Anthony Reid's Championship campaign gained a new momentum on Sunday when the Scottish driver achieved the one thing that had been missing this year: a win.
Ford Mondeo driver Anthony Reid arrived at Donington Park for Rounds 17 and 18 of the Autotrader British Touring Car Championship knowing that if his title ambitions were to be taken seriously he would have to prove that he had the decisive speed to score a victory rather than just carry on piling up the points race after race.
Once the racing started at the Derbyshire circuit, it took Reid some 24 minutes and 44 seconds to fulfil his goal as he cruised to a relatively simple Sprint Race victory, a result that puts him within two points of the Championship leader Alain Menu who is severely hampered by success ballast this weekend.
Honda star Gabriele Tarquini looked to have the race in his grasp as he led the opening lap with ease from Reid, only to misjudge his braking into Coppice and slide into the gravel. Reid then quickly opened up a small gap back to Matt Neal, James Thompson and Yvan Muller while Tarquini sorted himself out and set about salvaging his race.
The Italian's job was made somewhat easier when Rickard Rydell and Vincent Radermecker collided while battling for tenth, the Ford driver ending his fight up from the tail of the grid in the gravel while Radermecker continued.
Alain Menu led the chase of the leading quartet in fifth place but the extra 40 kilos his Mondeo was carrying soon took its toll coming out of the slow corners and the Swiss driver was overhauled by Jason Plato. Tom Kristensen, already suffering the effects of a first corner collision with Muller, was next in line and in his attempts to get by the Mondeo the two made contact. Menu swiftly made for the pits where he joined Radermecker for repairs while Kristensen was further assaulted by Tarquini coming into Goddard's as the Italian strove to make up the ground he lost on the opening lap. The Danish driver eventually pitted but was over a minute behind the leaders and well behind the other wounded machines of Menu and Radermecker.
After the frantic opening laps, Reid set about consolidating his lead over Neal, who was looking to repeat his famous win at the track from last year, while Thompson and Muller set about the Independent Nissan driver.
Behind these four, Plato held down fifth place but had been sufficiently delayed in the Kristensen/Menu wranglings not to pose a threat to the leaders. David Leslie continued to hold down an impressive sixth place on his debut run in the PRO Motorsport Nissan, the Scotsman having cut passed Kristensen before Tarquini's wheel banging episode with his team-mate.
Tarquini quickly moved up on the white Nissan but the experienced veteran was able to keep the Honda at bay for lap after lap, all the while managing to stay in touch with Plato.