Car: Driv­ers: Matt Neal (3rd), Gor­don Shed­den (9th), Andy Neate (N/A)

Motor Sport News - - Btcc Half Term Report -

That Matt Neal sits third in the points and has two wins to his name in the 2016 com­pe­ti­tion is im­pres­sive. The cham­pi­onship vet­eran cer­tainly has the habit of pre­vail­ing in the re­versed-grid en­counter, and he has done that twice this sea­son.

That is not be­cause he can only win that way. He has been in the top two of the cham­pi­onship go­ing into ev­ery meet­ing so far, which means he has car­ried at least 66kg of suc­cess bal­last. That means the Honda team has re­versed en­gi­neered its race week­ends, build­ing to the crescendo of race three.

There is a new en­gine in the Civic this sea­son and that caused some con­cern in early test­ing, but ex­cel­lent work by the Per­shore squad rec­ti­fied this in time for Brands Hatch. How­ever, Honda’s pace has dropped off as the se­ries has vis­ited rear­wheel-drive-friendly cir­cuits re­cently and it will be cru­cial that the Ja­panese cars get back in the hunt at Snet­ter­ton this week­end.

One of the hard luck sto­ries has been Gor­don Shed­den, who has twice lost points through tyre fail­ures and he is in ninth in the points. Land­ing a third ti­tle looks un­likely at this stage.

Andy Neate’s brief so­journ with the team only lasted un­til after the open­ing Brands Hatch meet­ing, when fund­ing was not forth­com­ing.

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