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Sheils of Limerick
Ennis Road, Co. Limerick.

Tel: 061 452244
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Honda Win BTCC Manufacturer Title at Silverstone

Honda Win BTCC Manufacturer Title at Silverstone

9 October 2012

Honda secured the 2012 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Manufacturers’ title at Silverstone despite a difficult weekend for the Honda Yuasa Racing Team.

As expected, the low level of turbo boost the NGTC Honda Civics are allowed under the BTCC’s equalisation regulations hampered Gordon ‘Flash’ Shedden and Matt Neal on the straights-dominated Silverstone Circuit.

Reigning champion Neal qualified 10th and drivers’ title leader Shedden a disappointing 19th.

After an engine change, Shedden nevertheless dug deep over the three races, battling to two sevenths and a sixth. That was despite having to defend hard on the straights and suffering contact from over-eager competitors.

His efforts, on a day when many rivals hit trouble (or each other), were enough to give Honda the 2012 title.

“We’ve had the best car all year so it’s a real testament to how good the Civic is,” said Shedden. “They’ve tried to peg us back and we’ve won it with three races still to go.”

Flash was also happy with the Civic’s handling in Northamptonshire. “As always, the car was fantastic and I had a good balance,” he added. “It was very tough, but if the car’s good enough for finishing seventh that’s where you’ve got to finish – not 17th.”

Unfortunately, Neal suffered one of the unluckiest meetings of his 20-year British Touring Car career. A turbo wastegate problem put him out of contention in race one before contact with another car resulted in a dramatic fire second time out.

“I started to smell something, then I saw the exhaust smoke, and then the team said ‘Get out!’,” said Neal.

The 45-year-old, who is still nursing a hand injury after his recent road accident, escaped unscathed and even helped put out the blaze, which brought out the safety car.

The Honda Yuasa Racing Team did a great job to get the car ready for the final race, only for more contact to end Neal’s weekend early.

With Shedden now leading Jason Plato by 15 points and Neal by 31 with just the Brands Hatch round to go, Neal is now prepared to help his team-mate take his first BTCC crown.

“It’s great to seal the Manufacturers’ Championship with a meeting still to go,” said the triple champion. “Personally, I haven’t given up, but we’ve got to focus on Flash for Brands.

“We should get some boost back and we should be very strong there.”

As well as securing the Manufacturers’ crown, Honda Yuasa Racing is also well placed to win the Teams’ Championship. The squad is currently 95 points clear of its nearest rival.

Honda Yuasa Racing’s final race outing of 2012 will be on the famous Brands Hatch Circuit on October 20-21.

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