Matt Neal delighted with second win after patiently playing the ‘long-game’
Matt Neal left Oulton Park over the moon to once again see the long-game pay off after he clinched his second win of the season in comfortable fashion to trail new championship leader Sam Tordoff by a solitary point.
The Halfords Yuasa Racing driver entered the weekend tied at the summit with Rob Collard therefore forcing him to carry 66kgs of success ballast into qualifying. Producing a stunning lap to line up eighth, the triple-champion found himself in a ding-dong battle with Josh Cook for much of race day as he claimed ninth and seventh in the respective two races prior to round 12.
Drawn on pole position for the final 15-lap all-out assault on the Cheshire circuit, Neal romped away from the rest of the field with team Gordon Shedden in toe before the latter suffered a late puncture in the race. Nursing the soft tyre to the finish, Neal became the third double winner of the 2016 campaign and once again ensured he remained a constant threat towards the top of the standings as the series now heads to Croft next weekend.
“It was a good weekend,” admitted Neal to BTCC Crazy. “Coming into the weekend with the weight we had on-board it was important that the long gam was played and as each race progressed, we moved closer to the front.
“There was some tough racing out there so to come away with another three finishes and of course a win is brilliant. The car was n a good place on the soft tyre but when Flash had his puncture I backed off completely because we didn’t know if I was to endure the same feat.
“To come away just a point off of the top is really pleasing but we need to pull our socks up a little bit. There is more time to come from both me and the car, going to Croft next will be a unique challenge too. We’re running the Thruxton hard compound tyre so it is a real step into the unknown – what will be will be at the end of the day I guess.”
Article originally written on Tuesday, 7 June 2016. Read more articles from the BTCC Crazy Archive.