DROITWICH’S Matt Neal saw his lead at the top of the British Touring Car Championship cut after a dissapointing weekend at Snetterton.

The three-time champion still leads the tournament but his Honda Yuasa team-mate Gordon Shedden is only eight points behind, closeley followed by Jason Plato.

Neal struggled throughout and after only coming seventh fastest in qualifying and he managed to finish fourth in the first race, which was won by Plato.

Andrew Jordan from Lichfield won race two while the defending champion could only manage fourth again having collided with Plato in the final lap.

There were more problems for Neal in the final race as he could only come eighth after spinning out of control following a collision with Frank Wrathall.

He said: “We knew we were on the back foot after qualifying.

“It’s been a case of damage limitation — the spin in race three after contact from Wrathall did me no favours.

“Knockhill, which has shorter straights, is next so should be better for us but it’s clear we have a lot of work to do.”

Plato, who drives for Longbridge-based firm MG KX Momentum Racing, was delighted after putting himself back into title contention. He followed-up his win with third and fourth places.

“I couldn’t have asked for much more, although it was a shame about the incident with Matt in race two after I’d led all the way up until then,” said the driver.

“What’s encouraging is the MG is really starting to come alive at what is a crucial stage of the season.

“In fact I think it’s going to be strong at all four remaining rounds so it’s game on.”

Honda/Dynamics and the Honda Yuasa Racing Team continue to lead both the Manufacturers/Constructors rankings.

Neal will now be aiming to get back on the podium at Knockhill on Sunday, August 26.