James Thompson fended off a race-long attack from Anthony Reid to win round six of the championship by just half a second. Thompson's Vauxhall team-mate Yvan Muller finished third after an extremely close race with the first ten drivers covered...
James Thompson fended off a race-long attack from Anthony Reid to win round six of the championship by just half a second. Thompson's Vauxhall team-mate Yvan Muller finished third after an extremely close race with the first ten drivers covered by just eleven seconds.
Hines, however, was slow away from the line and he was quickly passed by team-mate Thompson. Reid, fourth on the grid, got a great start and tried an aggressive but successful move around the outside at the first corner to take second place. Muller also passed Hines on the first lap to move back up to third position.
Michael Bentwood, who started on the back row, was tapped into a spin by Jason Plato on the first lap. He was unable to get going again and was pushed off the circuit and into retirement to complete a miserable day for the Vauxhall driver.
Reid, now in second, hounded the leader Thompson for the opening laps while himself being closely pursued by Muller, but all three drivers showed their experience and held onto their places. Hines, meanwhile, made a mistake on lap four and dropped a couple of places to Colin Turkington and Robert Huff.
Matt Neal and Dan Eaves ran in formation in their orange coloured Honda Civic Type-R cars in seventh and eighth respectively, with Neal having recovered from starting 18th on the grid after missing the second race.
Robert Huff was running in fourth for the closing laps in what turned out to be a very successful weekend for the SEAT Toledo driver. He started eleventh but had moved up to fifth by the end of lap five. Huff passed Turkington on lap 10 and set about catching Muller, who was being held up by the battle between Thompson and Reid. He was right on the tail of the Vauxhall within eight laps but the leaders were lapping too quickly for him to make a serious attempt to pass.
Thompson held on, despite a few close calls lapping back markers, to win by half a second from Reid, with Muller and Huff just one second further behind. Thompson's win moved him up to joint first in the championship with Muller on 64 points. Anthony Reid lies third with 46 points ahead of Matt Neal on 35.
<pre> Results: 1. James Thompson Vauxhall Astra Coupe 20m 22.683s 2. Anthony Reid MG ZS +0.537s 3. Yvan Muller Vauxhall Astra Coupe +0.890s 4. Robert Huff SEAT Toledo +1.231s 5. Colin Turkington MG ZS +3.193ss 6. Tom Chilton Honda Civic Type-R +3.963s 7. Matt Neal Honda Civic Type-R +4.210s 8. Dan Eaves Honda Civic Type-R +7.793s 9. Shaun Watson-Smith Proton Impian +10.000s 10. Luke Hines Vauxhall Astra Coupe +10.737s