This year’s 2015 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship started with a double victory for the Honda factory team with Gordon Shedden and Matt Neal winning two out of the three races in the new Civic Type R.
The first of three races went to Rob Collard in the WSR BMW. Collard took victory in the first race at Brands Hatch, despite starting 5th on the grid. The BMW driver made a tremendous start to the race and it wasn’t long before he found himself in second position at the end of the opening lap. Collard was led by team mate Andy Priaulx, who started on pole until lap 13 when the former WTCC champion’s soft compound tires faded, preventing the return to the BTCC Priaulx would have wanted.
Jason Plato began the second race on pole position and the two-time champion quickly showed that he is still a force to be reckoned with, creating a four second gap ahead of Gordon Shedden and Andy Priaulx. Plato’s race lead came to an end with three laps remaining when his Volkswagen Passat suffered a puncture allowing for Shedden and Priaulx to pass.
With three laps to go Shedden and Priaulx were side by side as they battled for first place. Priaulx looked to have overtaken Shedden on the final corner of the race, however it wasn’t to be as Shedden’s Civic Type R was faster on the straights allowing him to keep the lead and win the second race of the afternoon by just 0.040seconds.
Race three started with a reverse grid with Rob Austin and his Audi A4 in pole position, Jack Goff in the MG starting second and Matt Neal in the other Honda Civic Type R starting third. Not to be outdone by his team mate Neal almost immediately moved into second place, overtaking Goff from the start. Both Austin and Goff were looking for their first win in the BTCC but it was Matt Neal who held his nerve to win the last race if the day.
Honda will hope to continue their success this weekend at Donnington Park where the Honda Civic Type R will be in action again. The Honda Civic Type R is available to pre order now from Motorparks Honda dealerships in Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells.