MATT Neal admits that the upcoming race at the Croft Circuit is not one for the faint hearted, as he and Dan Cammish gear up for the fourth round of the British Touring Car Championship.
The pair are preparing to head to North Yorkshire for Droitwich-based Team Dynamics, and are anticipating a fast, wet circuit on race day on Sunday.
They head into the latest round of action with plenty of confidence though, following a productive weekend at Thruxton last time out – where Cammish placed twice on the podium.
As it stands, the Halfords Yuasa sponsored racing team lead the Manufacturers and Teams Championships, whilst Neal and Cammish sit in fifth and eighth place respectively in the drivers standings.
Neal can make up further ground on Championship leader Colin Turkington of Team BMW this weekend, sitting just 17 points behind, but will need to be fully alert to take on the fast corners and complexity of the track in Croft.
History goes some way to provide the team with extra confidence, with the Halfords Yuasa Racing Civic winning seven times at the circuit since 2010.
Neal takes great heart from the showing of the team last time out, but hopes to secure a podium place himself this weekend.
“Thruxton was a great points haul for the whole team and I just missed out on a podium in race three,” he said.
“But we get two bites of the cherry this year with Thruxton so I’ll look to change that next time out!
“I just missed out on a podium at Croft last year as well, it is a circuit that favours the rear-wheel-drive cars, but I’ll be giving it my all to keep us at the head of the Manufacturers’ and Teams’ championships and to move myself up the Drivers’ standings.”
He then spoke of his eagerness to get back on the track, despite the difficulty of racing at Croft.
“I enjoy the circuit, it certainly isn’t for the faint hearted and I’ve had a few high-speed dices through the Jim Clark Esses in previous years!” said Neal.
“After the four-week break I can’t wait to get back out racing again.”
Cammish meanwhile believes his chances of winning the Driver’s Championship have been done no harm by the two third places he achieved at Thruxton in May.
He also looks forward to heading back to his home county.
“I was over the moon coming away from Thruxton with two podiums and a sixth, the Honda Civic Type R felt solid all weekend and has put me back in the title fight,” he said.
“Being from the North East, Croft is really classed as my home circuit, I’ve raced there many times.
“I got a podium there last year and the target is very much set on repeating that this year.
“During the break I’ve been on holiday and I have come back well rested and up for the fight.
“I’ll be going all guns blazing now to keep the points tally increasing and to close the gap to the leaders.”