Fabrizio Giovanardi took a lights-to-flag win in the second race of the weekend at Brands Hatch to further strengthen his position as the early leader of the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship.
In a race affected by a brief Safety Car period following an accident mid-way through, Giovanardi held off the challenge of a charging Gordon Shedden to secure his second win of the weekend, while Jason Plato ensured more podium glory for the new SEAT Leon TDi with third.
Giovanardi made a much better start to race two to ensure his maintained his lead when the lights went out, while Mat Jackson slotted into second ahead of a fast-starting Shedden who jumped up to third. Behind them, Darren Turner managed to get ahead of team-mate Plato off the line, but the 2001 champion was back in front before the lap was over to go fourth. Further down the order, Colin Turkington was starting to make moves through the field having started down in 20th after his race one disaster.
Jackson was given little time to relax in second as Shedden put him under pressure for second place, while further back in the top ten, Tom Onslow-Cole made a fine move on Steven Kane for seventh – getting a run up the inside over the start-finish straight at the end of lap four and making his move stick into Paddock Hill Bend. Turkington meanwhile was now up towards the fringes of the top ten, battling past team-mate Stephen Jelley for twelfth on lap five.
Jelley however was soon in the wars and on lap six, he made contact with the rear of Rob Collard's car at the top of Paddock, tipping the Motorbase man into a spin that left him parked in the gravel and brought out the Safety Car.
When the race resumed on lap twelve, Shedden had made sure Jackson was in his sights, and he dived inside the BMW at Paddock Hill on the restart to take second place, with Plato following the Scot through on the run up to Druids. Turner also tried to make up a position but Jackson was able to bounce back to ensure he retained the position.
With the top five positions effectively settled at that point, the focus of attention turned to further down the field. Tom Onslow-Cole and Matt Neal showed there would be no love lost between team-mates in the Vauxhall camp as they battled on track, with Onslow-Cole sweeping through on lap 17 to take sixth place.
Two laps later came another incident that looked like bringing out the Safety Car with Steven Kane tipped into a spin by Mike Jordan coming out of Clarke onto the start-finish that resulted in the second Motorbase car going into the pit wall. However the decision was made to allow the race to continue, although the Northern Irishman was left to wonder what might have been.
Prior to that incident, Kane has been overhauled by Turkington who was now into the top ten and he tried to make a move on Chilton on lap 23, although contact between the two left Chilton with broken suspension and out of the race.
With Giovanardi, Shedden and Plato securing the podium positions, Jackson had to settle for fourth ahead of Turner and Onslow-Cole, with the top ten completed by Neal, Turkington, Jordan and Adam Jones.
At the back of the field, an intriguing battle developed for 16th place, with Erkut taking the position over team-mate Martyn Bell, with Micky Doyle, John George and Alan Taylor losing out.
For race results, CLICK HERE