Chilton Wins Race 1 at Silverstone

Tom Chilton claimed his fourth British Touring Car Championship win of the season in the first of today's (Sunday) triple-header at Silverstone

Chilton Wins Race 1 at Silverstone

Chilton's Arena Motorsport Honda Civic Type-R headed the lead SEAT Toledo Cupra of James Pickford by 1.5 seconds after taking the lead from pole sitter Gareth Howell's Honda Integra Type-R off the line. Pickford came closest to taking the lead on the 18th of 25 laps after Chilton struggled through the hairpin at Becketts. Despite Pickford getting alongside into Brooklands, Chilton was late enough on the brakes to retain the lead.

Jason Plato made it two SEATs on the podium with an opportunistic drive from seventh to third. The 2001 champion relieved his old rival, Vauxhall's Yvan Muller, of third on the entry to Copse on lap 12, with the Vauxhall Astra Sport Hatch driver unable to respond.

Muller was fortunate not to lose fourth to Howell, who endured a troubled race after claiming his maiden BTCC pole position in qualifying. Howell outbraked himself while shadowing Chilton in the early stages and was shuffled back in a fierce battle for third. Sixth at one point, Howell barged past the third SEAT of Luke Hines for fifth in the closing stages and was catching Muller when the chequered flag flew.

Howell's teammates, championship leader Matt Neal and Dan Eaves fared worse, however. Eaves was crowded out into the Brooklands gravel trap in the early stages, while Neal dropped to the bottom of the top ten after a big moment while trying to pass Rob Collard at Brooklands. Neal, carrying maximum ballast, could manage only two points for ninth place, allowing Muller to close the points gap to 24 with five races remaining.

Muller's Astra Sport Hatch teammate Colin Turkington ran as high as fourth, but slipped to seventh in the final reckoning, just ahead of James Kaye, who turned in another strong performance in the Synchro Motorsport Civic.

CLASSIFIED: Pos  Driver   Make   Time  1.  Tom Chilton    Honda Civic Type-R  25:26.083   2.  James Pickford  SEAT Toledo Cupra  + 1.505   3.  Jason Plato    SEAT Toledo Cupra  + 3.378   4.  Yvan Muller    Vauxhall Astra    + 6.691   5.  Gareth Howell    Honda Integra    + 7.259   6.  Luke Hines    SEAT Toledo Cupra  + 9.571   7.  Colin Turkington  Vauxhall Astra    + 10.011   8.  James Kaye    Honda Civic Type-R  + 11.210   9.  Matt Neal    Honda Integra    + 13.283  10.  Rob Collard    MG ZS    + 13.493  11.  Gavin Smith    Vauxhall Astra    + 13.976  12.  Richard Williams  Lexus IS200    + 41.111  13.  Fiona Leggate    Vauxhall Astra Coupe  + 53.156  14.  Ian Curley    Lexus IS200    + 53.995  NOT CLASSIFIED/RETIREMENTS: Driver   Make   On Lap   MarK Proctor    Vauxhall Astra Coupe  7    Dan Eaves    Honda Integra    2  Fastest Lap: Jason Plato, 1:00.927 on lap 10 
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Maiden BTCC Pole for Howell
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