Muller Claims Round 2 in Donington

Yvan Muller made up for his earlier disappointment to grab victory in the second round of the British Touring Car Championship at Donington Park on Sunday - but he had to face pressure all the way to the chequered flag

Muller Claims Round 2 in Donington

The Frenchman had lost out in the day's first race after a last-lap lunge from Honda rival Matt Neal, and was clearly determined not to suffer a repeat in the second heat.

At the lights Muller stormed into the lead while Neal, starting from pole position, failed to get away well and dropped to third behind a hard-charging Rob Collard in the MG.

The first three ran nose to tail for the opening laps before Neal dived down the inside of Collard at Redgate on lap four, but just did not have enough to seize the place. The Honda and MG ran side-by-side all the way down the Craner Curves before Neal made the move stick and grabbed second at the Old Hairpin.

That incident allowed Muller some clear air at the front - and he was further boosted a few laps later when Collard grabbed second spot in a repeat of the Neal overtaking move. He dived down the inside at Redgate, braved it out down the Craner Curves and moved ahead at the Old Hairpin.

Once into second Collard began to close the gap on Muller but, despite getting right on his bumper on the final lap, he ran out of time to get past. The result was nevertheless a great one for Collard, who claimed his first ever BTCC podium.

Neal eventually finished third overall, ahead of Honda team-mate Dan Eaves and SEAT's Jason Plato - who had earlier been involved in an opening lap incident down the Craner Curves that had forced Vauxhall's Colin Turkington out of the race.

With the grid positions reversed for the third race of the day, Richard Williams will start from pole position in his Lexus, which had not even turned a wheel until the start of the race meeting.

Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, Donington - Round 2
 Pos Driver Make Time Laps Gap 1. Yvan Muller Vauxhall Astra Sport Hatch 19:46.651 16 2. Rob Collard MG ZS 19:46.830 16 + 0.179 3. Matt Neal Honda Integra 19:47.951 16 + 1.300 4. Dan Eaves Honda Integra 19:52.831 16 + 6.180 5. Jason Plato SEAT Toledo Cupra 19:53.472 16 + 6.821 6. Gavin Smith Vauxhall Astra Sport Hatch 19:53.687 16 + 7.036 7. James Pickford SEAT Toledo Cupra 20:00.955 16 +14.304 8. Luke Hines SEAT Toledo Cupra 20:01.249 16 +14.598 9. Richard Williams Lexus IS200 19:56.560 15 +1 LAP Not Classified Mark Proctor Vauxhall Astra Coupe 9:45.416 7 D.N.F. Colin Turkington Vauxhall Astra Sport Hatch 3:04.445 2 D.N.F. James Kaye Honda Civic Type-R 15:46.350 1 D.N.F. Fastest Lap Rob Collard MG ZS 1:13.229
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