21 April 2002
Feature win for O'Neill.
Paul O'Neill claimed his first BTCC Touring Class win in Oulton Park's Feature Race, making it wins for all four Vauxhall drivers in the first four races. In a race of attrition, Yvan Muller and James Thompson both hit problems on the same lap while running first and second, while O'Neill kept his cool to take the victory.
For the second time in the day, Matt Neal, O'Neill's Egg Sport team-mate, lost a potential win by having to come in for a drive through penalty. Neal had been leading when he came at the end of lap six for his pit stop, but stopped at the Honda pit in error – thus earning the drive through.
O'Neill took the lead when the other Vauxhalls stopped, and was the last of the front-runners to stop. He rejoined third behind Muller and Thompson, but Muller suddenly slowed with a problem just as Thompson picked up a front left-hand puncture.
This put O'Neill in front, and MG's Warren Hughes battling to hold off Tim Harvey for second place. They ran nose to tail for the final few laps, Harvey just getting past with a lap to go exiting the final corner to take the position.
With the high rate of attrition, some unexpected cars took top positions, with David Leslie bringing his Proton Impian home fourth, and Gareth Howell taking fifth for Team Atomic Kitten on the MG mounted squad's debut.
Matt Neal rejoined after his penalty, but ended his race in the barriers at Knickerbrook after losing his car under braking while close up behind Hughes.
James Kaye was comfortably leading the Production Class in his Honda Civic Type-R, until retiring with fuel pressure problems on lap 18. This put Spencer Marsh, at Beacon Motorsport's second race meeting, at the head of the field.
Feature Race, 25 Laps:
1 Paul O'Neill GB Egg Sport Vauxhall Astra 37min41.117secs
2 Tim Harvey GB Team Halfords Peugeot 406 Coupe -3.381secs
3 Warren Hughes GB MG Sport and Racing ZS EX260 -4.227secs
4 David Leslie GB TSP Proton Impian -9.544secs
5 Gareth Howell GB Team Atomic Kitten MG ZS EX259 -16.664secs
6 Alan Morrison GB Honda Racing Civic Type-R -19.701secs
7 James Thompson GB Vauxhall Motorsport Astra -30.198secs
8 Aaron Slight NZ Barwell Motorsport Vauxhall Astra -33.990secs
9 Tom Chilton GB Barwell Motorsport Vauxhall Astra -42.203secs
10 Yvan Muller F Vauxhall Motorsport Astra-1mion00.415secs
11 Spencer Marsh GB Beacon Motorsport Honda Accord -1 lap
Matt Neal GB Egg Sport Astra 1min27.601secs 97.06mph
James Kaye GB Synchro Morosport Honda Civic Type-R 1min33.387secs 91.05mph
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