Fastest man on the track, however, was Anthony Reid. The WSR driver had visited the pits twice under the safety car and the team were looking under the bonnet both times. Reid would take to the track again but ultimately was to complete a mere 15 laps.
Down in seventh Tom Chilton was planning his assent through the field, and it was to be a rather robust course for the Arena Motorsport driver to the podium. Chilton picked off Carl Breeze and Yvan Muller without too much contact, but Colin Turkington received the full force of Chilton's insistence heading up into Druids. The pole-sitter was tipped into a half-spin whilst Chilton continued forth.
“It was a mega battle,” said Chilton of his race. “My start wasn't great – I didn't stall it but it wasn't what you'd want. It was mayhem on the first lap and I moved back. That got me fired up and no-one was going to stop me. If they turn in on me that's their problem.”
James Thompson was to discover this on the very last corner heading to the chequered flag when Chilton pushed past to take the final position on the podium.
Matt Neal took the first victory of the season for an Independents team in his Honda Civic, leading from the very strong SEAT of Rob Huff across the start/finish line. For Huff it was a well-needed change in fortunes from two weeks ago at Thruxton.
“I'm well happy with that,” said the SEAT man after the race. “We needed to come here and get a good result after Thruxton. I'm pleased with that.”
For Neal it was his first time to take a race win as an Independents driver since he took the £250,000 bounty at Donington all those years ago. “It's nice,” said Neal. “Thruxton was a hard weekend for the Hondas so it's nice yo bounce back. I'm not sure whether it was luck or judgement on the start. I tried to get all the bad luck out of the way on Saturday. I was surprised at the pace of Huff – I pushed for a few laps at the start, then backed off for a bit before pushing again to try to make him loose his rhythm, but the bugger was still there at the end!”
1. Matt Neal
2. Rob Huff
3. Tom Chilton
4. James Thompson
5. Yvan Muller
6. Colin Turkington
7. Shaun Watson-Smith
8. Dave Eaves
9. Luke Hines
10. Rob Collard