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Jelley secures first BTCC victory

Stephen Jelley celebrates Rockingham victoryStephen Jelley claimed his maiden British Touring Car Championship victory in the first race of the day at Rockingham.

The WSR BMW driver leapt up from fourth to second at the start and took advantage when early leader Jonathan Adam ran wide exiting the Deene hairpin on lap nine to take a lead he would not lose.

Adam, who had taken the lead at the start in his Motorbase BMW, gradually fell down the order as RML Chevrolet team-mates Jason Plato and Mat Jackson passed him for the other podium positions during the second half of the race.

Rob Collard took fourth place from his team-mate Adam on the final lap, as the pair beat the Vauxhall of defending champion Fabrizio Giovanardi.

Giovanardi's result allowed him to close to within seven points of Colin Turkington in the battle for the championship. Turkington, who started 14th on the grid with 45kg of success ballast on his WSR BMW, made little progress during the race.

He was not helped when he tagged the back end of James Nash's RML Chevrolet on lap 16 and spun exiting the Deene hairpin. He did recover to finish 10th, passing team-mate Anthony Reid and GR-Asia SEAT driver Gordon Shedden on the final lap.

At least he made the flag, which was more than could be said for Johnny Herbert. The ex-Formula 1 driver was eliminated on the first lap at Deene when Matt Neal's Vauxhall clouted him at high speed, having been pushed onto the grass at the approach to the turn.

Pos  Driver               Car           Time/Gap
 1.  Stephen Jelley       BMW         26m26.025s
 2.  Jason Plato          Chevrolet     + 3.399s
 3.  Mat Jackson          Chevrolet     + 4.116s
 4.  Rob Collard          BMW           + 6.989s
 5.  Jonathan Adam        BMW          + 10.304s
 6.  Fabrizio Giovanardi  Vauxhall     + 12.576s
 7.  Andrew Jordan        Vauxhall     + 15.242s
 8.  James Nash           Chevrolet    + 17.864s
 9.  Paul O'Neill         Honda        + 19.176s
10.  Colin Turkington     BMW          + 22.561s
11.  Anthony Reid         BMW          + 27.255s
12.  Gordon Shedden       SEAT         + 28.661s
13.  Harry Vaulkhard      Chevrolet    + 29.499s
14.  Tom Onslow-Cole      Ford         + 31.164s
15.  David Pinkney        Honda        + 41.910s
16.  Martin Johnson       Vauxhall     + 42.080s
17.  John George          Honda        + 43.266s
18.  Tom Chilton          Ford       + 1m15.349s


     Matthew Hamilton     Honda      8 laps
     Johnny Herbert       Honda      1 laps
     Matt Neal            Vauxhall   0 laps

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