VX Racing celebrated three championship victories at this final race weekend of the 2004 Green Flag MSA British Touring Car Championship. After ten events and 30 races Vauxhall clinched the manufacturers' and team championships but it was the fight for the drivers championship between VX Racing's James Thompson and Yvan Muller that produced plenty of drama for the crowds at Donnington Park today.
With nothing to separate the pair, it was ultimately the extra point for the 'fastest lap of the race' that won the drivers championship title for Thompson, relegating Yvan Muller to runner-up, even though he won the final round.
Thompson took a six-point advantage into the final round, but with Muller leading and Thompson lying in third place in the closing stages it looked as though the drivers would finish equal on points. It was only the fastest lap, recorded by Thompson on the third lap of the race that made the difference between the championship win for Thompson instead of Muller. Thompson says "I had a feeling Yvan would win the race so I had a game-plan and tried to get the fastest lap of the race. I knew if I set the fastest lap third place would be good enough. I love the BTCC, it's given me so much pleasure over the years. It's fantastic to win!"
Stuart Harris, VXR Brand Manager, Vauxhall, "This year has been a record for us, taking our fourth manufacturers' title with the Vauxhall Astra Coupe, puts it into the record books as the most successful British touring car ever. And, I suspect that we have set a record for the closest ever finish in the drivers' championship – it really wasn't decided until the chequered flag. Exciting, tense and highly dramatic we couldn't have asked for more."
In the three races of the final race weekend Thompson posted second, fifth and third place finishes. Muller took a seventh in the first race, second in the second race and won the final race. Third driver Luke Hines finished with a sixth place, a tenth and a DNF, finishing tenth overall in the drivers championship.