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Matt Neal heads Honda 1-2 in third race

Matt Neal led home Gordon Shedden in the third race at Brands Hatch, as the Honda Racing Team took their fourth 1-2 victory of the year. The result means that Neal returns to the top of the championship, with a five point advantage over Jason Plato and Shedden who are in joint second place.

Click here for the full Round 27 results.

WSR’s Nick Foster began the race from pole position, having been selected in the random reverse grid draw. Despite a strong start, the BMW driver was caught by the end of the first lap by Neal, who had made a strong start from fourth on the grid.

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Neal took the lead of the race after getting a run on Foster out of the final corner – and his team-mate Shedden was able to follow through having also made a strong start from third. From thereon in it was a controlled display by the Honda duo, keen to make up for misfortunes in the first race. A brief swap of position occurred on lap 12 of 15 to allow Shedden an extra bonus point for leading the race.

Andy Neate had looked set to finish third, having slotted in behind the two Honda’s on the second lap. However the Team Aon driver made a mistake on lap 13 and went wide into the gravel at Sheene, dropping him to tenth. He would later retire from the race, allowing James Nash to take third – his eighth podium finish of the year.

Tom Chilton finished in fifth, just ahead of earlier double victor Jason Plato. The Chevrolet driver benefitted from the mistakes others made in front to move up the order towards the end of the race, having had a difficult start.

Tom Onslow-Cole made up two positions on lap 13 and finished the race in seventh, benefitting from his team-mate Neate’s off and Tom Boardman’s avoiding action as he rejoined the circuit. Andrew Jordan also moved up into eighth as a result, taking his first points of the day in an otherwise disastrous meeting for the Pirtek driver. Boardman finished in ninth, despite taking to the grass to avoid Neate. The SEAT driver had been running in seventh prior to the incident.

Pole position man Nick Foster could only manage his third tenth-placed finish of the day, after being forced off-line several times during the race.

There was an impressive drive through the field from Daniel Welch – the Proton NGTC racer taking 11th position despite having started from the very back in 28th.

Several drivers failed to finish the third race – Rob Collard ended up in the gravel on lap 13 and Neate pulled into the pits to retire after his earlier off.

Paul O’Neill had been challenging Nash for fourth earlier in the race but after going wide on lap ten was forced to retire as something had broken on his Chevrolet Cruze. Similarly Alex MacDowall also failed to finish the race, pulling off with mechanical failure on lap six, whilst Frank Wrathall spun into the gravel on the foirth tour and retired.

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