Dan Eaves took his first win in the championship with a lights-to-flag victory in the second race of the day at Oulton Park. The Honda Civic Type-R driver quickly built up a two second lead but this was wiped out by a mid-race Safety Car period....
Dan Eaves took his first win in the championship with a lights-to-flag victory in the second race of the day at Oulton Park. The Honda Civic Type-R driver quickly built up a two second lead but this was wiped out by a mid-race Safety Car period. He responded strongly at the restart leaving SEAT Sport UK's Jason Plato and West Surrey Racing's Anthony Reid to settle for second and third respectively.
Eaves's tenth place in race one earned him pole position in the reverse top-ten grid for race two and he made a great start to stay ahead of Anthony Reid, although he had to defend going into the second corner as the West Surrey Racing MG ZS driver attempted a lunge down the inside. The SEAT Toledo Cupra pair of Plato and Robert Huff battled nose-to-tail immediately behind with Rob Collard making yet another blinding start.
The trio of Plato, Huff and Collard exited Island hairpin side-by-side and, on the long down to the chicane, it was inevitable that there would not be enough room. Collard turned in first and made the corner successfully but Plato locked up and ran slightly wide leaving Huff with no option on the outside other than run over the grass, although he lost almost no time and rejoined immediately behind Plato.
Eaves quickly built out a large lead over Reid but behind them several battles were shaping up. Collard was under continuous pressure from Plato and Huff, James Kaye separated the SEAT battle and the battle between Colin Turkington and Matt Neal, James Thompson ran just behind, and then there was a queue of cars with Charlie Butler-Henderson, Tom Chilton, Yvan Muller, Michael Bentwood, Luke Hines, Carl Breeze, Shaun Watson-Smith and Farique Hairuman running nose-to-tail.
Bentwood survived a scary moment on lap two as he ran wide at the exit of the second corner and bounced over the grass for several hundred metres. A queue soon developed behind Collard with the SEATs, Kaye and Neal all in formation. Hines was running with a loose rear bumper which soon became detached from the car and Muller was also running with bodywork damage to the rear of hit Vauxhall Astra Coupe.
James Kaye made a mistake as his car lurched to the right in the middle of the chicane and darted across the track onto the grass. The Synchro Motorsport driver eventually managed to turn the car round and rejoined the circuit. There was an incident on lap six has Rob Collard and Robert Huff collided and crashed into the barriers at Old Hall, the first corner, forcing the Safety Car to be deployed for four laps.
At the restart Eaves held on to his lead and Plato defended hard from Reid who tried to go down the inside. Thompson was in fourth with Neal successfully slipping by Turkington to move up to sixth. Hairuman got it all wrong at the chicane and shot straight over the grass, rejoining and heavily blocking his Proton Impian team-mate Watson-Smith.
Eaves quickly built out a two-second lead over Plato who in turn had a one-second gap between the battling Reid and Neal. Thompson dropped a place at the restart to run in fifth behind Turkington. Hines was all over the back of Charlie Butler-Henderson, along the long run down to the hairpin, through the chicane and then around the rest of the lap before successfully getting past on lap fourteen.
Eaves eased off slightly over the final two laps before crossing the line to take his first win in the British Touring Car Championship. Jason Plato finished a strong second ahead of Reid who narrowly took third ahead of Matt Neal. Thompson extended his lead in the championship by three points with his fifth place to 113 points, five ahead of Muller and 31 ahead of Reid in third.