BTCC Croft: Neal stripped of win after clash with Cook

Honda veteran Matt Neal has been stripped of his win in the second race of the British Touring Car Championship round at Croft

BTCC Croft: Neal stripped of win after clash with Cook

The three-time BTCC champion has been given a 0.7-second penalty for his last-lap manoeuvre to take the lead from Josh Cook.

The punishment means that 53-year-old Neal drops to second place, with BTC Racing Honda Civic Type R driver Cook inheriting his second victory of the day.

Neal had initially pulled off a spectacular bump-and-run pass on the final lap, having started from seventh on the grid, and muscled his way past the identical BTC Racing-run Civic Type R of Josh Cook at the Sunny In corner.

Team Dynamics ace Neal explained that he thought the move was on having backed out of an attempt on the penultimate lap.

"Josh was doing a great job with the 60kg [of success ballast], and I was able to pull on him in the quick stuff," Neal said.

"I was within striking distance on the lap before, but he covered me off and we narrowly avoided contact.

"Then on the last lap I got a good run, he didn't cover me off, and then as I was committed he went for the apex.

"If they [the stewards] say otherwise, then at least I've given it a good shot."

Cook, whose BTC Racing Honda was built by the Neal family's Dynamics team and receives regular assistance from the squad, viewed the incident differently.

"I think the video speaks for itself," he said.

"If nothing happens then that's P1 and P2 for Hondas, which is great, but I can't help but feel that the race was mugged off me."

Cook had been clearly struggling on the maximum 60kg of success ballast for his victory in the opening race, and Neal, on 30kg, reeled him in.

They were together with two laps remaining, and Neal made a bid at Sunny In on the penultimate lap before his attempt on the final tour.

The two Hondas made contact, and Cook did a stunning job to hold the sideways slide and continue to reach the finish.

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BTCC Croft: Neal bumps past Cook to win race 2 thriller

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