Snetterton anniversary double for Neal as Ingram takes BTCC series lead from Turkington
PUBLISHED: 20:18 29 July 2018 | UPDATED: 20:19 29 July 2018
The summer heatwave may have abated, but the British Touring Car Championship action at Snetterton was typically scorching with Matt Neal taking the double points 60th Anniversary finale while Tom Ingram stole the series lead.
“Well pleased,” said a smiling Ingram. “We came here to do that and it worked perfectly.”
A mid-race rain shower cost Jack Goff a possible second victory on the day and allowed Neal to slip by at Wilson Corner and claim the historic Diamond Double victory.
Behind Goff was Ingram, whose double haul of points put him ahead of Colin Turkington in the title race by six points.
The opening event ended with a dramatic drag race to the finish line after pole man Goff had been ousted from the lead, which he had held from the start, by Ash Sutton at the final corner.
Sutton’s majestic move around the outside of Coram Curve put him on the better line for Murrays but Goff wasn’t flustered and lined up his Honda Civic better than Sutton’s Subaru Levorg and inched ahead as the pair raced to the finish line to win by a bonnet length.
The race, held on a soaking wet surface, proved difficult for all of the main title contenders with Turkington weaving his BMW 125 M Sport out of trouble at the start to end up 15th, just behind Neal’s Honda Civic.
Second-placed Ingram had parked up at the Esses with alternator failure on his Toyota Avensis with fourth-placed Andrew Jordan 12th while Adam Morgan bounced off the Riches tyre wall to take 10th with his Mercedes Benz A Class.
Even a late safety car interlude, which wiped out Sutton’s advantage, couldn’t stop reigning champion from taking victory in race two, helped when Goff became stuck in the pit lane before the start and was unable to take up his pole position slot.
Josh Cook had steadily worked his way into second but didn’t have enough time to find a chink in Sutton’s defences.
Ingram, who had started 27th, used the safety car restart to dispatch several cars and beat Dan Cammish in a drag race to the finishing to take a vital third. Turkington’s race ended at the opening corner while Neal’s Honda fell to the back of the field.