After a topsy-turvey Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship weekend at Silverstone, Matt Neal says that Halfords Yuasa Racing have ‘nothing to lose’ in the Brands Hatch season finale.
Neal recovered from a race one puncture at the national circuit to bag results of 15th and fifth in the penultimate meeting of the 2016 season, leaving him just 13 points adrift of Sam Tordoff in the standings.
With three races to go, the 2005, 2006 and 2011 BTCC champion said that Honda have the advantage of experience and a double-pronged attack on their BMW rival, as they bid to grab the title at Brands Hatch GP circuit on 2 October.
“We’ve got nothing to lose”, Neal told The Checkered Flag ahead of the finale in two weekend’s time. “It’s a case of throwing caution to the wind on both our accounts.
“It’s a shame, because three laps from home in race one, I felt pretty smug.
“I thought we could have walked out with a nice healthy points advantage, but at least we’re still in the hunt.”
On the costly puncture, Neal added: “It was caused from the [Aiden] Moffat incident, then it’s playing catch-up from there on. [A podium] would have been easy and we’d have come away with the lead, but it is what it is.”
Neal is confident that the Brands Hatch GP circuit will suit Honda and himself, having taken no fewer than 14 race victories at the Kent venue in his illustrious BTCC career.
“We should be good round Brands”, said the triple champion. “I guess we’ve got two strings to our bow now as well with Shedden back in it. Sam’s got to carry full weight again, so it’s game on.
“We’ve got to go and do the best we can in qualifying and go from there really.”
When asked whether 2016 has been one of the closest BTCC seasons of recent times, Neal commented: “It is. It’s hard work to salvage something in the end.”