Matt Neal took a start to chequered flag victory in the British Touring Car Championship in the first race of the day at Brands Hatch.

In a surprisingly uneventful race at the circuit which can provide so much excitement on occasion, Neal made off into the distance not once but twice, after a safety car period was brought about by Neal's Team Computeach Racing with Halfords team-mate Dan Eaves car catching fire.

Come the restart and it was a very well behaved touring car race with overtaking not being largely in evidence and drivers saving their licence endorsements for later in the day.

"Sorry if it was a bit boring," said victor Matt Neal, "but I was quite thankful of seeming Muller disappearing in the rear view mirror."

Yvan Muller came home in second place ahead of VX Racing team-mate James Thompson meaning the title battle is still very much alive for those two, whilst Knockhill victor Anthony Reid had a torrid time with his WSR MG full of success ballast and could only manage twelfth place.

Pole for the second race of the day sees series returnee Michael Bentwood line-up alongside Jason Plato. Bentwood displaced Colin Turkington from the magic tenth on the final tour.

1. Matt Neal
2. Yvan Muller
3. James Thompson
4. James Kaye
5. Luke Hines
6. Tom Chilton
7. Rob Huff
8. Shaun Watson Smith
9. Jason Plato
10. Michael Bentwood