Yvan Muller looked like taking an easy victory in the first race of 2005 in the British Touring Car Championship, the former champion making a lightening start to take the lead of the race and never be challenged from then until a final lap pass from Team Halfords Matt Neal.

Pole-sitter Colin Turkington didn't getaway in the manner he would have wanted at the start of the race and lost out to both Muller and second on the grid Matt Neal in the Team Halfords Integra.

Turkington adopted third spot with Dan Eaves in the other Integra finding himself right under pressure from Rob Collard's MG on one side, and then Jason Plato's SEAT from behind.

Up front Muller stretched his legs with the race's fastest lap on only his second tour with a 1min 12.889secs, and a two second advantage from those behind.

Muller's lead wasn't to last however, as once up to speed Matt Neal reeled in the leading Vauxhall lap after lap until the fourteenth lap where Neal was right with Muller, shaping up for an epic last few laps.

On the last lap the gap was a mere 0.218secs with Neal's lights ablaze, the tallest man in the BTCC keeping Frenchman honest until taking Muller on the final lap at McLeans. Race win Neal.

Top ten
1. Matt Neal
2. Yvan Muller
3. Dan Eaves
4. Rob Collard
5. Colin Turkington
6. Jason Plato
7. Luke Hines
8. Gavin Smith
9. James Pickford
10. Mark Proctor


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