Matt Neal took victory in todays final race at Brands Hatch for the BTCC. The Honda YUASA driver managed to take the lead after pole man Rob Austin dropped off the pace midway through the race with tyre wear, holding off a late challenge from second place man Jack Goff who was lingering in the MG throughout the final seven laps.
It was another action packed race from Brands Hatch today, with the Safety Car coming out on the first lap after contract between race one winner Rob Collard and Josh Cook sent the BMW off at turn one. Further up the road at Druids the track was also blocked after a consortium of cars including Jason Plato were sent sideways in what looked like a late lung attempt into the corner from Gallagher.
During the Safety Car period Neal’s teammate and race two winner Gorden Shedden took to the pits with a problem along with Aiden Moffett, before the Safety Car came in and we resumed from lap 6. Whilst Austin was able to build up a gap to Neal, teammate Hunter Abbott was under attack from Aron Smith who managed to get past the Audi for P9. Colin Turkington meanwhile had a moment into Clearways, losing control of his Volkswagen BMR which sent him way down the order into P18.
Teammate Jason Plato looked like he was moving up the order, getting up to P14 by lap 10, as Andrew Jordan got past Tom Ingram for P5 though Clark Curve. As Rob Austin dropped off pace, Jordan attempted to take P4 however a late lunge into Clearways punctured his tyre and sent both him and Austin into the gravel. Whilst they both got out they lost time, with Jordan taking to the pits to retire from the race.
Plato’s charge meanwhile looked shortlived, as he dropped down the order to P15, before being passed by Simon Belcher and dropping to P16 on the second to last lap. At was at this point we saw a late challenge from Goff, however Neal held him off to take his first win of 2015 and the second win for the newly unveiled Honda Civic Type R, ahead of Smith, Tordoff, Austin, Ingram, Morgan, Priaulx, Newsham and Abbott – the latter three swapping positions at the final corner on the final lap in a classic touring car style bumper-to-bumper move by Priaulx.