Matt Neal fended off an early challenge from Team BMW’s Colin Turkington to convert pole position into victory in the opening British Touring Car Championship race at Thruxton.
Turkington’s BMW 1-series made the best start from the front row, but Neal managed to brake later into Campbell on the first lap to hold the line, and from there the former never made it within half a second of the three-time champion.
It marks the first win for Team Dynamics’ new-for-2018 Honda Civic Type R FK8, and Neal’s first visit to the top step of the podium since Silverstone last year.
The car will now also run the full quota of 75 kilograms of success ballast for the first time, with Neal on pole position again for the middle contest.
Turkington could have been prevented with a late-race opportunity had the safety car been dispatched after a heavy tangle between Michael Caine’s Volkswagen CC and the MG6 GT of Tom Boardman at the final chicane, but despite losing the left-rear wheel the latter made the short trip back to the pits without track conditions deteriorating.
Nevertheless, the Northern Irishman will be consoled with his 125th career podium finish in the category.
Neal’s Honda team-mate Dan Cammish completed the podium after fending off Sam Tordoff’s Ford Focus RS for the duration, who in turn edged out Motorbase team-mate Tom Chilton.
Brett Smith was unfortunate to bog down off the line and eventually crossed the line eighth behind Senna Proctor, the Power Maxed Racing driver putting in another strong showing in the Vauxhall Astra.
Josh Cook finished ninth in the sister car, with Chris Smiley’s hatch-back shaped Type R rounding out the top ten.
It proved a frustrating encounter for championship leader Tom Ingram, who was forced into retirement at half-distance with an electrical issue, suspected to be the power steering.
Nevertheless, he retains a five-point advantage over Adam Morgan in the standings.
22 points now cover the top seven, with the competition set to intensify further in the second race at 14:30.
|1||25||M||Matt NEAL||Halfords Yuasa Racing||Honda Civic Type R||16||20:54.608||1:17.246||1|
|2||2||M||Colin TURKINGTON||Team BMW||BMW 125i M Sport||16||0.860||1:17.243||2|
|3||27||M||Dan CAMMISH||Halfords Yuasa Racing||Honda Civic Type R||16||3.699||1:17.591||4|
|4||600||Sam TORDOFF||Team GardX Racing with Motorbase||Ford Focus RS||16||4.040||1:17.486||6|
|5||3||Tom CHILTON||Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher||Ford Focus RS||16||5.290||1:17.849||7|
|6||77||M||Andrew JORDAN||BMW Pirtek Racing||BMW 125i M Sport||16||8.922||1:17.734||8|
|7||18||M||Senna PROCTOR||Power Maxed TAG Racing||Vauxhall Astra||16||9.361||1:17.829||5|
|8||39||Brett SMITH||WIX Racing with Eurotech||Honda Civic Type R||16||9.725||1:17.837||3|
|9||66||M||Josh COOK||Power Maxed TAG Racing||Vauxhall Astra||16||14.929||1:17.819||15|
|10||22||Chris SMILEY||BTC Norlin Racing||Honda Civic Type R||16||15.436||1:17.864||9|
|11||5||M||Rob COLLARD||Team BMW||BMW 125i M Sport||16||15.591||1:17.751||13|
|12||303||Matt SIMPSON||Simpson Racing||Honda Civic Type R||16||16.260||1:18.064||11|
|13||31||Jack GOFF||WIX Racing with Eurotech||Honda Civic Type R||16||16.780||1:18.279||14|
|14||33||Adam MORGAN||MAC Tools with Ciceley Motorsport||Mercedes-Benz A-Class||16||17.787||1:18.270||12|
|15||1||M||Ashley SUTTON||Adrian Flux Subaru Racing||Subaru Levorg GT||16||18.096||1:18.478||18|
|16||11||Rob AUSTIN||DUO Motorsport with HMS Racing||Alfa Romeo Giulietta||16||18.526||1:18.451||17|
|17||15||Tom OLIPHANT||Ciceley Motorsport||Mercedes-Benz A-Class||16||19.922||1:18.046||16|
|18||16||Aiden MOFFAT||Laser Tools Racing||Mercedes-Benz A-Class||16||21.773||1:18.567||21|
|19||20||James COLE||Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher||Ford Focus RS||16||23.602||1:18.632||20|
|20||24||Jake HILL||Trade Price Cars with Brisky Racing||Volkswagen CC||16||24.888||1:18.533||25|
|21||21||Mike BUSHELL||Trade Price Cars with Brisky Racing||Volkswagen CC||16||26.893||1:18.426||19|
|22||28||Josh PRICE||Autoglym Academy Racing||Subaru Levorg GT||16||27.155||1:18.564||23|
|23||14||James NASH||BTC Norlin Racing||Honda Civic Type R||16||27.766||1:18.617||22|
|24||6||Rory BUTCHER||AmD with AutoAid / RCIB Insurance Racing||MG 6||16||28.022||1:18.711||26|
|25||48||Ollie JACKSON||AmD with Cobra Exhausts||Audi S3||16||30.185||1:18.082||29|
|26||19||Bobby THOMPSON||Team HARD. with Trade Price Cars||Volkswagen CC||16||38.299||1:18.080||30|
|27||60||Stephen JELLEY||Team Parker Racing||BMW 125i M Sport||16||38.648||1:18.356||27|
|28||23||Sam SMELT||AmD with Cobra Exhausts||Audi S3||16||38.965||1:18.573||32|
|R||99||M||Jason PLATO||Adrian Flux Subaru Racing||Subaru Levorg GT||13||DNF||1:18.608||24|
|R||12||Tom BOARDMAN||AmD with AutoAid / RCIB Insurance Racing||MG 6||13||DNF||1:18.600||31|
|R||44||Michael CAINE||Team HARD. with Trade Price Cars||Volkswagen CC||12||DNF||1:18.488||28|
|R||80||Tom INGRAM||Speedworks Motorsport||Toyota Avensis||5||DNF||1:17.864||10|