Fabrizio Giovanardi has extended his lead in the HiQ British Touring Car Championship standings following a fourth win of the 2008 season at Croft.
The VX Racing man came home ahead of Adam Jones and Matt Neal for a fourth win of the season to put him 23 points clear of team-mate Neal going into the six week summer break.
With a depleted field lining up for the race, Giovanardi moved up from third to second at the start as Rob Collard stormed into the lead of the race from alongside the Italian on the second row of the grid. Adam Jones held third place ahead of Mike Jordan, who had tagged Mat Jackson going into Clervaux for the first time and sent the BMW man across the gravel, rejoining down in eight place.
Giovanardi took the lead on the second lap on the run from the Chicane up to Tower, but the race then went under caution with Martyn Bell having gone off at Tower following an incident with Andy Jordan and John George going off at high-speed into the barriers at Jim Clark Esses. Before the field even got behind the Safety Car however there was another incident as Jason Plato ran up the back of Colin Turkington's BMW into the Hairpin, launching his SEAT into the air before it landed heavily and he ran wide out of the Hairpin onto the grass – dropping down the field in the process.
Plato pitted twice behind the Safety Car before the race resumed on lap seven, with his team-mate Darren Turner soon in the wars as he was helped off into the gravel at Clervaux by Jackson's BMW.
Giovanardi led the race from Collard and Jones but Jones was clearly trying to find a way past the BMW and heading into Sunny In on lap eight, he put the nose of his car down the inside of the BMW to try and secure second place. Contact with the Motorbase car pushed Collard wide and allowed Jones to nip through, but Collard then caught the rear of Mike Jordan's Integra as he tried to reclaim control – ripping the front of his car and damaging the back of the Integra enough to force Jordan out a couple of laps later.
It promoted Jones to second and Neal to third, but by this point, Giovanardi had already opened up a handy lead that he wasn't to lose, with the Italian able to back off safe in the knowledge that Jones wasn't going to be able to find a way through.
Indeed the main battles emerged for fourth and sixth positions, with Mat Jackson doing all he could to find a way past the Honda of Tom Chilton before the Halfords man managed to secure the result and team-mate Gordon Shedden putting pressure on Tom Onslow-Cole for sixth, eventually taking the place on the final lap. Colin Turkington, Stephen Jelley and Andy Jordan completed the top ten.
For results, CLICK HERE