Warren Hughes won the British Touring Cart Sprint Race at Silverstone in his MG ZS on Monday afternoon. Hughes overtook leader Matt Neal (Vauxhall Astra) on lap four in the difficult conditions and retained the lead all the way to the chequered ...
Warren Hughes won the British Touring Cart Sprint Race at Silverstone in his MG ZS on Monday afternoon. Hughes overtook leader Matt Neal (Vauxhall Astra) on lap four in the difficult conditions and retained the lead all the way to the chequered flag.
Heavy rain arrived as the cars left the pitlane making conditions so tricky that Peugeot driver Carl Breeze spun off before arriving on the grid and retired. However the sky became lighter and by the time the race started the rain had stopped, leaving the drivers and teams with a difficult decision. Most drivers opted for wets apart from James Thompson (Vauxhall Astra) and Anthony Reid (MG ZS). However Yvan Muller (Vauxhall Astra) changed to slicks in the pits as the cars completed the formation lap.
Pole position holder Matt Neal held the lead into the first corner as Hughes kept second place from Paul O'Neil (Vauxhall Astra). However the heavily-ballasted Vauxhall Astra of Neal started to suffer handling problems as the tyres went off allowing Hughes to gradually close in, and on the fourth lap the MG swept past the Vauxhall at the complex into a lead that Hughes would not lose. O'Neil finished in second place, and David Leslie (Proton Impian) took third position from Andy Priaulx (Honda Civic) as the pair lapped a group of slower cars.
A delighted Hughes spoke after the race: "The MG ZS was mega, that's all I can really say! We knew the car was good in the dry, but it was a real unknown quantity in the wet - however, the exploratory laps felt good and we made just a small adjustment on the grid. I knew Matt wasn't pulling away from us over the first few laps, so I was just being careful and looking to see where he was weak. In the end I pulled off the move in the best place possible, in front of the MG hospitality! I'm absolutely thrilled, lost for words really."
Matt Neal finished down in sixth with Thompson eighth, Reid ninth and Muller tenth. "If had to do it all again, I would definitely make the same decision" said Yvan Muller. James Thompson agreed, saying "That race was just four laps too short! Like Yvan, I would make the same decision again if I had to. I've been here before when the gamble has worked but it's a very close call". Thompson proved that the his car was competitive towards the end of the race by setting the fastest lap.
1 Warren Hughes (MG ZS) 25min09.904secs
2 Paul O'Neill (Vauxhall Astra) +7.669secs
3 David Leslie (Proton Impian) +8.078secs
4 Andy Priaulx (Honda Civic Type-R) +9.568secs
5 Alan Morrison (Honda Civic Type-R) +18.364secs
6 Matt Neal (Vauxhall Astra) 20.662secs
7 Phil Bennett (Proton Impian) +22.860secs
8 James Thompson (Vauxhall Astra) +25.292secs
9 Anthony Reid (MG ZS) +30.510secs
10 Yvan Muller (Vauxhall Astra) +32.298secs