The Honda Racing Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship team has started its first public test outing for the new Civic Next Generation Touring Car (NGTC) at Brands Hatch. Triple-BTCC champion Matt Neal and Gordon 'Flash' Shedden will be pushing the vehicle to the limit so that it can be as competitive as possible ahead of the season launch this April 1, 2012.
The public test comes after last week's successful initial test at the MIRA test track where the vehicle went through rigorous system checks to make sure that it is fully functional.
The Honda Racing team and Matt Neal spent Friday acclimatizing to the vehicle, ensuring that is it safe and set for track testing. Matt Neal commented that this is their first chance to get behind the wheel to truly determine what the vehicle has. He added that the team is "really pleased" with the results from the preliminary test at MIRA.
He further stated that it will be "interesting" to see the performance of the vehicle. He is confident that they have a "championship winning car."
Gordon 'Flash' Shedden said that the feedback on the new Civic NGTC vehicle "so far is incredibly promising." He added that he has been "itching to get into the car" since the end of the 2011 season.
Team Manager Peter Crolla related that the "team have all been working incredibly hard" since August, when the NGTC program started. He added that it will be interesting from the point of view of the engineers and drivers to watch how the vehicle performs on a track where they were very competitive with the S2000 Civic. This will allow them to "really start to understand and develop the new car."