Honda Racing has confirmed that it will field an unchanged driver line-up in the 2012 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) – with Gordon Shedden and Matt Neal set to remain alongside each other for a third successive season.
Shedden and Neal currently sit respectively first and second in the 2011 BTCC title standings – separated by a single point – and Honda (UK) managing director Dave Hodgetts admits that it made perfect sense to secure both of their signatures for another year to debut the Team Dynamics-run, new-generation Civic.
“Both Matt and Gordon have been fantastic ambassadors for Honda during this season,” he enthused of the experienced and highly successful duo, “and we are delighted to have them racing for us in 2012. They will be behind the wheel of a race-prepared version of the new Honda Civic, and we believe that will give us outstanding opportunities to further add to Honda's already-bulging trophy cabinet – although we've still got a job to finish this year first...”
Those sentiments are echoed by Shedden and Neal themselves, with 'Flash' reflecting that at such a pivotal moment of the present campaign, the new deal 'gives a strong sense of continuity and stability to the team – and that's a very real benefit over some of our rivals'. Neal palpably agrees.
“It's so much more than just being on the track,” the two-time BTCC Champion remarked of Honda's ongoing commitment to the series. “It's about the passion and the desire for excellence that flows within the brand. Development work on the new car is well-advanced, and we're excited about its chances.”
Sponsors for 2012 will be announced over the coming months.