Matt Neal leads home Honda 1-2 to equal Rouse’s win record

Matt Neal leads home Honda 1-2 to equal Rouse’s win record

Matt Neal

Matt Neal

Matt Neal led home Gordon Shedden in a Honda 1-2 during the opening British Touring Car Championship race at Thruxton, and in doing so secured his 60th career victory.

The win, his first of the 2017 season, also moves him into second in the all-time victory stakes, level with Andy Rouse and behind rival Jason Plato.

Gordon Shedden, laden with the maximum quota of success ballast, elected to act as rear-gunner for his team-mate and duly took second, with Jack Goff claiming his first podium for Eurotech Racing in third.

Tom Ingram was forced to settle for fourth despite a late turn of pace in the Toyota Avensis, with Adam Morgan fifth in the Mercedes A-Class.

Some opportunistic overtaking gave Subaru’s sole bread-winner Ashley Sutton sixth, with Colin Turkington, Mat Jackson, Rob Austin and Rob Collard rounding out the top ten.

The two leaders made a level start around the challenging 2.3 mile Hampshire circuit, with Neal stretching a slight advantage as his team-mate covered off the threat behind from Goff.

Goff’s team-mate Jeff Smith fared less successfully, slipping from his third row grid slot to an eventual 11th place finish.

Jake Hill and Josh Cook became the races only retirements shortly after the start, making contact on the exit of Seagrave. Cook spun dramatically towards the barriers but avoided harm, aside from his rear-left damage, whilst Hill was forced to park up alongside with his own wounds from the contact.

Morgan and Sutton provided a large portion of the drama up front, the former squeezing past Austin around the outside at Campbell whilst Sutton claimed sixth from the fast-starting Turkington at Church. Mat Jackson followed the Levorg GT through.

Turkington’s retribution would prove opportunistic, with Jackson’s challenge on Austin at Seagrave allowing the BMW 125i M Sport to slide underneath the duo for seventh.

Andrew Jordan spun in an attempt to pass Smith at the Complex, his sideways BMW holding up Tom Chilton and allowing Aiden Moffat to pass both.

Any late race drama was largely neutralised by Ant Whorton-Eales, with the Audi S3 taking several laps to finally concede to the leaders in turn and go a lap down.

The result sees both Honda drivers close to gap to standings leader Tom Ingram. Matt Neal will start the second race from pole position later this afternoon at 14:32 BST.

Race result

POS NO CL DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME/GAP BEST GD
1 25 M Matt NEAL Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type R 16 20:59.855 1:17.646 1
2 52 M Gordon SHEDDEN Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type R 16 0.290 1:17.904 2
3 31 Jack GOFF Eurotech Racing Honda Civic Type R 16 1.372 1:17.868 3
4 80 Tom INGRAM Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis 16 1.772 1:17.748 4
5 33 Adam MORGAN Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes-Benz A-Class 16 2.230 1:17.646 7
6 116 M Ashley SUTTON Adrian Flux Subaru Racing Subaru Levorg GT 16 2.474 1:17.619 8
7 4 M Colin TURKINGTON Team BMW BMW 125i M Sport 16 5.060 1:17.642 9
8 3 Mat JACKSON Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo Ford Focus 16 5.940 1:17.738 10
9 11 Rob AUSTIN Handy Motorsport Toyota Avensis 16 6.366 1:17.778 5
10 5 M Rob COLLARD Team BMW BMW 125i M Sport 16 7.302 1:18.083 18
11 55 Jeff SMITH Eurotech Racing Honda Civic Type R 16 14.721 1:18.211 6
12 16 Aiden MOFFAT Laser Tools Racing Mercedes-Benz A-Class 16 14.925 1:18.373 12
13 303 M Matt SIMPSON Simpson Racing Honda Civic Type R 16 15.605 1:18.389 13
14 2 M Tom CHILTON Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra 16 15.801 1:18.162 11
15 17 David NEWSHAM BTC Norlin Racing Chevrolet Cruze 16 15.999 1:17.878 22
16 18 M Senna PROCTOR Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra 16 16.684 1:17.795 14
17 300 Luke DAVENPORT Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo Ford Focus 16 17.127 1:18.193 15
18 48 Ollie JACKSON AmDtuning.com with CobraExhausts Audi S3 16 17.283 1:18.338 25
19 22 Chris SMILEY BTC Norlin Racing Chevrolet Cruze 16 19.638 1:18.456 27
20 40 M Árón SMITH MG Racing RCIB Insurance MG6GT 16 21.023 1:18.424 23
21 23 M Daniel LLOYD MG Racing RCIB Insurance MG6GT 16 21.373 1:18.504 29
22 7 Stephen JELLEY Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport Ford Focus 16 22.837 1:18.547 28
23 99 M Jason PLATO Adrian Flux Subaru Racing Subaru Levorg GT 16 23.869 1:17.971 21
24 30 Martin DEPPER Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo Ford Focus 16 24.039 1:18.568 31
25 12 Mike EPPS Autoaid / RCIB Insurance Racing Volkswagen CC 16 25.383 1:18.650 20
26 61 Will BURNS Autoaid / RCIB Insurance Racing Volkswagen CC 16 27.719 1:18.842 30
27 20 M James COLE Adrian Flux Subaru Racing Subaru Levorg GT 16 28.300 1:18.549 26
28 77 M Andrew JORDAN BMW Pirtek Racing BMW 125i M Sport 16 28.585 1:18.217 16
29 28 M Josh PRICE BMR Racing Academy Subaru Levorg GT 16 29.374 1:18.753 32
30 10 Ant WHORTON-EALES AmDtuning.com with CobraExhausts Audi S3 15 1 Lap 1:18.326 19
R 66 Josh COOK Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport Ford Focus 2 14 Laps 1:19.968 17
R 24 Jake HILL TAG Racing Volkswagen CC 2 14 Laps 1:18.280 24

Complete race results