Honda Duo Remain Coy on Testing Performance
Honda are drawing to the end of their extensive testing programme, with Brands Hatch as one of their final circuits to visit ahead of the coming season, and both the team’s drivers are remaining realistic – and fairly nonspecific – on their performance at the start of the season.
Both Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden, who have four titles between them, have been present at nearly all test days over the pre-season period and their outing at the Kent circuit saw them join fellow champions Andrew Jordan, Fabrizio Giovanardi and Colin Turkington on track.
Triple champion Neal stated that it was good to have a look at their competitors and that when the series returns to the Indy circuit in full at the end of the month, everyone will have to be driving at the top of their game.
Neal remarked to Motorsport Vision on the test: “It’s been a really positive day and it’s nice to have a little bit of a benchmark. The others aren’t going to make you go faster, and they’re not going to give you their data to compare, but it’s nice to see where you’re at and if you’re in the hunt.
“I think round one is going to be busy, just out qualifying with 31 cars on the Indy circuit. You’re going to have to be really pulling your socks up to get into the top ten, there’s no margin for error.”
Neal’s and 2012 champion Shedden has only recently had the opportunity to conduct tests in his own Civic Tourer. The Honda squad have been building the second estate model and the Scotsman has spent the last couple of weeks developing alongside Neal.
Having had a somewhat roller coaster of a 2013 campaign, Shedden is hopeful his troubles from last year are behind him and that the Honda outfit have a great chance of moving forward.
“The most important thing is that together we’ve got the best package to try and hone going forwards,” Shedden added. “We’re trying to get as much out of it as possible, but it is a very different animal to the hatchback.
“I think I had a fairly turbulent year last year, but now we’re all back level again, and we can go at it hammer and tongs again!”
Article originally written on Thursday, 13 March 2014. Read more articles from the BTCC Crazy Archive.