Croft BTCC: Matt Neal triumphs in sodden final race

Matt Neal won the wet reversed-grid British Touring Car race at Croft after a controlled drive

Croft BTCC: Matt Neal triumphs in sodden final race

Heavy rain, that started just before the race, left the drivers little option but to start on wets, meaning that most of the runners did not have to use the soft slick tyre over the weekend.

Despite a quick start from Rob Collard, it was his WSR BMW team-mate Nick Foster who grabbed the lead into the first corner, while Neal moved through from row three to third on the opening lap.

As Collard fell back, poleman Adam Morgan (Ciceley Racing Toyota) initially held second before succumbing to a charging Neal at Tower on lap two. The Toyota then had two offs, the second of which put Morgan into the barriers at Clervaux and out of the race.

Neal chased after Foster and moved into the lead on lap three, being followed - after contact between the two BMWs at the Jim Clark Esses - by Colin Turkington.

Andrew Jordan Eurotech Honda, Dave Newsham Toyota Avensis and Gordon Shedden, who had been off at Sunny In earlier, also made it by Foster.

Neal, Turkington and Jordan were evenly matched until Jordan went off at Tower and had to settle for third.

Turkington seemed content with second and had fallen to over three seconds behind Neal going onto the final lap. But the leader then ran wide at Tower and had a slide before Sunny, allowing Turkington to close to within 0.6s at the flag.

Shedden caught and passed Newsham to take fourth in the closing stages to make it three Hondas in the top four.

Jason Plato's MG, which has traditionally struggled in the wet, was often the fastest car on the track as the double champion charged through to sixth from row 10, passing Foster late on.

Sam Tordoff all but matched his MG team leader to also pass Foster. He finished on Plato's bootlid.

After his main rivals hit trouble, Lea Wood took a comfortable Jack Sears Trophy win in his Vauxhall Vectra.

Results - 15 laps: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Matt Neal Honda 24m06.538s 2. Colin Turkington WSR BMW +0.631s 3. Andrew Jordan Eurotech Honda +4.321s 4. Gordon Shedden Honda +8.484s 5. Dave Newsham Speedworks Toyota +11.769s 6. Jason Plato MG +19.061s 7. Sam Tordoff MG +19.320s 8. Nick Foster WSR BMW +23.463s 9. Aron Smith Motorbase Ford +27.357s 10. Jeff Smith Eurotech Honda +38.946s 11. Rob Austin Austin Audi +40.430s 12. Tom Onslow-Cole Hard VW +42.739s 13. Mat Jackson Motorbase Ford +42.879s 14. Rob Collard WSR BMW +56.152s 15. James Cole Hard Vauxhall +1m02.864s 16. Lea Wood Wood Vauxhall +1m21.965s* Retirements: James Kaye AmD VW 12 laps* Jack Goff Hard Vauxhall 9 laps Adam Morgan Ciceley Toyota 4 laps Jake Hill Motorbase Ford 2 laps* Daniel Welch Welch Proton 2 laps David Nye Welch Ford 1 lap* Will Bratt Austin Audi 1 lap Ollie Jackson Speedworks Toyota 1 lap Michael Caine Motorbase Ford 0 laps* Frank Wrathall Dynojet Toyota 0 laps * S2000 
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Croft BTCC: Colin Turkington wins race two in tricky weather
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