Honda Yuasa Racing Team head to Snetterton in Norfolk looking to defend their lead in the Drivers’, Teams’ and Manufacturers standings as the BTCC resumes after its summer break.
Matt Neal and Gordon ‘Flash’ Shedden have taken 10 out of the 15 wins to date in 2012 and it is the current Champion who leads the way as the 2012 British Touring Car Championship resumes after its seven week summer break.
Despite leading the way at the half way point of the season, the team haven’t rested on their laurals as they seek to improve the chassis to overcome the restriction in boost which limits their top speed.
“Our engines have been away for a check over and we’ve been tweaking bits and bobs,” says points leader and reigning champion Neal.
“Everyone’s learning the NGTC package and we’ve had the best grip of it so far, and we’ve got a few new bits to try.”
Snetterton last year was a testing weekend for Neal but he still likes the new 300 configuration, which made its debut in the BTCC in 2011.
“We’ll get left on the straights at Snetterton, so we’ll have to work in the corners,” he said. “[MG driver and rival] Jason Plato will be there, and so will the Fords, but we should be in the mix again.
“The 300 circuit still has long straights, but it’s more technical than the old layout, which should help us. I enjoy it – I loved the old circuit, but I like the new one even better. It’s challenging.”
Shedden arrives in Norfolk just one point behind Neal and he will look to repeat his victory of 12 months ago – his race two victory in 2011 saw the Scottish driver move into the lead of the Championship for a race.
“We had quite a few things we needed to make changes too and we focused on those rather than running,” he said.
“There are a lot of corners at Snetterton, but there are a lot of straights too. You’re flat in sixth on the start/finish straight, again on the straight behind the pits, and again on the Bentley Straight. It’ll make it a bit tricky, but we’ll have to make the most of the corners.
“It’ll be the usual suspects and I can see the Fords and BMWs being quick. The racing was quite good last year, but it’s quite easy to defend.”