In a change of circumstances, the Honda Yuasa Racing pairing of Gordon Shedden and Matt Neal enter the final British Touring Car Championship meeting of the season on the offence this season, but both feel that the pressure may still tell on Andrew Jordan.
Shedden became BTCC champion for the first time at the Brands Hatch GP circuit 12 months ago and currently lies third in the standings, 35 points behind Jordan with 67 left on the table.
The Scot, who claimed a hard-fought win in the previous race at Silverstone, says he will continue to fight to defend his crown until the very end at a circuit that historically has always suited the NGTC Honda Civic.
“Anything can happen and I’ll be giving it everything until I can’t retain my title”, Shedden said.
“The car’s strengths are in medium and high-speed corners and there are a lot of those at Brands,” added the reigning champion. “We’ll work together and see what happens. It’s Andy’s to lose, but stranger things have happened.”
His team-mate Neal carries the burden of a finger injury that he pulled through the pain barrier of during the previous event at Silverstone on his way to a double podium.
Lying 34 points behind Jordan, Neal also knows the mammoth task in store in his bid to become a four-time BTCC champion, but says that the pressure is off for the works squad compared to their Independent Eurotech rival.
“It’s got to be flat-out at Brands. Anything can happen and we’ve got to give it everything. Everyone has nothing to lose except Andy. We need to put him under as much pressure as possible.
“We’ve got three Honda drivers in the top three and we could have the third different champion driving a Honda in three years, which would be great.”
Cleared to race despite his injury, Neal also holds very positive feelings towards the circuit he claimed his maiden overall title at back in 2005, and believes Honda will be strong again this weekend.
“The car was fantastic on the GP loop last year, in the wet and dry. I’d have 10 rounds just at Brands Hatch if I could!”