- Honda Yuasa Racing pair in bullish mood after Scottish success
- Gordon Shedden gunning to regain championship lead
- Matt Neal confident Civic Type R will be on-song in Northants
The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship is enjoying one of the most thrilling and fiercely-contested campaigns in its long and illustrious history. Behind the wheel of the new-for-2015 Honda Civic Type R, Shedden and Neal are right up at the sharp end of the action, sitting respectively second and third in the points standings amongst the 35 high-calibre protagonists with Honda atop the manufacturers’ table.
What’s more, both men can boast a strong previous record at Rockingham, having each triumphed on four occasions. Neal, indeed, won the very first BTCC race around the Northants speedbowl back in 2003 – appropriately enough, behind the wheel of a Civic Type R – and he and Shedden are palpably eager to add to their collection of silverware in just over a week’s time.
“It’s game on after Knockhill, isn’t it! Everybody at Honda Yuasa Racing produced a tremendous response there following the trials and tribulations of Snetterton – we really showed our strength and character as a team to bounce back as well as we did. It was perfect timing and gave us all a real buzz. I’m feeling good and looking forward to Rockingham, which will hopefully be another successful weekend and the goal is to regain the lead of the championship. It’s a circuit that poses a unique challenge with a good variety of corners and the competition is going to be tighter than ever, but we will simply focus on doing the best job we can and I’m confident we will be in the mix.”
“I love Rockingham and we go there with high hopes. The nature of the layout favours a good all-round package come rain or shine. You need strong brakes in the dry – which is a real attribute of the Type R – and there tends to be a lot of aquaplaning in the wet. That can be tricky, but our car works really well in those conditions too. Take Snetterton out of the equation and we’ve been in the hunt at every circuit this year, so there’s no reason why Rockingham won’t be business as usual. After two wins at Knockhill, we go there on the front foot, and both ‘Flash’ and I will be on the attack right from the word ‘go’.”