Feature race: Muller turns the tables on Plato

Yvan Muller won the BTCC feature race at Thruxton after another robust battle with Triple Eight Vauxhall team mate Jason Plato

Feature race: Muller turns the tables on Plato

Plato drove a storming first lap, converting third on the rolling grid into first place with a determined outbraking move.

"I never thought he would do that," commented number one victim Muller; "I gave him room - if he hadn't been a team mate we'd have made heavy contact," said victim number two James Thompson, while JP himself modestly considered it: "a great move."

That left Plato ahead, Muller second and Thompson hung out to dry and losing ground in third place.

Over the opening phase of the race Muller harried Plato relentlessly and Thompson closed up again to a close third. As they headed for the first of two scheduled pit stops - a tyre-saving move following Dan Eaves' two Peugeot blow-outs in the sprint - Plato started to feel a vibration and pitted early.

Thompson lost ground after being badly baulked by Toni Ruokonen's slow BTCP
Mitsubishi and then a load more when a wheel nut failed to engage properly.

Muller and Bennett pitted shortly after and both made up a place so that the revised post-stop order was Muller, Plato, Bennett, Thompson.

The Peugeot saga had already taken a turn for the worse. This time it was Soper who had the Church blow-out and the two 406s were immediately withdrawn.

At the front the order remained the same through the second set of stops to the flag. The impressive Bennett and Thompson closed in on Plato towards the end, as JP nursed another vibration, but the status quo held to the end.

James Kaye took fifth overall in his BTCP Honda Accord, chased home by the new Lexus, which went well despite slow pit stops and fading brakes - "we haven't had time to put the air-ducts on, so they were overheating," said a highly-encouraged Kurt Luby.

Peter Cate made it a great day for the Barwell Motorsport Honda squad by bringing his car home second in class. The challenge of the HTML Peugeots disappeared when both retired with mechanical problems. Mat Jackson's Ford Focus was third and closing on the Hondas as they eased off at the end.

Plato is now the sole points leader, having arrived at Thruxton tied at the front with Thompson. "It's objective achieved," he said after the feature.





Yvan Muller (Vauxhall) 40m19.308s
Jason Plato (Vauxhall) 40m21.308s
Phil Bennett (Vauxhall) 40m22.197s
James Thompson (Vauxhall) 40m24.223s
James Kaye (Honda P) 29 laps
Kurt Luby (Lexus) 29 laps
Peter Cate (Honda P) 29 laps
Mat Jackson (Ford P) 29 laps
Jim Edwards Jr (Honda P) 29 laps
Tom Boardman (Peugeot P) 28 laps
Richard Meins (Ford P) 28 laps
Nick Beaumont (Honda P) 28 laps
Annie Templeton (Peugeot P) 28 laps
John B-and-Q (Honda P) 27 laps
Dave Allan (Honda P) 27 laps


1 Jason Plato 55pts; 2 Yvan Muller 49; 3 James Thompson 46; 4 Phil Bennett 38; 5 Dan Eaves 16; 6 Steve Soper 13; etc
1 James Kaye 44pts; 2 Simon Harrison 37; 3 Mat Jackson 33; 4 Roger Moen 26; 5 Peter Cate 19; 6 Jim Edwards Jr , Nick Beaumont & Gareth Howell 16; etc.

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