Warren Hughes continued MGs fine form with victory in the Feature race, ahead of Alan Morrison for Honda and Tim Harvey in his Independent Peugeot. Hughes qualified in pole position, just 0.02 seconds ahead of Aaron Slight in his best qualifying...
Warren Hughes continued MGs fine form with victory in the Feature race, ahead of Alan Morrison for Honda and Tim Harvey in his Independent Peugeot.
Hughes qualified in pole position, just 0.02 seconds ahead of Aaron Slight in his best qualifying position in the series. Anthony Reid was third, just 0.008s behind, and Colin Turkington an impressive fourth in his MG. Matt Neal was fifth for Vauxhall and title hopeful James Thompson was sixth.
Aaron Slight, after loosing places and spinning out in the Sprint race, lost his Feature Race grid position as his car refused to fire up and he was pushed from second place into the pitlane. This put the two MGs at the front of the field again, and their held station and battled for the lead in the early laps. Behind the MGs there was chaos as Thompson and Turkington collided, sending Turkington off the track and allowing teammate Howell past.
David Leslie had a big accident at Graham Hill Bend. The Proton driver was able to walk away but the Safety Car had to be deployed - right in the middle of the pitstop window, imediately giving an advantage to those drivers who had stopped early and a greater advantage to O'Neill, Harvey and Morrison who were pitting as the Safety Car came out.
Soon after the restart the Vauxhall pair of Thompson and Muller committed the crime of driving into each other. Muller went for an optimistic overtaking manoeveur into the tight Druid's hairpin. Thompson did not back off and tried to keep his momentum around the outside of the corner. However Muller braked late and locked up, momentarilly running wide and gently nudging his teammate into the gravel. An angry and shocked Thompson walked straight back to the pits to end his miserable weekend - leaving the circuit with five points less than he arrived at it, thanks to yet another engine change.
After the pitstops Hughes lead from O'Neill who was putting the MG under immense pressure. However the Vauxhall suffered gearbox problems and dropped back, allowing the MG some valuable breathing space ahead of Alan Morrison in the ever-improving Honda. Tim Harvey soon overtook O'Neill to move up to third.
The order remained like this until the flag with Hughes winning by a couple of seconds from Morrison and Harvey. Warren Hughes summed up the result: "What an incredible weekend for MG. I knew we were not going to be the quickest car out there as we were carrying a lot of success ballast from the sprint race result, so I had to drive a really calm and collected race - and it paid off. When I saw Thompson off in the gravel trap I had a feeling the safety car would be called out, so we made the decision to take our pit stop. The timing was spot-on and we reaped the rewards. It all worked out perfectly."
1 Warren Hughes (MG ZS) 41m39.999s
2 Alan Morrison (Honda Civic Type-R) 41m41.640s
3 Tim Harvey (Peugeot 406 Coupe) 41m43.265s
4 Paul O'Neill (Vauxhall Astra Coupe) 41m45.880s
5 Anthony Reid (MG ZS) 41m49.636s
6 Yvan Muller (Vauxhall Astra Coupe) 41m49.979s
7 Andy Priaulx (Honda Civic Type-R) 41m50.143s
8 Matt Neal (Vauxhall Astra Coupe) 41m52.037s
9 Aaron Slight (Vauxhall Astra Coupe) 41m52.333s
10 Tom Chilton (Vauxhall Astra Coupe) 41m52.521s