


Honda Integra R


1 Lap




Provisional Championship positions (after 2 of 24 rounds)
Drivers
1 Jason Plato (GB) 24
2 Alain Menu (Sui) 22
= Yvan Muller (Fra) 22
4 Rickard Rydell (Swe) 19
= Anthony Reid (GB) 19
6 Vincent Radermecker (B) 09
7 Gabriele Tarquini (Ita) 08
8 James Thompson (GB) 05
9 Tom Kristensen (Den) 04
= Colin Blair (Sco) 04

Michelin Cup for Independents winner: Colin Blair (GB) Nissan Primera
Fastest lap: Anthony Reid GB Ford Mondeo 1:28.935s, 106.17mph

Michelin Cup for Independents
Colin Blair (Sco/Nissan) 27
Matt Neal (GB/Nissan) 20
Class B Drivers Championship
1.James Kaye (GB) 28
2.Mark Lemmer (GB) 22
3.Alan Morrison 18

Manufacturers
Ford 55
Vauxhall 54
Honda 16

Teams
Vauxhall Motorsport 25
Ford Team Mondeo 20
Redstone Team Honda 5
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BTCC round 1 report - Brands Hatch

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