Darren Turner led for most of the final race to secure his first victory of the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship season at Donington Park.
In another race held in damp conditions at the East Midlands circuit, the SEAT Sport UK man held off the challenge of Tom Onslow-Cole and team-mate Jason Plato to pick up a victory that also allows SEAT to close the gap to Vauxhall in both the manufacturers' and teams' title races.
With drivers electing to try different tyres to make the most of the conditions, the field lined up on a mixture of dry and wet tyres, but as the race went on, it soon became apparent that those on slick tyres had made the right call. At the start poleman Gordon Shedden made the best start to lead into Redgate for the first time while Darren Turner jumped up to second place with Andrew Jordan third.
Shedden didn't lead for long however as he went straight on at the chicane to give Turner the lead of the race ahead of Jordan and Tom Onslow-Cole with Jason Plato, Steven Kane and Fabrizio Giovanardi rounding out the top six. Adam Jones, who had started from pole after Chris Stockton was forced to dive into the pits at the end of the green flag lap, had dropped to seventh place.
On lap two, Jordan's strong weekend came to an end when he suffered a spin at McLeans after getting a wheel onto the kerb on the outside of the corner and while he managed to get going again, he would later be forced to retire from the race.
Out front, Turner led the race through the early stages while Kane saw his challenge come to end when he picked up a stop/go penalty and was forced to pit from a solid fifth place on lap three. Down the order, Shedden was trying to make up places and took ninth from Matt Neal on lap four, with both drivers then passing Adam Jones and Shedden getting ahead of Colin Turkington in the matter of lap. It would prove to be the high point for Shedden however, as his tyre choice proved to be the wrong one and he gradually slipped back down the order.
Turner had a brief scare on lap five when he touched the kerb coming down the Craner Curves and got slightly out of shape although he was able to hold off the challenge of Onslow-Cole as the Vauxhall man closed in on the rear of the Leon. When Giocvanardi took third from Plato on lap seven at McLeans, the Italian then joined in the party with the top three running together, although the two Vauxhalls were a bit too close when Giovanardi hit the back of Onslow-Cole at the chicane at the end of lap eleven.
Although he got ahead of Onslow-Cole on the following lap, the Italian lost his concentration and on lap 13 he slipped back behind both Onslow-Cole and Plato down to fourth.
The incident had given Turner the chance to pull away a little and he was able to secure a first win of the year by a second and a half from Onslow-Cole while Plato completed the podium to move himself up the championship standings. Giovanardi took fourth ahead of a recovering Tom Chilton who had slipped outside the top ten following a poor start but fought back to fifth. Neal, Jones, Mat Jackson, Mike Jordan and Shedden rounded out the points scorers in a race that saw only 19 drivers take the start – with a number having been sidelined following issues in the earlier races.
For full results, CLICK HERE