Crash.Net BTCC News
Neal wins Brands Hatch finale
3 April 2011
Matt Neal secured victory in the final Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship race of the weekend at Brands Hatch to bounce back well from his retirement from race one earlier in the day.
Starting from pole, Neal led from start to finish for his first victory of 2011 although earlier double race winner Jason Plato is the man who leaves Brands Hatch with the points lead.
Neal headed Andrew Jordan's Vauxhall Vectra through the early stages of the race before Jordan was forced to pit with a puncture, which allowed the Honda man breathing space out front. Although the Ford Focus of Mat Jackson closed in as the race wore on, Neal was able to hold on to secure his place at the top of the podium.
Behind Jackson, Paul O'Neill was third to head the normally aspirated cars after a strong run in his Tech-Speed Chevrolet, while Gordon Shedden was fourth in the second of the Civics having battled hard to get ahead of Plato's Cruze, leaving the defending champion to finish fifth.
James Nash was a solid sixth for Triple Eight after battling back from being forced onto the grass by Jackson at the start, while Rob Collard, Tom Chilton, Alex MacDowall and Tony Gilham rounded out the points – the latter scoring points in all three races in his debut weekend.
All of the 21 cars to start the race were still running at the finish, with Frank Wrathall's Dynojet Toyota ruled out by electrical issues and David Pinkney's Audi venturing onto the track for the first time only to coast to a halt on its out lap.
The Rob Austin Racing driver had only planned to complete the green flag laps after the car was completed at the circuit.