Matt Neal victorious in BTCC ‘Diamond Double’ Anniversary race

Matt Neal victorious in BTCC ‘Diamond Double’ Anniversary race

Photo: PSP Images

Matt Neal capitalised on a mistake through Riches by pole sitter Jack Goff to win the British Touring Car Championship’s 60th Anniversary ‘Diamond Double’ race at Snetterton.

Goff used the Eurotech-run Honda Civic Type R’s early-race performance to retain the lead and extend his advantage to 1.8 seconds in the opening exchanges.

However, his lead was wiped out after team mate Brett Smith was clipped into the barriers with rear-right suspension damage by a half-spun Tom Oliphant.

Spots of rain then threatened the dry conditions at half distance, and Goff’s minor slide at Riches on Lap 9 handed Neal the opportunity he needed to take the lead under braking into Wilson.

The duo stayed locked together at the front for the duration with Speedworks Motorsport’s Tom Ingram in close attendance, but ultimately the status quo was maintained as Neal took the chequered flag 0.243 seconds clear.

Andrew Jordan emerged on top from a race-long scuffle with Tom Chilton’s Motorbase Ford as the pair took fourth and fifth respectively, but it was the battle behind that provided the entertainment.

Initial contact between Colin Turkington’s BMW and Josh Cook’s Vauxhall Astra left the pair battle-scarred, before contact between the latter and Adam Morgan’s Mercedes A-Class pitched the Ciceley-run machine into the barrier – three times – on the exit of Williams.

Chris Smiley’s BTC Norlin Honda then came to blows with Turkington, bringing the sister PMR machine of Senna Proctor into the mix, before a final clash between Smiley and Proctor allowed Turkington through to claim sixth.

His championship lead, however, has been decimated by the double points on offer, with Tom Ingram now 6 points clear as the circus moves next to Rockingham in a fortnight.

Cook came home in seventh with the Hondas of Matt Simpson and Daniel Lloyd in tow, with team mate Proctor eventually rounding out the top ten.

Bobby Thompson survived a skirt across the grass at Riches to take a season-best result of 10th in the Team HARD Volkswagen CC, with Ollie Jackson’s Audi S3 behind after Proctor was handed a post-race 0.1-second penalty for contact with Jackson, leaving him in 12th.

Rob Austin and Dan Cammish battled through to 13th and 14th, the latter after several offs including contact with Simpson at Palmer.

Jason Plato rounds out the points finishers for Team BMR, though team mate and reigning Champion Ash Sutton endured a torrid time.

A 30 second stop/go penalty was applied to his Subaru Levorg GT after the wheels were not fitted to his car at the 3 minute board on the grid. Sutton then had to serve the penalty again after failing to do so correctly the first time when he stopped in the ‘fast lane’ of the pits for an insufficient time period.

He eventually took the flag in 20th amid a race of high attrition.

Smiley, Morgan, Sam Tordoff, Mike Bushell, James Cole, Oliphant, Smith, and Rory Butcher all failed to finish, with Rob Collard a non-starter after damage earlier in the day alongside Michael Caine.

The championship heads next to Rockingham Motor Speedway over the weekend of 11-12 August.

Amended race result

POS NO CL DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME BEST GD
1 25 M Matt NEAL Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type R 21 43:09.041 1:58.142 2
2 31 Jack GOFF WIX Racing with Eurotech Honda Civic Type R 21 0.243 1:58.381 1
3 80 Tom INGRAM Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis 21 0.611 1:58.708 4
4 77 M Andrew JORDAN BMW Pirtek Racing BMW 125i M Sport 21 4.372 1:58.876 6
5 3 Tom CHILTON Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher Ford Focus RS 21 5.389 1:58.847 3
6 2 M Colin TURKINGTON Team BMW BMW 125i M Sport 21 24.111 1:59.171 8
7 66 M Josh COOK Power Maxed TAG Racing Vauxhall Astra 21 24.824 1:59.185 11
8 303 Matt SIMPSON Simpson Racing Honda Civic Type R 21 28.191 1:59.579 13
9 26 Daniel LLOYD BTC Norlin Racing Honda Civic Type R 21 28.472 1:59.287 17
10 19 Bobby THOMPSON Team HARD. with Trade Price Cars Volkswagen CC 21 31.297 1:59.436 26
11 48 Ollie JACKSON AmD with Cobra Exhausts Audi S3 21 31.369 1:59.807 18
12 18 M Senna PROCTOR Power Maxed TAG Racing Vauxhall Astra 21 31.404 1:59.017 19
13 11 Rob AUSTIN DUO Motorsport with HMS Racing Alfa Romeo Giulietta 21 33.911 1:59.182 24
14 27 M Dan CAMMISH Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type R 21 34.211 1:58.991 5
15 99 M Jason PLATO Adrian Flux Subaru Racing Subaru Levorg GT 21 34.335 1:59.812 22
16 10 Ant WHORTON-EALES AmD with AutoAid / RCIB Insurance Racing MG 6 21 34.874 1:59.851 27
17 60 Stephen JELLEY Team Parker Racing BMW 125i M Sport 21 35.723 2:00.120 25
18 23 Sam SMELT AmD with Cobra Exhausts Audi S3 21 36.098 1:59.477 29
19 24 Dan WELCH Trade Price Cars with Brisky Racing Volkswagen CC 21 51.616 2:00.604 28
20 1 M Ashley SUTTON Adrian Flux Subaru Racing Subaru Levorg GT 20 1:34.899 1:59.145 15
R 22 Chris SMILEY BTC Norlin Racing Honda Civic Type R 17 DNF 1:59.086 14
R 16 Aiden MOFFAT Laser Tools Racing Mercedes-Benz A-Class 16 DNF 1:58.966 23
R 33 Adam MORGAN MAC Tools with Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes-Benz A-Class 14 DNF 1:59.011 7
R 600 Sam TORDOFF Team GardX Racing with Motorbase Ford Focus RS 12 DNF 1:59.468 16
R 21 Mike BUSHELL Trade Price Cars with Brisky Racing Volkswagen CC 8 DNF 1:59.777 21
R 20 James COLE Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher Ford Focus RS 4 DNF 2:02.366 12
R 15 Tom OLIPHANT Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes-Benz A-Class 2 DNF 2:01.770 10
R 39 Brett SMITH WIX Racing with Eurotech Honda Civic Type R 2 DNF 2:05.393 9
R 6 Rory BUTCHER AmD with AutoAid / RCIB Insurance Racing MG 6 0 DNF N/A 20
NS 5 M Rob COLLARD Team BMW BMW 125i M Sport DNS N/A
NS 44 Michael CAINE Team HARD. with Trade Price Cars Volkswagen CC DNS N/A