Eaves Wins Race One in Thruxton

Dan Eaves took his first British Touring Car Championship win of the season in the opening race at Thruxton on Sunday following a thrilling fight with SEAT's Jason Plato, after pole position man Tom Chilton's dreams of victory were dashed by a puncture

Eaves Wins Race One in Thruxton

Chilton had caused a major shock when he marked his return to the series with pole position in the Arena team's Honda, and he proved his qualifying pace was no fluke as he got away cleanly at the start to edge out Plato in the early stages.

Chilton appeared to have everything under control as he pulled out a slight lead over Plato but it all went wrong on lap seven when he picked up a front-left puncture and had to dive into the pits for a replacement tyre. He dropped down the order and eventually finished 10th.

That handed Plato the lead but almost immediately the former champion had his mirrors full of the hard-charging Eaves, who had been closing in steadily on the leaders after taking third place on lap four from Colin Turkington.

Plato tried his hardest to resist the challenge from the Team Halfords Honda but, after some pretty robust defensive driving, there was nothing he could do after Eaves got his nose inside at Church on lap 11 and was able to hold his ground on the run down to the chicane.

Despite a brief fight-back into the Complex, Eaves had little trouble in holding on to take victory by 1.5 seconds.

Eaves' team-mate Matt Neal overcame his qualifying troubles to take third place, but it came after a bit of contact to wrest the position from eventual fourth-placed finisher Turkington at the Complex on lap nine.

Neal's main title rival Yvan Muller could only manage sixth place, just behind Rob Collard, after troubles on the grid left him fighting through the field.

BTCC Race Result, Thruxton - Round Four

Pos Driver Make Time 1. Dan Eaves Honda Integra 21:33.222 2. Jason Plato SEAT Toledo Cupra 21:34.805 + 1.583 3. Matt Neal Honda Integra 21:36.028 + 2.806 4. Colin Turkington Vauxhall Astra Sport 21:41.066 + 7.844 5. Rob Collard MG ZS 21:49.838 + 16.616 6. Yvan Muller Vauxhall Astra Sport 21:52.507 + 19.285 7. James Pickford SEAT Toledo Cupra 21:53.502 + 20.280 8. Luke Hines SEAT Toledo Cupra 21:55.953 + 22.731 9. Gavin Smith Vauxhall Astra Sport 22:03.838 + 30.616 10. Tom Chilton Honda Civic Type-R 22:10.458 + 37.236 Not Classified James Kaye Honda Civic Type-R 5:43.517 D.N.F Fastest Lap: Tom Chilton 1:18.658 
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