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Neal wins Croft opener

24 June 2012

Matt Neal battled back from a poor start to win the opening Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship race of the weekend at Croft.

Neal started from pole but was slow away due to a clutch issue whish saw Gordon Shedden and Andrew Jordan jump ahead off the line.

After a safety car period caused by a clash involving Dave Newsham, Dan Welch and Nick Foster further back, Neal battled his way back ahead of Jordan at the hairpin – with Rob Collard behind following suit.

After a battle with Collard's BMW, Neal chased down team-mate Shedden before making a move stick at Tower, with Collard again following through, before he went on to take victory ahead of the eBay Motors man, with Shedden dropping away in the final podium place.

Jordan took fourth despite losing power with a damaged exhaust, while Rob Austin was a fine fifth having battled back from a disastrous start to fight his way back through the field in his Audi. Andy Neate, Tom Onslow-Cole and Mat Jackson rounded out the top eight. Onslow-Cole had suffered a spin after contact between the pair mid-race.

Paul O'Neill ran inside the top ten at one point before his throttle issues returned and stopped his car on track, although he rejoined to finish 17th. Amongst the retirements were Jason Plato who suffered technical issues on his way to the grid, and Frank Wrathall, who was tipped off by Andy Neate on lap one and then retired after clipping a tyre stack and damaging his Toyota.


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