Unfortunately for the Racing Silverline star, his subsequent dive down the inside of Turkington always looked like ending in tears, as he sideswiped the Team RAC machine and sent it spinning. The championship leader's one saving grace was that Nash – who was pulling off his own overtaking manoeuvre on Chilton only a matter of feet behind – was on the inside line and clipped the front of both cars, with the impact sending Plato pit-bound but knocking Turkington back in the right direction once again.
Whilst all that was going on, not far behind Johnny Herbert was taking the fight to the ailing Giovanardi, with the pair enthusiastically tussling it out just ahead of the recovering Turkington, with the similarly-delayed Jackson homing in on the back of all three. With a number of side-by-side squabbles, there were occasions when the trio went three-abreast, and as they came onto the start-finish 'straight' Giovanardi had Herbert on the outside of him, with Turkington aiming down the inside. Light contact saw the Italian lose out, as Jackson and Adam both profited by diving past and the Vauxhall fell down the order towards the foot of the top ten.
Jackson's next target was Herbert – who he demoted for fifth with a couple of laps remaining – leaving the former British Grand Prix-winner and Adam to go on to battle it out over sixth all the way to the chequered flag. With the order at the front, meanwhile, still Jelley from Jordan and Chilton – all three fairly evenly-spaced out – Turkington was closing in, and dragging Jackson along with him.
Ultimately the man from Portadown just ran out of time to launch an assault on the final podium spot, meaning a delighted Chilton clung onto a historic result for Team Aon, behind an equally effusive Jordan in second and the peerless Jelley making it two out of three. Jackson took fifth at the end of a superb comeback drive, with Adam sixth, Herbert seventh, Gordon Shedden
eighth, Tom Onslow-Cole
ninth and Martin Johnson a wholly unexpected tenth, after pinching the final point from an ailing Giovanardi – who had been dropping like a stone – into the very last corner. Plato wound up twelfth, with only three other finishers and retirements for Rob Collard
with water temperature issues and Matt Neal, whose point-less weekend ended much as it had begun.
All of that, though, was ultimately of little consequence to Turkington, the man whose downcast demeanour after qualifying a lowly 14th suggested that the title was slipping away from him. He left Rockingham again just over a day later with an even bigger championship lead than he'd had before.
To see the race result in full, click here