Matt Neal wins race three at Oulton but Tordoff takes the championship lead

The Hondas lead at the end of the first lap (Photo by Marc Waller)

The Hondas lead at the end of the first lap (Photo by Marc Waller)Matt Neal has won the third race of the day here at Oulton Park in his Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic.

In what was perhaps the most exciting race of the day, Neal claimed his second win of the year in dominant style.

If a driver taking a dominant win doesn’t seem like something that would produce an exciting race, it’s because the battles were all for the other finishing spots.

Honda actually looked set to take a one-two victory with Shedden passing Josh Cook’s MG on the first lap but after both Honda’s pulled away to a comfortable lead, disaster struck Shedden on the penultimate lap when a rear puncture saw him limping back to the pits.

This left Sam Tordoff in second place and he has finished on the podium in every race today including his race two win. This great run of results had propelled him to the top of the drivers championship standings.

After getting passed by Shedden, Cook then got into an almost race long battle with Tom Ingram. Their attempts at passing and repassing each other slowed them so much that there was a big pack of nearly ten cars all battling for position.

Jason Plato, took full advantage of the young drivers battling and on the final lap, Ingram and Cook ran wide exiting Lodge as Ingram was determined to not let Cook past. Cook ended up well on the grass and lost speed enabling Plato to pass him. Then, on the run to the finish line, Plato’s extra momentum from the corner allowed him to build up speed quicker and he sneaked past Ingram into third as they crossed the line. He took the position by only 0.098 seconds.

Rob Collard was one of the stars of the race. After fighting his way from the back to the top eight earlier only to clash with Josh Cook and drop back to the rear, he had it all to do again after starting twenty fifth.

Plato edges out Ingram for third on the line (Photo by Marc Waller) Honda head for a one two but it was not to be for shedden (Photo by Marc Waller) Matt Neal  (Photo by Marc Waller) Plato was pleased with third (Photo by Marc Waller)




Within ten laps he had already fought his way up to the large pack that had built up behind the battling Ingram and Cook. Now he started passing the cars in that pack one by one and by the end he was running seventh just behind Turkington’s Subaru. As the cars headed up deer leap for the final time, Collard managed to carry more speed out and he drew alongside Turkington, edging ahead by just just 0.041 seconds as they crossed the line.

Andrew Jordan was a fraction of a second further behind in eighth with Jake Hill finishing a difficult weekend in his RCIB Insurance Toyota on a high in ninth place. Adam Morgan was another driver who finally managed a good result when he took tenth. Car problems in qualifying on Saturday have really hurt his weekend and the resulting disappointing results in races one and two have really hurt his championships, both overall drivers and independents. Apparently even today, he was struggling with the balance (Handling) of his Wix racing Mercedes and he will be hoping to get on top of it at the next rounds to try and get his championship bids back on track.

Eleventh was Aron Smith, scoring more points for his small team BKR. It shows how successful the team have been so far that they were disappointed with their results today.

Ashley Sutton ended up down in twelfth but had the consolation of winning the Jack Sears trophy for Rookie drivers as the result is calculated from all three races.

Thirteenth was Mat Jackson in his Motorbase Ford Focus. He will also be disappointed with how things have gone this weekend given his win at the previous round at Thruxton.

Alex Martin was fourteenth in the Dextra Racing Ford Focus, one of his most competitive races so far in his BTCC career as he ran with the main front running pack for much of the race. Fifteenth was Eurotech’s Martin Depper, the only one of the three Eurotech drivers to finish the final race. Daniel Lloyd’s retirement probably cost him the win in the Jack Sears trophy as he had scored points in both of the days earlier races.

Hunter Abbott’s run of eleventh places came to an end when he was spun out on lap one. He fought back strongly but could only managed nineteenth.

Tordoff has had an incredible weekend (Photo by Marc Waller) Matt Neal celebrates (Photo by Marc Waller) Champagne (Photo by Marc Waller) A busy final podium (Photo by Marc Waller)




As mentioned earlier, Sam Tordoff now leads the overall drivers championship by one point from Matt Neal. Rob Collard is twenty five points off the lead with Gordon Shedden a further point back in fourth.

WSR/JCT600 with GardX lead both the manufacturers and teams championships from Honda/Halfords Yuasa Racing.

Andrew Jordan has taken the lead of the independent drivers championship from Adam Morgan after the latter’s nightmare weekend. Mat Jackson is third with Tom Ingram fourth.

Motorbase lead the independent teams championship from Wix and Speedworks.

In the Jack Sears trophy, Ashley Sutton has a big lead from Michael Epps.

In other news, Maximum Motorsport announced today that they will join forces with Welch Motorsport with Welch now running Stewart Lines car to enable him to concentrate on driving alone.

The championship now heads to the North East and the circuit of Croft in North Yorkshire. The circuit often favours the WSR run BMWs so can Sam Tordoff have a strong weekend to boost his championship lead or will the Hondas of Neal and Shedden be able to fight back. The Subarus are now also in the mix and although they are probably too far back to be championship contenders, they can certainly have a big influence in races.

Advance tickets are still available from  until the 10th June but tickets will also be on sale on the gate. ITV4 will provide their usual full coverage and we will of course be reporting from the event as usual

Full results from today’s races as well as the championship standings are available on the TSL timing website; By Marc Waller


Written by