Points Leader Matt Neal Overjoyed By “Frenetic” Donington Win

Matt Neal again came away with the lead in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship standings after a second victory of the season in a “frenetic” outing at Donington Park.

The triple BTCC champion fought back from a disappointing opening race where he slipped to 17th on the degrading softer compound tyre, charging up to second in race two before emerging from a chaotic final encounter of the day victorious for the second time in 2015.

A third victory for the latest Honda Civic Type-R in six races came by less than two tenths over Andrew Jordan in a race that saw contact twice between the pair, Neal hanging on to return to the head of the championship.

“It was frenetic”, Neal told The Checkered Flag after the final encounter, his victory still under appeal from MG until Thruxton following an initial unsuccessful protest from Triple Eight Racing for contact at McLeans with Jordan.

Photo: Craig McAllister
Photo: Craig McAllister

“With about five or six laps to go I saw Flash (Shedden) come onto the back of the pack after the safety car and I thought ‘should I try and get him through’, as he had the best chance with no weight.

“Then it all started unfolding and I got bit of a gap on Jordan, so I just got my head down. It was backwards and forwards, backwards again, you were getting done and then doing someone else. It was pretty busy out there.”

The softer tyre appeared to be a downfall of most drivers on Sunday, Neal adding: “We struggled on the soft tyre with the weight, but on the hards it came back to life again. In the last three laps it was really loose.

“The car was just awesome through the quick stuff and it was where we could gap a few people. Two or three laps [in race two] and I could have been giving Colin [Turkington] some hassles and headaches.”

As a result, Neal once again comes away with the lead of the championship after his race three victory, leading by two points from Colin Turkington heading to Thruxton on 9/10 May.

“How many times have I been here before?” Neal quipped on his championship position. “It’s lovely, but it just means three weeks of bragging rights.”

1Matt NealHonda Yuasa Racing75
2Colin TurkingtonBMR Racing73
3Gordon SheddenHonda Yuasa Racing67
4Andrew JordanTriple Eight63
5Jason PlatoBMR Racing58
6Jack GoffTriple Eight54
7Rob CollardWest Surrey Racing53
8Adam MorganCiceley Racing53
9Aron SmithBMR Racing50
10Andy PriaulxWest Surrey Racing44