#4 Matt Neal – # 52 Gordon Shedden
Honda return as a works outfit in the BTCC for the first time since 2004, running two cars for double Champion Matt Neal and Scotsman Gordon Shedden.
Neal returns to the Honda/Team Dynamics squad after 2 years away with the VX Racing team, where he led the Championship during the opening few rounds before a run of bad luck ultimately meant he ended fourth overall in 2009.
For Shedden, it's a return to the team who gave him his first full time BTCC drive in 2006, and who he was team leader for in 2008, before losing his drive after Brands Hatch in 2009.
Team Dynamics, who built and ran the cars, struggled in 2009, taking only three wins with James Thompson at the wheel, and using 4 drivers during the season. They will be looking to bounce back in the Civic.
The line-up is a proven winner, both drivers are quick and consistent – the question is, will the car be up to the challenge?
Both drivers will win races and feature heavily in a title challenge at the start of the season. Whether either driver will end up as Champion will depend on a lot of luck, and for Neal, avoiding contact and incidents. Shedden is the smoother, more consistent racer, and could cause an upset.
TCF Driver Predictions:
Neal: 5th, incidents could prove to be his downfall.
Shedden: Dark horse for the title, driving style means he avoids contact and can be blistering quick. 3rd overall.
Photo credit: Vince Pettit Photography