Matt Neal is optimistic on building from his P2 qualifying effort during today's three Oulton Park races after squeezing the maximum from his Honda Civic Type-R in yesterday's session.

The triple BTCC champion fell just 0.011's short of dethroning Oulton Park pole man Jason Plato but was able to jump ahead of West Surrey Racing's Andy Priaulx after a thrilling three way tussle for the top spot.

Prior to qualifying, Neal had already emphasised the significance of achieving a top-end grid slot. The Team Dynamics racer hopes he can now chase the lap time during the first race, which becomes critical for the race two grid reckoning.

Related Articles

"It would have been lovely to have him [Plato] at the end," Neal told crash.net "I didn't leave anything on the table really, that was about all we were good for. Better than we were good for actually.

"I've been in the mid-pack and its hard work, especially when you have to put the lap time in. It's real hindrance. So being at the front is a big positive for race two and the lap time you've got to pump in."

Neal believes the strength of his Civic Type-R's braking capabilities will allow him to attack the first half of the race but also added that very attribute could come back to bite him during the later half of the race.

"Positives and negatives, I think our big strength with the Honda is braking power and that means we can attack during the first half of the race," the Honda racer continued.

"Then again that could prove to be our Achilles heel during the second half of the race, as potentially for everyone else."

Out of the top-four runners, Neal carries the most amount of success ballast and that's a fact which hasn't left the 48-year old's attention.

"The only thing is that, out of the front two rows, I'm carrying the most weight and that will hurt us over the race distance.

"We haven't done a full race distance with this weight around here yet, which is not brilliant but we've just got to get stuck in tomorrow."