Yvan Muller took his second win of the day at Oulton Park with a strong performance on a slippery track. The VX Racing driver moved ahead of SEAT Sport UK's Jason Plato in the early laps and pulled out a comfortable lead to move level in the ...
Yvan Muller took his second win of the day at Oulton Park with a strong performance on a slippery track. The VX Racing driver moved ahead of SEAT Sport UK's Jason Plato in the early laps and pulled out a comfortable lead to move level in the championship with team-mate James Thompson, who finished third.
There was drama before the race had even begun as Anthony Reid's MG ZS sprung a major oil leak on his formation lap and deposited oil all around the circuit, forcing the marshals to lay a huge amount of cement dust. The mechanics scrambled to fix the problem on the grid under the watchful eye of the officials but their work was in vein as the West Surrey Racing car was not able to be fixed in time.
Jason Plato made a great start from second place as did Yvan Muller from eighth and the pair stormed past the slow-starting pole position holder Dan Eaves. On the approach to Lodge, the final corner, Muller pulled to the inside in an attempt to pass Plato but, as the pack disappeared into a cloud of cement dust, Muller neatly slotted in behind the SEAT to wait for another opportunity.
Muller tried the same move on the next lap and this time Plato had to defend, although Muller was too far back to have a serious go at passing. Bentwood, who had somehow passed Shaun Watson-Smith in the dense cloud on the opening lap, continued his rise through the field by diving inside Huff at the same place.
Muller was closer on lap four and this time tried a serious attempt at passing into the final corner. He was alongside the SEAT with several hundred metres to and, despite braking earlier, had track position and held the inside. Plato and Muller ran side-by-side through the corner but Muller had the greater acceleration and tucked ahead on the run up to the pit straight. Matt Neal also sneakily got past the SEAT to move up to second.
Neal hounded Muller for the next few laps before Muller slowly edged away, leaving Neal to fall back into the clutches of Thompson who got past Plato on lap five. Plato was now running in fourth but he developed a problem and dropped down the field before retiring on lap nine.
Neal tried to reel in Muller over the final laps but was never able to get within a second of the Vauxhall Astra Coupe and eventually finished second as Muller took his second win of the day. James Thompson finished third and a fine performance saw Independent driver Rob Collard finish fourth.
Muller's win helped him move level with Thompson in the championship with the team-mates on 124 points apiece. Neal moved up to third place on 87 points knocking down Anthony Reid, who failed to start, to fourth place and still on 82 points. The next round of the championship will take place at Mondello Park just outside Dublin in Ireland on 12th and 13th June.