1998 British Touring Car Championship

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1998 BTCC season
Previous: 1997 Next: 1999
Rickard Rydell won the driver's championship in a Volvo S40.

The 1998 Auto Trader RAC British Touring Car Championship featured 26 races across 13 rounds, it commenced at Thruxton on April 13 and ended at Silverstone on 20 September.[1]

The championship was won by Rickard Rydell in a Volvo S40, the runner-up was Anthony Reid in a Nissan Primera and James Thompson finished in third driving a Honda Accord. The Autosport Cup for Independents, a championship for privateer entries was won by Tommy Rustad in a Renault Laguna.

The video game TOCA 2 Touring Cars is based on this championship season.

Background[edit]

There were three major rule changes to the championship prior to the start of the 1998 season. Race weekends were changed notably with two different types of races now elected: a shorter "sprint" race and a "feature" race, 25% longer than previous races featuring a mandatory two-tyre stop to be taken between 15 and 75% distance.[2] Qualifying for the sprint race involved drivers holding a "shoot-out" style session where each driver was sent out one of a time and were given a single timed lap to determine their starting position with the slowest driver from feature qualifying going first and fastest going last.[2] Qualifying for the feature race remained the same as the previous season.

Four wheel drive systems were also banned for 1998, a system used notably by 1996 champions Audi.

The independents trophy previously known as the 'Total Cup for Independents' became the 'Autosport Cup for Independents'. The £250,000 prize fund, introduced in 1997, remained in place however at the request of the independent competitors, prize money now will be awarded on the results of each individual round rather than as a lump sum to the top three overall finishers at the end of the season. In 1998, the first independent finisher in each of the 26 rounds will receive £2,500, while second and third past the chequered flag will receive £1,250 and £500 respectively.[2]

Team and driver changes[edit]

Eight manufacturer backed teams contested the championship with no changes to the manufacturer - team line up.

I think last year on some tracks we were not the quickest car but we ended up winning the championship because we made less mistakes than the other guys. So hopefully this year will be the same.

Alain Menu

1997 champions Williams Renault, now in their fourth year of partnership in the BTCC, retained their driver line up of Alain Menu and Jason Plato once again driving the Laguna.[3] The familiar yellow and blue livery was replaced by the dark green of new title sponsor Nescafe Blend 37. The team entered a third car for the final round at Silverstone for independents cup winner Tommy Rustad.

Audi were forced to abandon their four-wheel-drive A4 which helped them to the 1996 title for a more conventional front-wheel drive car. 1995 French touring car champion Yvan Muller joined the team after helping German manufacturer develop the new FWD car in the Super Tourenwagen Cup in 1997.He was joined by John Bintcliffe now in his third season with Audi with Frank Biela moving to Audi's Sportscar project.

Nissan were another team to retain their driver line-up with the experience Scots David Leslie and Anthony Reid racing a pair of RML prepared Primeras. The team entered a third car at Brands Hatch in August for former driver and then Top Gear presenter Tiff Needell. This appeared as a feature on the popular motoring show.

Following a very promising winter test program[4] Prodrive run Honda retained Yorkshire's James Thompson with ex BMW driver Peter Kox replacing 1994 champion Gabriele Tarquini.

TWR Volvo had also changed their lineup with former Ferrari, Footwork and Sauber F1 driver Gianni Morbidelli replacing Kelvin Burt, who switched to JTCC, to partner Swede Rickard Rydell who remained with the team for a fifth season.

Vauxhall engineered and run by Triple Eight continued with Derek Warwick and 1995 champion John Cleland racing the Vectra. Following the disaster with aerodynamics in 1997 Triple Eight developed the aero themselves for 1998.[5]

One of the biggest stories going into the season was that Ford had signed 1992 Formula One champion Nigel Mansell to compete in three rounds of the championship.[6] For all other rounds New Zealander Craig Baird, a former works BMW driver in Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, will race alongside 1991 champion Will Hoy, now in his eleventh season of BTCC competition.

Switching from Ford Paul Radisich joined Tim Harvey at Peugeot whose 406's were again run by Motor Sport Developments (MSD).

Alfa Romeo announced that they would make a comeback to the BTCC by entering later rounds of the season. Fabrizio Giovanardi and Nicola Larini were scheduled to drive[7] the new 156 but Alfa's plans fell through, and the team never appeared.

Reigning independents champion Robb Gravett again entered his 1996 Honda Accord[8] now run by Brookes Motorsport. A second car was entered at Oulton Park in September for Lee Brookes but didn't start either race.

Matt Neal raced a 1997 Nissan Primera[9] run by family outfit Team Dynamics.

D.C.Cook Motorsport entered the 1997 championship winning Renault Laguna for Norwegian Tommy Rustad and for the final two meetings they also entered a Honda Accord[10] for Paula Cook.

Mardi Gras Motorsport entered a Honda Accord for Norwegian Roger Moen until team and driver went their separate ways after the Croft rounds. The team took over the running of Mark Lemmer's Vauxhall Vectra[11] for three meetings in the second half of the season after he split with Mint Motorsport who had run the car until Croft.

Entry list[edit]

Volvo placed second in the Manufacturers Championship with its S40s
Team Car No. Drivers Rounds
Manufacturers
Blend 37 Williams Renault Renault Laguna 1 Switzerland Alain Menu All
3 United Kingdom Jason Plato All
21 Norway Tommy Rustad 13
Volvo S40 Racing Volvo S40 4 Sweden Rickard Rydell All
14 Italy Gianni Morbidelli All
Team Honda Sport Honda Accord 5 United Kingdom James Thompson All
50 Netherlands Peter Kox All
Audi Sport UK Audi A4 7 United Kingdom John Bintcliffe All
12 France Yvan Muller All
Vodafone Nissan Racing Nissan Primera GT 8 United Kingdom David Leslie All
23 United Kingdom Anthony Reid All
24 United Kingdom Tiff Needell 11
Esso Ultron Team Peugeot Peugeot 406 9 United Kingdom Tim Harvey All
11 New Zealand Paul Radisich All
Ford Mondeo Racing with Reynard Ford Mondeo 32 United Kingdom Will Hoy All
33 New Zealand Craig Baird 1–5, 7–10
55 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell 6, 11, 13
Alfa Romeo Alfa Romeo 156 56 Italy Nicola Larini DNS
57 Italy Fabrizio Giovanardi DNS
Vauxhall Sport Vauxhall Vectra 88 United Kingdom Derek Warwick All
98 United Kingdom John Cleland 1–8, 10–13
99 Brazil Flavio Figueiredo 9
Independents
Mint Motorsport Vauxhall Vectra 16 United Kingdom Mark Lemmer 1–7
Mardi Gras Motorsport 9, 11, 13
Honda Accord 17 Norway Roger Möen 1–7
DC Cook Motorsport Renault Laguna 21 Norway Tommy Rustad 1–12
Honda Accord 22 United Kingdom Paula Cook 12–13
Brookes Motorsport Honda Accord 28 United Kingdom Lee Brookes 12
29 United Kingdom Robb Gravett All
Team Dynamics Max Power Nissan Primera GT 77 United Kingdom Matt Neal All

Calendar[edit]

All races were held in the United Kingdom.

Round Circuit Date Pole Position Fastest Lap Winning Driver Winning Team Winning Independent
1 R1 Thruxton Circuit, Hampshire 13 April Sweden Rickard Rydell Sweden Rickard Rydell Sweden Rickard Rydell Volvo S40 Racing United Kingdom Mark Lemmer
R2 Sweden Rickard Rydell Switzerland Alain Menu Switzerland Alain Menu Blend 37 Williams Renault United Kingdom Matt Neal
2 R3 Silverstone Circuit (International), Northamptonshire 26 April United Kingdom James Thompson United Kingdom David Leslie United Kingdom David Leslie Vodafone Nissan Racing United Kingdom Robb Gravett
R4 United Kingdom Jason Plato United Kingdom James Thompson United Kingdom Will Hoy Ford Mondeo Racing United Kingdom Robb Gravett
3 R5 Donington Park (National), Leicestershire 4 May Sweden Rickard Rydell United Kingdom David Leslie United Kingdom John Cleland Vauxhall Sport United Kingdom Matt Neal
R6 United Kingdom David Leslie United Kingdom David Leslie United Kingdom David Leslie Vodafone Nissan Racing United Kingdom Matt Neal
4 R7 Brands Hatch (Indy), Kent 17 May Sweden Rickard Rydell United Kingdom Anthony Reid Sweden Rickard Rydell Volvo S40 Racing Norway Tommy Rustad
R8 Sweden Rickard Rydell United Kingdom Anthony Reid Sweden Rickard Rydell Volvo S40 Racing United Kingdom Matt Neal
5 R9 Oulton Park (Fosters), Cheshire 25 May Switzerland Alain Menu Switzerland Alain Menu Switzerland Alain Menu Blend 37 Williams Renault Norway Tommy Rustad
R10 United Kingdom Anthony Reid United Kingdom Anthony Reid United Kingdom Jason Plato Blend 37 Williams Renault Norway Tommy Rustad
6 R11 Donington Park (National), Leicestershire 14 June United Kingdom Anthony Reid Sweden Rickard Rydell United Kingdom Anthony Reid Vodafone Nissan Racing United Kingdom Robb Gravett
R12 United Kingdom Anthony Reid United Kingdom Anthony Reid United Kingdom John Cleland Vauxhall Sport United Kingdom Matt Neal
7 R13 Croft Circuit, North Yorkshire 28 June United Kingdom James Thompson United Kingdom James Thompson United Kingdom James Thompson Team Honda Sport United Kingdom Matt Neal
R14 United Kingdom David Leslie United Kingdom David Leslie Sweden Rickard Rydell Volvo S40 Racing United Kingdom Robb Gravett
8 R15 Snetterton Circuit, Norfolk 26 July United Kingdom Anthony Reid United Kingdom Matt Neal United Kingdom Anthony Reid Vodafone Nissan Racing United Kingdom Robb Gravett
R16 United Kingdom Anthony Reid United Kingdom Anthony Reid United Kingdom James Thompson Team Honda Sport United Kingdom Robb Gravett
9 R17 Thruxton Circuit, Hampshire 2 August Sweden Rickard Rydell United Kingdom Anthony Reid United Kingdom Anthony Reid Vodafone Nissan Racing United Kingdom Matt Neal
R18 United Kingdom Anthony Reid United Kingdom Anthony Reid Switzerland Alain Menu Blend 37 Williams Renault United Kingdom Mark Lemmer
10 R19 Knockhill Circuit, Fife 16 August United Kingdom Anthony Reid United Kingdom David Leslie United Kingdom Anthony Reid Vodafone Nissan Racing United Kingdom Matt Neal
R20 United Kingdom Anthony Reid France Yvan Muller United Kingdom Derek Warwick Vauxhall Sport Norway Tommy Rustad
11 R21 Brands Hatch (Indy), Kent 31 August United Kingdom Anthony Reid United Kingdom Anthony Reid United Kingdom Anthony Reid Vodafone Nissan Racing United Kingdom Matt Neal
R22 Sweden Rickard Rydell United Kingdom Anthony Reid Sweden Rickard Rydell Volvo S40 Racing United Kingdom Matt Neal
12 R23 Oulton Park (Fosters), Cheshire 13 September United Kingdom Anthony Reid United Kingdom Anthony Reid United Kingdom James Thompson Team Honda Sport Norway Tommy Rustad
R24 United Kingdom Anthony Reid United Kingdom James Thompson United Kingdom Anthony Reid Vodafone Nissan Racing United Kingdom Matt Neal
13 R25 Silverstone Circuit (International), Northamptonshire 20 September Sweden Rickard Rydell United Kingdom Anthony Reid United Kingdom James Thompson Team Honda Sport United Kingdom Mark Lemmer
R26 United Kingdom David Leslie Sweden Rickard Rydell United Kingdom Anthony Reid Vodafone Nissan Racing United Kingdom Paula Cook

Drivers Championship[edit]

Points system
 1st   2nd   3rd   4th   5th   6th   7th   8th   9th   10th  Pole Position Lead a lap
in feature race
15 12 10 8 6 5 4 3 2 1 1 1
  • No driver may collect more than one "Lead a Lap" point per race no matter how many laps they lead.
Pos. Driver THR SIL DON BRH OUL DON CRO SNE THR KNO BRH OUL SIL Pts
1 Sweden Rickard Rydell 1 2* 5 Ret 3 7* 1 1* 2 2 2 Ret 4 1* 5 2* 3 3 Ret 3 3 1* 11 4 2 3 254
2 United Kingdom Anthony Reid 8 13 7 3 Ret 6 2 3 5 3* 1 Ret* 2 3 1 NC 1 6 1 7 1 2* 2 1* 5 1* 239(242)
3 United Kingdom James Thompson 3 3 2 9* 2 4 9 2 Ret 5 Ret Ret 1 5 4 1* 4 5* 2 Ret 2 9* 1 Ret 1 4* 203
4 Switzerland Alain Menu 5 1* Ret Ret 4 2 3 4 1 4* Ret Ret 3 4 3 Ret 2 1* 3 4 5 3 3 Ret 9 Ret 187
5 United Kingdom Jason Plato 2 4 3 2* Ret 5 4 Ret 4 1* 9 Ret 8 6 2 3 Ret Ret Ret 5 7 4* 6 2 4 6 163
6 United Kingdom David Leslie 7 12 1 Ret Ret 1* Ret 6 3 Ret Ret 2* Ret 2* 6 4 5 2 5 9 4 Ret 4 Ret 13 2* 148
7 France Yvan Muller 9 Ret 10 8 6 10 5 15 10 10 7 4* 5 10 15 5 6 10 4 2 11 6 5 3 3 5 110
8 United Kingdom John Cleland 4 6 6 7 1 3* 6 9* 7 6* 5 1* 6 8 9 Ret 13 Ret 8 Ret 9 11 8 Ret 106
9 United Kingdom Derek Warwick 12 5 4 6* 13 8 11 13 11 Ret DSQ 3 9 12 10 Ret 7 Ret 9 1 Ret 14 10 5* 7 10 70
10 United Kingdom Will Hoy Ret 15 9 1* 8 16 7 Ret 8 7 3 Ret 13 9* 8 8 10 12 6 Ret Ret Ret 8 6 10 8 69
11 Italy Gianni Morbidelli 6 11 8 5 12 Ret 13 10 6 9* 6 7 10 7* 7 11 8 4 11 Ret Ret Ret Ret 9 17 Ret 56
12 Netherlands Peter Kox 10 7 Ret 11 7 Ret 14 7 Ret Ret 4 Ret 7 Ret 16 Ret 13 7 7 14 6 7* 7 Ret Ret 7* 52
13 United Kingdom Matt Neal Ret 10 Ret 16 5 9 Ret 5 Ret 14 Ret 6 12 15 NC 13 12 Ret 8 Ret 9 5 13 7 Ret Ret 35
14 New Zealand Paul Radisich Ret 8 12 4 11 Ret 8 12 12 13 10 Ret 11 Ret 18 10 9 Ret 10 6 10 10 Ret Ret 6 14 31
15 United Kingdom John Bintcliffe 11 9 14 17 10 14 10 8 9 8* Ret 9 Ret 11 14 7 11 8 Ret 10 13 11 NC Ret 12 Ret 23
16 Norway Tommy Rustad 16 Ret 15 13 17 12 12 14* 13 12 12 8 15 Ret 17 12 14 Ret 14 8 15 13 12 8 11 9 12
17 United Kingdom Tim Harvey 13 Ret 11 18 9 11 Ret 11 Ret Ret Ret Ret 16 18 12 Ret 15 9* 15 11 14 8* 14 10 Ret Ret 10
18 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell Ret 5* Ret Ret 14 11 7
19 United Kingdom Robb Gravett 17 16 13 12* 15 Ret 16 17 15 16 8 Ret Ret 14 13 9 16 Ret Ret 12 16 12* 15 12 Ret DNS 7
20 New Zealand Craig Baird 15 14 Ret 10 14 13 15 Ret 14 11 14 13 11 6 Ret DNS 12 13 6
21 Norway Roger Möen 18 17 16 15 Ret 15 18 16 16 15 11 10 Ret 16 1
22 Brazil Flavio Figueiredo 17 11 0
23 United Kingdom Tiff Needell 12 15 0
24 United Kingdom Paula Cook 16 13 16 12 0
25 United Kingdom Mark Lemmer 14 Ret Ret 14 16 Ret 17 Ret Ret DNS Ret Ret 17 17 18 13 Ret 16 15 13 0
 – United Kingdom Lee Brookes DNS DNS 0
Pos. Driver THR SIL DON BRH OUL DON CRO SNE THR KNO BRH OUL SIL Pts
  • Note: bold signifies pole position (1 point awarded all races), italics signifies fastest lap

* signifies that driver lead feature race for at least one lap (1 point given). Note: All bonus leading points may not be added due to them being added after seeing Season Review footage and some race reports.

Note: No points were awarded for leading in the feature race at Knockhill.

Autosport Cup for Independents[edit]

  • Points were only awarded to the top three class finishers in each race.
Pos. Driver THR SIL DON BRH OUL DON CRO SNE THR KNO BRH OUL SIL Pts
1 Norway Tommy Rustad 16 Ret 15 13 17 12 12 14 13 12 12 8 15 Ret 17 12 14 Ret 13 8 15 13 12 8 251
2 United Kingdom Robb Gravett 17 16 13 12 15 Ret 16 17 15 16 8 Ret Ret 14 13 9 16 Ret Ret 12 16 12 15 12 Ret DNS 212
3 United Kingdom Matt Neal Ret 10 Ret 16 5 9 Ret 5 Ret 14 Ret 6 12 15 NC 13 12 Ret 8 Ret 9 5 13 7 Ret Ret 211
4 United Kingdom Mark Lemmer 14 Ret Ret 14 16 Ret 17 Ret Ret DNS Ret Ret 17 17 18 13 Ret 16 15 13 95
5 Norway Roger Möen 18 17 16 15 Ret 15 18 16 16 15 11 10 Ret 16 92
6 United Kingdom Paula Cook 16 13 16 12 27
 – United Kingdom Lee Brookes DNS DNS 0
Pos. Driver THR SIL DON BRH OUL DON CRO SNE THR KNO BRH OUL SIL Pts

Manufacturers Championship[edit]

Pos Manufacturer THR SIL DON BRH OUL DON CRO SNE THR KNO BRH OUL SIL Pts
1 Nissan / Vodafone Nissan Racing 7 12 1 3 Ret 1 2 3 3 3 1 2 2 2 1 4 1 2 1 7 1 2 2 1 5 1 273
2 Volvo / Volvo S40 Racing 1 2 5 5 3 7 1 1 2 2 2 7 4 1 5 2 3 3 11 3 3 1 11 4 2 3 245
3 Renault / Blend 37 Williams Renault 2 1 3 2 4 2 3 4 1 1 9 Ret 3 4 2 3 2 1 3 4 5 3 3 2 4 6 244
4 Honda / Team Honda Sport 3 3 2 9 2 4 9 2 Ret 5 4 Ret 1 5 4 1 4 5 2 14 2 7 1 Ret 1 4 222
5 Vauxhall / Vauxhall Sport 4 5 4 6 1 3 6 9 7 6 5 1 6 8 9 Ret 7 11 9 1 8 14 9 5 7 10 162
6 Audi / Audi Sport UK 9 9 10 8 6 10 5 8 9 8 7 4 5 10 14 5 6 8 4 2 11 6 5 3 3 5 150
7 Ford / Ford Mondeo Racing 15 14 9 1 8 13 7 Ret 8 7 3 5 13 9 8 6 10 12 6 13 Ret Ret 8 6 10 8 117
8 Peugeot / Esso Ultron Team Peugeot 13 8 11 4 9 11 8 11 12 13 10 Ret 11 18 12 10 9 9 10 6 10 8 14 10 6 14 96
Pos Manufacturer THR SIL DON BRH OUL DON CRO SNE THR KNO BRH OUL SIL Pts

Teams Championship[edit]

Pos Team THR SIL DON BRH OUL DON CRO SNE THR KNO BRH OUL SIL Pts
1 Vodafone Nissan Racing 12 3 1 3 3 2 2 4 2 7 2 1 1 168
13 Ret 6 6 Ret Ret 3 NC 6 9 Ret Ret 2
2 Blend 37 Williams Renault 1 2 2 4 1 Ret 4 3 1 4 3 2 6 159
4 Ret 5 Ret 4 Ret 6 Ret Ret 5 4 Ret Ret
3 Volvo S40 Racing 2 5 7 1 2 7 1 2 3 3 1 4 3 140
11 Ret Ret 10 9 Ret 7 11 4 Ret Ret 9 Ret
4 Team Honda Sport 3 9 4 2 5 Ret 5 1 5 14 7 Ret 4 95
7 11 Ret 7 Ret Ret Ret Ret 7 Ret 9 Ret 7
5 Vauxhall Sport 5 6 3 9 6 1 8 Ret 11 1 14 5 10 75
6 7 8 13 Ret 3 12 Ret Ret Ret Ret 11 Ret
6 Audi Sport UK 9 8 10 8 8 4 10 5 8 2 6 3 5 59
Ret 17 14 15 10 9 11 7 10 10 11 Ret Ret
7 Ford Mondeo Racing 14 1 13 Ret 7 5 9 6 12 13 Ret 6 8 44
15 10 16 Ret 11 Ret 13 8 DNS Ret Ret 11
8 Team Dynamics Max Power 10 16 9 5 14 6 15 13 Ret Ret 5 7 Ret 24
9 Esso Ultron Team Peugeot 8 4 11 11 13 Ret 18 10 9 6 8 10 14 19
Ret 18 Ret 12 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 11 10 Ret Ret
10 DC Cook Motorsport Ret 13 12 14 12 8 Ret 12 Ret 8 13 8 12 9
13
11 Brookes Motorsport 16 12 Ret 17 16 Ret 14 9 Ret 12 12 12 DNS 2
DNS
12 Mardi Gras Motorsport 17 15 15 16 15 10 16 13 16 13 1
13 Mint Motorsport Ret 14 Ret Ret DNS Ret 17 0
Pos Team THR SIL DON BRH OUL DON CRO SNE THR KNO BRH OUL SIL Pts

References[edit]

  1. ^ "BTCC: 1998 calendar announced". Motorsport.com. Retrieved 2017-12-08.
  2. ^ a b c "BTCC: 1998 rule revisions". Motorsport.com. Retrieved 2017-12-07.
  3. ^ "The Birth of Williams Touring Car Engineering - The Williams Grand Prix Database". The Williams Grand Prix Database. 2012-12-16. Retrieved 2017-12-07.
  4. ^ "BTCC: Oulton Park testing March 11". Motorsport.com. Retrieved 2017-12-07.
  5. ^ "Heritage | Triple Eight Racing BTCC". www.tripleeight.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-12-07.
  6. ^ "BTCC: Nigel Mansell returns". Motorsport.com. Retrieved 2017-12-07.
  7. ^ "BTCC: 1998 entry list". Motorsport.com. Retrieved 2017-12-07.
  8. ^ "Honda Accord (HR018)". Super Touring Register. Retrieved 2017-12-07.
  9. ^ "Nissan Primera (31)". Super Touring Register. Retrieved 2017-12-07.
  10. ^ "Honda Accord (PRO-ST/H-9806)". Super Touring Register. Retrieved 2017-12-07.
  11. ^ "Vauxhall / Opel Vectra B (V96B-001)". Super Touring Register. Retrieved 2017-12-07.

External links[edit]