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Brands Hatch Grand Prix: Neal: May the best man win!

Matt Neal goes into the BTCC decider with a chance of taking a record equalling fourth title, but will have to overcome Sam Tordoff in order to achieve that feat.
Halfords Yuasa Racing's Matt Neal says there can be no room for complacency at this weekend' season deciding British Touring Car Championship finale at Brands Hatch.

The Honda driver could equal Andy Rouse on four BTCC titles this weekend but would have to overcome a 13 point deficit to championship leader Sam Tordoff.

Neal could well have left the penultimate round at Silverstone in the lead of the championship but a race one puncture altered the trajectory of his weekend.

Moving ahead to this weekend's action, even Neal, a veteran of three BTCC titles, admits he wouldn't have expected eight driver's to be still vying for the championship at this point in the season.

"It would have been crazy to think back at the start of the year that eight drivers would be going to Brands Hatch still in with a shout of the title," said Neal.

"That proves how ultra-competitive and incredibly close the BTCC is at the moment – you simply can't afford to have a bad weekend, especially now we've got to the business end of the season.

"We've had a bit of ill-fortune befall us at certain key stages that has cost us ground, but both of us go to Brands well in the hunt and prepared to throw caution to the wind and as a team, I don't think anybody in the paddock works together better than 'Flash' and I do."

While Neal expects the Team Dynamics run Honda Civic Type-R will prove compatible with the GP layout, the 49-year old - knowing how unique finals day tends to be - is far from counting his chickens.

"Sam [Tordoff] seems to have been looking over his shoulder a bit lately, but in truth the pressure will be on all of us," Neal continued.

"Anything can happen from unpredictable weather to end-of-term madness, and just one slip-up could spell the end of your championship bid.

"The GP layout should suit the Civic Type R with its excellent high-speed corner stability – it's old-school, unspoilt by health and safety warriors and calls for a lot of commitment – but then equally, it will probably suit the other cars too, so it'll definitely be game on. May the best man win!"



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