Reid clinches Masters race

One of the most eagerly anticipated dates on the motor racing calendar arrived on Sunday as former BTCC champions went head-to-head at Donington Park in the first ever 'BTCC Masters' race

Reid clinches Masters race

The James Thompson-Yvan Muller BTCC duel earlier in the day had set the scene for some feisty battles with 16 big egos, many with old scores to be settled, providing the crowd with a mouthwatering prospect.

There wasn't any qualifying, the grid determined by random draw with John Cleland the lucky winner. Anthony Reid made it an all-Scottish front row as the drivers lined up in 'identical' front-wheel drive SEAT Cupras used in the Spanish manufacturer's BTCC support series.

Reid was a bit too enthusiastic, though, jumping the start, but then he jammed on the brakes just as the lights went out and was swallowed up by the ravenous pack.

Cleland was quick off the line, leading what seemed a well-behaved field through Redgate. It didn't last long for on the run down to the Craner Curves Jason Plato tapped the back of Patrick Watts sending him off into the grass, it was not to be their first coming together.

Now up to second, Plato took chase of Cleland and by lap three was close enough to have a go down the inside going into turn one. He got him that time, but Cleland got the better of Plato as the two went side by side into the old hairpin.

Further back, Reid was making up ground after his appalling start, taking 1992 champion Tim Harvey for third with Matt Neal in fifth.

But the big action was still at the front as Plato tried his same move past Cleland, it worked this time, only because the two touched forcing Cleland to ease off. A moment at McLeans, though, saw the double world champion drop away.

Reid now had just Plato in his sights and took chase, the two pulling out a lead before the deployment of the safety car, seemingly for no particular reason other than a method to bunch the field up a bit.

It wasn't long before the safety car was sent out again, but this time because of a genuine issue - Kelvin Burt suffered a huge accident after being tipped into a spin by Tarquini on the run through Hollywood.

As the action resumed, it was Reid out front followed by Plato, Menu, Biela, Watts and Tarquini, who had worked his way up from the back of the grid.

Menu was not going to settle for third spot and got alongside Plato on the run down to the old hairpin, a little touching ensued but it was always going to end in tears as Plato ran wide at the exit and onto the grass. He swerved his way back onto the track, but in doing so met the oncoming Watts, who had nowhere to go but into Plato, who spun off into the barrier.

With Plato out the way Menu tried in vain to catch Reid, who enjoyed a double victory for he secured the BTCC Independents' title for MG earlier in the day.

"I completely fluffed my start and went before I should have so stopped and everyone seemed to go past me," he said. "I thought that was it - game over - and never thought I'd get near the front again. But what an absolute privilege to be part of this race and to become BTCC Master is amazing."

Anthony Reid SEAT 29m30.338s
Alain Menu SEAT +0.537s
Gabriele Tarquini SEAT +1.942s
Frank Biela SEAT +2.239s
Matt Neal SEAT +4.493s
John Cleland SEAT +5.407s
Paul Radisich SEAT +6.717s
Jeff Allam SEAT +7.106s
Julian Bailey SEAT +7.950s
Robb Gravett SEAT +8.224s
Frank Sytner SEAT +12.076s

Gabriele Tarquini 1m17.767s


Jason Plato
Patrick Watts
Tim Harvey
Johnny Cecotto
Kelvin Burt

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