Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Matt Neal says he is “absolutely chuffed” with the overtaking move he made to secure a podium on the last lap of race two of the British Touring Car Championship at Thruxton.
The triple champion finished eighth in the opening race at the Hampshire circuit and was pressurising third-placed Tom Oliphant for the final position on the podium in the closing laps.
Neal told ToruingCars.Net he was surprised at how early Oliphant broke for the Club chicane on the final lap, actually taking avoiding action before completing the move around the outside.
“We’d been nicking a tenth per lap off him for the last couple of laps,” explained Neal.
“Then I think he got to Church and he just played it safe – he was safe through there and I got a really good run – that allowed me to get up behind him.
“Then he went for the inside and covered it, and I think he thought that was it and he braked really early and I almost ran into the back of him.
“So I jinked left so I didn’t run into the back of him and then he carried on slowing the car. That opened the door up and I thought, well you’ve got to have a go haven’t you?!
“Then we made the chicane somehow – it was great! So yeah, absolutely chuffed with that.”
Neal believes the progress in the second encounter was a result of capitalising on other’s battles and keeping clean when overtaking.
“We hung on, we were lucky with some of the doors opening for us. We just had to capitalise on that,” said Neal.
“We got past Sam [Tordoff] who got hung out a bit. We dropped on the back of [Rob] Collard and then he got a bit skew-iffy.
“So it was just falling into place for us so it was just about keeping a clean nose really.”