Neal wins Silverstone opener
Matt Neal takes victory in the first race of BTCC Finals Day at Silverstone
Matt Neal secured victory in the opening race of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season finale at Silverstone to extend his slender points lead.
Neal started from pole and led throughout despite pressure for much of the race from the Ford of Mat Jackson.
Jackson pushed Neal hard before being forced to pit with a puncture in the closing laps which allowed Gordon Shedden through to secure second place and a 1-2 for Honda.
The podium was completed by James Nash, who ran in fourth throughout before Jackson's issue. The fact that the Airwaves Racing man failed to score means Nash is now provisionally the Independents' champion - although neither driver can now take the overall crown.
Tom Onslow-Cole was best of the rest for Team Aon with Alex MacDowall and Dave Newsham rounding out the top six.
Jason Plato retains hopes of winning the title for the second straight season despite failing to finish after himself suffering a puncture and then making numerous pitstops.
The race, which saw numerous heated battles down the order, featured an early safety car period after a start-line shunt involving Rob Austin, Ollie Jackson and Tony Gilham which put Austin and Gilham out of the race.
The Vauxhall Insignia of John Thorne completed the green flag lap before pitting having only turned its first laps on Sunday morning.