Muller edges clear of Plato

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The internal battle for the British Touring Car Championship title between the Vauxhall drivers Yvan Muller and Jason Plato took a big turn in the Frenchman's favour as he took maximum points when the series visited the Irish Mondello Park circuit near Dublin for the first time.

In front of the biggest crowd ever seen at the newly refurbished track, Muller led both races from start to finish and picked up a full haul of bonus points for pole position, fastest lap and leading the race. "It couldn't be better," said Muller after winning the feature race comfortably.

Plato was not so happy. The Englishman, who was second in the feature race, said: "It was just one of those weekends. I made a couple of mistakes and had a bit of bad luck. But there is a long way to go."

Muller's sprint race win was also comfortable. He led from the start and, though Plato kept the pressure on for the first half of the race, a suspension problem and then a puncture relegated the Englishman to last place and left Muller well clear. Muller now has a 23-point lead over Plato.

James Thompson was the weekend's second top scorer with second place in the sprint and third in the feature. Third place in the feature went to Steve Soper's Peugeot. It was the best result of the year for the Peugeot team, but not enough to generate much enthusiasm in their veteran driver. "We're getting there, slowly," said Soper.

The Honda driver James Kaye won both races in the BTC production class to move up into the class points lead, one ahead of his rival Peugeot driver Simon Harrison.

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