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Matt Neal win sets up four-way title battle

Matt Neal won the final race of the day at Donington Park, his 5th of the season, to set up a four-way title showdown at Brands Hatch. Finishing in second was Rob Collard who was unable to pressure Neal for the lead. Completing the podium in third was Jason Plato who took the position on the penultimate lap to reduce the damage to his championship lead over Neal.

Click here for the full Round 27 Results.

Andrew Jordan was randomly selected for the reverse grid for the final race of the day and he led the first handful of laps of the race. However on lap 5 Neal, who also started on the front row, made it past the Pirtek Racing driver as he had a slide at Redgate corner. Neal immediately set upon building a comfortable lead, whilst behind him Collard was able to pass Jordan at the old hairpin. By lap 9 Neal already had over two seconds to the WSR driver behind and with no ballast on board he sailed to the race victory.

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Plato had to work his way through the field whilst carrying 27kg of ballast. This seemed to hardly affect the championship leader as he set a new lap record on his way to third overall in another excellent race that demonstrated just why he is the favourite for the championship. However he only secured the final podium place on the penultimate lap with a move on Jordan at the old hairpin – Jordan went wide and dropped to seventh and Plato was able to minimise the points lost to Neal.

Steven Kane was fourth after a race in wihch he was involved in several mid-field battles. Tom Chilton finished in 5th and with it finally ended his chances, however slim, of winning the driver’s championship this year. Gordon Shedden was hot on his heels behind – the two having battled hard throughout the closing stages of the race as both are battling for their manufacturers and teams in the other closely contested championships.

Jordan finished 7th despite losing out towards the end of the race, whilst Mat Jackson took 8th. The Airwaves BMW driver had been challenging Jordan when he ran wide at Coppice and lost several positions in one lap.

Tom Onslow-Cole struggled to a 9th place finish. The championship challenger had started from 9th and with maximum success ballast following his victory in the previous race and he struggled with pace in his car as a result.

James Nash completed the points-paying places by finishing in 10th.

Alex MacDowall was one of several retirements in the race – the youngster leaving the track at high speed on lap 11 at the old hairpin. He avoided heavy contact with the barriers but was well and truly beeched in the gravel and out of the race.

Paul O’Neill stopped after 11 laps reporting a problem with the handling on his car. With no points scored this weekend it is the worst meeting of the season for the Team driver. Shaun Hollamby failed to finish the race after a wheel bearing failure on his VW Golf.

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