Double HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship title winner Matt Neal has taken part in a day of testing with the Supercheap Auto Racing team he will join for the V8 Supercar Championship enduro events at Phillip Island and Bathurst.
The VX Racing ace took to the track at Queensland Raceway aboard the Holden Commodore of regular Supercheap racer Russell Ingall for the test as he prepares to take part in a V8 Supercar race for the first time in seven years – his last visit down under having ended with him writing off a brand new car in Sydney back in 2001.
"Last time I was here I really didn't crown myself in glory and I didn't think I would get another opportunity to come back," he said. "When Paul [Morris – team boss] rang it was great, I thought 'fantastic, I get to have another crack at a V8 Supercar', and I jumped at the chance."
"It was fantastic, I really enjoyed my time behind the wheel of Russell's Supercheap Auto Commodore - it's really a proper race car. They've now got a sequential gearbox, the chassis are stiffer and they've got loads more grip - they've really taken another step."
Neal will line-up alongside NASCAR racer Boris Said for the two races and he admitted that he was confident that the pair will be on the pace.
"I've never met Boris; I've seen pictures of him, that's about it," he said. "He looks like a pretty wild guy, but you just need to look at his CV and you can see he is a pretty handy peddler."