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Team RAC - Round 7 race report - Snetterton

Press release   •   Jul 30, 2007 00:01 BST

Tom Onslow-Cole secured his first race win for Team RAC at the seventh round of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Snetterton today (29 July).

Tom Onslow-Cole secured his first race win for Team RAC at the
seventh round of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at
Snetterton today (29 July).

Team RAC had a succesful day at their home circuit in Norfolk, in
front of a bumper crowd, including over 1000 RAC staff.

After races 19, 20 and 21, Colin Turkington lies
fifth in the drivers championship with 113 points, whilst Tom Onslow-
Cole is in 10th with 95 points. Jason Plato (SEAT Sport UK) leads
with 209 points.

Race 1Team RAC driver Tom Onslow-Cole secured second place in the first
race of the day after the exclusion of his team-mate Colin Turkington.

A dream start for RAC at its home circuit saw both Team RAC drivers
secure a front row lock out with Turkington starting in pole position
and team-mate Onslow-Cole in second place.

Both drivers started well and in lap 1 Onslow-Cole moved into the
lead, where he remained until lap 5 when he was passed by Turkington
and Gordon Shedden (Team Halfords). Turkington went on to win the
race but was subsequently excluded when his Team RAC BMW 320si was
weighed after the race and was found to be slightly underweight. As
a result Turkington had to start the second race from the back of the
grid with maximum success ballast (45 kgs).

Onslow-Cole drove an extremely strong race and held off pressure from
Tom Chilton to finish in 3rd place, moving up to second place after
Turkington's exclusion.

Colin Turkington said: "It is disappointing for me as it makes the
rest of the weekend very difficult but the car was running very well
and we have a moral victory on the track. I'm hopeful that I can
pick up some points in the next couple of races."

Race 2Tom Onslow-Cole started the race from 2nd on the grid with 36kgs of
success ballast. He started well but the additional weight made it a
greater challenge to remain at the front of the pack.

In an action packed race, in which there were two separate safety car
periods, Onslow-Cole struggled to keep the pace with the extra
weight. He dropped down to 4th place in lap 1 and after the first
restart he dropped further to 7th.

In a challenging race Onslow-Cole did well to finish in 6th place and
start on pole as a result of the reversed grid. The race was won by
Vauxhall's Fabrizio Giovanardi.

Tom Onslow-Cole said: "I feel I made the best of a hard situation. I
struggled with the extra weight and found it much more difficult. It
really was an action packed race. I was watching all the action
unfold from the pack in front and was happy not to get too involved. The reverse grid has worked in my favour so I'm confident we can get
something from race 3."

Race 3Tom Onslow-Cole produced a spectacular performance to secure his
first ever BTCC win for Team RAC.

Onslow-Cole began the final race of the day in pole position and a
great start saw him hold off early pressure from Mat Jackson. Onslow-
Cole kept his composure and maintained the lead for the entire race.
This was despite constant pressure from Mat Jackson and Jason Plato,
who passed Jackson to move into 2nd place.

A collision between Plato, Jackson and Giovanardi in lap 16 helped
Onslow-Cole increase his lead and take his first win in front of over
1,000 RAC and Norwich Union staff.

A frustrating day overall for team-mate Colin Turkington saw him
start the race in 9th place and drive well to move up to finish in
6th place and pick up some valuable points for Team RAC.

Tom Onslow-Cole said: "It hasn't really sunk in yet. It was an
absolutely fantastic race. The win didn't come easily. They were
some people really putting pressure on me, particularly Jason Plato.
Surviving pressure from him is a real confidece boost for me.
Afterall he is one of the most experienced guys out there and I am
the rookie and I managed to hold my own."

Dick Bennetts, WSR Team Principal, added: "We were over the moon to
be on 1st and 2nd in qualifying and to finish the first race in 1st
and 3rd. However we were very disappointed for Colin and Team RAC to
be excluded due to a minor weight discrepancy but we have to accept
the decision.

"I am delighted for Tom that he got his first outright win in race 3
and we are all looking forward to Brands Hatch."

Team RAC now lead the Independents Team Championship with 248 points, and sit fourth in the Overall Teams Championship with 194 points.

The BTCC action now moves to Brands Hatch on Sunday 19 August.

RAC were able to unveil the latest stage of their ‘RAC to the rescue'
campaign, which provides benefits to enhance the race day experience
of fans at all 10 rounds of the season.

RAC came to the rescue of families across the country by giving them
the chance to win packages which include access to the exclusive RAC
family area, where over 1,000 Norwich RAC staff were supporting Team

Alastair Pegg, director of RAC marketing, said: "It was fantastic to
see Tom Onslow-Cole get his first win for Team RAC. Today was yet
another entertaining day at the touring cars, particularly for our
RAC and Norwich Union staff who turned out in force to support Team
RAC. I'm sure the support of over 1,000 fans gave Tom an extra boost.

"RAC have many exciting initiatives planned for the 10 rounds in 2007
so supporters should log onto, look out in the media
and at the rounds themselves during the season for details of our
activity and how they can take part.


About BTCC

The championship is firmly established not only as one of Britain's
most popular form of motor racing but also as one of the UK's top
sporting attractions. Over the past decade, action-packed BTCC race
meetings have repeatedly drawn crowds on a par with Premiership
football matches and Test Match cricket, with over 200,000 loyal
spectators and over 20 million terrestrial television viewers.

RAC is one of the UK's most progressive motoring organisations and a
provider for both private and business motorists. Whether it's
roadside assistance, windscreen repair and replacement, learning to
drive, vehicle inspections, legal and financial services or up-to-the-
minute traffic and travel information - RAC is able to meet
motorists' needs.

Aviva bought RAC in May 2005. The acquisition brings together RAC's
powerful brand and customer base with the expertise and leading
position in motor insurance of Norwich Union Insurance (part of
Aviva). Norwich Union is the UK's largest insurer, insuring one in
seven motor vehicles and with a market share of around 15 per cent.

For further information please contact:Nina Cresswell
Lexis Sport - 07966 077572 / 0207 908 6488

Notes to Editors

For all media enquiries, please contact the RAC press team on +44 (0)1454 664 123. The line is manned by an on-call press officer outside office hours. ISDN radio studio facilities are available for interviews Monday to Friday.

About the RAC

First formed in 1897, the RAC has been looking after the needs of its members and championing the interests of drivers for more than 120 years.

Today it has more than eight million members and is one of the UK’s most progressive motoring organisations, providing services for both private and business motorists. Whether it's roadside assistanceinsurancebuying a used carvehicle inspections and checkslegal services or up-to-the-minute traffic and travel information – the RAC offers a solution for all motoring needs. The RAC is committed to making motoring easier, safer, more affordable and more enjoyable for drivers and road users.

The RAC is the motorist’s champion and campaigns to support the interests of its members and UK drivers at a national level. This includes voicing concerns about the increasing cost of motoring, particularly the price of fuel and the high level of tax levied on it, advancing levels of road safety, and supporting the needs of all drivers, from young to old.

The RAC’s annual Report on Motoring – first published in 1989 – is one of a kind and provides a clear insight into the concerns and issues facing today’s motorists.

For the very latest news on UK fuel prices, check RAC Fuel Watch. It provides a comprehensive guide to the latest UK unleaded petrol and diesel prices – both at the wholesale level and at the pump - and tracks these prices daily to help drivers check if the price they pay to fill up is a fair one.