Muller holds off Neal for round five victory
Vauxhall's Yvan Muller stretched his lead in the Green Flag MSA British Touring Car Championship with victory in the first of today's (Monday) two rounds at Thruxton, round five of the series.
In front of the packed grandstands and spectator banks, Frenchman Muller, driving a Vauxhall Astra Coupe, held off the fast-closing Honda Civic Type-R of Matt Neal to win after their positions changed during the mandatory tyre change pit stops.
Vauxhall's Paul O' Neill and James Thompson, the reigning the champion, were third and fourth. The result means Muller has pulled 10 points clear of Thompson in the title race ahead of the sixth round of the championship which will take place later this afternoon.
Fifth and winning the Hilton Independents Trophy was GA Motorsports' Gavin Pyper in his Vauxhall Astra Coupe, while Tom Boardman achieved an emotional first Production class victory for Team Varta in their Peugeot 307.
The opening stages of the race had to be held behind the Safety car after a first lap collision eliminated both MG ZSs of Anthony Reid and Colin Turkington, the Vauxhall Astra Coupe of Hilton Independents front-runner Rob Collard and Production class driver Jim Edwards in Team Varta's Honda Accord.