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Matt Neal has been crowned BTCC champ following a thrilling finale at Silverstone.
Bristol Street Motors

Matt Neal crowed BTCC champion

Matt Neal crowed BTCC champion

Matt Neal has become the first triple British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) title winner since Andy Rouse in the early 1980s.

The Honda Civic driver secured his third BTCC crown after fending off the threat of team mate Gordon Shedden on the final day of the season.

Neal managed to secure a win in the final race of the year to edge out Shedden, who had started proceedings at Silverstone on level points with his rival.

Worcestershire-based driver Neal said the season was the toughest of his three championship wins and admitted he was "overwhelmed" by the triumph.

"The competition has been extraordinarily high and Gordon has been such a hard team-mate to beat. To have my name on the trophy for a third time alongside so many great names � I am overwhelmed. It means the world to me," he commented.

"My pole position lap on Saturday, with maximum ballast in my car, was one of the best laps of my entire career and it set things up perfectly for me today."

Neal said that whatever the outcome he would have been delighted as Shedden has become "like a younger brother" to him despite his short time in the sport.

Posted by Craig Salter