Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship title contender Matt Neal has vowed to keep his championship challenge on track despite suffering a hand injury during a martial arts training session.
The Honda driver has been diagnosed with a broken fifth metacarpal in his right hand after being injured while undertaking a street fighting examination over the course of the weekend.
The double champion had topped the championship standings prior to the Snetterton race weekend but failure to score in two of the three races in Norfolk means he had slipped to third in the title race going into the seventh round of the campaign at Knockhill on the opening weekend in September.
“It's self-inflicted – I was sparring and I felt something was wrong,” he told the official series website BTCC.net
. “I knew I'd done something. It's just got worse from then – my hand ballooned up like a comedy hand – so I got myself to the hospital this morning.
“It feels very tender and my hand's in a splint. I've also had internal bleeding in my palm. I've got to go back to hospital the weekend before Knockhill to have it checked again. Of all the places it would have to be Knockhill next… a lovely twisty circuit where we have to fling the cars around. Snetterton and now this…
“Luckily it's not my gearshift hand but I am feeling a bit fed up.”
However, despite the injury, Neal insists he will take his place on the grid in Scotland as he attempts to move back ahead of Mat Jackson and team-mate Gordon Shedden in the standings.
“I'll be racing at Knockhill, no question about it,” he said. “I might have to go and visit Dr Trafford (BTCC doctor) for some of his magic medicine.”