Silverstone BTCC: Neal beats Huff to win final race

Matt Neal claimed his second BTCC victory of the season in a frenetic third race at Silverstone.

Silverstone BTCC: Neal beats Huff to win final race
Matt Neal, Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type R
Jack Goff, Eurotech Racing Honda Civic Type R
Matt Neal, Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type R
Jack Goff, Eurotech Racing Honda Civic Type R
Andrew Jordan, BMW Pirtek Racing BMW 125i M Sport
Tom Ingram, Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis
Tom Ingram, Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis
Tom Ingram, Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis
Rob Huff, Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall
Rob Huff, Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall
Rob Collard, Team BMW BMW 125i M Sport
Rob Huff, Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall

Neal started the race from 12th and only led five laps, but stole first place from long-time leader Rob Huff and eased home from there.

Power Maxed Vauxhall driver Huff got the jump on reverse-grid polesitter Dave Newsham off the line to snatch the lead into Copse and pulled out an initial gap before his lead was wiped out by a safety car that was called for an incident that accounted for championship challenger Colin Turkington.

WSR BMW man Turkington had been nestled in the midfield group, but was involved in an incident at Brooklands on the opening lap and dropped to 21st.

Things only got worse for Turkington, however, as his chances of recovering were all but ended a lap later as he was caught up in a clash.

Josh Cook and Jason Plato got together in front and, with the pack delayed, Turkington could not react quickly enough to avoid Stephen Jelley and slammed into the back of the Ford Focus.

Turkington recovered his BMW to the pits but, despite the ensuing safety car slowing the pack up, lost a lap and dropped to 25th in the order and could only recover to 22nd at the finish.

Huff got away well on the restart but Newsham was caught out by race one winner Tom Ingram, who slithered up the inside of the BTC Racing Chevrolet to grab second.

Speedworks Toyota driver Ingram then set about pressing Huff for the lead.

Things came to a head on lap 14 of the new 25-lap distance, with Huff easing Ingram out onto the grass after the Speedworks Motorsport driver got a better exit off Copse.

Ingram kept his foot in but Huff stuck to the inside line approaching Becketts, with Ingram forced to take to the grass before skating over the apex at the corner.

Huff was delayed but held onto the lead from Adam Morgan (Ciceley Racing Mercedes), while Ingram dropped behind Neal - who had picked his way through the order at the start - and Newsham.

Neal then dispatched Morgan on the Wellington Straight to move into second, and himself set about trying to prise the lead away from Huff.

The pressure finally told on lap 21 as Neal got a better exit off Copse and drew alongside Huff on the run to Maggotts.

Unwilling to take a similar risk to the one he took with Ingram, Huff gave Neal room and allowed the Honda driver through before Becketts.

Neal scampered away before backing off in the closing laps, crossing the line 0.728 seconds ahead of a delighted Huff and Newsham, who passed Morgan in the closing laps to finish third.

Ingram and Austin recovered to finish fourth and fifth in their respective Toyotas, with Morgan sixth and the second BTC Racing Chevrolet of Chris Smiley seventh.

Andrew Jordan was eighth in his WSR BMW, while race two winner Jack Goff (Eurotech Honda) and the Motorbase Ford of Mat Jackson completed the top 10.

While the race was a disaster for Turkington, championship leader Ash Sutton produced a stellar display to advance from the back of the grid to finish 11th.

Team BMR driver Sutton had been sent to the back of the grid for a clash with Turkington in race two, but avoided the early incident and picked his way through the field thereafter to pick up five points.

He now has a 10-point lead in the drivers’ standings.

shares
comments
BTCC points leader Sutton to start Silverstone finale last
Previous article

BTCC points leader Sutton to start Silverstone finale last

Next article

BTCC could issue more bans to deter poor driving

BTCC could issue more bans to deter poor driving
Load comments
Ranking the top 10 BTCC drivers of 2021 Prime

Ranking the top 10 BTCC drivers of 2021

A refresh in equipment and some returning faces helped contribute to a supremely competitive 2021 British Touring Car Championship campaign. Ash Sutton was crowned a three-time champion, successfully defending his 2020 title, but faced stiff competition in the final year before the switch to hybrid. Motorsport.com picks out the best performers.

BTCC
Nov 17, 2021
Why the BTCC's ballast increase couldn't stop champion Sutton Prime

Why the BTCC's ballast increase couldn't stop champion Sutton

Ballast will be gone from the BTCC next year as hybrid power enters the scene, but for its final season the maximum was increased from 60kg to 75kg. Despite having to carry that nearly all season, Ash Sutton was always the favourite to pocket a third title - the 27-year-old getting his reward for a season of speed tempered by savvy to nail his opportunities

BTCC
Nov 12, 2021
The much-loved tin-top superstar bowing out at 59 Prime

The much-loved tin-top superstar bowing out at 59

OPINION: It's not often that a driver achieves widespread affection for their personality, as well as their on-track performances. One such individual is Gabriele Tarquini, who will soon bring the curtain down on a remarkable career that has yielded touring car titles on the European and global stage - and, famously, in Britain too

BTCC
Nov 11, 2021
The making of the BTCC's newest superstar Prime

The making of the BTCC's newest superstar

Ash Sutton is on the verge of being crowned a three-time British Touring Car Champion; he seems to have it all. But life hasn't always been straightforward for this superstar of touring cars, as Marcus Simmons has been finding out

BTCC
Oct 21, 2021
Five key plotlines to follow in the 2021 BTCC Prime

Five key plotlines to follow in the 2021 BTCC

It’s been a busy silly season in the BTCC since the chequered flag fell to end the 2020 campaign last November. While last year’s top two have stayed put, there’s been a lot of fat to chew elsewhere, which should result in another fascinating year of tin-top action.

BTCC
May 7, 2021
Why a BTCC legend remains defiant at '97 not out' Prime

Why a BTCC legend remains defiant at '97 not out'

After a year of enforced absence from the British Touring Car Championship grid, Jason Plato is back and hungrier than ever. Despite stellar opposition and some familiar challenges, the two-time champion still has his eyes focused on the biggest prizes.

BTCC
May 5, 2021
The Top 10 BTCC drivers of 2020 Prime

The Top 10 BTCC drivers of 2020

The 2020 British Touring Car Championship will go down as a classic in which new winners graced the top step of the podium and an unloved chassis was resurrected into a champion. But who were the year's top performers?

BTCC
Dec 24, 2020
The Villeneuve-esque 'engineer's dream' who lit up BTCC 2020 Prime

The Villeneuve-esque 'engineer's dream' who lit up BTCC 2020

The Infiniti Q50 was completely redesigned, redeveloped and revamped by BMR and Laser Tools Racing for 2020. And the flamboyant brilliance of the driver behind the wheel was enough to snatch the title at the last gasp…

BTCC
Dec 11, 2020