Neal stripped of Croft BTCC R2 victory, Cook takes back win
Honda veteran Matt Neal has been stripped of his win in the second race of the British Touring Car Championship round at Croft.
The three-time BTCC champion has been given a 0.7-second penalty for his last-lap manoeuvre to take the lead from Josh Cook.
The punishment means that 53-year-old Neal drops to second place, with BTC Racing Honda Civic Type R driver Cook inheriting his second victory of the day. Team Dynamics ace Neal explained that he thought the move, which happened at Sunny In, was on, having backed out of an attempt on the penultimate lap.
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“Josh was doing a great job with the 60kg [of success ballast], and I was able to pull on him in the quick stuff,” he said. “I was within striking distance on the lap before, but he covered me off and we narrowly avoided contact. Then on the last lap I got a good run, he didn’t cover me off, and then as I was committed he went for the apex.
“If they [the stewards] say otherwise, then at least I’ve given it a good shot.”
Cook, whose BTC Racing Honda was built by the Neal family’s Dynamics team and receives regular assistance from the squad, viewed the incident differently.
“I think the video speaks for itself,” he said before the decision was revealed. “I can’t help but feel that the race was mugged off me.”
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