Croft race 1: Neal dominates

Matt Neal dominated the first British Touring Car Championship race at Croft today (Sunday), taking the lead at the start and holding off Vauxhall's James Thompson for victory

Croft race 1: Neal dominates

The start of the race was a chaotic affair. At the front, the Honda duo of Neal and Alan Morrison ganged up to force their way past pole-sitter Thompson. However, the real drama happened behind them, as the works Vauxhall pairing of Paul O'Neill and Yvan Muller collided with each other. The clash forced the Frenchman out of the race, his first retirement of the year.

Another first corner victim was Rob Collard, who damaged the oil sump on his Vauxhall Astra, forcing out the Safety Car for the first time. This didn't slow the Honda duo upfront, who easily pulled away from Thompson at the restart.

But the manufacturers chances of a one-two finish evaporated at the pit stops, when Alan Morrison lost his wheel along with his chances of a podium. This left Thompson as the sole challenger to Neal, but even a second safety car period for debris on the track couldn't help the Yorkshireman get on terms with his Honda rival.

After his first corner fun, Paul O'Neill had a lonely run to third, ahead of Colin Turkington, who passed team-mate Anthony Reid late in the race after an entertaining battle. Dan Eaves claimed Independent class honours and a brilliant sixth, the best result yet for the Team Halfords Peugeot 307. Eaves made a great start to jump up to sixth by the first corner, and managed to hold onto the position the rest of the way.

In the Production class, Tom Boardman took advantage of a great start to lead all the way. He was challenged by Michael Bentwood in the early running, but the BMW driver found himself shuffled down to fourth behind Alan Blencowe and Luke Hines at the final restart.

Matt Neal Honda 42m25.755s
James Thompson Vauxhall +1.049s
Paul O'Neill Vauxhall +4.721s
Colin Turkington MG +5.237s
Anthony Reid MG +6.614s
Dan Eaves Peugeot +12.063s

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Qualifying: Thommo on top

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Croft race 2: First win of year for Reid

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