Andy Priaulx Beats Team-Mates To Croft Race One Win

Andy Priaulx took his first Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship win of the season, as West Surrey Racing took a sweep of the podium places.

The Triple World Touring Car Champion held onto second place behind team-mate Sam Tordoff, the third BMW 125i of Rob Collard moving ahead of Gordon Shedden‘s Honda into third spot.

Tordoff extended his advantage initially, but it took until lap six for a dramatic lead change to take place as the Leeds driver lost momentum following a costly slide through the fast chicane as spots of rain emerged.

Priaulx pounced on his team-mate at Tower Bend, lunging inside to take a lead he would never lose as he held on to win his first BTCC race since Knockhill 2002.

Tordoff finished just 0.7s adrift, while Collard made it a WSR sweep of the podium even with the softer tyre compound that several rival competitors struggled with in the race.

Shedden held onto the back of the BMW trio for much of the encounter, taking fourth place to re-take the lead of the championship after problems were encountered for former series leader, Jason Plato.

Plato emerged almost a lap down at the start of the race, before later retiring from the action after several tours of the North Yorkshire circuit. He did however set a lap good enough for third on the grid for race two, starting behind Tordoff and Priaulx.

Matt Neal made it two Honda Yuasa Racing cars inside the top five in a distant fifth, ahead of Andrew Jordan and Colin Turkington, the latter’s BMR Racing Volkswagen falling back on the final lap from fifth due to degrading softer tyres.

Tom Ingram charged through from 13th to eighth by the time the field reached the flag, the Speedworks Motorsport Toyota finishing ahead of Adam Morgan and Jack Goff rounding out the top 10.

Aron Smith at one stage fell back to 17th place from 11th on the grid, the BMR man recovering with a late surge up to 11th place while Rob Austin struggled badly on soft tyres to fall from fifth to 13th.

The Audi A4 was surpassed by Turkington’s Volkswagen at the hairpin on lap six of 15, before the swarming pack soon dropped him outside the top 10, his team-mate Hunter Abbott spun out early in the race by Martin Depper unintentionally.

Nic Hamilton‘s debut race ended 25th overall, while an impressive maiden BTCC outing for Max Coates was rewarded with 21st overall ahead of Support Our Paras Racing team-mate, Derek Palmer Jr, who was delayed by an incident with Stewart Lines at the second corner.