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Matt Neal tops the times in BTCC practice session two at Oulton Park

Saturday, June 04 2011

Matt Neal continued Honda's form in the second British Touring Car Championship practice session at Oulton Park today with a last-gasp effort to top the timesheets.

Championship leader Neal spent most of practice two in the pits with steering issues and only surfaced after half of the session had run. The pressure on him would only have risen when a red flag was called within moments of his car rejoining the field. After a delay of almost ten minutes, Jeff Smith and Lea Wood's cars returned to the pitlane on the back of recovery vehicles, as the rest of the drivers got back into action.

At this point Plato was the fastest man but Shedden in second place underlined Honda's form at the Cheshire circuit. Local man Paul O'Neill gave hope to his fans with a time just hundredths away from Plato but both were then beaten by Alex MacDowall.

Neal spent more time in the pits after the red flag period and going out on track with just 5 minutes remaining, it was clear that he needed to give it his all. This he duly did and with the sector times lighting up on the timing screen, his lap ended up two-tenths quicker than MacDowall and three hundredths faster than his own from the first session. Fastest time of the day so far, however, remains Shedden's by almost half a second.

Andrew Jordan sits in fifth place, half a second behind Neal, with Shedden a further hundredth back. Rob Collard is seventh, from Mat Jackson, Tom Boardman and Tom Chilton.

With the drivers perfecting set-ups, one second covered the first twelve, completed by James Nash and Andy Neate. Qualifying for the first of tomorrow's three races takes place at 15:15 today.

BTCC Practice session two times:

1. Matt Neal, Honda, 1:27.917
2. Alex MacDowall, Silverline, Chevrolet, +0.198s
3. Jason Plato, Silverline, Chevrolet, +0.335s
4. Paul O'Neill, GoMobileUK.com, Chevrolet, +0.367s
5. Andrew Jordan, Pirtek, Vauxhall, +0.537s
6. Gordon Shedden, Honda, +0.550s
7. Rob Collard, WSR, BMW, +0.614s
8. Mat Jackson, Airwaves, Ford, +0.629s
9. Tom Boardman, Special Tuning Racing, SEAT, +0.692s
10. Tom Chilton, AON, Ford, +0.797s

Raceday tickets for the BTCC at Oulton Park this weekend are available on the gate for £30. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click the link below.