Neal leads a BTCC Honda 123 in race 1 at Thruxton

Honda led off the start and round the first corner (Photo by Marc Waller)Matt Neal has won the first BTCC race of the day at Thruxton with a lights to flag victory from pole.

The victory is the sixtieth of Neal’s career and was part of a Honda 1-2-3 with Neal leading home Shedden in second and Jack Goff in the independent Eurotech Honda. The win draws Neal level with Andy Rouse’s victory total and he is now second in the all time winners list.
“I hadn’t given much thought to equalling Andy’s win tally, to be honest,” Neal said. “We all thought Andy’s record was unachievable and even though Jason [Plato] exceeded it, I never thought I would get there. Just unbelievable. Yes, there are a lot more races in the season now, but its tough out there.”
“We had a bit of a nightmare here last year and then Donington Park was a rotten weekend all-round for everybody, so to come away with a Halfords Yuasa Racing one-two and a Honda podium lockout on home soil is a dream – a fabulous result. I made sure to look after the car and the Dunlop tyres were superb throughout. It’s going to be a little bit tougher now with more weight in the car, but bring it on!”
The two Manufacturer backed Civics had a relatively easy time in the race but Goff had to fight off a challenge from Tom Ingram who was initially close behind in fourth. Josh Cook and Senna Proctors race ended on lap one however with the duo making contact in the complex sending both spinning into the barriers and retirement.

Jeff Smith didn’t seem to have the car under him that team mate Goff had and he slipped back through the race until he got to eleventh. He managed to hold off any further cars coming past and there he finished.

There were a lot of battles all through the top ten for the places behind the podium positions but as the flag fell it was Tom Ingram who came out on top. Adam Morgan was next up and an early battle with Rob Austin saw Morgan win out before he battled with Ashley Sutton later in the race. Sutton’s sixth was by far the best of his team with Plato still nowhere close to front running pace in twenty third.

Colin Turkington was seventh and he had team mate Andrew Jordan for company for much of the race before a late spin dropped to close to last.

Eighth was Mat Jackson, the Motorbase team still struggling for ultimate front running pace, he made the best of what he had underneath him.

Rob Austin had come out worst from many of the top ten battles during the race but he hung on to ninth comfortably ahead of Rob Collard.

Behind eleventh placed Jeff Smith, the final points scorers were Moffat, Simpson, Chilton and Newsham.

There were battles all through the top ten (Photo by Marc Waller) The Honda team cheer their cars home (Photo by Marc Waller) Neal celebrates (Photo by Marc Waller) The top three on the podium (Photo by Marc Waller)




2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 7 – Thruxton

1 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing 16 laps
2 Gordon SHEDDEN (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +0.290s
3 Jack GOFF (GBR) Eurotech Racing +1.372s
4 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport +1.772s
5 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Ciceley Motorsport +2.230s
6 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +2.474s
7 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +5.060s
8 Mat JACKSON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo +5.940s
9 Rob AUSTIN (GBR) Handy Motorsport +6.366s
10 Rob COLLARD (GBR) Team BMW +7.302s
11 Jeff SMITH (GBR) Eurotech Racing +14.721s
12 Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +14.925s
13 Matt SIMPSON (GBR) Simpson Racing +15.605s
14 Tom CHILTON (GBR) Power Maxed Racing +15.801s
15 Dave NEWSHAM (GBR) BTC Norlin Racing +15.999s
16 Senna PROCTOR (GBR) Power Maxed Racing +16.684s
17 Luke DAVENPORT (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo +17.127s
18 Ollie JACKSON (GBR) with Cobra Exhausts +17.283s
19 Chris SMILEY (GBR) BTC Norlin Racing +19.683s
20 Aron TAYLOR-SMITH (IRL) MG Racing RCIB Insurance +21.023s
21 Daniel LLOYD (GBR) MG Racing RCIB Insurance +21.373s
22 Stephen JELLEY (GBR) Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport +22.837s
23 Jason PLATO (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +23.869s
24 Martin DEPPER (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo +24.039s
25 Michael EPPS (GBR) Autoaid/RCIB Insurance Racing +25.383s
26 Will BURNS (GBR) Autoaid/RCIB Insurance Racing +27.719s
27 James COLE (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +28.300s
28 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) BMW Pirtek Racing +28.585s
29 Josh PRICE (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +29.374s
30 Ant WHORTON-EALES (GBR) with Cobra Exhausts +1 lap
DNF Josh COOK (GBR) Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport +14 laps
DNF Jake HILL (GBR) TAG Racing +14 laps  By Marc Waller 



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