Donington Park: Neal 'chuffed to bits' with last gasp Donington win

Matt Neal: It's just as sweet as the first. I better get used to this feeling.
Honda's Matt Neal says taking a last gasp victory during the final British Touring Car Championship race of the weekend felt 'just as sweet' as his first win in the series at the same Donington Park venue.

The triple BTCC champion retains his early points advantage over his Halfords Yuasa Racing team mate Gordon Shedden after pair denied West Surrey Racing's Sam Tordoff the victory in the Donington finale.

A clever piece of strategic acumen by using the soft tyre in the first race allowed the duo of Civic Type-R's to overhaul BMW's Tordoff and Jack Goff - who both used their soft tyre allocation in race three - during the late stages of the race.

"Chuffed to bits. It's just as sweet as the first. I better get used to this feeling. I can't believe it's been two meetings and already we've had two one-two finishes. Halfords are back!" Neal told

"We decided to take the pain with the softer tyre earlier in the day. It sort of played to us with the way everybody had decided. If they'd split them between the races then there might have been a bit more of a scrap.

"I think a lot of people planned to have two strong races and then worry about the last one when they got there. It definitely played into our hands."

Neal initially thought the BMWs had established too much of gap at the front of the field but the 49-year old managed to eradicate Tordoff's 1.6 second with relative ease.

"First of all, Goff got past me and I thought he might have been on the harder tyres and I thought 'oh man'. He pushed really hard, but then he suddenly started falling back and then Sam was holding on," Neal continued.

“Then with about two laps to go, he fell of the edge of the cliff. I was closing in by about two tenths a lap, then the door was opened and I didn't need to be asked twice.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Matt Neal (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing, Honda Civic Type R
Jack Goff, Eurotech Racing, [Credit: BTCC media]
Matt Simpson, Team Dynamics, [Credit: BTCC Media]
Rob Austin, Handy Motorsport [Credit: Handy Motorsport]
Andrew Jordan, WSR Pirtek BMW [Credit:Jakob Ebrey]
Mat Jackson, Motorbase Performance, Shredded Wheat [Credit: Motorbase]
Gordon Shedden, Matt Neal, Halfords Yuasa Racing [Credit: Halfords Yuasa]
Ant Whorton-Eales,, BTCC [Credit:]
Mat Jackson, Motorbase Performance, Shredded Wheat [Credit: Motorbase]
Senna Proctor, Power Maxed Racing, BTCC [Credit: BTCC media]
WSR BMW  - Gardx / JCT 600 teams champions
WSR BMW  - Gardx / JCT 600 teams champions

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