9 September 2014
BTCC Rockingham: Menu pleased with comeback podium
Alain Menu: Yes I've been away for 14 years doing other things but what happened in the past, happened in the past now I want to be fighting for podiums all the time, that's my goal.
BMR's Alain Menu says his first podium finish, since returning to the BTCC this season, is a remainder in what the former double champion can still achieve after enjoying a trouble free weekend at Rockingham.
Menu turned in by far his strongest weekend of the season at Rockingham since returning to BTCC to fray after a near 14-year absence with a trio of strong top-six results, culminating in a popular comeback podium in race three.
Prior to Rockingham it had been so far a relatively disjointed comeback campaign for 1997 and 2000 BTCC champion while his younger teammate Aron Smith took the previous spoils for them BMR squad.
But this time, following two clean opening races, Menu was finally able to utilise the reverse grid order to his advantage with a seamless drive to second place behind Rob Austin's soft tyre running Exocet Audi A4.
“Yeah, it's good you know, first race weekend out of eight where I've not had any issues and the car was pretty competitive, especially in the races, so yeah it's nice to get that podium,” Menu told crash.net.
“At one point I could keep up with Austin and started to dream that maybe his tyres had began to go off the cliff but, at the end of the day, he's in a RWD car and the soft tyres work very well here.
“It's good also for the boys because they've been working very hard. I'm as happy for them as I am for myself.”
Given his enviable record in touring car racing Menu, although delighted with his return to the podium, refused to get too emotional over his second place.
“If I'm really honest I don't look at it that way,” Menu admitted. “Yes I've been away for 14 years doing other things but what happened in the past, happened in the past now I want to be fighting for podiums all the time, that's my goal.
“Ultimately then my goal is to be fighting for the championship, if I stay.”
Asked whether he believes his latest result can prove to be a springboard for better things, the BTCC-legend was cautious in predicting an immediate surge in performance.
Menu earlier in the season lamented a lack of testing and still maintains the BMR Volkswagen lacks the ultimate pace in comparison with the front running machines.
“Yes and no, again I don't look at it that way. Yeah it was a good weekend but really we still don't have the ultimate pace with the cars,” Menu continued.
“It's good because it's a nice moral boosting exercise for the team after Aron's two previous wins. So it's very good for them, it just shows their hard work is paying off. I don't think they need any more motivation but it's always nice to get you're just desert!”
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