Neal Fastest in Donington Test

Matt Neal has set the fastest time at the final BTCC test, run yesterday (March 29) at Donington, before the start of the season

Neal Fastest in Donington Test

Neal's lap, run on the Donington National circuit, belies pre-season rumours that the Integra was struggling with pace and sets up a competitive opening round next week, also to be run at the Leicestershire circuit.

2003 Independent champion Rob Collard was equally impressive in the MG, running just ahead of the previous pace setters Vauxhall and former champion Jason Plato, who is leading SEAT Sport's challenge.

Colin Turkington, a new recruit to the VX Racing stable, was guardedly pleased with his results: "It was a positive test. We tried a few more things on the car and found some improvements that took us in the right direction for the first race.

"It's hard to know how we compare as I don't think everyone shows their hand at the official test, but the car is feeling good and we'll come back with more speed next time."

Mark Proctor was unable to run due to engine problems, while Honda's Dan Eaves completed a few laps for which times were unavailable.

The opening rounds of this year's BTCC series will run on 9-10 April.

BTCC Donington test results:

Pos Driver Make Time Laps 1. Matt Neal Honda Integra 1:12.584 41 2. Rob Collard MG ZS 1:12.753 65 3. Colin Turkington Vauxhall Astra 1:12.897 45 4. Jason Plato SEAT Toledo Cupra 1:13.045 38 5. Gavin Smith Vauxhall Astra 1:13.220 64 6. Yvan Muller Vauxhall Astra 1:13.257 53 7. Mark Lemmer Honda Civic 1:13.550 44 8. Luke Hines SEAT Toledo Cupra 1:13.826 48 9. James Pickford SEAT Toledo Cupra 1:13.911 59 10. Dan Eaves Honda Integra No Time 11. Mark Proctor Vauxhall Astra No Time All Timing Unofficial 
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