EVESHAM'S Rob Austin won the last race of the season in a pulsating 2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship finale.

The Handy Motorsport driver secured the third success of his BTCC career as he pulled clear of the chasing pack in fine style.

Austin was ninth in both the first two races at Brands Hatch GP.

He said: “I made some silly mistakes in races one and two. I lost my grandmother at Silverstone and she was my biggest fan — this one was for her.

"We’re already working hard on the Alfa Romeo for next year and we’ve got some fantastic partners so we’ll see what we can do.”

Pershore's Halfords Yuasa Racing duo Gordon Shedden and Matt Neal claimed a podium finish apiece.

Reigning champion Shedden went down fighting as Adrian Flux Subaru Racing's Ashley Sutton won the title.

Neal qualified sixth on the 30-strong grid with Shedden only three tenths-of-a-second further back in 16th.

The defending title-holder produced a storming drive in race one to scythe through the pack on a damp track on slick tyres to seventh, comfortably posting fastest lap along the way.

Neal struggled more in the tricky conditions and wound up three spots further back in 10th before both men went on a charge in race two.

They worked in tandem to fight their way to second for Shedden and third for Neal, securing Honda’s third podium double of the season.

As the rain returned, the pair battled hard with hefty success ballast on-board with Shedden sixth and Neal eighth to cement fourth and seventh positions in the drivers’ championship respectively.

Halfords Yuasa Racing and Honda won the teams’ and manufacturers’ awards for the weekend to snare second and third overall respectively.

Shedden said: “We made a lot of progress in race one.

"Tyre choice was a bit of a lottery but slicks were definitely the right call and then the Civic Type R felt fantastic in race two and we were able to really fight our way through.

"Race three was obviously a disappointing way to finish. We just didn’t get the wet set-up right which made it hard work.

"We gave it our best shot and while it wasn’t quite enough on this occasion we’ll come back stronger next year.”

Neal said: “We struggled in the greasy conditions and we’re not quite sure why.

"Race two was much better. The car felt fantastic, especially through the quick stuff, where it was really strong.

"We didn’t quite make it which is reflective of the season in general but there’s always next year.”

Senna Proctor enjoyed another hugely competitive day as he finished his rookie campaign by lifting the coveted Jack Sears Trophy for Bidford-on-Avon team Power Maxed Racing.

Proctor was sixth in race one and team-mate Tom Chilton fifth before the latter bagged seventh in the second contest.

Final drivers’ standings: 1 Sutton 372 points, 2 Colin Turkington 351, 3 Tom Ingram 311, 4 Shedden 309, 5 Rob Collard 256, 6 Jack Goff 245, 7 Neal 243.

Final manufacturers’ standings: 1 BMW 782, 2 Subaru 751, 3 Honda 726, 4 Vauxhall 580, 5 MG 369.

Final teams’ standings: 1 Team BMW 594, 2 Halfords Yuasa Racing 545, 3 Adrian Flux Subaru Racing 513, 4 Speedworks Motorsport 307, 5 Eurotech Racing 286, 6 Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo 235.