Matt Neal wins the final BTCC race at Donington

The race gets underway (Photo by Marc Waller)

The race gets underway (Photo by Marc Waller)Halfords Yuasa racing have taken a one-two finish in the final race of the day here at Donington Park.

This time it was Matt Neal who led home team mate Gordon Shedden. Neal’s first win of the season means it’s now six different winners from the first six races. The Honda Civic is the first car to take a second victory.

Sam Tordoff had initially led away from pole and was followed for the first lap by team mate Jack Goff who had got past Matt Neal. It then looked like we were set for a WSR BMW 1-2 as both Tordoff and Goff pulled out a reasonably big lead. But both drivers were on the soft tyres and so their pace was likely to drop off if they couldn’t manage their tyres.

Both drivers seemed to be doing a good job of this until around half distance when the Hondas began closing rapidly. Shedden had fought his way up to fourth by this point just behind Neal and the two Hondas were now much quicker than the BMWs.

Neal managed to take second placed Goff at the old Hairpin on the tenth lap and then Shedden also got past going into Redgate on lap eleven.

Without his team mate as a buffer, Tordoff was now extremely vulnerable to attack from both Hondas. He was in a difficult position as if he looked after his tyres his pace slowed but if he kept pushing, his tyres would be no good anyway.

By lap thirteen they were rapidly closing on Tordoff, taking eight tenths of a second out of his rapid vanishing lead. On lap fourteen, Neal was right behind Tordoff and at Mcleans he was through. Shedden then made the move at Redgate in a similar way to how he’d passed Goff only a few laps before.

There was now nothing to hold the two works Hondas back leaving them to claim a relatively easy one-two. Tordoff managed to hold on to third but Goff had slumped to sixth. Their WSR team mate Rob Collard wasn’t on the soft tyres and he was charging up the field. He finished just three tenths behind Tordoff in fourth with Ashley Sutton’s MG the other car to find its way past Goff.

Tordoff leads as Goff threatens Shedden (Photo by Marc Waller)The two Hondas pass Goff (Photo by Marc Waller)Tordoff drops to third (Photo by Marc Waller)Depper looked strong here passing Jackson (Photo by Marc Waller)the Hondas cross the line to the cheers of the team (Photo by Marc Waller)The Honda duo celebrate with Champagne (Photo by Marc Waller)The rest of the field had similar battles with soft tyre runners initially performing well but then falling down the order as the tyres wore out.

Aiden Moffat had a great run to seventh and it meant he made the podium as the first independent championship driver home. Rob Austin had a good end to his weekend with eighth and Josh Cook did well to take ninth in his MG on soft tyres.

Andrew Jordan took tenth, finishing ahead of team mate Jackson for the first time this weekend.

Martin Depper was similarly ahead of his team mate Jeff Smith for the first time with a strong eleventh including excellent battles with a fading Mat Jackson and a fast Hunter Abbott. Depper was just 0.014s ahead of the Power Maxed racing car. Abbott made it points from all three races with twelfth ahead of RCIB Insurance Racing’s Michael Epps, having one of his better races. Mat Jackson hung on to two points with fourteenth with fellow race two podium finisher Aron Smith picking up the final point this time for Team BKR.

Matt Neal leads the championship as we leave Donington with team mate Shedden in second. Jack Goff is in third with Rob Collard in fourth. Then comes Mat Jackson, Sam Tordoff, Aron Smith, Ashley Sutton and Josh Cook with Adam Morgan completing the championship top ten. Despite winning a race at Brands Hatch, some difficult races since have dropped Tom Ingram to twelfth behind Andrew Jordan.

Full results from all the Donington BTCC races as well as full championship standings can be found on TSL timing’s website. By Marc Waller


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