Published on April 5th, 2011 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Honda Racing Team with a stirring victory at 2011 BTCC
Matt Neal had a great start and qualified fastest for the opening race of the season but his lead was short lived when he was punted out by a rival, who was later penalised, on the first lap. However, Neal bounced back to show the new 2-litre turbocharged Civic’s potential with a lights-to-flag victory in the final round of the weekend. His victory was allied to a fighting seventh position in the second race.
Neal, who is fifth in the points after Brands Hatch, explained: “We’ve got to be pleased with what we’ve achieved this weekend but it could have been even more if I hadn’t have been knocked off the road in the opening race. Despite that, the performance has given me confidence. The potential in the car and the speed it’s shown straight out of the box has made me really optimistic. One of the most remarkable stories of the weekend was Gordon Shedden. The Fife ace had a 130mph accident during practice on Saturday when a tyre failed but heroic work by the Honda Racing mechanics meant the machine was repaired in time for race day. Despite starting at the back of the pack, Flash scorched through the pack to record a sixth place finish in the opening round. In race two, he vaulted to second place to give the Honda Racing Team its first podium of the season. Following his remarkable second place, Shedden backed that up with a fighting fourth place in race three. His points tally means he’s fourth in the overall standings and, like Neal, he is full of enthusiasm for the season ahead. The second meeting of the British Touring Car Championship season takes place at Donington Park on April 16/17.