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NGTC Honda Civic breaks cover at Brands Hatch

Tuesday, February 21 2012

Reigning Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Champions Honda Racing have today (Tuesday) given their brand new Civic its first public outing during a semi-exclusive testing day on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit.

Current BTCC drivers champion Matt Neal was behind the wheel of the car he hopes will successfully defend his crown, while team mate and 2011 runner-up Gordon Shedden was on hand to keep an eye on proceedings.

"We're just going through the systems, it's brand new out of the box so there's a lot to go through" commented Neal, while adding "there's some good points and some bits we still need to sort out."

The car, which runs with a 'Next Generation Touring Car' specification chassis, marks a departure from the S2000 vehicle the team has run with great success over the past few seasons. With such a big change, it's commonplace for teams to start slowly, but Neal is optimistic the car is heading in the right direction: "We're not as quick as the old car yet because it was an awesome bit of kit but we've still got a long way to go. The base car and the handling feel really promising and we've got a lot of mileage planned yet. "

As well as the 'works' Honda team, Pirtek Racing drivers Andrew Jordan and Jeff Smith will also campaign the new Team Dynamics built Civic, meaning four of the new specification cars will be on the grid at Brands Hatch in five weeks time.

Neal admits there is still more to come from the new machine, but is confident that come round one, the car will be fighting at the front: "There's a lot of work to do and a few more cars to build, but it will be alright and we will get there!"

Round one of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship takes place on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit in 31 March/1 April. Advance tickets are available from £25 with free admission for children aged 12 and under. For more information and to book tickets click here or call 0843 453 9000.