Honda drivers Gordon Shedden and Matt Neal experienced a rough weekend in the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) at Snetterton, losing the championship lead and claiming just one top ten finish between them.
Qualifying with maximum ballast for leading the championship at the summer break proved to be problematic for Shedden, who could only manage 16th on the grid for race one, making little progress in the race. Whilst Neal took sixth, that was as good as it would get for the team in Norfolk.
Race two saw a hectic start and one in which the Honda pairing made contact. Neal made contact with the left-rear of Shedden’s car, which in turn caused front-right damage to his own Civic and forced his own retirement a few laps later when he was shown the black-and-orange flag for his damaged car.
The team set about repairing the pair of Civics, but from the back of the grid the only result which could be salvaged was a points finish for Neal in 11th. Shedden experienced further problems in the final race, but a point was salvaged by taking the fastest lap later on.
“The weekend hasn’t exactly gone according to plan,” said a downbeat Neal after the races. “It was a bit of a rough weekend for both of us – for racing and results. At stages like this you have to look forward and as I said to ‘Flash’, in this game we’ve got to be able to roll with the punches – you’ve got to have tough races and tough weekends to appreciate the good ones.
“Unfortunately this has been a bit of a hard weekend for us but the positives are: we will be a bit lighter going into the next round, we’ve got a great car under us with some great speed and a great team behind us. I’m taking those positives, my glass is half full. It was a bad day at the office but we’ll bounce back.”
Shedden was left speechless after experiencing his worst-ever weekend in the BTCC, since joining the series back in 2006.
“I don’t really know what to say – I don’t think I’ve ever had a weekend where I’ve had so much bad luck,” said Shedden. “It is what it is, we’ve got to move on and make the best of the next one now.
“These kind of weekends happen every now and then, but the team has worked so hard and while luck wasn’t on our side the car was still great. We’re going to put this one behind us and come out fighting at Knockhill.”