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Neal’s title chances suffer
8:00pm Monday 8th October 2012 in Sport
MATT Neal dropped down to third in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship as his car burst into flames on a turbulent day at Silverstone.
But the Shenstone driver’s team-mate from Pershore-based Honda Yuasa Racing, Gordon Shedden, leads the table by 15 points from Jason Plato.
Plato, with two, and Mat Jackson shared the victories in a thrilling meeting which saw Neal forced into three retirements in front of a 30,000 crowd.
Shedden, Plato, Neal and Andrew Jordan go into the season’s final three races at Brands Hatch on October 20 and 21 with a chance of being crowned champion.
In the first race, Shedden was seventh in his Honda Civic but Neal retired.
Shedden was seventh again in the second and his team-mate suffered another retirement when his car caught fire.
The Scot was sixth in the third race but reigning champion Neal retired again, this time after being forced off the track into a barrier.
Neal is 31 points behind Shedden with a possible maximum of 67 still available from finals day.
The 45-year-old said: “It has been a shocker but I’m not out of it yet — there are still a lot of points to be won at Brands and I’ll be going there with all guns blazing.
“Jason’s MG will be strong and our main objective is to get a Honda over the line in first. Gordon is obviously better placed to do that so is the priority.”
Honda/Dynamics are all but assured of the coveted manufacturers/constructors’ title and Honda Yuasa are red-hot favourites to retain the outright HiQ Teams Championship.