8:40am Sunday 11th August 2013
WORCESTERSHIRE’S Matt Neal maintained his British Touring Car Championship lead after a thriller at Snetterton.
MG KX Momentum Racing driver Sam Tordoff secured the first victory of his BTCC career in the opener before the Hondas of Andrew Jordan and Neal’s team-mate Gordon Shedden claimed a win apiece in races two and three respectively.
Pershore-based Honda Yuasa Racing’s Neal kept the championship lead after a second place and two more top-10 finishes.
He is nine points ahead of Jordan with Shedden a further 13 behind.
Tordoff stormed to his maiden pole position and then backed up his pace with a commanding lights-to-flag victory in the first contest of the meeting.
Jason Plato followed Tord- off home to secure MG’s second one-two finish of the season and defending champion Shedden fended off late challenges from Colin Turkington and Jordan to secure third.
While the first race was relatively incident-free, the final two provided enough drama to last a whole season.
Jordan won an actionpacked second race after he passed Turkington when the two made contact late on.
Neal blasted from ninth on the grid to finish second and the ever-improving Ford Focus of Aron Smith took the first podium of the season.
Plato’s car ground to a halt with an engine problem but his day was to take an even bigger twist in the final showdown.
Fighting his way through the order on the opening lap of race three, his MG6 spun wildly before making heavy contact with the barrier which tipped his car into a dramatic barrel roll.
The two-time BTCC champion walked away unharmed from the spectacular incident although his championship hopes were dented as a result.
The drama continued when Shedden honed in on early leader Turkington and the pair touched while racing for position.
Turkington spun down the order as Shedden nipped through to take a comfortable win.
Airwaves Racing’s Smith took another podium behind team-mate Mat Jackson in second.
Evesham-based Rob Austin finished in 15th, 14th and 12th places in the respective three races in his WIX Raxing Audi A4.
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