Perfect Result for Muller in Race 1

Former British Touring Car Champion Yvan Muller gave his 2005 rivals a driving masterclass with a lights-to-flag victory in the first of today's three races at Mondello Park

Perfect Result for Muller in Race 1

Muller put his Vauxhall Astra Sport Hatch on pole position in yesterday's wet qualifying session and never looked like relinquishing the lead after establishing an immediate lead over teammate and fellow front-row starter Colin Turkington.

While Muller stretched his legs in the lead, Turkington had his hands full with the lead SEAT Toldeo Cupra-R of Jason Plato, who had jumped Luke Hines, who was struggling with a clutch problem, at the start. Turkington's resistance lasted but a lap, as Plato dived up the inside at the final corner to take second.

Although Turkington didn't let Plato get away, he was soon under pressure from the Honda Integra-R of Championship leader Matt Neal. Despite qualifying a disappointed fifth, Neal surged past Hines on the inside of Turn 7a on lap one for fourth, and then went on to depose Turkington after an aggressive move up the inside of Dunlop.

Turkington was unable to respond to Neal after Rob Collard attempt an opportunistic move to follow Neal through at the following corner, leaving the Honda driver in the clear to chase down Plato.

Despite closing onto the bootlid of the SEAT in the closing laps, Plato drove an immaculate defensive race to retain second place, leaving Neal to take third ahead of Turkington and Collard.

The second Integra of Dan Eaves took sixth place, but was unable to challenge the top five after losing time early in the race making his way from eighth on the grid.

Muller's win moves him ahead of Eaves to second in the Championship, although he must now carry maximum ballast for race two, the grid for which is decided by finishing order of race one.

"I pushed hard in the first laps of the race to get a gap, and after that I was able to look after the tyres," said Muller. "I could see what was happening behind in my mirrors, and I knew I just had to keep going."

Pos  Driver            Team                   Time
 1.  Yvan Muller       Vauxhall Astra         25:15.139
 2.  Jason Plato       SEAT Toledo Cupra      +   2.876
 3.  Matt Neal         Honda Integra          +   3.189
 4.  Colin Turkington  Vauxhall Astra         +   6.587
 5.  Rob Collard       MG ZS                  +   7.396
 6.  Dan Eaves         Honda Integra          +  14.251
 7.  Gavin Smith       Vauxhall Astra         +  18.348
 8.  James Kaye        Honda Civic Type-R     +  22.237
 9.  Tom Chilton       Honda Civic Type-R     +  23.066
10.  Jason Hughes      MG ZS                  +  23.585
11.  James Pickford    SEAT Toledo Cupra      +  32.956
12.  Luke Hines        SEAT Toledo Cupra      +  53.499
13.  Fiona Leggate     Vauxhall Astra Coupe   +1:05.096
14.  Mark Proctor      Vauxhall Astra Coupe   +1:17.472
15.  Richard Williams  Lexus IS200            +1:22.386
16.  Ian Curley        Lexus IS200            +1:23.974
shares
comments
Muller Looking to Take Chances
Previous article

Muller Looking to Take Chances

Next article

Turkington Wins Race Two

Turkington Wins Race Two
How the BTCC's new hybrid era aced its first test Plus

How the BTCC's new hybrid era aced its first test

Expectations were high for the start of the British Touring Car Championship’s hybrid power era, and despite nerves and problems to solve prior to its debut the new rules gained widespread approval. Here’s how the first test at Donington Park was passed and the thorough examinations that are to follow

BTCC
Apr 28, 2022
The Ford BTCC superteam combining two reigning TOCA champions Plus

The Ford BTCC superteam combining two reigning TOCA champions

Reigning BTCC champion Ash Sutton and Porsche Carrera Cup GB victor Dan Cammish form a potent line-up at the Motorbase-run NAPA Racing team as the series adopts hybrid power. With Sutton bringing the key components of his title-winning Laser Tools Racing set-up, and Cammish eager to prove a point on his return, their dynamic is set to be one of the season's major talking points

BTCC
Apr 21, 2022
The stalwart tin-top boss still shaping careers more than 40 years on Plus

The stalwart tin-top boss still shaping careers more than 40 years on

Veteran team manager Marvin Humphries and former Tech-Speed team boss has worked not only with stars of the British Touring Car Championship, but legends including Gil de Ferran, Hans Stuck and Tom Sneva in a long and varied career that has spanned five decades across tin-tops, single-seaters and sportscars

BTCC
Feb 4, 2022
The grassroots rise that shaped an understated BTCC star Plus

The grassroots rise that shaped an understated BTCC star

Having started out in club-level competitions alongside his own university engineering studies, Josh Cook's journey to becoming an established frontrunner in the British Touring Car Championship is atypical. But it's these experiences that have moulded the 30-year-old into a humble star, respected throughout the paddock

BTCC
Jan 12, 2022
Ranking the top 10 BTCC drivers of 2021 Plus

Ranking the top 10 BTCC drivers of 2021

A refresh in equipment and some returning faces helped contribute to a supremely competitive 2021 British Touring Car Championship campaign. Ash Sutton was crowned a three-time champion, successfully defending his 2020 title, but faced stiff competition in the final year before the switch to hybrid. Autosport picks out the best performers

BTCC
Nov 17, 2021
Why the BTCC's ballast increase couldn't stop champion Sutton Plus

Why the BTCC's ballast increase couldn't stop champion Sutton

Ballast will be gone from the BTCC next year as hybrid power enters the scene, but for its final season the maximum was increased from 60kg to 75kg. Despite having to carry that nearly all season, Ash Sutton was always the favourite to pocket a third title - the 27-year-old getting his reward for a season of speed tempered by savvy to nail his opportunities

BTCC
Nov 12, 2021
The much-loved tin-top superstar bowing out at 59 Plus

The much-loved tin-top superstar bowing out at 59

OPINION: It's not often that a driver achieves widespread affection for their personality, as well as their on-track performances. One such individual is Gabriele Tarquini, who will soon bring the curtain down on a remarkable career that has yielded touring car titles on the European and global stage - and, famously, in Britain too

BTCC
Nov 11, 2021
The making of the BTCC's newest superstar Plus

The making of the BTCC's newest superstar

Ash Sutton is on the verge of being crowned a three-time British Touring Car Champion; he seems to have it all. But life hasn't always been straightforward for this superstar of touring cars, as Marcus Simmons has been finding out

BTCC
Oct 21, 2021