Monday 9th APRIL 2000


An unlucky Matt Turner retired from the opening round of the Autobytel Lotus Championship in his Corus and Regal hotels backed car at Brands Hatch.

Testing on Friday was limited due to a gearbox oil-leak for Turner. With only two and half days of testing Turner went into official qualifying with limited track time but was able to qualify in a highly impressive 5th position. "I knew I had a good basic set-up on the car," said Turner. "It was just a case of concentrating on getting the best out of the car. To get 5th place is fantastic as I will be right up the front for the race."

Spurred on by the 25,000 strong crowd at Brands Hatch, Matt quickly settled into the race. Turner chose to sit back and hold station in 5th place whilst Edward Horner started a charge through the field to catch his Corus and Regal hotels stable mate.

Sadly for the whole team, a great qualifying performance by Matt was cancelled with a poor overtaking manoeuvre from fellow driver Tee that resulted in Turner exiting the race in the barriers. "I went into a corner and was taken by Simon Hill on the inside," said Turner. "Then on the exit, I got hit hard by Tee and I went up on two wheels from the impact of the incident. After that I was a passenger until the car came to rest against the barriers." Tee was disqualified from the results for his part in the incident.

With both Turner and Horner recording competitive lap times throughout the race, the Corus and Regal hotels team look forward to the next round of the Lotus Elise Championship at Donington Park on Monday 24th April.