BTCC: Chilton gets first career win at Silverstone

BTCC: Chilton gets first career win at Silverstone

Tom Chilton scored his first victory in the British Touring Car Championship by carefully avoiding incidents in front of him in a dramatic final race at Silverstone circuit. The young Team Honda driver started in tenth place but dived past a...

Tom Chilton scored his first victory in the British Touring Car Championship by carefully avoiding incidents in front of him in a dramatic final race at Silverstone circuit. The young Team Honda driver started in tenth place but dived past a group of cars early on and carefully avoided a collision at the front to cross the line one second ahead of West Surrey Racing driver Anthony Reid.

Yvan Muller's engine smokes.
Photo by Mark Gledhill.
The drama started on the formation laps as smoke poured from the back of Yvan Muller's Vauxhall Astra Coupe. A large oil slick covered half the circuit and several drivers spun on the greasy surface as they drove round to the grid. Muller's car was immediately opened up as he stopped on the grid but it soon became apparent that the problem was terminal and the Vauxhall was pushed from the grid back to it's garage.

Muller's retirement left his team-mate James Thompson alone on the front row, with Anthony Reid and Kelvin Burt behind him on the second row. Everyone made a clean getaway and Thompson lead Reid and Colin Turkington out of the first corner. Robert Huff also got past Burt on the run through Becketts and then powersliding his way inside West Surrey Racing driver Colin Turkington at the Abbey hairpin to run in third. Matt Neal also dived inside Turkington on lap three to move up to fourth.

James Thompson and Anthony Reid.
Photo by Mark Gledhill.
Reid started to put immense pressure on the leader Thompson. He dived inside at Becketts but Thompson got the place straight back and held it through Abbey. Reid remained right behind though and the pair touched going through Priory, knocking Thompson sideways and allowing Reid past into the lead. This action at the front allowed the rest of the field to close right up behind.

Bodywork was hanging from Thompson's car as he was caught by the pursuing pack. Plato tried to go round the outside at Abbey, a move that forced Turkington wide into the gravel, while Chilton avoided the action and dived past on the inside through Bridge. Thompson emerged from the next down in seventh place with Reid leading and Neal in second.

Neal and Chilton closed in on the leading Reid and the three drivers were soon together on the circuit. Chilton pulled to the left of the track along the back straight as Reid edged Neal towards the right and onto the grass. The pair rejoined the circuit without conceding too much time but Neal was without his front bumper and a badly-handling car.

Tom Chilton.
Photo by Mark Gledhill.
Chilton held on from Reid to take his first win and be received by a cheering paddock. "Finally!" said the delighted Honda driver. "It's been a long time. I was braking three car lengths earlier as I knew if I got a good run I could have them".

James Thompson retook the lead of the championship on 93 points with his seventh place although Muller, who failed to score in race three, has 89 points in second place. Anthony Reid is third on 75 points and Chilton's win moves him up to eighth on 39 points.

Thompson takes dramatic Silverstone race two win

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