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Gold and Silver for Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden

In the company of World Champion cyclist Ed Clancy and World Champion gymnast Beth Tweddle, Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden brought home Gold and Silver medals at Oulton Park in Cheshire on Sunday.

Honda Racing Team star Matt Neal extended his lead in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship by winning the 12th round of the series. The Honda Civic driver’s win in the final reversed-grid race of the weekend added to a second place and an eighth place earlier in the day to move him eight points clear at the head of the points standings as the championship nears its halfway point. His results and those of Honda team-mate Gordon Shedden also helped consolidate the Honda Racing Team’s position at the head of the Manufacturers’ and Constructors’ standings.

Neal’s race three win capped a stunning fight through the pack from the fourth row of the starting grid and gave him his 43rd career victory in the BTCC. Neal, 43, said: “I am over the moon with the way things have gone this weekend. We came to the circuit with a full load of 45kgs of success ballast because we were leading the championship and that made qualifying really tough. Despite that, we worked hard on the set-up of the car and when we were running without ballast in race two, the car was stunning. It was really strong in the fast corners and I could really push with it.”

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Scotsman Gordon Shedden’s weekend started off strongly with a front row qualifying position and second place finish in the opening race of the weekend in his Honda Racing Team Civic. However, a driveshaft failure halted his charge early on in race two when he was running competitively and he then slipped out of the top ten in the final event when his brakes wore through.

“It’s been encouraging and heartbreaking at the same time,” said Flash. “We have shown that we have got superb pace from the car because I qualified at the front and set the fastest lap – including the lap record – in two of the three races. We have let some big chances go and we aren’t scoring the kind of points we deserve at the moment. The luck has got to change at some point.”

Honda Racing Team boss Steve Neal said that the speed of both of the cars over the weekend had shown that the championship was a realistic target for Neal and Shedden. “This is the most competitive tin-top championship in the world at the moment and we are sitting at the top of it,” said Steve Neal. “That’s a testament to a great car and the great work that the team is doing but we can’t sit still. Oulton Park has shown that it is still very close and we need to keep pushing to win.”

British Touring Car Championship standings (after Oulton Park):

1. Matt Neal, Honda Racing Team, Honda Civic (98)
2. Jason Plato, Racing Silverline, Chevrolet Lacetti (90)
3. Steven Kane, Airwaves BMW, BMW 320si (82)
4. Tom Onslow-Cole, Team Aon, Ford Focus (76)
5. Mat Jackson, Airwaves BMW, BMW 320si (73)
6. Gordon Shedden, Honda Racing Team, Honda Civic (64)

Next round: Croft (North Yorkshire) June 19/20

Off-the track, the third contest between team mates Neal and Shedden took place during Honda’s ‘A Question of Motorsport LIVE’ event at Stuart Graham Honda in Crewe on Saturday night after qualifying. Over 200 guests turned out to watch Neal win his first quiz of the season bringing the score to 2-1 to Flash after 3 rounds. The next one takes place at Marshalls Honda in York ( on Saturday 19 June.

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