Thruxton BTCC: Matt Neal cruises to another win in race two
|By Kevin Turner||Sunday, May 5th 2013, 14:20 GMT|
Matt Neal made it a double with victory in the second British Touring Car race at Thruxton.
The works Honda driver led from pole and coped with an early challenge from Jason Plato's works MG and a safety car restart (due to Dan Welch crashing his Proton) to win.
Plato struggled more and more as the race went on, making him vulnerable to attack.
First, the impressive Tom Onslow-Cole made it by on the inside of Village in his Team Hard VW, and then Plato came under attack from Andrew Jordan's Eurotech Honda and Gordon Shedden's works Civic.
Both Hondas were on a charge after race one delays. Jordan, from 11th, caught the MG first, but could not find a way by, allowing Shedden (up from row 13) to close.
Jordan made it by into Allard with four laps to go and was immediately followed by Shedden. The duo then closed on Onslow-Cole.
The three were tied together going onto the final lap and when Jordan put a wheel on the grass entering Church, the ensuing slide allowed Shedden to get a run past him approaching the chicane to snatch third.
Despite a great exit from the last corner the reigning champion could not quite overhaul Onslow-Cole, who finished 1.5 seconds behind a cruising Neal.
Plato took fifth, while Eurotech's Jeff Smith made it four Hondas in the top six.
Sam Tordoff had a lonely race to seventh. Adam Morgan recovered brilliantly from an early off to finish eighth in his Cicely Racing Toyota Avensis.
Lea Wood's Vauxhall Vectra led the S2000 class throughout, helped by pursuers Liam Griffin and James Kaye being forced to pull off.
Results - 19 laps: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Matt Neal Honda 27m46.053s 2. Tom Onslow-Cole Hard VW + 1.468s 3. Gordon Shedden Honda + 1.676s 4. Andrew Jordan Eurotech Honda + 1.891s 5. Jason Plato MG + 3.560s 6. Jeff Smith Eurotech Honda + 4.949s 7. Sam Tordoff MG + 13.072s 8. Adam Morgan Ciceley Toyota + 14.410s 9. Jack Goff Hard Vauxhall + 20.433s 10. Aron Smith Motorbase Ford + 22.457s 11. Colin Turkington WSR BMW + 22.950s 12. Dave Newsham Speedworks Toyota + 23.190s 13. Rob Collard WSR BMW + 23.489s 14. James Cole Hard Vauxhall + 26.856s 15. Mat Jackson Motorbase Ford + 28.789s 16. Nick Foster WSR BMW + 29.063s 17. Ollie Jackson Speedworks Toyota + 34.230s 18. Rob Austin Austin Audi + 36.554s 19. Frank Wrathall Dynojet Toyota + 39.421s 20. Lea Wood Wood Vauxhall + 40.145s* 21. David Nye Welch Ford + 44.379s* 22. Will Bratt Austin Audi + 51.062s Retirements: Joe Girling Finesse Chevrolet 18 laps* James Kaye AmD VW 15 laps* Liam Griffin Motorbase Ford 10 laps* Warren Scott BMR SEAT 5 laps* Daniel Welch Welch Proton 3 laps * S2000