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Alain Menu: ‘Everything went well’ at Rockingham

Team BMR’s Alain Menu leaves Rockingham pleased to have scored a trio of top ten finishes – including a first podium of the season – after an issue-free Rockingham weekend in the British Touring Car Championship.

Swiss Menu was the fourth highest scoring driver at the weekend after finishing fourth, sixth and second respectively in the three races on Sunday. The former champion says he is relieved to have had an incident-free weekend after having been on the receiving end of contact or penalties in some of the previous events this season.

“It’s the first race weekend of the year without any issues,” said Menu to TouringCars.Net. “Everything went well. We had a very good qualifying session and in the races we changed the car set-up every time and we improved it little by little.

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“The boys did a good job – the car was quick. We’re still not on the ultimate pace but it was good. For me the main difference to the previous seven race weekends was that I have not had any issues.”

Menu was one of only six drivers to opt for the softer tyre in the first race of the day, which allowed him to rise from eighth on the grid to fourth at the flag. That set him up for strong second and third races, with the 51-year-old then benefitting from being in the reverse grid draw for race three, where he was selected for pole position.

“There was only a slight drop off [with the soft tyre], but not massively. Also there is a way of driving the cars to save the tyres as much as possible. I don’t know what the other guys [experienced] – in race three most of them were on the softer one, but I don’t know what their lap times were so I’ll have to have a look at that tomorrow.”

Menu feels that he could not have caught eventual winner Rob Austin in race three, having been beaten away from the line at the start by the rear-wheel drive Audi.

“At one point I thought that because he was not pulling away that maybe his tyres would drop off at the end, but it was very unlikely with rear-wheel drive,” added Menu. “Actually, at the end he was starting to pull away a bit. Maybe if I had been leading, maybe I could have kept him behind but I’m very happy with my races, it’s good enough for this weekend. I got a podium so that’s what we wanted.”

With the end of the season approaching, Menu was coy on his options for 2015 and did not rule out a return to the World Touring Car Championship if the opportunity presented it.

“There’s nothing [for 2015] yet. I’m thinking about it but nothing to say at the moment.”

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