An extraordinary BTCC race from Knockhill saw Matt Neal claim his fifty-ninth overall win. The result moves him up to second in the championship behind Sam Tordoff, who finished the race second.
Neal had started eighth and with a front wheel drive car was not expected to be in contention. However; he made the most of the soft tyres and moved towards the front of the pack with half a dozen laps to go.
Another strong getaway from polesitter Jason Plato saw him maintain the lead off the grid. It wasn’t all good news for Team BMR though as Warren Scott was forced off track at Clark. A safety car was quickly called, after Martin Depper was caught up in the start line brawl and ploughed into the tyres at turn three.
As the race restarted, the top five broke away, Plato leading from Jack Goff. One driver who was clearly struggling in the early stages was Tom Ingram. The Toyota Avensis was falling backwards through the field, as he was taken by Sam Tordoff for fifth and Andrew Jordan, he eventually finished outside the top ten.
It soon became clear that Colin Turkington had the speed to challenge, forcing Goff into a mistake and taking second. Goff then dropped to fourth as Tordoff was easily let through to chase the dominant Subaru’s. Over the middle part of the race, Tordoff and Turkington swapped places a number of times.
Meanwhile, Rob Collard was on the move. The #100 BMW 125i M Sport was scything his way through the field, reaching seventh with seven laps to go. He chased Neal, but was unable to make the overtake.
With five laps to go, Goff attacked a held up Turkington. The two got tangled allowing Neal into third as he chased the leaders. He became the driver on form and attacked the battling Tordoff and Plato, soon taking the lead.
Plato was forced to surrender the win with two laps to go as he moved back to third behind Tordoff. None of this would stop Neal though. He took the chequered flag from Tordoff and Plato with Turkington recovering to fourth.
Having stormed through the field, Collard took fifth from Matt Jackson and Goff, who fell back with a damaged car. The top eight was rounded out by Jordan, with Gordon Shedden and Aiden Moffat behind.
The reverse grid race will see Mat Jackson on pole, after the sixth place ball was selected.