2 FEBRUARY 22 2012 motorsport-news.co.uk
IN THIS ISSUE
THE VOICE OF BRITISH MOTORSPORT ISSUE JA2809
“The team’s desire to improve is infectious”
P4 Caterham new boy Vitaly Petrov on F1 team switch
JACKSON BACK FOR BTCC TITLE ATTACK
Mat Jackson says team familiarity can be the key
NIKARA: “THE BRITISH CHAMPIONSHIP IS MY TARGET”
Finnish ace gets an Citroën DS3 R3 for BRC title bid
BRITISH RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP SPRINGS BACK
MN finds out everything about the two-wheel future
Historic race and rally news
Insight:Ford Fiesta Junior
Insight:Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge 22 Profile:Matt Bell 23 Preview:British Rally Championship 24 Report:Snowman Rally 28 Rally reports 29 Sporting Scene round-up 30 Karting round-up 32 Letters/Comment/What’s On 34 SUBSCRIBETOMOTORSPORTNEWS 36 Classifieds 37 Wanted:Boxing-style spat between MG and Honda at pre-season weigh-in
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Champion buoyed after first test with
NEAL : “I WILL BE
UICK OUT OF THE BOX” ByMatt James British touring car champion Matt Neal believes that his new Honda Civic BTCC challenger will win this season’s title after his first run in the car.
Honda Racing Team ace Neal drove the two-litre turbocharged car at the Motor Industry Research Association’s test track in Leicestershire last week and said that the reworked car, which is built to the Next Generation Touring Car regulations, can be awinner. Neal will race the TeamDynamics built and run car alongside team-mate Gordon Shedden. “This car feels amazing already,” said Neal. “It is so planted to the road and it is clear that it has masses of grip. That is going to give me confidence to push in the races.” Neal said that the early start to the test work will help the Japanese manufacturer steal amarch on the others over the opening part of the season: “Wewould have gone to Spain to test, but the weather here has been mild so we are going to try and get as many days in the UKas possible. Wewant to bemore than ready when the season begins.”
The opening round of the 2012 Dunlop MSABritish Touring Car Championship will take place at Brands Hatch onMarch 31/April 1.
Gordon Shedden (left) and Matt Neal will battle for the 2012 series
Champ’s aero work Neal said that the day’s running at MIRAwasable to give Team Dynamics a good baseline for the model that will be used in 2012.
TheHonda has been reworked since the victorious campaign in 2011. The Japanese firm has introduced a new-shape roadgoing Civic and the Honda Racing Team has taken the chance to build a brand newNext Generation Touring Car as a result.
The newNGTCrules, which will continue to be phased in over the course of 2012, require teams to use a raft of controlled parts in an effort to keep a lid on costs within the UK’s blue riband tin-top championship.
The cars will feature amandated gearbox, brakes, clutch, electronics and subframes among other standardised parts. Neal explained: “We did some runs on the intermediate layout at MIRA and that is a faster track where you can really learn about the straightline speed and the aerodynamics of the car. It felt pretty good out of the box even though some of the parts on the car are still development ones until we get the final bits.
THE CIVIC INTHE BTCC
2002:The Honda Racing team, which is run by Mike Earle’s Arena International operation, builds two top flight Type Rs for Andy Priaulx and Alan Morrison. Priaulx takes the hatchback’s first win at Knockhill (below) and is fifth in the points while Morrison scores a victory in the final round of the season and is ninth. Wins:2
and (below) Knockhill at win first hatchback’s the takes in victory a scores Morrison while points the in fifth is the of round final the is and season ninth.
2003:Morrison is joined by Matt Neal and Tom Chilton in the works team. Neal is third in the points with six wins. Morrison is fifth while Chilton is ninth. Wins: 6
2004: Honda withdraws as a factory team. Arena continues to field a car for Chilton. Team
Dynamics builds up two versions for Neal and Dan Eaves. Neal is fifth in the points, Eaves eighth and Chilton ninth. Wins: 4
2005:As Dynamics swaps to running the Integra, only Chilton’s Arena car remains. Four wins for Chilton help him to fifth in the standings. Wins:4