Rob Collard and Matt Neal
have become embroiled in a war of words following the opening rounds of the new Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season at Thruxton, after a controversial coming together in the final race of the weekend.
Collard, who had been forced to retire from race one earlier in the day after damaging his car in contact with Paul O'Neill, was hoping to end his home weekend on a high in the final race and led through the early stages ahead of the similar BMW 320si of Steven Kane.
Neal meanwhile stormed through the field to run third behind the pair before making a move to get ahead of Kane around the outside at the final chicane.
Neal then tried to get ahead of Collard through the second part of the corner but the resultant contact saw Collard spin off into the barriers and left Neal to circulate slowly back to the pits to retire.
Stewards reviewed the incident but will not make a final decision until the second rounds of the season at Rockingham in order to examine other evidence.
The failure to finish leaves Collard with just four points from the opening meeting of the year and he was far from happy with his Honda rival at the end of the weekend.
“I was having a good battle with Steven for the lead,” he said. “I was quicker than him on some parts of the track and although he was getting a run on me out of Church corner, I was comfortable defending under braking into the chicane. Then Neal got involved with one of the most amateurish pieces of driving I've ever seen in the BTCC.
“Having watched the replays of the incident, its clear Neal was entirely in the wrong and for him say in a TV interview afterwards that it was my fault just shows his incredible arrogance.
“He caused a lot of unnecessary damage to my car and I hope the BTCC Clerk of the Course applies the necessary penalties before Rockingham.”