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Neal wins Donington opener

17 April 2011

Matt Neal claimed victory in the opening Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship race of the weekend at Donington Park having led from almost start to finish.

Neal lost the lead to James Nash on the opening lap but got ahead of the Vauxhall driver at Redgate at the start of lap two and was able to pull out a small lead he would retain to the finish as the pack battled for position behind.

A Vauxhall would take the flag in second place but in the hands of Andrew Jordan after a battling drive from the Pirtek Racing driver saw him come through from fourth on the grid to claim the second place on the podium, having got ahead of the Honda of Gordon Shedden and Nash during the race.

Shedden claimed third place having also battled back past Nash, who settled for fourth as a result, with the top six completed by Tom Chilton and Mat Jackson in their Ford Focuses.

Rob Collard claimed seventh after a defensive drive to keep the SEAT of Tom Boardman at bay, while the Chevrolet's of Paul O'Neill and Alex MacDowall rounded out the points scorers. The pair did clash at the Chicane on the penultimate lap while fighting for position with O'Neill able to hold onto a slide and MacDowall briefly losing position to Jeff Smith before reclaiming tenth.

There was frustration for MacDowall's team-mate Jason Plato as the defending champion had to settle for 19th place after a mid-race puncture forced him to pit for a tyre change, while John George and Dave Newsham retired after colliding at the start.

Rob Austin's Audi failed to take the start after grinding to a halt on its way to the grid.


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