Matt Neal leads Honda 1-2 in third Brands Hatch race
Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden took a 1-2 finish for Honda Racing Team in the final race of the day at Brands Hatch.
Neal took the lead on lap seven, following a safety car period for a huge accident involving Rob Austin Racings’ Rob Austin and Speedworks Motorsport driver Dave Newsham on the approach to Druids on lap two.
Neal was followed home by fellow Honda Civic driver Shedden, who staged a spectacular recovery drive from the back of the grid after his exclusion from race two.
Triple Eight MG driver Sam Tordoff took a podium on his first weekend in the championship, finishing ahead of Cicely Racing’s Adam Morgan, who took a career-best fourth in his Toyota Avensis, and his first independents’ class win.
The top ten was completed by Jason Plato, Andrew Jordan, Jeff Smith, Frank Wrathall, Colin Turkington and pole sitter Mat Jackson, who dropped back from an early lead.
Lea Wood became the third different winner of the day in the Jack Sears Trophy in his JWT Performance Vauxhall Vectra in 15th overall.
The safety car was deployed on lap two after Newsham lost his Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis exiting Paddock Hill, and Austin couldn’t avoid him in his Audi A4.
The Rob Austin Racing machine smashed into the wall on the run-up to Druids, causing massive damage to the left-hand side of the car.
Pole-sitter Mat Jackson lost the lead soon after the restart, suddenly slowing on the exit of Druids which allowed Matt Neal’s Honda through as well as Adam Morgan’s Toyota and Jason Plato’s MG.
Gordon Shedden though was on a charge and was carving his way through the field, passing Jeff Smith’s Eurotech Honda on Lap 13 at Paddock Hill bend, the sister car of Andrew Jordan on the inside of Druids on Lap 20, then picked off Plato’s MG on the following lap.
Sam Tordoff made a move on Adam Morgan’s Toyota on Lap 25 at Clearways, which allowed Shedden to get the jump on the pair of them and take second place to complete a Honda 1-2 in the final race of the day.
James Kaye didn’t start in his AmD Tuning Volkswagen Golf due to gearbox issues which developed during the second race, and Ollie Jackson also missed out after sustaining damage to his Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis in the same race.
After Brands Hatch, Jason Plato leads the championship standings on 54 points, ahead of Andrew Jordan on 45 points, and new team-mate Sam Tordoff in third on 40 points.