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Jordan benefits after rivals Neal and Plato clash at Snetterton

Sunday, August 12 2012

Andrew Jordan has won the second Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship race at Snetterton today (Sunday), in a tense race that exploded into action in the final laps. The Pirtek driver took his first win of the season, inheriting the lead after a typically robust fight between rivals Matt Neal and Jason Plato.

The field got underway minus Rob Collard, whose race one engine failure was still being rectified, with Rob Austin and Chris James pitting instead of lining up on the grid.. Plato led the formation lap with Frank Wrathall behind, eager to make a better start as they lined up on the Senna Straight. It wasn't to be, however and Jordan, Neal and Tom Onslow-Cole got past the Toyota.

Wrathall forced his way back to fourth as Gordon Shedden lined up the BMW. Indeed he was all over Onslow-Cole and just as the Honda of Neal had designs on Jordan's example, Plato appeared to have lost ground on the pair. Neal was recording extremely fast sector times as the front trio worked clear of the rest, and Shedden wasn't far behind, just needing to clear Wrathall.

Neal cleared Jordan with a clean pass in the infield complex and with Plato still within reach, it looked tantalisingly as though the next episode of their Snetterton rivalry would be played out in front of the crowd. Shedden was also past Wrathall and now the MG had three Hondas to keep at bay.

Plato appeared to be struggling at the Bomb Hole and all through Coram into Murray but with Shedden still in fourth, Jordan was free to attack Neal, giving the MG some assistance.

Meanwhile Mat Jackson was quietly working his way up the field, as he had been since the first practice session on Saturday. Running well in the top ten, he was some way behind Wrathall and Onslow-Cole, now closing up on the leaders, but keeping Dave Newsham and Lea Wood behind.

Shedden concentrated his attack on Jordan, giving Neal the vital focus needed to deal with Plato. As they entered the penultimate lap the top three were together and the tension finally broke into action. Jordan tried to attack but Shedden held him at bay. As they turned through Coram, Plato hit the brakes, Neal struck him and both rubbed their way through Murrays, running wide onto the straight as the MG pushed into the Civic. Jordan and Shedden surged into the lead and as Plato attacked the Scotsman, Neal found himself shuffled down behind Wrathall and Onslow-Cole.

The champion fought his way back to fourth and desperate to retake the MG, remained in that place as a delighted Jordan took the flag from Shedden. Mat Jackson gained a place on Onslow-Cole, with Wrathall in fifth, whilst Newsham ended up in eighth place, from Wood and Aron Smith.

Shedden is now equal leader of the championship with team mate Neal, remarkable considering the state his Civic was in yesterday morning. The final race of the event will take place at 17:07, with Wood's ninth place picked for pole position in the grid draw.

Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship Race 2

1, Andrew Jordan, Pirtek, Honda Civic, 12 Laps
2, Gordon Shedden, Honda Racing, Honda Civic, +0.561s
3, Jason Plato, MG Racing, MG6, +1.751s
4, Matt Neal, Honda Racing, Honda Civic, +2.123s
5, Frank Wrathall, Dynojet, Toyota Avensis, +4.807s
6, Mat Jackson, Redstone Racing, Ford Focus, +7.583s
7, Tom Onslow-Cole, eBay Motors, BMW 320si, +8.014s
8, Dave Newsham, Team ES Racing, Vauxhall Vectra, +8.500s
9, Lea Wood, BINZ Racing, Vauxhall Vectra, +14.296s
10, Aron Smith, Redstone Racing, Ford Focus, +14.787s

The next major event at Snetterton is the Delphi British Truck Racing Championship on 26/27 August. Tickets are available from £17, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.