Honda Yuasa Racing stars Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden will continue their push in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at the fastest circuit on the calendar this weekend.
Thruxton has been a strong venue for Honda in recent years, with Civics having won four of the last six BTCC races at the Hampshire track.
Shedden, who currently lies fifth in the standings after taking a win last time out at Donington Park, won twice at Thruxton last year on his way to the BTCC title. He is looking forward to returning, despite extra turbo boost being given to all his rivals under the championship’s equalisation system.
“It is a power circuit and every other car in the field will have a power increase, which will make life difficult, but we’ve got to do the best we can,” said the 2012 champion.
“We had a good balance there last year so hopefully we can get some good results. It’s the fastest circuit on the calendar and historically the high-speed corners suit the Civic well.”
Although Shedden’s superb 2012 Thruxton performances came in the wet, he is happy for it to stay dry this time around.
“If it rained it’d be great, but the spectators have probably only just dried out from last year so it’d be nice if it stayed dry this time!” he added.
Triple champion Neal is another former victor at Thruxton, but he also believes the boost changes will make this weekend challenging for Honda Yuasa Racing.
“I think we’ll be OK,” said Neal, who is currently third in the drivers’ table, “but the boost increases will hurt us. Where we score is high-speed stability so hopefully that will balance it out.”
Neal also plans to work with team-mate Shedden in qualifying to maximise the potential of the NGTC Civics.
The Civic currently has a 100 per cent qualifying record in 2013, with the Eurotech/Pirtek-entered machine of Andrew Jordan taking pole at Brands Hatch and Shedden going quickest at Donington.
Free practice at Thruxton is scheduled to kick off at 10:00 on Saturday, with qualifying set for 15:25. The first race on Sunday will start at 12:02.