New TCN Logo

Upcoming events:

New TCN Logo

Honda still top after difficult Snetterton

The Honda Yuasa Racing Team remain on top in each of the championships they are eligible for, despite a tough weekend in the British Touring Car Championship at Snetterton that saw drivers Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden claim just one podium finish between them.

Having taken ten wins already in the 2012 BTCC, including at least one at each meeting thus far, the team were optimistic of adding more to their tally at Snetterton in Norfolk.

However the weekend got off to a bad start in Saturday’s first practice session when Shedden’s car caught fire in dramatic style in the pitlane, causing the Scot to sit out the second session whilst his damaged car was repaired. Neal’s day didn’t start well either, with the triple champion enduring steering issues throughout the first practice session.

- Advertisement -

The team’s fortunes failed to improve in qualifying, with Neal only managing seventh whilst carrying the maximum success ballast of 45 kg. Electrical problems reared themselves once again for Shedden, meaning he was unable to set a competitive lap and would be consigned to start the first race from the back of the grid.

On race day however both drivers put in superb performance, resulting in Neal finishing fourth and Shedden taking seventh in the first race of the day, with the Scot making up 15 places from his grid position.

With less ballast on board for the second race of the day, Neal knew that he had a chance to fight for the outright win. The championship leader spent the first half of the race closing the gap to race leader Plato, before making a move on the MG driver on the penultimate lap of the race. Ultimately contact firstly between Neal and Plato, and then between Plato and Neal, lost the duo ground and Neal once again finished fourth. It did, however, allow Shedden to finish in second after benefiting from the contact in front.

The final race of the day once again delivered disappointment for the team, after Shedden was excluded from the results for exceeding the turbo boost limits on his car, after originally finishing third. Neal spent much of the race recovering after contact from Frank Wrathall on the opening lap left him in last – he eventually finished in eighth.

Summarising his weekend, Neal was clearly frustrated and in particular was annoyed at further turbo boost restrictions to the works Honda’s.

“It’s been a rotter, but it’s the regulations,” said Neal. “My attitude is ‘it is what it is’. Nothing can live with the Honda on the brakes and there are positives for the weekend – a win for Andy (Jordan) is a silver lining on the cloud. You’ve got to have the rough ones to appreciate the good ones.”

Shedden was once again left to lament his bad luck – having already endured his fair share of it after electrical gremlins struck him at the opening round of the season.

“If there’s any bad luck going it seems to go to me,” said Shedden. “After yesterday the fact I had a car at all was a miracle. Taking the ballast out and getting in the slipstream helps a lot round here, and it was close between me and Matt on pace.”

Commenting on the incident in the second race between arch-rivals Plato and Neal, Shedden admitted that he was unclear as to who was at fault.

“I was so close to Andrew I didn’t see what happened between Matt and Jason. I stayed out of trouble and did the best job I could.”

Neal holds an 8-point lead over Shedden in the driver’s championship, whilst the team are also atop the standings in both the Constructors and Team’s championships by 109 and 132 points respectively.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Stay Connected


Must Read

- Advertisement -

Related News

- Advertisement -


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here