Normally for 7am laps the plan is try to stick together for a bit then start to increase it, I think @RichardM wrote a rough training plan in the Regents thread. If you want to increase your fitness I would suggest hanging on for as long as you can and if you get dropped just rejoin. 8am is meant to be more of a relaxed ride.
chain gangs should be ridden at a constant pace so when you take a turn on the font your shouldn't accelerate, just maintain the speed....unless your want to attack.
Practise holding a wheel will help if its done right you should be pulled along.