Honda's Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden are optimistic of beginning their 2015 assault on the British Touring Car Championship in strong fashion aboard the brand new Civic Type-R.

The Team Dynamics outfit head into the new season having completed less testing mileage than its front-running rivals due to the late launch of new Civic Type-R, which isn't yet available to the public.

Nevertheless, three-time champion Neal - only targeting the top ten while he and the team continue to learn about the Type-R - has warned the rest of the field that the Honda challenge will soon become difficult to deal with as the season progresses.

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"The car feels good; it's very agile to drive and very nimble on its toes - it certainly feels as good as it looks!" said Neal.

"We've been quietly and methodically getting on with the job in-hand, and we're confident without being over-confident. Qualifying at Brands is going to be extremely tight, and just the blink of an eye could mean a four or five-place drop down the grid.

"I think our initial objective has to be to start off inside the top ten and move forward from there. Being so new, the Civic Type R still has loads of untapped potential. For now, we need to walk before we can run - but when we do start running, it really will be a case of 'catch us if you can!"

2012 champion Shedden - while sharing his team mate's enthusiasm over the new Honda weapon - is already looking further down the line as the increase in this year's success ballast hasn't escaped the Scotsman's attention.

Shedden's 2014 championship challenge shuddered to a halt after the Civic Tourer was seemingly hit hard by the weight penalties as the championship progressed to the power circuits late in the year.

"Everything is obviously still very new with the Civic Type R, but the goal remains the same," said Shedden.

"With the extra success ballast, consistency will be more important than ever this year, and we want to be troubling the podium and putting some very solid points on the board at Brands - at the very least.

"The Type R might have taken to the track a little later than some of the other cars - but I promise you it will be worth the wait!"