When Team Mates Got it Wrong!
There were lots of incidents of contact and on track disagreements during the Super Touring era of the BTCC, but the very worst of these were the times when team mates collided with each other on track…. and it happened a lot more than you think it would!
Will Hoy & Andy Rouse – Brands Hatch 1992
Fighting for 2nd and 3rd place behind race leader John Cleland, the the two Toyota team mates were racing through Brands Hatch’s GP loop and seemingly wanted the same piece of track. The pair collided and ended up against the armco on the run up to Dingle Dell.
Race winner Cleland told us, “Looking back in the mirror, I nearly pissed myself laughing!!”
Who did you think was at fault?
Matt Neal & Alex Portman – Brands Hatch 1993
Team Dynamics picked up the remains of Vic Lee Racing before the start of the 1993 season and ran 3 BMWs throughout the season.
At Brands Hatch, Matt Neal spun at Surtees and when team mate Alex Portman came around, he had nowhere to go and clattered into his team mate.
Will Hoy & Julian Bailey – Silverstone 1993
This is one of the most iconic incidents of the 90s. Toyota team mates Will Hoy and Julian Bailey are 1st and 2nd in the prestigious British Grand Prix support meeting, when Bailey makes a late lunge coming out of Bridge and flips team mate Will Hoy onto his roof.
The drama was heightened further with Murray Walker’s iconic “The car upside down is a Toyota!” line.
The retirement of both Toyota’s meant that arch-rivals Nissan instead took a 1-2 victory in the F1 support race. Not exactly ideal. Bailey’s antics however, meant that Toyota definitely dominated the media coverage after the race!
John Cleland & Jeff Allam – Silverstone 1993
At the same race meeting in 1993, Vauxhall team mates John Cleland collided with team mate Jeff Allam!
Thankfully, for John’s sake, there was a much more high profile incident that took most of the headlines!
Derek Warwick & Giampiero Simoni – Brands Hatch 1995
After a strong start off the grid, Warwick got alongside team mate Simoni, who either didn’t realise or didn’t care & swerved to Warwick’s side to get past another car, putting Warwick onto the grass and spinning into the path of BMW’s David Brabham.
Paul Radisich & Steve Robertson – Donington 1996
The start of 1996 had been chaotic for Ford as it was. There was a big fight for the tender to run the works Ford team, which was won by BTCC newcomers, West Surrey Racing. A slightly unique situation with the chassis build undertaken by Reynard and the running of the race team by WSR.
At the first race of the season, Paul Radisich was recovering from being spun around by a BMW & on his recovery drive, came across team mate Steve Robertson. Robertson spun in front of Radisich, leaving the Kiwi nowhere to go except straight into his rookie team mate.
Not the start West Surrey Racing wanted to their first ever BTCC race!
Alain Menu & Will Hoy – Thruxton 1996
Later that season, Renault secured the front row of the grid at Thruxton, but by the time they got to the Campbell, Cobb & Seagrave complex on the first lap, they were both in the wall and out of the race.
Jo Winkelhock had managed to get between the pair at the start, meaning they were all running side by side into the Complex. A bit of pushing and shoving either way resulted in Winkelhock bouncing between the Renaults, who ended up hitting each other head on and out of the race, with Winkelhock limping home and gesticulating wildly.
Menu blamed Hoy, Hoy blamed Menu – Who was at fault?!
James Thompson & John Cleland – Snetterton 1996
After the highs of winning the BTCC title in 1995, Vauxhall had a relatively poor year in 1996, debuting their brand new Vauxhall Vectra in the series.
At Snetterton, Thompson and Cleland were battling for 7th place when the young Englishman pushed the Scot off track at the final corner as he overtook.
For the minor places, this might seem nothing major, a mere slap on the wrist, but after a crazy few laps for the leaders, Thommo found himself in the lead and took the first race win for a Vectra, instead of Cleland, who found himself in 3rd place instead.
Understandably, the Scotsman was none too pleased!
Frank Biela & John Bintcliffe – Thruxton 1997
After a dominant 1996, where Audi took both the drivers and manufacturers titles, things were a little less simple for them in 1997. With additional weight penalties, designed to counter the inherent advantages of the 4WD system in the A4, Biela and Bintcliffe often found themselves in the midfield.
Biela had actually taken his first win of the season in the first race at Thruxton, thanks to the damp conditions. On the first lap of the second race, coming out of the complex, Bintcliffe puts Biela into the armco barrier, inflicting heavy damage on the A4.
Frank Biela & John Bintcliffe – Croft 1997
Commentator Charlie Cox called it another game of “Bintcliffe Billiards” as once again, the two Audi A4s collided at Croft. This time, John Bintcliffe was the one who ended up in the kitty litter.
Yvan Muller & Jason Plato – Oulton Park 2000
After a controversial meeting at Thruxton for Vauxhall, where Jason Plato was forced to pull over and allow Yvan Muller to take both race wins, Vauxhall would have been hoping for an easier time of it at Oulton Park.
Instead, on Lap 1, Plato went into the back of Muller, who ended up colliding with a Ford!
Alain Menu & Rickard Rydell – Oulton Park 2000
With Ford dominant throughout the final season of the Super Touring era, the three factory drivers were battling between themselves for the championship. The Blue Oval was a cert for the title, it was just working out which driver would win it. Until now, Reid, Menu and Rydell had been very well behaved, but that all changed at Oulton Park after a start line shunt between Alain Menu & Rickard Rydell left the Swede in the pit wall and out of the race.
Rydell bolted across the front of Menu at the start, misjudging the move and ended up slamming into the pit lane. This incident might well have cost the Swede a second BTCC title!
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