Honda Racing have confirmed that Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden will return as teammates for a third year in The British Touring Car Championship (BTCC).
With nine races of a 30 race season left the pair lie first and second in the overall points after an occasionally dominant run in their turbocharged Honda Civics. Shedden took the points lead after the previous triple-header weekend at Knockhill, Neal sits only one point behind. Erstwhile leader Mat Jackson is now third.
“Both Matt and Gordon have been fantastic ambassadors for Honda during this season and we are delighted to have them racing for us in 2012,” said Dave Hodgetts, managing director of Honda (UK). “They will be behind the wheel of a race-prepared version of the new Honda Civic and we believe that will give us outstanding opportunities to further add to Honda's already-bulging trophy cabinet. We've still got a job to finish this year, though.”
Shedden believes that the confirmation of the deal could help contribute to a successful end to the year for the team, he said; “it gives strong sense of continuity and stability to the team and that's a very real benefit over some of our rivals.”
The Honda team, run by long term BTCC partners Team Dynamics has already confirmed it is building a new car to full Next Generation Touring Car (NGTC) specification for the 2012 campaign after adopting the NGTC turbocharged engine for 2011.
“It's so much more than just being on the track,” said Neal. “It's about the passion and the desire for excellence that flows within the brand. Development work on the new car is well-advanced and we're excited about its chances.”
Sponsors for the 2012 season will be announced over the coming months.