Alain tops the JST Menu
After a superb second weekend of racing in the 2014 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, the numbers have been crunched and the Jack Sears Trophy standings are now up-to-date. The trophy will be awarded to the independent driver who makes up the most positions from their grid slots over the course of the year, and after six BTCC contests it is two-time champion Alain Menu leading the way.
The VW CC of Menu flew up the JST standings at Brands Hatch following an opening-lap off in the first race of the season, and coming to Donington Park the Swiss driver was just one manoeuvre behind the Exocet Racing Audi A4 of Rob Austin. The pace was clearly in the car from the outset, as both Menu and team-mate Aron Smith set impressive times throughout free practice and qualifying, and with 20 places made up in Leicestershire to Austin’s 11, Menu moves to the top of the standings for Chrome Edition Restart Racing.
In almost identical fashion to his Brands Hatch fortunes, Menu’s weekend was punctuated by a huge first lap moment that forced a charge through the field in the following race. As conditions worsened for race two, an off-track excursion at the Old Hairpin almost spelled disaster for the BTCC stalwart, who found himself pirouetting across the circuit and almost into the path of the oncoming field. Beached in the gravel and out of the race, an impressive effort saw the VW come through from 29th to ninth at the chequered flag in the final race.
Despite leading the standings, Menu wasn’t the driver to make the most moves over the Donington weekend. That honour falls on eBay Motors driver Rob Collard, who is having a much stronger start to his season than he did in 2013. Coming from 14th to fourth in race one, a podium position looked on the cards for the second contest, but a spin just after a safety car period put Collard in the gravel at the Old Hairpin. This meant the seven-time BTCC race winner had a mountain to climb coming from the back of the field in race three. Starting just ahead of JST leader Menu, Collard made it even further through the pack to finish seventh, rounding out an impressive weekend to total 30 places gained from his starting positions.
Collard now sits with 34 places gained in joint second place with Austin – the pair have a deficit of eight positions to Menu.
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