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Honda confident of strong Croft weekend

Honda Racing Team drivers Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden head to Croft this weekend in a confident mood. The Honda drivers, currently 1-2 in the driver’s championship, expect that the North Yorkshire circuit will suit the Honda Civic’s handling.

Last year at Croft Shedden took home two wins for the Honda team to revitalise his championship challenge, whilst Neal followed him home in the second race of the day for Honda’s second 1-2 finish of the season. Both drivers are hopeful of a repeat performance this weekend, especially after coming close again last time out at Oulton Park.

“It has been a great track for us in the past and I think that we will be strong there again,” said Neal, currently just 2 points clear of Shedden in the championship. “It’s a track that really rewards a car that has a strong chassis and that is something we have got with the Civic. It’s very strong in the fast sweeping corners and it’s also a good car when you have to be aggressive across the kerbing. I am going there confident of a strong weekend.”

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However Neal is also apprehensive about the wildcard that the weather can play – especially after the tricky decisions about tyres that had to be made last time out.

“We saw at the last round at Oulton Park that difficult conditions can change everything,” added Neal. “I have looked at the forecast for the weekend and it looks unpredictable. I just hope we can have three dry races to get the most out of the car”.

Having taken his first Croft win last season and immediately following it up with a second, Shedden is hoping that he can go well again this weekend to keep the pressure on in the championship.

“I agree that our car is going to be strong around Croft and I took two wins there last season,” said Shedden, 32. “Our rivals don’t stand still though so we will have to push hard to stay on top.

“For each weekend, I need to take away 30 points to remain in the title hunt – that is the target. That means three solid top three finishes and if you can get any more than that, then it is a bonus. I think we can perform strongly because it is such a technical track and it has two distinct characters.

“It has some really fast corners around the back of the circuit which mean you need a great handling car but it also has the slow and technical stuff at the end of the lap so we need to make sure that the set-up is perfect. Getting all of those elements right is what makes it such a buzz when you hook it all up.”

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