The wraps came off Halfords Yuasa Racing’s 2016 Honda Civic Type R in spectacular style at Donington Park today (22 March), courtesy of a bedazzling smoke-and-laser extravaganza accompanied by a trip down memory lane with the 2006 title-winning Integra Type R also making an appearance, to reveal the car that will bid to retain Honda’s drivers’ and manufacturers’ crowns in the 2016 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.
The three car line up will be piloted by defending BTCC champion Gordon Shedden, three-time title-holder Matt Neal and new recruit Andy Neate; with all three looking forward to the opening round at Brands Hatch on 2/3 April.
“I’m feeling good and I’m feeling prepared,” affirmed Shedden, “although there’s no doubt that the competition will come thick and fast this year. We’ve had a lot to work through over the winter with the new RML components – it’s been a bit like starting again in that respect, but that’s part of the fun of developing a new car and everybody’s got the same box of bits to play with.
“This season marks ten years since I got my big break in the BTCC with Honda and Team Dynamics in a Halfords-sponsored Integra Type R, with Matt as the reigning champion and me the fresh-faced kid! It’s incredible to think that a partnership that was formed back in 2006 is still going so strong today.”
Three-time BTCC Champion Matt Neal echoed Shedden’s sentiments.
“It’s been a flat-out winter, the guys literally haven’t stopped. We are well aware that you can never rest on your laurels, and we’ll need to work harder than ever to stay ahead of the game. In four of the last five years, a Honda driver has walked away with the championship, so we certainly have a target on our backs for other teams to shoot at. That’s the territory that comes with success, though, and there’s no other position I’d rather be in.”
Team Halford’s Yuasa Racing have followed suit with a number of other teams and added an additional driver to their line up for 2016 (Team BMR 4 drivers and West Surrey Racing 3 drivers). Andy Neate returns to the series following a two-year absence and was blown away by his first impressions of the Type R and the team.
“It was fantastic to be back behind the wheel. Everybody has welcomed me so openly and really made me feel part of the team at Halfords Yuasa Racing, which has made it easy to settle in. From organisation to attention-to-detail, you can see why Honda are the champions – I don’t think there’s any team in the paddock that does it better,” concluded Neate.
The 2016 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship will be contested over 10 events, taking place at Circuits up and down the country, with the Knockhill rounds taking place over the weekend of 13/14 August. Tickets for our event – sponsored by Lokring Northern UK – can be booked online now.
A full championship schedule, latest news and information can be found via the Official Dunlop BTCC website.
BTCC is coming and we can’t wait.
Source – Halford’s Yuasa Racing