Snetterton 1: O'Neill comes through

Paul O'Neill took his first British Touring Car Championship win of the year at Snetterton in a race that was marred by a huge start-line crash that decimated the grid

Snetterton 1: O'Neill comes through

The fun started when the Tom Chilton (Honda), Colin Turkington (MG) and Warren Hughes (MG) came together at the very start of the race. The collision between the three sent Turkington spinning across the track in the face of the oncoming pack, where he was hit by Carl Breeze and Michael Bentwood.

Breeze's car was then collected by David Leslie and Dan Eaves, with Tom Boardman hitting Bentwood's stricken machine. In all, 10 cars were forced to retire from the race as a result of the crash, with the damage to Bentwood's BMW so severe that he will be unable to start race two later today.

Matt Neal came through to lead at the start, and held onto the position after the inevitable safety car delay. From there, he led away being chased by Alan Morrison, James Thompson and O'Neill, who eventually worked his way past his team-mate when the reigning champion made a mistake.

However, Neal was shuffled back to fourth by a slow pit-stop, which put Morrison on course for victory. Sadly for him, he slowed late in the race with an engine failure, handing victory to Vauxhall's third driver. Honda's misfortune continued as a late charge by Yvan Muller allowed him to pass Neal for the final podium position.

"It was a big thing for me to win this race, especially after Brands Hatch [where he lost victory after Neal punted him off at the final corner]," said O'Neill. "Going into this race I thought I could win, because I've been quick all weekend. It's incredible."

Luke Hines took victory in the Production class by virtue of a really bad start. Although not traditionally a good thing, this allowed him to miss the big pile-up, and he was able to recover his way through a depleted field to win.

Paul O'Neill Vauxhall 34m55.549s
James Thompson Vauxhall +1.032s
Yvan Muller Vauxhall +2.277s
Matt Neal Honda +3.281s
Anthony Reid MG +18.062s
Tom Chilton Honda +20.945s

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