Three-time BTCC champion Matt Neal is preparing to celebrate his 25th anniversary in the series having made his competitive debut at Silverstone in 1991.

The Honda Yuasa Racing driver, who turns 49 in December, has proven he has lost none of his speed after notching up three race wins in 2015 and is currently third in the BTCC standings, 27 points off team-mate and championship leader Gordon Shedden.

25 years ago a fresh-faced Neal made his debut with Pyramid Motorsport in a BMW M3 at the Northamptonshire circuit finishing 13th.

Neal, who has claimed all three of his BTCC titles with Honda machinery (2005, 2006, 2011), says Silverstone has hosted some of his highest and lowest career milestones and sees it as a fitting place to mark the occasion.

"As the 'Home of British Motorsport', it's always special to go to Silverstone and I have a lot of memories there - it's not only where I made my BTCC debut, but also where I had my biggest shunt in 1994 and won my second title in 2006," Neal said.

"We've got a spring in our step after Rockingham, but we're mindful that Silverstone has historically been a tough weekend for us. Now we have the Type R, we're in much better shape in the power department, but both Shedden and I will be carrying a lot of weight into qualifying so we still expect it to be pretty hard-going."

With the Honda Yuasa Racing duo carrying heavy success ballast into Silverstone Neal is anticipating a difficult fight on his hands on the shorter National circuit but is confident he can call upon his wealth of experience ahead of the championship battle.

"Around such a short lap where the times are so tight, ballast will play a sizeable role and any one of us could easily find ourselves outside of the top 20," Neal said. "The championship battle is narrowing down now, but all of the drivers involved have won it before and are used to the high-pressure situation.

"We've just got to concentrate on ourselves and the target is to get through the weekend with a reasonable clutch of points so we can go to Brands Hatch in with a proper shout."



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