Neal fastest in Snetterton 300 test
15 March 2011 – The British Touring Car Championship trialled Snetterton’s new-look 300 circuit layout for the first time on Monday, with an unofficial test at the Norfolk venue. Matt Neal and Honda led the way, three tenths of a second up on Team Airwaves’ Mat Jackson, as Tom Chilton and Team AON completed the top three.
Monday’s gathering was the first collective get-together for all leading teams this year, ahead of next Thursday’s pre-season media day at Silverstone. In his family-prepared but now works-backed Civic, Neal set the pace with a best effort of 1:58.761, with Airwaves now running a Ford Focus and AON having obtained sole exclusivity to use the blue oval’s new Global Focus for 2011.
“It’s a great start for us, considering the others have been running for a month or so,” said 2005 and 2006 title winner Neal. “It's actually got me quite excited about our prospects, but I'm not getting carried away – I’m sure the others have something more up their sleeves.”
Behind, Paul O’Neill continued to sample a title-winning Chevrolet Cruze to manage fourth place for Tech-Speed as Pirtek’s Andrew Jordan and WSR’s Rob Collard made the top six in their Vauxhall Vectra and BMW 320si, respectively.
There was drama at the end of the day, though, when Airwaves rookie Liam Griffin endured an excursion at the Bomb Hole, ripping off his front bumper and headlights in the process.