Touring cars: Matt Neal extends his BTCC lead

Matt Neal extended his lead in the British Touring Car Championship with back-to-back wins in yesterday's fifth round at Croft.

Neal led after every lap to win the opening two races before an eighth-placed finish in the day's final race, won by Mat Jackson, ensured he opened up a nine-point lead at the top of the standings.

Motorbase Ford driver Jackson is Neal's closest challenger at the halfway stage of the season after he managed finishes of second, fifth and first.

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Neal was immediately gifted the lead in the opening race when pole-sitter Jason Plato misjudged the opening bend in wet conditions. The Honda Racing Team Civic driver needed no second invitation as he held first place until the finish line, although he had to fend off a late challenge from Jackson.

Neal secured another wire-to-wire success in the second race although he was made to sweat all the way around the North Yorkshire track by Collard.

Andrew Jordan finished third after first passing Jackson and then, in the closing stages, Neal's team-mate Gordon Shedden. Jackson then made up for his narrow miss in race one by claiming the spoils in race three, overtaking polesitter Nick Foster to take a lead he was never to lose.

Collard briefly threatened in his BMW but after failing to find a way through he let team-mate Foster pass him on the run to the line to give him his best BTCC finish to date.

Andrew Jordan and James Nash were next up in their Vauxhalls with Shedden sixth and Alex MacDowall seventh.