British Touring Cars: Matt Neal wins twice at Thruxton to take top spot
Last Updated: 05/05/13 11:04pm
Matt Neal: Star of the show in a day to remember for the Honda squad
Honda Racing's Matt Neal doubled up at Thruxton to power to the summit of the British Touring Car drivers' standings.
Neal claimed his 50th and 51st BTCC wins in the opening two races, while team-mate Gordon Shedden took the chequered flag in the finale to cap a perfect day for the Honda squad.
Both drivers enjoyed some good fortune on the way, however, with Neal's first win and Shedden's victory both coming after cars ahead of them suffered punctures.
Neal finished less that a second behind defending champion Shedden in the final race to emerge with a mammoth 59 points from his Thruxton weekend.
"What a day indeed," said a delighted Neal to BTCC.net. "The car was really sweet. I didn't expect one win to be honest, nevermind two."
Neal racked up a half-century of wins in race one after leader Andrew Jordan suffered a deflated front-left tyre when the Honda man was running in close attendance.
Jordan, who set the fastest lap of the race, came home in 11th place, while Neal was joined on the podium by MG's Jason Plato and the VW of Tom Onslow-Cole.
Neal was much more commanding in race two, leading from start to finish as a gripping battle for second place raged in his wake, Onslow-Cole eventually coming home just in front of Shedden.
Shedden eventually got to grips with his Civic to win race three, but only after long-time leader Plato suffered a puncture that dropped him down the order.
Neal finished close behind his team-mate to cap a fine day's work, while Pirtek Racing's Jordan was third, just five hundredths of a second further back.