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Honda takes team and manufacturer titles

The Honda Racing Team provisionally secured the HiQ Teams and the Manufacturers/Constructors championships in the British Touring Car Championship at the weekend at Brands Hatch.

Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden’s 1-2 finish in the final race of the day around the Grand Prix circuit means that the team finally have the titles in the bag, having looked likely to take the honours all season long.

The day didn’t start on a good note for the Team Dynamics-run Honda outfit though, with both Neal and then Shedden suffering punctures in the first race of the day.

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Forced to start down the order for the second race, the duo fought through the pack to take seventh and eighth, before benefitting from the race three reverse grid and ending the day with the perfect result.

“Winning these titles was our primary focus this season and we knew a good weekend at Brands Hatch would make it possible,” said Neal, who leaves Brands Hatch leading the drivers championship by five points. “It is fantastic to achieve it. I had a puncture in the opening race and things weren’t looking good but to top it off with a one-two is such a great feeling.

“You have to have a fantastic all-round car to cope with the challenges of the BTCC. You need a good engine and chassis because you are pushing the whole time and we’ve obviously got the best one because we have won the championship!”

“There is still one piece of the jigsaw missing which is the drivers’ title – and we’ll go for that as well.”

Shedden went into the meeting as the joint leader of the points with Neal and leaves it third in the championship. However the Scot is still hopeful of title glory at the final meeting at Silverstone.

“It was a disappointing start to the weekend with the tyre problem,” said Shedden. “But we got some salvation by securing the two trophies. This is the hardest championship to win in the UK and the Honda Civic has lifted the major titles – you can’t get a better endorsement than that.

“The drivers’ championship is going to be a battle between the five guys still in with a chance but Matt and I know we have a race-winning car underneath us. Let’s hope that we can add to the collection of silverware at Silverstone.”

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