Alain Menu Says He Would ‘Like To Return’ In 2015


Alain Menu said that he would like to continue for another season in the series, at the end of a 2014 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship campaign he feels was plagued by being on the wrong end of incidents throughout much of the year.

The Swiss ace ended 11th in the overall standings at the conclusion of his first full BTCC season since he last lifted the championship trophy back in 2000, adding further sparks to a season that also featured the appearance of a further six BTCC champions.

Driving for the developing BMR Racing squad, who this season brought Volkswagen to the top step of the podium on two occasions this season, Menu re-introduced his flare to the series but was hit hard by a lack of consistent results and a catalogue of incidents – often not entirely of his own doing.

“It has just been unlucky for me for much of the season really”, Menu reflected to The Checkered Flag, the Swiss saying he was on the wrong end of numerous scrapes during 2014.

“We’ll see what is possible, but yes, I’d like to stay.”

Unfortunately, the season ended in disappointing fashion for Menu as a spin at Paddock Hill Bend in the penultimate race at Brands Hatch ended in a season-ending shunt into the barriers, at the same venue of which he surged from 17th on the grid to fifth in the season-opening meeting.

“[Race 29] was my fault completely, so you could say that I saved my big mistake for the last race of the season which is a shame, but apart from that I’m happy with what I did as a whole.

“Unfortunately, I’ve been on the receiving end of slightly too much this year.”

Menu Brands Hatch 2014 BTCC

The double BTCC champion was initially in doubt within his own mindset over his decision to return to Britain’s circuits, the more aggressive nature of the sport in the modern era seeing Menu take his time to find a clean run across a weekend in the opening half of the season.

During the second half of 2014 however, a more polished run for the Swiss driver allowed him to show his merit once again, where a visit to the BTCC podium for the first time since his previous title-winning 2000 campaign arrived at Rockingham, followed by a second visit with third place in race two at Silverstone.

Menu now feels much more positive on his decision to return to BTCC, and says that he would like to continue with team-mate Warren Scott‘s squad for another season if possible.

“Yes”, was Menu’s answer to the question of whether he would return for a second season with BMR. “We’ll see what is possible, but yes, I’d like to.

Incidents affected Menu's chances (Photo: btcc.net)
Incidents affected Menu’s chances (Photo: btcc.net)

“BMR want to win, so the team are on the up. For sure, I’d like to stay with them and use all of the hard work we did this year to capitalise on it next year.”

On the enjoyment of his return to racing in the UK, Menu added: “In the main, yes, it has been [enjoyable].

“Like I said, I struggled earlier in the first half of the season and wasn’t sure if it was the right thing to do, but the second half was much better and I’m glad that I came back.”

With BMR looking once again to compete with a four-car assault next season, the 50-year-old sung praise for the Independent Volkswagen outfit, despite missing out on a victory which he felt could have potentially came his way had the reverse-grid draws also proved more friendly.

He added: “It was great working with the team. They’re a good bunch of guys and they did a great job this year, considering it’s their first year.

“I could have had a win this year, had I been more lucky with the reverse grid. Like Aron – he drove very well both times that he was leading and went on to win, but I’m not quite sure if the car was capable of winning on merit enough this year.”

Menu’s 2014 BTCC Season In Numbers:

Podiums

2

Best Result

2nd (Rockingham)

Top-Five Finishes

7

DNFs

4 (+1 non-start)

Final Championship Position

11th (176pts)


Menu Brands Hatch 2014 BTCC 3