A triple podium result at Donington Park for James Nash put the Triple Eight Race Engineering with Collins Contractors driver in the lead of the British Touring Car Championship drivers' standings for the first ever time. Coupled with another points finish for newcomer Tony Gilham, this put the team on top of the independent teams' championship, and second overall to Honda.
Nash finished third in Race 1, second in Race 2 and then third again in Race 3, despite being caught up in an opening lap skirmish. The results moved him into the lead of the drivers' championship.
“To be leading the Championship is a great feeling and clearly we've got a good workhorse in the Vauxhall, but we've got to move on,” said Nash. “It's a long Championship and lots can happen. The podium in the final race is really good. On the opening lap there were three of us all abreast going into the Old Hairpin and it was never really on. It could have been a lot worse for me, I could have ended up in the gravel.”
Gilham meanwhile finished down in 15th in Race 1 after spinning at the opening corner. In Race 2 he moved through the field to finish eighth. Starting Race 3 in second courtesy of the reverse grid, he lost places due to contact at the start, but was making a move on Andy Neate for fifth late in the race when the pair collided, sending both into retirement.
“A good day?,” said Gilham. “Not really. We had a good race two though and I'm happy where we started from in race three but not happy where we ended up. Going into the first corner I got hit, well a few times actually. I'd planned to keep things tight, hold position and see how the race panned out, but after the first corner it was a recovery drive.”
“In the end we should have been fifth which would have been my best result yet but on the last lap the other guy [Neate] just didn't give me any room and we both went off. I haven't seen the television pictures yet so I'll make my mind up properly when I do, but right now I'm sure the move he did on me was never on.”
Team boss Ian Harrison said: “James has driven really well this weekend. He knows that consistency can win this Championship and I'm really pleased with him. Tony drove well in the first two races and then right at the end of the third race he compromised himself a bit. He put himself in a position that with experience he wouldn't have done. Nevertheless, overall he did really well again. He's scored more points and made another good effort. He mustn't be too downhearted and just makes sure that he picks himself up for the next round at Thruxton.
“I hadn't realised until a moment ago that we're leading the various Championships. However, we're only two race weekends in to the season and of course it's the scores on the doors in October that count. We must make sure that we don't get ahead of ourselves.”