17 May 2009
Thompson wins again
James Thompson has become the first driver to win on more than one occasion in the 2009 HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship after taking his second win of the weekend at Donington Park.
In drier conditions than those that had faced the teams earlier in the day, Thompson was able to control the race from the front as he led from start-to-finish at the wheel of his Team Dynamics Honda Civic to take the flag ahead of Vauxhall pairing Matt Neal and Fabrizio Giovanardi.
The race itself produced less drama than race one, but it still needed a fine drive from Thompson to secure the win despite the close attentions of Neal for much of the race, with the pair running nose to tail for the majority of the 19 laps.
At the start, Thompson was able to retain his lead into Redgate, while a strong start from Rob Collard saw him blast through to second place. Neal held third from Vauxhall team-mate Andy Jordan, with Johnny Adam and Mat Jackson completing the top six. Further down the field, Paul O'Neill and Martin Johnson tangled exiting turn one while Nick Leason suffered a spin into the gravel on the outside of the corner that led to the Safety Car being deployed.
When the race resumed, Thompson was able to briefly break away as Collard came under pressure from Neal, who produced a fine pass down the inside into the Old Hairpin to go second. Jordan attempted to follow him through but tapped the rear of the BMW, which put Collard into a spin and led to cars behind taking avoiding action – most notably Harry Vaulkhard who went to the inside and had a lurid slide across the grass before rejoining. While Collard could continue, albeit further down the field, damage sustained to Jordan's Vauxhall saw him go off at McLeans and retire.
Collard's spin meant Adam now held third ahead of Giovanardi and Jackson, while Jason Plato, Adam Jones and Colin Turkington were close behind. On lap six, Plato made a move on Jackson for fifth place and then set about trying to close the gap fourth-placed Adam ahead, with the Airwaves man having been overhauled for third by Giovanardi.
While Thompson and Neal pulled away out front, it was the battle for fourth that was grabbing the attention, with Adam, Plato, Jackson and Turkington running together – the latter having already made up plenty of ground following his race one retirement.
The Team RAC driver took sixth from Jackson on lap twelve but didn't have chance to attack the sister Silverline Chevrolet of Plato as the former champion slid past Adam down the Craner Curves on lap 13 to go fourth. As Plato set off to chase Giovanardi, Adam was trying to keep Turkington at bay, but the Northern Irishman dived down the inside at McLeans on lap 15 and was followed through by Jackson.
From there, the positions remained unchanged out front, with Thompson taking victory from Neal and Giovanardi, with Plato, Turkington and Jackson completing the top six.
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