Sprint win keeps Reid's title hopes alive

Anthony Reid did all he could to keep his British Touring Car Championship hopes alive by winning the sprint race at Oulton Park (round 21)

Sprint win keeps Reid's title hopes alive

The 43-year-old Scot led Honda's Gabriele Tarquini throughout, after his fellow Ford men Rickard Rydell and Alain Menu clashed on the run-up to the first corner.

Rydell's battered Mondeo went no further, but Menu kept going and eventually finished fifth, to keep himself firmly in place as the title favourite.

"I think some people must have fallen asleep in our team briefing," said Reid of the accident later.

Needless to say, Menu and Rydell's views on the accident differed. The Swiss said Rydell simply moved across on him. Rydell felt the line was his and that his team mate should have lifted off.

Tarquini, with a grandstand view, favoured Menu's opinion. "For me it was Rickard's mistake," he said.

The safety car was deployed while Rydell's car was moved and when racing resumed, Reid and Tarquini looked evenly matched at the front and spent the race in close company. Reid coped well with traffic and Tarquini found no chance to pass.

"You need to be 3 or 4 tenths quicker than the car in front to be able to pass here, and I wasn't," explained the Italian star.

Menu held third initially but lost out when James Thompson made a big move at Lodge. Contact meant a moment for Menu, and though he held it, Yvan Muller followed Thompson past and Menu was down to fifth.

When Thompson was later caught out while lapping Gavin Pyper's Class B Alfa Romeo, Muller seized his chance and third place. "I took every opportunity, and the car's balance was very good," said Muller. "The problem is our straightline speed."

Thompson held onto fourth, while Menu dropped into the clutches of a frantic gaggle led by Vincent Radermecker's Vauxhall and including Matt Neal's Nissan, Tom Kristensen's Honda and Jason Plato's Vauxhall. Menu fended them off all the way to the flag.

In Class B, Alan Morrison took maximum points to make his championship
chances even better. The Peugeot driver stayed clear of a wild battle for second. Pyper in the Alfa held it for much of the distance, chased by Dan Eaves' Peugeot, Simon Harrison's Ford Focus and James Kaye's Honda Accord - up from the back after missing qualifying thanks to an engine blow-up.

Harrison fell by the wayside with a brake problem, and Pyper went off the track at Knickerbrook while being lapped. Pyper rejoined just behind Kaye, who was by now up to second place. The Alfa driver made a move into Old Hall next time round and ended up trading paint with Kaye's Honda as they went up the Avenue, before spearing into it on the run up to Cascades. Both cars, and Eaves' closely following Peugeot spun and the Alfa hit the barrier and rolled.

"I think the steering broke," explained the unhurt Pyper later. All that left Eaves second in class and Kaye third.


12 Anthony REID GBR Ford Mondeo Zetec 29:12.221s
18 Gabriele TARQUINI ITA Honda Accord 0.687s
6 Yvan MULLER FRA Vauxhall Vectra 11.413s
4 James THOMPSON GBR Honda Accord 11.969s
11 Alain MENU SUI Ford Mondeo Zetec 18.923 86.41s
8 Vincent RADERMECKER BEL Vauxhall Vectra 19.419 86.39s
Matt NEAL GBR Nissan Primera GT 22.173s (Independent)
77 Tom KRISTENSEN DEN Honda Accord 22.632 s
5 Jason PLATO GBR Vauxhall Vectra 22.886s
13 B Alan MORRISON GBR Peugeot 306 GTi 1 LAP (Class B)

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