Matt Neal scored his 58th career victory and closed to within one point of championship leader Sam Tordoff in the final British Touring Car Championship clash of the weekend, taking the win by a dominant 9.481 second margin.
Tordoff finished second to complete hat-trick of podiums across the weekend, including the victory in race two, whilst Jason Plato edged out Tom Ingram and Josh Cook to also secure his third piece of silverware of the weekend with a hat-trick of third positions for Silverline Subaru BMR Racing.
Despite some suggestion of marginal ‘creeping’ off the line, Neal made a strong start to retain his lead from pole position and team-mate Gordon Shedden followed him through after contact with Josh Cook into Druids to ensure a Halfords Yuasa Racing 1-2 on the road. The two then set about establishing an impressive margin to the field behind.
That ‘field’ comprised around ten cars all competing within a couple of seconds of one another for third place, with Tom Ingram at the head of the queue. For the first time this season the Speedworks Motorsport pilot appeared to be something of an obstacle and came under pressure from Josh Cook, Jason Plato and Colin Turkington throughout before Sam Tordoff eventually emerged past the one-time race winner in the latter stages.
Rob Collard made a trademark storm through the field from 25th on the grid to an astonishing 6th at the flag, minimizing the damage to his championship challenge having entered the weekend joint first with Neal.
There was late drama on the penultimate lap of the race as Gordon Shedden suffered a puncture on his Honda Civic Type-R and was forced to pit, eventually finishing a desolate 24th as Tordoff streamed through into second and the rest of the waiting pack followed.
At the final corner, Plato took to the outside line as Ingram and Cook challenged each other one final time and the Subaru Levorg GT’s strong exit moved the double champion alongside and marginally past Ingram, with Cook unable to move his MG6 quite alongside the duo at the flag on the inside line.
The result means that Tordoff now heads to Croft, traditionally a strong circuit for the rear-wheel drive BMW 1-Series, leading the Drivers standings by a single point ahead of Neal, with Collard a further 26 points adrift. Shedden sits one point behind that and Adam Morgan, who endured a frustrating weekend that saw him only score points once in 10th, rounding out the top five some 31 points behind.
|1||25||M||Matt NEAL||Halfords Yuasa Racing||Honda Civic Type R||15||22:18.716||1:27.452||1|
|2||600||C||Sam TORDOFF||Team JCT600 with GardX||BMW 125i M Sport||15||9.481||1:28.200||7|
|3||99||M||Jason PLATO||Silverline Subaru BMR Racing||Subaru Levorg GT||15||11.662||1:28.270||5|
|4||80||Tom INGRAM||Speedworks Motorsport||Toyota Avensis||15||11.76||1:28.248||3|
|5||66||M||Josh COOK||MG Racing RCIB Insurance||MG6GT||15||11.827||1:28.323||2|
|6||100||C||Rob COLLARD||Team JCT600 with GardX||BMW 125i M Sport||15||12.015||1:27.376||25|
|7||4||M||Colin TURKINGTON||Silverline Subaru BMR Racing||Subaru Levorg GT||15||12.056||1:28.180||6|
|8||77||Andrew JORDAN||Motorbase Performance||Ford Focus||15||12.299||1:28.200||8|
|9||24||Jake HILL||RCIB Insurance Racing||Toyota Avensis||15||12.494||1:27.742||26|
|10||33||Adam MORGAN||WIX Racing||Mercedes-Benz A-Class||15||12.936||1:28.212||12|
|11||40||Árón SMITH||BKR||Volkswagen CC||15||13.589||1:27.566||17|
|12||116||M||Ashley SUTTON||MG Racing RCIB Insurance||MG6GT||15||13.853||1:27.508||27|
|13||7||Mat JACKSON||Motorbase Performance||Ford Focus||15||15.163||1:27.929||10|
|14||14||Alex MARTIN||Dextra Racing with Team Parker||Ford Focus||15||15.88||1:28.209||19|
|15||30||Martin DEPPER||Eurotech Racing||Honda Civic Type R||15||17.775||1:27.919||14|
|16||11||Rob AUSTIN||Handy Motorsport||Toyota Avensis||15||18.629||1:28.889||30|
|17||17||Dan WELCH||Goodestone Racing||Proton Persona||15||22.67||1:29.209||24|
|18||303||Matt SIMPSON||Speedworks Motorsport||Honda Civic Type R||15||23.262||1:28.734||28|
|19||53||Hunter ABBOTT||Power Maxed Racing||Chevrolet Cruze||15||23.457||1:27.608||11|
|20||16||Aiden MOFFAT||Laser Tools Racing||Mercedes-Benz A-Class||15||25.925||1:29.001||32|
|21||22||Chris SMILEY||TLC Racing||Toyota Avensis||15||30.492||1:29.372||22|
|22||84||Kelvin FLETCHER||Power Maxed Racing||Chevrolet Cruze||15||43.085||1:28.940||23|
|23||52||M||Gordon SHEDDEN||Halfords Yuasa Racing||Honda Civic Type R||15||44.168||1:27.545||4|
|24||39||M||Warren SCOTT||Silverline Subaru BMR Racing||Subaru Levorg GT||15||58.224||1:28.082||18|
|25||48||Ollie JACKSON||AmD Tuning||Audi S3||14||1 Lap||1:28.560||20|
|R||23||Daniel LLOYD||Eurotech Racing||Honda Civic Type R||12||3 Laps||1:27.560||13|
|R||38||Mark HOWARD||BKR||Volkswagen CC||12||3 Laps||1:29.910||29|
|R||20||M||James COLE||Silverline Subaru BMR Racing||Subaru Levorg GT||11||4 Laps||1:29.185||31|
|R||12||Mike EPPS||RCIB Insurance Racing||Toyota Avensis||7||8 Laps||1:27.843||16|
|R||55||Jeff SMITH||Eurotech Racing||Honda Civic Type R||7||8 Laps||1:28.158||15|
|R||31||C||Jack GOFF||Team IHG Rewards Club||BMW 125i M Sport||0||15 Laps||N/A||9|
|R||95||Stewart LINES||Maximum Motorsport||Ford Focus||0||15 Laps||N/A||21|