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Honda hopes for Rockingham gains

Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden head to the eighth round of the 2012 British Touring Car Championship at Rockingham looking to extend their advantage at the top of the Championship.

The Honda Yuasa Racing Team duo currently sits first and second in the drivers’ Championship despite a tough weekend last time out at Knockhill.

Heading to Rockingham, Neal has a ten point advantage over Shedden, but he will be driving through the pain barrier after damaging his wrist a couple of weeks ago. Having rested it, he hopes to further extend his Championship advantage.

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Shedden took a victory around the Rockingham circuit during the 2011 season and he feels that the twisty infield section will play to the strengths of the NGTC Honda Civic, as he expects to lose out on the straights due to the turbo boost restrictions.

“I think we’ll be getting back to some corners that suit this year’s car, medium- and high-speed corners,” explains Shedden, who has taken six victories to date in the 2012 campaign.

“We’ll be gaining in sector two and losing out through sectors one and three, with the straights. It’ll be interesting to see how well we can come off the slow corners too.

“Rockingham always provides very close racing – it’s rarely processional – and it’s getting harder and harder every weekend this year,” added the Scotsman.

In the break between Knockhill and Rockingham, the team had a two day test at Snetterton and Shedden feels that the car is better than before.

“There were a couple of things we needed to try that were a bit risky to do over a race weekend,” added Shedden. “The car is awesome as it is, but I’m confident we’ve found a little bit more.”

As well as Neal and Shedden sitting first and second in the drivers’ Championship, the Honda Yuasa Racing Team sit on top of the teams’ Championship and Honda/Team Dynamics lead the Manufacturers/Constructors Championship.

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