Martyn Bell insisted the punishment had fitted the crime after he was docked a place in the final HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship race of the weekend at Brands Hatch.

Although unable to match his points scoring performance from the opening rounds of the season at Brands Hatch, the Team with Tech-Speed driver had been enjoying a solid weekend at the wheel of his Honda Integra, qualifying in 15th place and then battling with Dave Pinkey's Team Dynamics Honda Civic throughout race one en-route to 13th.

A 14th place followed in race two but Bell looked set to fight towards the top ten in race three before a lurid high-speed spin exiting Church dropped him a number of places.

The intervention of the Safety Car allowed him to close up with the rest of the field but an ambitious move on Martin Johnson at the Chicane would see him docked a place at the finish, having crossed the line in 13th.

"In the final race, I made a bit of a mistake on someone's debris and ran wide, which caused me to spin," he said, "and then I think I pushed a bit too hard trying to make up for it and tagged Martin Johnson at the Chicane.

"I apologised to him afterwards and it's the first time I've been given my knuckles wrapped in nearly 100 races; but the punishment fitted the crime."

Although admitting there was some disappointment at failing to add to his double score at Brands Hatch, Bell said he was pleased with the speed he had shown at the quickest circuit on the calendar and delighted with the way the Tech-Speed-run outfit had performed on its first weekend as a two-car team.

"I'm happy with my performance and the fact I went quicker at Thruxton than I have in the past, although I'm also a little disappointed not to have scored some more points as I feel I had a top ten car," he said. "For the team however, it was a great weekend. It's the first time the whole team has worked together and they were fantastic, and we have gained some brilliant exposure for all of our sponsors. That's great for them as we wouldn't be on the grid without them.

"I was gutted for Paul to lose a podium in the final race, but the team has shown what it can do and we can be confident going forward to Donington Park."