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Monday, 12 August, 2002, 09:53 GMT 10:53 UK
Priaulx win gives Honda cheer
BBC Sport Online rounds up the international motorsport action
Andy Priaulx splashed through the Fife rain to give Honda their first triumph for two years in the Green Flag British Touring Car Championship at soggy Knockhill on Sunday.

Former Indy Racing League star Tony Stewart won the Nascar Winston Cup race at Watkins Glen.

Brazilian Fabio Carbone won his maiden Formula Three race in one of the most important events of the year, the Marlboro Masters.

Andy Priaulx made it a double first in the British Touring Car Championship by taking his first career win in the category, and Honda's first for two years.

The 28-year-old from Guernsey won the feature race to achieve what was also his maiden success in this series.

James Thompson still tops the standings by 24 points from Vauxhall colleague Yvan Muller, but neither man notched up a victory in Scotland as they were overshadowed by sprint-race winner Matt Neal and Priaulx.

Honda, who did not enter the championship last season, struggled to keep pace with the dominant Vauxhalls earlier in the campaign but have got their act together recently and are very much a team on the up.

This was shown when Priaulx bagged two superb pole positions at the testing, twisty circuit, although it all went wrong for the Towcester-based driver in the sprint.

The opener began in drizzle which gradually turned into a heavy downpour - and when a cautious Priaulx was passed by Neal at the hairpin it triggered a nosedive down the order for the ex-Formula Three racer.

The guys in the team have done a fantastic job to turn the season around
Honda's Andy Priaulx
As Neal went on to win by 5.959secs from MG's Anthony Reid, Priaulx slipped back to finish seventh.

The win ended a depressing run of results for Neal who had retired from the four previous events.

The rain did not relent in the three hours before the start of the feature race, which saw the first five laps run behind the safety car in an attempt to disperse some of the standing water on the track.

When the real action got under way Priaulx and several other drivers opted to make their mandatory pit-stop as early as possible, and it proved a shrewd move as the Honda man soon found himself back in front.

But with Muller chasing hard in the closing stages Priaulx nearly threw it away two laps from the end.

He slid off on to the grass and the car snaked around before Priaulx could point it back in the right direction.

The mishap cost Priaulx several seconds - but he held off Muller by 1.384sec, with Thompson third and Neal fourth.

Vauxhall's haul of 63 points towards the manufacturers' championship was enough to earn them the title for the second successive year with two meetings still to go.

Tony Stewart withstood the pressure of two restarts in the closing stages to win the Nascar Winston Cup race at the Watkins Glen road course.

Stewart passed Ryan Newman for the lead with 20 laps to go and withheld the pressure to end on a high a week that started with him being fined for punching a photographer.

Newman, a rookie, held off Robbie Gordon and PJ Jones in the closing laps.

Sterling Marlin held on to his championship lead despite finishing 30th.

Brazilian Fabio Carbone has taken the first Formula Three victory of his career in one of the season's most prestigious races, the Marlboro Masters.

Carbone dominated the event, which with the end-of-season Macau Grand Prix is one of the two biggest races of the season for these aspiring Formula One stars.

Carbone was not daunted by the opposition, which comes from all the top F3 championships in Europe.

He set pole position, made a good start and never looked back.

Frenchmen took second and third places, with Olivier Pla heading Tristan Gommendy.

See also:

28 Jul 02 | Motorsport
07 Aug 02 | Motorsport
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