Three-time British Touring Car champion Matt Neal says winning the Diamond Double race was made all the more special after bouncing back from a tricky opening two races at Snetterton.

The Honda Civic Type-R driver saved his best until last on Sunday at Snetterton to clinch a 63rd career BTCC victory during the double-points Diamond Double encounter.

Up until the double-distance anniversary race, Neal had only managed a best finish of 14th during the day's opening two races. However, the factory Honda driver made perfect use of all his experience to narrowly defeat Jack Goff and Tom Ingram in the changeable conditions during that final race.

As the drizzly conditions began to play its part during the race, Neal seized the opportunity on the ninth lap to move into a lead he would never relinquish ahead of the Eurotech Honda of Goff.

"It’s special, but even more so because I didn’t even think it was on," Neal told Crash.net. "After the day I had, I sat on the grid and thought ‘I could go backwards at a million miles per hour’.

"My car was very loose during the first few laps. So I was hanging on and had a couple of close moments with Tom [Ingram]. But then everything seemed to hook up after two/three laps.

"The times started coming to me and I thought ‘this feels good, I can push on this’.

"I pushed up to Jack [Goff] just as the rain started sprinkling at turn one and he lost the rear end, which allowed me to get down the inside."

Having made the move for the lead, the top-three subsequently pulled away from BMW's Andrew Jordan in fourth, while engaging in a game of cat and mouse for the remainder of the race.

Knowing where his Team Dynamics Civic Type-R was strong, Neal said he was able to keep Goff and Ingram at arms reach during the crucial points of the circuit.

"I just managed to be fast at the right points. I was keeping it tight in the hairpins and getting the power down early," Neal continued.

"I was just trying to use the strengths of the car and work out where they were strong. If I made one mistake, they’d have been on me. What’s the old saying? Age and cunning against youth and skill! Maybe there was a bit of that!"

As virtue of his 63rd win in the series, Neal has now moved back up to third in the overall standings, just 16-points back from Tom Ingram, who currently heads the summit for Speedworks Motorsport.

Following an enthralling Snetterton weekend, the title race now appears to wide open with the top-eight runners covered by just 41-points.

"I never think about title fights but it’s lovely to have the points in the bag. After the way my first two races had gone, I thought I’d be back down the order again! That’s the one to win."

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