Ahead of the Honda, Giovanardi was pulling away in the lead but the Italian was going to see main rival Plato soon hit trouble.
On lap nine, Chilton went inside Jackson for third at Sear with Plato trying to go inside both drivers at once. The three then ran side-by-side along the Revett Straight but it would end in tears as three into one wouldn't go when the trio got to the Esses. Chilton tried to take his normal line into the left hander but was tagged by Plato – the Vauxhall spinning onto the grass and Plato missing the corner altogether and dropping down to seven place.
Having moved up to fifth due to the problems ahead for others, Neal quickly took fourth on lap ten when he took Jackson at Coram while further down the order, Eoin Murray was making up places – battling past Tom Ferrier and Jason Hughes to go up to eighth.
On lap twelve, Turkington made it into the points as he battled ahead of Hughes into the top ten, while a lap later, Plato continued his fightback as he went into fifth at the Bomb Hole past Mat Jackson.
However, a lap later the Safety Car was back on track after an incident involving Martyn Bell and Erkut saw the Arkas Racing man disappear into the fields between Riches and Sear. Although the Astra Sport Hatch appeared to be out of the way, the field was neutralised for a number of laps before racing resumed with just three laps remaining.
Those three laps wouldn't be long enough for anyone to challenge Giovanardi for victory, but behind him there was a change as both Neal and Plato got ahead of Turner on the final lap.
The only other change in the top ten saw Matt Allison take tenth from Hughes at Russell in the closing stages despite the damage sustained in his collision with Marsh early in the race.
Behind Giovanardi, Neal and Plato, Turner settled for fourth ahead of Jackson and Onslow-Cole – with the two BMWs now on the front row for the final race thanks to the reverse grid draw. Murray, Chilton, Turkington and Allison completed the scorers while Hughes, Bell, John George and Simon Blanckley were the only other people to make it to the finish.