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Honda tops all tables after Thruxton

The Honda Racing Team celebrated plenty of success at Thruxton last weekend as the team surged to the top of all of the championships in which they are entered. At the Hampshire circuit both Gordon Shedden and Matt Neal took a win apiece and the team enjoyed two 1-2 finishes.

The team showed good pace in practice early on Saturday morning and by the afternoon had honed the set-up of the two Civic’s to mount a strong challenge for pole position. Gordon Shedden duly took the pole to maintain Honda’s 100% qualifying record in 2011, whilst Neal took a strong third for the grid for race one.

Both drivers then had an excellent opening race without any major dramas for the team to take their first 1-2 finish of the year, Shedden leading Neal home. This was followed up in race two, albiet the other way around, as the team left their mark around Thruxton.

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Although there was a healthy helping of points from Shedden, who finished sixth just behind Neal in the third race, he highlighted how he is still very much in competition with Neal for the overall championship.

“I needed three solid points finishes to really kick start my campaign – but the fact that Matt scored as much as me means the gap is still the same to him,” said Shedden. “It has put me back in the hunt though.

“Given all the controversy building up to this weekend, these results show that we have got our heads down and got on with the work we needed to do, which is really pleasing,” added ‘Flash’. “It is a testament to the team that they have built a really good race car and we are reaping the rewards of the hard work that everybody has put in to this programme.

“To be on top of all three championships when we are just a quarter of the way through the season is a great tribute to the car and the two-litre turbocharged engine. We still have to fight and look for improvements, but this weekend has been a real fillip for everyone involved.”

Neal, who moves into the overall series lead courtesy of his strong results, was full of praise for his team for the work they have done during the winter.

“I am over the moon,” he said. “Considering that we were told to run with less power by the series officials before we came to this meeting, a win for Flash and a win for me is amazing. It is perfect for the team.

“Thruxton is a very unique track and we performed extremely well, which is down to the great handling of the Civic. It has a really strong chassis and we proved that at Thruxton but we still have work to do to – this championship is so competitive and everyone’s always improving. The car has been totally hooked up this weekend and I really couldn’t fault it.”

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