With the 2019 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship only a matter of weeks away, Knockhill commentator Duncan Vincent catches up with 3-time BTCC Champion Matt Neal to discuss the outlook for his Halfords Yuasa Racing squad as they prepare for their second year with the Honda Civic Type R FK8.
Matt looks back at the team’s performance in 2018 and gives us an indication of what the team have been working on over the winter. Matt also discusses the details and reaction to the teams new bright colour scheme for 2019.
Neal and his team will get their first sight of the competition at tomorrow’s first official BTCC test of the season. With the arrival of the new BMW 3 Series of West Surrey Racing and of course the introduction to the series of Toyota GB with Tom Ingram’s stunning Corolla, the competition will be as fierce as ever.
“I’m optimistic about the year ahead. We’re in a pretty good place after a challenging first year mainly because the team lost an experienced team-mate in the shape of Gordon Shedden. We brought Dan to the team, who was experienced and successful in other formula, but not in Touring Cars.
“A year down the line, Dan has more experience of Touring Cars and I have more experience with the car. The good thing is that the speed is there. At 30% of the tracks last year we were quicker than the old FK2, however, at 30% of the tracks we were slower. So this winter we’ve been focussing our attention on improving what we thought the were the weak points of the car.
“That said, we are optimistic, but there is a lot of good outfits out there and I think there are a lot of people who are also optimistic… time will tell and Brands will be proof of the pudding,” concluded Neal.
Our Lokring Northern UK supported BTCC race weekend takes place at Knockhill over the weekend of 14/15 September. Tickets are available now at discounted rates. Hope to see some of here for another weekend of epic BTCC racing.