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Honda victorious at wet Croft

Matt Neal secured his fourth victory of the 2013 British Touring Car Championship in the wet third race as he extended his Championship advantage ahead of the summer break.

Having finished third fastest in qualifying despite the handicap of 45kgs of success ballast, Neal brought the #2 Honda Yuasa Racing Civic home second in race 1 and 4th in race 2.

Starting sixth on the reverse grid for the final race, Neal worked his way forward and controlled the race from the front and brought the car home first despite a couple of mistakes on the final lap of the race.

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“I was pretty relieved to see the end of race three,” said victor Neal. “Early on it was about seeing who was around you so you could work out their strengths and weaknesses.

“I wanted to get to the front to get some clean air and hopefully stay out of trouble.”

Shedden set the fourth fastest time in qualifying and followed team-mate Neal home in the opening race of the day before improving to finish 2nd in the second race. His fourth place finish in the final race was the first race he scored points in without standing on the podium – he has scored in 11 out of the 15 races held, with 10 podium finishes.

“We didn’t have the pace of the BMWs in the dry, but in the wet we were right there,” explains Shedden.

“Matt did a good job from where he was in race three and the [success] ballast hurt me a bit. I think a lot of it was to do with where you were at the start and Matt made a couple of places.”

At the half way point of the Championship, Neal leads the way by 19 points from Andrew Jordan while Shedden sits fourth, 17 points behind Jordan in second.

The results at Croft have seen Honda further extend their advantage in the Manufacturers’ Championship while they have consolidated their lead in the teams’ Championship.

“Gordon’s had a strong weekend as well so it’s good for us in the teams’ and manufacturers’ championships, and it hasn’t done us any harm in the drivers’ table,” concluded Neal.

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