Snetterton BTCC: Matt Neal wins Double Diamond anniversary race

Matt Neal won the special celebration double points British Touring Car Championship race at Snetterton

Snetterton BTCC: Matt Neal wins Double Diamond anniversary race

The factory Honda Civic Type R driver started the race, which featured all drivers on the same medium tyres and with no ballast, on the front row and tracked early leader Jack Goff's Eurotech Racing Civic.

Goff led the opening spell of the race, which was interrupted with a safety car after a collision between Tom Oliphant's Ciceley Mercedes and Brett Smith's Eurotech Honda during their battle on the fringes of the top 15.

Goff controlled the restart on lap five of the 20 but was always under pressure.

Just before half-distance a rain shower swept across the circuit and the leader was the first to find the slippery surface - slewing wide at the Riches and into the following hairpin.

That let Neal through into first place and allowed Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis driver Tom Ingram to make it a three-way fight for the win.

Neal was under pressure all the way to the flag but held on for his second victory of the season and his 63rd BTCC career win.

"I really didn't know what to expect from that, so I am over the moon," said Neal.

"The engineers were telling me over the radio to be careful in the conditions, but I couldn't, because the other two were straight back on me. It was hard work, but worth it."

Goff said he had been warned of the rain on his pits-to-car radio, but was unable to avoid his minor slip.

"I was being told just as I hit the rain," he said. "But I was pleased to bank the points. This has been a great weekend despite not scoring in the second race - so I have to be pleased."

Ingram had a couple of attacks at Goff's second place but, with the championship lead in his pocket, he was satisfied with third spot.

"I was quicker than Jack and Matt at certain points of the track and they were quicker in others, so it was ebb and flow," he said.

"But I was thinking about getting to the finish and getting as much as I could. We needed this and we have bounced back to the top from a long way behind."

Andrew Jordan took fourth in his WSR BMW 125i M Sport ahead of Tom Chilton's Motorbase Ford Focus, while there was a huge dogfight in their wake.

Sixth eventually fell to Colin Turkington in his WSR BMW. He finally unseated a dogged Chris Smiley (BTC Norlin Honda) to grab the slot in his badly damaged car, which had started in eighth position.

While Smiley was destined for retirement, Josh Cook took seventh from Matt Simpson.

Reigning champion and race two winner Ash Sutton was the last classified finisher after a troubled race that began with a penalty for a grid infringement.

Race three result

Pos Driver Team Car Laps Gap
1 Matt Neal Team Dynamics Honda 21 43m09.041s
2 Jack Goff Eurotech Racing Honda 21 0.243s
3 Tom Ingram Speedworks Toyota 21 0.611s
4 Andrew Jordan WSR BMW 21 4.372s
5 Tom Chilton Motorbase Ford 21 5.389s
6 Colin Turkington WSR BMW 21 24.111s
7 Josh Cook Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall 21 24.824s
8 Matt Simpson Eurotech Racing Honda 21 28.191s
9 Daniel Lloyd BTC Norlin Honda 21 28.472s
10 Bobby Thompson Team Hard Volkswagen 21 31.337s
11 Ollie Jackson AmD Tuning Audi 21 31.369s
12 Senna Proctor Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall 21 31.404s
13 Rob Austin HMS Racing Alfa Romeo 21 33.911s
14 Dan Cammish Team Dynamics Honda 21 34.211s
15 Jason Plato Team BMR Subaru 21 34.335s
16 Ant Whorton-Eales AmD Tuning MG 21 34.874s
17 Stephen Jelley Team Parker Racing BMW 21 35.723s
18 Sam Smelt AmD Tuning Audi 21 36.098s
19 Daniel Welch Team Hard Volkswagen 21 51.616s
20 Ash Sutton Team BMR Subaru 21 1m34.899s
- Chris Smiley BTC Norlin Honda 17 Retirement
- Aiden Moffat Laser Tools Racing Mercedes 17 Not classified
- Adam Morgan Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes 14 Retirement
- Sam Tordoff Motorbase Ford 12 Retirement
- Mike Bushell Team Hard Volkswagen 8 Retirement
- James Cole Motorbase Ford 4 Retirement
- Tom Oliphant Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes 2 Retirement
- Brett Smith Eurotech Racing Honda 2 Retirement
- Rob Collard WSR BMW 0 Withdrawn
- Rory Butcher AmD Tuning MG 0 Retirement
- Michael Caine Team Hard Volkswagen 0 Withdrawn

Drivers' standings

Pos Driver Points
1 Tom Ingram 189
2 Colin Turkington 183
3 Matt Neal 173
4 Jack Goff 172
5 Josh Cook 157
6 Andrew Jordan 157
7 Ash Sutton 150
8 Tom Chilton 148
9 Adam Morgan 122
10 Sam Tordoff 115
11 Dan Cammish 112
12 Senna Proctor 111
13 Rob Collard 86
14 Chris Smiley 80
15 Matt Simpson 70
16 Rob Austin 67
17 Daniel Lloyd 59
18 James Cole 59
19 Aiden Moffat 50
20 Rory Butcher 46
21 Brett Smith 43
22 Ollie Jackson 42
23 Tom Oliphant 35
24 Jake Hill 29
25 Mike Bushell 29
26 Jason Plato 21
27 Tom Boardman 14
28 Bobby Thompson 14
29 Ant Whorton-Eales 6
30 James Nash 6


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Series BTCC
Drivers Matt Neal
Teams BTC Racing
Author Matt James
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