Currently reading: BTCC 2015 race report: Donington Park
Rounds four to six of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship saw three former champions take victory

Matt Neal has retained his lead at the top of this year's British Touring Car Championship, after taking victory in an action-packed third race at Donington Park yesterday. 

However, it was Team BMR who won two of the three rounds over the weekend, to usurp factory-backed Honda Yuasa Racing in the Teams Championship standings. 

BTCC veteran Jason Plato drew first blood by taking the chequered flag in race one and earning his first victory for Team BMR at the wheel of his Volkswagen CC.

The double champion started third on the grid, but managed to jump the factory Honda Civic Type-R of Gordon Shedden when the lights went green and then took the lead from teammate and defending champion Colin Turkington by the end of lap one.

From there, Plato opened up a 1.5sec gap which he held for most of the race and until the finish line, with Shedden snatching second place from Turkington a lap later - where the pair remained for the rest of the race in a tight battle.

Elsewhere, Andrew Jordan finished a distant fourth for MG, while Sam Tordoff held on for fifth in his WSR BMW 125i M Sport. Championship leader Matt Neal got as high as fifth position, before his soft-compound Dunlop tyres succumbed to the 66kg of extra ballast, eventually dropping him to 16th.

Thanks to his fastest lap in race one, Gordon Shedden started the second race in pole position, but was beaten off the line by Team BMR man Colin Turkington in the other Volkswagen CC.

The two swapped positions again a lap later at Redgate after their cars exchanged paintwork, and contact was made again at Craner Curves which saw Shedden collide with the MG of Andrew Jordan and fall back to 14th.

After Team BMR owner and driver Warren Scott and the Ford of Alex Martin had a coming together, the safety car was deployed. Turkington expertly judged the restart and opened up a gap to the MG of Jordan, who was left to try and hold off Adam Morgan in his Mercedes-Benz A Class and the Honda Civic Type-R of Matt Neal.

Morgan and Neal eventually got either side of Jordan on the back straight during the final few laps, whose soft compound tyres were fading rapidly. After taking to the kerb, Neal ran wide and tapped Morgan - sending the Mercedes wide, while the Honda driver kept his foot in and slipped past Jordan to finish in second place.

On the penultimate lap, Morgan tapped Jordan and put the MG briefly sideways before he recovered to finish fourth. Race one winner Jason Plato finished fifth after being hampered with 75kg of ballast for his successful efforts and just held off the WSR BMW of Rob Collard, who finished sixth by three tenths of a second.  

The third and final race of the weekend turned out to be a cracker, with Matt Neal taking his second win of the season in a dramatic affair.

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WSR BMW’s Rob Collard led the field into the first turn after jumping Josh Cook’s Chevrolet off the line. However, Cook was soon back hounding the rear of Collard’s BMW and on the third lap he slipped ahead of Collard, who was clearly looking after his soft tyres.

Team BMR driver Aron Smith was setting the pace and climbed from 12th to third after passing Jason Plato and Matt Neal. On lap seven, the MG of Jack Goff and WSR BMW of Sam Tordoff left the track at speed and crashed after making contact, which brought out the safety car.

At the restart, Smith used his initiative to go around the outside of Collard at Redgate and Andrew Jordan forcefully made a move on Jason Plato and made it stick.

On lap 14, Smith in his Volkswagen CC made a daring move on Cook, but both ran wide at speed with Smith pulling off a mighty save while going across the grass, and rejoining in sixth place.

Three laps later, with Rob Collard briefly leading, Matt Neal got up the inside of his WSR BMW 125i M Sport and Jordan held on to the rear of the Civic Type-R, to jump into second place.

Despite Neal carrying 66kg of ballast to Jordan’s 48kg, the factory Honda driver managed to hold off the MG of Jordan under severe pressure to take the win by just 0.157sec.

Gordon Shedden in the other Honda Civic Type-R claimed the final podium spot ahead of Rob Collard, while Aiden Moffat climbed from 16th on the grid to finish a superb fifth in his Mercedes A Class, ahead of Team BMR’s Smith. 

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