Honda duo now focus on Drivers’ title
3 October 2011 – By finishing first and second in Brands Hatch’s third and final race on Sunday afternoon, Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden confirmed that the Honda Racing Team – run by Team Dynamics and backed by the Swindon-based car company – are BTCC Teams’ and Manufacturers’ Champions for the second consecutive season.
With the team title leads now both unassailable, the drivers head into Finals Day at Silverstone with a record five men still mathematically in the running.
“Winning these titles was our primary focus this season and we knew a good weekend at Brands Hatch would make it possible,” says Neal, Drivers’ Champion of 2005 and 2006. “It is fantastic to achieve it. I had a puncture in the opening race and things weren’t looking good, but to top it off with a one-two is such a great feeling.
“You have to have a fantastic all-round car to cope with the challenges of the BTCC. You need a good engine and chassis because you are pushing the whole time and we’ve obviously got the best one because we have won the championship!
“There is still one piece of the jigsaw missing, which is the Drivers’ title – and we’ll go for that as well.”
Last year, Neal and Shedden finished second and third in the championship as Jason Plato confirmed a second title. At present - with three races remaining - Neal leads the way by five points, with Plato and Shedden now tied for second overall.
“It was a disappointing start to the weekend with the tyre problem,” Scotsman Shedden comments, “but we got some salvation by securing the two trophies. This is the hardest championship to win in the UK and the Honda Civic has lifted the major titles – you can’t get a better endorsement than that.
“The Drivers’ Championship is going to be a battle between the five guys still in with a chance, but Matt and I know we have a race-winning car underneath us. Let’s hope that we can add to the collection of silverware at Silverstone.”