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Kilkenny Vehicle Centre
Callan Road, Kilkenny City, Co. Kilkenny.

Tel: 056 772 2830
Fax:056 772 2657
cathal@kilkennyvehicles.com
Opening Hours
Mon - Fri: 9am - 6pm
Saturday: 10am - 5pm
Sunday: Closed

New Honda Civic wins on BTCC Debut

New Honda Civic wins on BTCC Debut

3 April 2012

The Honda Yuasa Racing Team kicked off its 2012 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship challenge in fine style with victory for its new Civic at the Brands Hatch season opener last weekend.

Reigning champion Matt Neal qualified in second place and was fighting for the lead of race one when a clash between two rivals delayed him and allowed Rob Collard’s BMW slip by to win.

 But Neal went one better in the second event, moving to the front and fighting off a challenge from rival Jason Plato after an intense battle.

“When he hit me the second time I smiled – in a good way!” said Neal. “He was quicker than me at that stage. Once ahead he braked a little early at Druids and I gave him a nudge. Then, at Clearways where he had been strong all day, he ran wide and left the door open.”

A small error dropped Neal down the field in race three, but he fought back to finish seventh and is just four points off the lead in the driver standings.

“It’s been really positive,” said Neal, who believes the series’ boost regulations are hurting the Neil Brown-prepared engines. “We’re getting turned over on the boost, but to get a win for the new Civic on its first weekend is great. And we’re learning every time we go out.”

Team-mate Gordon Shedden also showed great pace in his Civic, but his Brands Hatch bad luck struck again. A mysterious intermittent electrical glitch meant his car kept cutting out throughout the weekend.

Despite the problem, which the team fought hard to cure, Shedden finished fifth in race one. He was making good progress in race two when the problem struck and, with other cars racing so close to him, Shedden decided to retire for safety reasons.

With the car working well in the final race of the weekend, Shedden stormed through the pack to finish fourth. But his poor luck struck again as he was disqualified when it was deemed his car had been worked on during a red flag period.

He nevertheless believes the new car has got potential for the year ahead. The Civics appeared to look after their Dunlop tyres better than many of their rivals.

“The car is good,” he said. “Honda had a one-two in race two [with Andrew Jordan’s Pirtek Civic following Neal home], which is great, but it’s personally frustrating.

“I don’t think it’s anything the team is doing or I am doing. Everything electrical was changed and we still had the problem.

“When I’ve been running I’ve been fine. To start from the back and finish fourth isn’t a bad effort. The tyres last well and we had a good balance when the car was running well.”

Shedden hasn’t got long to wait to put things right, as the championship moves to Donington Park on April 14-15.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

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