BTCC title-battle an all-Ford affair?

BTCC title-battle an all-Ford affair?


The battle for the BTCC drivers' title is getting even tighter, but it's looking increasingly likely that it will be an all-Ford affair between Alain Menu, Anthony Reid and Rickard Rydell.

Menu, who for the second time this year saw Reid slip briefly ahead in the standings, albeit only for the couple of hours between the sprint and feature races at Croft, is now one point ahead of the Scot, with Croft double-winner Rydell now in the frame again, a mere 11 points adrift of Menu.

Menu still maintains that the fight will be tough. "As I said at the
beginning of the season, this year is going to be very hard," said the 1997 champion, "the hardest BTCC ever maybe, but certainly for a long time. I will be doing my best to win it."

Reid has been by far the most consistent driver in the championship so far. Belying the 'Mad Anthony' tag he wore in his first few years in the championship, Reid has only failed to finish once (when he got caught up in someone else's accident), otherwise he has not missed out on a top five finish. Second and third at Croft kept up the momentum.

Reid has not won a race yet and admits that's frustrating, but points out: "My championship position is strong, and I think I've proved I'm well capable of winning."

Rydell is the dark horse, dogged by ill-luck over recent meetings, he made the most of a ballast-free car at Croft to dominate, but he's not getting carried away about his title prospects yet. "I'm still behind, so I will just be concentrating on qualifying at Snetterton [the BTCC's next stop for the night races on July 8] and then the races."

Rydell doesn't mention it, but there is even a possibility that he will top the standings by the time the series reaches Snetterton. On July 4 an appeal will be heard against his exclusion from second place in round 12 at Silverstone. If the appeal goes the way of Ford, Rickard will lead the points, from Reid and Menu.

Yvan Muller is best of the rest, only 22 points behind Menu, but he, Vauxhall and its team, Triple Eight Race Engineering, have some hard work to do to recover from a disastrous weekend at Croft.

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