Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship veteran Matt Neal was the most apt winner of the Diamond Double race three at Snetterton celebrating sixty years of the championship. Not only was celebrating the past with victory important for Neal but what it also meant for this year’s championship was vital too.
An anonymous first two races for the fifty-one year old only yielded two points, but it was the third race of the day when it all fell into place.
Starting from second behind the Wix Racing with Eurotech Honda Civic Type R of Jack Goff, it looked like Matt was having to settle for second place if Jack kept it clean. However, on lap nine, drizzle saw Goff outbrake himself at the hairpin and miss the apex. Opening the door for a thankful Neal who was then unchallenged to the flag.
Leading the race, fastest lap and double points for victory gave Neal an overall total of forty-four to be added to his championship challenge. This was the most amount of points ever rewarded in the history of the championship.
Leaving Norfolk, the Halfords Yuasa Racing driver lies third in the drivers standings only sixteen points behind Tom Ingram in first.
Matt was obviously chuffed to have achieved victory in this milestone race and also tick off another historical involvement in the series.
“It has been a truly magical day for the entire Halfords Yuasa Racing team.
“To produce a result like this on a level playing field with no success ballast is testament to the pure performance and the fundamental competitiveness of the Civic Type R, as well as demonstrate how hard the team has worked to unlock its potential since the start of the season.
“We had a tough race one and two in tough conditions, but we were always confident for the ‘big one’ from the front row and while the car didn’t feel settled initially it got better and better as the race went on.
“Once I was in the lead I was determined not to put a wheel wrong, which was tough because Jack and Tom (Ingram) were all over me, but the Civic Type R performed perfectly right to the flag.
“I’m so very proud to be part of another landmark BTCC moment, it is one I certainly won’t forget.”