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Halfords Yuasa poised to continue title fight at Snetterton

After a six-week hiatus, the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship springs back into action at Snetterton this weekend, with the Halfords Yuasa Racing duo of Matt Neal and defending champion Gordon Shedden looking to make amends for the difficult weekend they suffered at Croft.

With ten different winners alone in the first half of the season, this year’s title fight is one of the most unpredictable in recent times, with the top ten drivers separated by just 63 points as the series heads to Norfolk.

Neal is third in the standings, 15 points behind current leader Team JCT600 with GardX’s Sam Tordoff, and is one of five drivers that has taken two wins this year.

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Even with a retirement at the first race at Thruxton and three top twelve finishes at Croft six weeks ago, the three-time champion is looking forward to racing on the 2.969-mile circuit.

“Snetterton is a circuit I really enjoy and a proper challenge – it might be a fair way for us to travel, but it’s well worth the trip and I’m very much looking forward to it,” explained Neal, who stated that the Civic Type-R is still down on straight-line speed in comparison with its rivals.

“With that in mind, we’re prepared for the fact that it could be a difficult weekend for us, so we’ll need to really maximise the Civic Type R’s mega chassis in the braking zones and through the fast corners – that’s where this car truly comes into its own. It’s always good to go racing again after a long break, especially when you’re in the thick of such an absorbing title fight – so bring it on!”

Shedden, who is ninth in the standings on 116 points, has won at Snetterton four times over his lengthy BTCC career, and is looking for a resurgence of form this coming weekend.

“In some respects, the start of the second half of the season is almost like beginning afresh and I’m definitely ready to get stuck in again! Snetterton has historically been a power circuit and we are suffering in a straight line at the moment, so we make no bones about the fact that we expect a rough ride.”

Shedden will go into this weekend with the lowest amount of success ballast since the season opener at Brands Hatch Indy back in April, and is hoping that the Civic will showcase some welcome improvement after a lot of development work over the summer break.

“I really have to make that count in qualifying and race one. I need to put some big points on the board this weekend to try and haul myself back into championship contention.”

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