Fabrizio Giovanardi has extended his lead in the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship standings to 42 points with victory in the second race of the weekend at Silverstone.
The Italian took the win ahead of Colin Turkington and Adam Jones while Jason Plato could only seventh after running into problems while leading in his Leon TDi.
Plato had lost the lead off the line after a storming start from Mat Jackson saw him go to the inside as the lights went out. Plato did his best to squeeze Jackson towards the pit wall but the BMW managed to make the move stick into Copse to take the lead of the race. Giovanardi slotted into third ahead of team-mate Matt Neal with Turkington and Jones rounding out the top six. Darren Turner had looked set for a strong start but contact from Giovanardi saw him run wide across the gravel at Brooklands.
Plato took the lead on lap two at Brooklands, having earlier failed to make a move stick at Copse, but was unable to build a lead before the Safety Car was deployed. Contact had seen Stephen Jelley go off at Luffield, with the steering wheel having been wrenched from the grasp of the Team RAC man and leaving him nursing a sore wrist and shoulder. Before the field had chance to reach the Safety Car, two other drivers were in trouble, with Micky Doyle being tipped into a spin by Rob Collard at the end of the National Straight and then being collected by Turner, who also slid off into the gravel and hit the InTune Honda.
As the race resumed on lap nine, Plato led from Jackson, Giovanardi, Neal and Turkington but Turkington was under pressure from Jones and Tom Onslow-Cole – holding position against both drivers. Jackson meanwhile dropped from second down to fifth after being tagged by Giovanardi at Brooklands, getting the BMW sideways before he recovered.
Jackson lost another place on lap ten when he was passed by Onslow-Cole, but then suffered more bad luck as Jones tried to go round the outside at Brooklands and Jackson drifted wide, clipping the Aircool SEAT Leon and spinning in front of the chasing pack. An unsighted Tom Chilton was left with nowhere to go and hit the BMW, ripping a wheel off his Honda and damaging the front of Jackson's car. While he could continue, Jackson's hopes of repeating his race one heroics had come to an end as he dropped to the back of the field.
That left Plato leading Giovanardi, Neal, Turkington, Onslow-Cole and Jones in the top six, while Steven Kane was making good progress through the field and was now inside the top ten and chasing points to make up for his race one disappointment. By lap 13, the Motorbase man was into eighth and on a charge to haul in Gordon Shedden, who he took seventh from on lap 16.
At this point, Giovanardi was all over the back of Plato who was starting to struggle with the tyres on his car. Taking the inside line at Copse on lap 17, the Italian took the lead and Plato then found himself coming under pressure from Neal for second. He dived down the inside through Becketts on the following lap and took second with a forceful move that left Plato nursing some damaged steering, with the SEAT man also losing out to Turkington and Jones before the end of the lap.
Turkington moved into second on lap 19 as he took Neal on the exit of Luffield and the Vauxhall man was then faced with trying to keep Jones' Leon behind him. On lap 21, the SEAT moved ahead only for Neal to fight back but when Jones then dived to the inside through Brooklands he was able to make the move stick and secure his place on the podium.
Neal had to settle for fourth ahead of Kane, who – having battled past Plato – stole fifth from Tom Onslow-Cole on the final lap. Onslow-Cole settled for sixth as a result ahead of Plato, Shedden, Rob Collard and Mike Jordan, who will start race three from pole thanks to the reverse grid draw.
Giovanardi's win now means he could secure the title in race three if the result goes his way.
For full results, CLICK HERE