• Honda Yuasa Racing endure challenging BTCC weekend
  • A top six for Matt Neal proves the high point
  • Gordon Shedden now third in the standings
Honda Yuasa Racing duo Gordon Shedden and Matt Neal endured an extremely challenging Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship weekend at Snetterton, Norfolk, both drivers remain confident in their battle for the championship.Starting the race weekend with 57kgs of ballast, Matt Neal proved the prowess of his Honda Civic Type R achieving a top six finish in the first contest. In race two, despite defending well, Neal was forced to pit due to bodywork damage on his car. Thanks to the excellent work of Team Dynamics, Neal’s car was back on the track for the final race of the day, concluding the weekend with a P11 finish and securing sixth position in the championship.

His team-mate – Gordon Shedden – who headed into the race weekend as championship leader, was forced to put his Civic Type R to the ultimate test starting race one with the maximum ballast of 75kg from way down the order following power steering issues in qualifying. The extra weight combined with soft tyres hindered the Scot who finished in 14th position.  In the second race, Shedden was caught up in the carnage on track and having suffered right rear damage, was forced to pit. A drama-filled race three saw ‘Flash’ endure a further problem in the first few laps but he re-entered the race with a dogged determination, setting the fastest lap and consequently gaining an extra and potentially vital point. Shedden will head to the next round of the BTCC at Knockhill (22/23 August) at third in the championship titles.

Shedden now lies third in the overall drivers’ standings with Neal in sixth, whilst Honda Yuasa Racing maintains its lead in the manufacturers’ championship.

Matt Neal said:The weekend hasn’t exactly gone according to plan. It was a bit of a rough weekend for both of us – for racing and results. At stages like this you have to look forward and as I said to ‘Flash’, in this game we’ve got to be able to roll with the punches – you’ve got to have tough races and tough weekends to appreciate the good ones. Unfortunately this has been a bit of a hard weekend for us but the positives are: we will be a bit lighter going into the next round, we’ve got a great car under us with some great speed and a great team behind us. I’m taking those positives, my glass is half full. It was a bad day at the office but we’ll bounce back.”

Gordon Shedden said: “I don’t really know what to say. I don’t think I’ve ever had a weekend where I’ve had so much bad luck. It is what it is, we’ve got to move on and make the best of the next one now. These kind of weekends happen every now and then, but the team has worked so hard and while luck wasn’t on our side the car was still great. We’re going to put this one behind us and come out fighting at Knockhill.”