Brands Hatch BTCC: Matt Neal pips charging Gordon Shedden in finale

Honda salvaged a difficult opening weekend to its 2013 British Touring Car campaign with a one-two in the reversed-grid race three

Brands Hatch BTCC: Matt Neal pips charging Gordon Shedden in finale

Despite both starting on the new soft tyre, which was expected to degrade, Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden came through to make amends for their problems earlier in the meeting.

Neal's Civic got away well from row two, crucially jumping the harder tyre-shod cars of Adam Morgan (Ciceley Toyota) and a slow-starting Sam Tordoff (works MG) to run second behind Mat Jackson's Motorbase Ford Focus.

Before he could make any further progress the safety car was brought out early when Dave Newsham lost his Speedworks Toyota Avensis at Paddock and clipped the unfortunate Rob Austin, causing the Audi to crash into the barriers. Both drivers escaped unharmed.

On the first lap of the restart Jackson ran wide at Druids and then appeared to hesitate, allowing Neal, Morgan and Jason Plato's MG to go by.

While Neal edged clear, Shedden was charging from the back after being excluded from race two.

The reigning champion forced his way by Jeff Smith (Eurotech Civic) just before half-distance to take sixth and soon closed on the pack fight for third, which was being slowed as Plato's soft rubber went off.

Tordoff and Shedden both overcame Andrew Jordan's Eurotech Honda and Plato, and then closed on Morgan.

With two laps to go Tordoff lunged Morgan at Clearways, allowing Shedden to get a run on both to snatch second.

He then rapidly closed on Neal and finished almost side-by-side with his triple champion team-mate.

Tordoff finished as the top hard-tyred runner in third, followed by Morgan, Plato and Jordan.

After an early off at the first corner, Colin Turkington again put on a recovery drive to come home ninth.

Having tracked David Nye (Welch Focus) for much of the race, Lea Wood's Vauxhall Vectra pounced in the closing stages to top the S2000 class and become the third different Jack Sears Trophy winner of the weekend.

Update: Wood loses S2000 class victory

Race 3 - 27 laps: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Matt Neal Honda 25m14.772s 2. Gordon Shedden Honda + 0.083s 3. Sam Tordoff MG + 1.216s 4. Adam Morgan Ciceley Toyota + 2.171s 5. Jason Plato MG + 3.651s 6. Andrew Jordan Eurotech Honda + 4.727s 7. Jeff Smith Eurotech Honda + 6.026s 8. Frank Wrathall Dynojet Toyota + 6.430s 9. Colin Turkington WSR BMW + 9.508s 10. Mat Jackson Motorbase Ford + 10.133s 11. Aron Smith Motorbase Ford + 10.611s 12. Daniel Welch Welch Proton + 10.994s 13. Nick Foster WSR BMW + 19.150s 14. Will Bratt Austin Audi + 25.176s 15. Lea Wood Wood Vauxhall* + 27.179s 16. Liam Griffin Motorbase Ford* + 28.485s 17. Tom Onslow-Cole HARD VW + 29.483s 18. David Nye Welch Ford* + 30.192s 19. Joe Girling Finesse Chevrolet* + 46.370s Retirements: Rob Collard WSR BMW 5 laps Warren Scott BMR SEAT* 2 laps Dave Newsham Speedworks Toyota 1 lap Rob Austin Austin Audi 1 lap James Cole HARD Vauxhall 0 laps Not classified: Jack Goff HARD Vauxhall 20 laps * S2000 
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Brands Hatch BTCC: Jason Plato doubles up in race two
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Brands Hatch BTCC: Jason Plato doubles up in race two

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