Tag Archives: Honda Yuasa Racing Team

F1Weekly podcast # 621

BTCC brands hatch 2013


MG racer Plato claims two wins before Neal leads home a Honda one-two in final contest.

Jason Plato leads the 2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship after taking two wins from the opening three races of the season on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit.
Matt Neal led home Honda Yuasa Racing team-mate Gordon Shedden in the final race to ensure the champion squad ended a challenging weekend on a high. Fellow Honda Civic driver Andrew Jordan is second in the standings after securing a pole position, two second places and a sixth from the weekend.
Plato won the opening race of the year after coming out on top of a pulsating battle with Jordan. Rob Austin had led the early running in his Audi A4 before both Plato and Jordan slipped by. A closing Jordan made one final lunge on Plato in an attempt to claim victory, and the rather optimistic move ended in contact with both cars sliding off the track. Incredibly both scrabbled their way back onto the circuit before third placed Austin had arrived, and Plato hung on to win.
Race two was a much more commanding affair as Plato took a lights-to-flag victory – the 76th win of his record breaking BTCC career. Jordan again claimed second, ahead of the charging Honda of reigning champion Shedden. The Scotsman was later excluded, however, after his car failed ride height regulations during post-race scrutineering, handing Jeff Smith a popular podium for Pirtek Racing.
Triple-champion Neal then went on to secure his first win of the new campaign, leading home team-mate Shedden by an incredibly close 0.083s. Neal took the lead early on after pole-sitter Mat Jackson slid wide in his Ford Focus at Druids. The Honda driver went on to take charge of the race, before fending off a late challenge from Shedden. A great drive from 23-year-old Sam Tordoff saw him score his maiden BTCC podium for the MG KX Momentum team, which along with Plato’s healthy points score means the squad is in charge of the Manufacturer standings.
The final race also included a huge accident when Dave Newsham spun his Toyota Avensis on the dip between Paddock and the run up to Druids. Austin attempted to take avoiding action but clipped Newsham’s stricken car on his way through. Austin’s Audi ran on to the grass at high speed before making heavy impact with the barrier on the inside of the circuit. Both drivers emerged unscathed from the dramatic incident.
The Jack Sears Trophy – for S2000 cars – is led by Liam Griffin after the Addison Lee Motorbase driver claimed two wins in his Ford Focus. James Kaye was the inaugural victor having won the first race in the AmDTuning.com VW Golf.
It was Jason Plato who left Kent with the biggest smile as the double-champion holds a nine-point lead in the standings over Jordan. Tordoff’s maiden podium and two top-six finishes mean he lies third in the championship, followed by the consistent Smith and race three victor Neal. The BTCC battle is rejoined at Donington Park in Leicestershire on 20-21 April.
Jason Plato said: “I am delighted with the first two wins. Last year was a sign of what might have come for us at MG – but we’ve changed the balance considerably now so it’s much easier to drive. It has been a good weekend.”

Matt Neal said: “I’m really chuffed with the one-two after what’s been a tough weekend, but they always say to finish on a high. It was a nice way to finish the race in Honda formation – it reminded me of the last race of last season.”
Penalties: Frank Wrathall (Dynojet) was fined £1000 and given three penalty points on his competition licence for incidents in race two.

2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Brands Hatch Indy – Provisional Results
Race 1
1 Jason Plato (MG KX Momentum Racing) 27 Laps

2 Andrew Jordan (Pirtek Racing) +2.168 

3 Rob Austin (WIX Racing) +6.130

4 Sam Tordoff (MG KX Momentum Racing) +7.781

5 Jeff Smith (Pirtek Racing) +8.245

6 Frank Wrathall (Dynojet) +13.622

Race 2
1 Jason Plato (MG KX Momentum Racing) 49.124

2 Andrew Jordan (Pirtek Racing) +0.989

3 Jeff Smith (Pirtek Racing) +4.958

4 Matt Neal (Honda Yuasa Racing) +5.073

5 Sam Tordoff (MG KX Momentum Racing) +5.454

6 Adam Morgan (Ciceley Racing) +5.874
Race 3
1 Matt Neal (Honda Yuasa Racing) 27 laps

2 Gordon Shedden (Honda Yuasa Racing) +0.083

3 Sam Tordoff (MG KX Momentum Racing) +1.216

4 Adam Morgan (Ciceley Racing) +2.171

5 Jason Plato (MG KX Momentum Racing) +3.651

6 Andrew Jordan (Pirtek Racing) +4.727
2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Provisional Driver Standings – after 3 of 30 rounds
1 Jason Plato (MG KX Momentum Racing) 54 points

2 Andrew Jordan (Pirtek Racing) 45
3 Sam Tordoff (MG KX Momentum Racing) 40

4 Jeff Smith (Pirtek Racing) 35
5 Matt Neal (Honda Yuasa Racing) 34

6 Adam Morgan (Ciceley Racing) 32


Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.

Little more than a week remains before Northamptonshire’s world-famous Silverstone circuit (Sat 6/Sun 7 Oct) hosts the crucial penultimate round of this year’s Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship. The three races at Silverstone will decide who will then still be in with a chance of winning the UK’s most prestigious motor racing title on Finals Day at Brands Hatch in Kent a fortnight later.
Seven drivers can mathematically still be crowned BTCC Champion in 2012, namely Honda Yuasa Racing Team team-mates Gordon Shedden and Matt Neal who lead the way, MG KX Momentum Racing’s Jason Plato, Pirtek Racing’s Andrew Jordan, eBay Motors pair Robert Collard and Tom Onslow-Cole and Redstone Racing’s Mat Jackson.
Arriving at Silverstone it is Hampshire’s Collard, Surrey’s Onslow-Cole and Warwickshire’s Jackson who will be most under pressure to perform if they are to keep their fading title hopes alive. All are presently more than 67 points adrift of leader Shedden with that then being the maximum available when the cars take to the legendary Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit for the season finale on the weekend of 20/21 October.
Of the four ahead, two wins for Scotsman Shedden last weekend at Rockingham, also in Northamptonshire, have moved him into the championship lead by three points from Worcestershire’s Neal. Shedden has never won the BTCC before while Neal is looking to retain his crown from last season – achieved when he defeated Shedden at Silverstone – and make it four titles to his name.
For Oxford’s Plato, himself a double BTCC Champion, Silverstone is very much his home event as it is for Lichfield youngster Jordan who, like Shedden and Neal, races a Honda Civic. All three Honda drivers, though, are expecting to struggle around Silverstone’s high-speed National circuit and Plato, in his MG6, will be hoping they are right.
Plato is currently 32 points behind Shedden with a maximum of 67 available from Silverstone’s three races. What’s more his MG team-mate Andy Neate, another local from nearby Aylesbury, will surely be out to aid Plato’s chances by stealing vital points away from his Honda rivals…
Silverstone’s short lap and long, wide straights never fail to deliver plenty of doorhandle-to-doorhandle entertainment for fans. Indeed the view from Woodcote corner of cars slipstreaming and fanning out five abreast along the Wellington Straight is one of the most evocative of the season.
As ever ‘the home of British motor sport’, easily accessible from across the Midlands just off the A43 dual carriageway between the M40 and M1 motorways, is making its big BTCC weekend hugely popular among audiences both young and old. Adult tickets for race day (Sunday) start from just £29 if booked in advance with admission for accompanied children aged 15 and under FREE all weekend. All admission includes access to grandstands, the main central BTCC teams’ paddock and Sunday’s specially organised autograph session with the star touring car drivers.
To book in advance visit www.silverstone.co.uk or call the ticket hotline 0844 3750 740.



Jason Plato and Gordon Shedden shared the wins in today’s three exhilarating Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship races at Northamptonshire’s Rockingham circuit. Two of the wins went the way of Scotsman Shedden who has now taken over the championship lead as the title race stays in the county for its penultimate three races of the season at Silverstone in a fortnight (6/7 October).
Plato had taken pole position with a new qualifying lap record on Saturday in his MG KX Momentum Racing MG6. He duly went on to dominate today’s first race, held in dry conditions, and set a new race lap record en route. Pirtek Racing’s Andrew Jordan and Honda Yuasa Racing Team star Shedden were second and third in their Honda Civics.

But then conditions changed dramatically as heavy rain settled in for the rest of the day, this enabling Shedden and Neal to take a pair of dream 1-2 results for their team in both the second and third races. Plato finished behind them on each occasion in third.

As a result Shedden leaves Rockingham with a three-point lead over Neal. Plato is a further 29 behind with a maximum of 134 still available from the season’s final six races – three each at Silverstone in two weeks and Brands Hatch, Kent a fortnight later (Sun 21 Oct).
Dalgety Bay’s Shedden, who has now won eight times in 2012, commented: “I’m delighted – it seems ages since we won a race so to score a pair of 1-2s is just great for everyone in our team. The rain certainly helped us today as Jason had been looking very strong if it had stayed dry. Importantly we’ve maintained a decent gap to him as we’re expecting him to have the upper hand at Silverstone.”

Worcestershire’s Neal, the reigning Champion who has driven this weekend in pain from a broken hand, said: “I’m just pleased to get through the weekend. Gordon was unstoppable in those conditions but a pair of seconds and a sixth are probably better than I thought was possible. We’re expecting Silverstone to be tough but this really helps thinking ahead to Brands Hatch.”

Oxford’s Plato added: “We’ve managed to hold the gap to the Honda drivers, even take a little nibble out of them, at what is one of the strongest circuits for their car so I’m satisfied with that. Silverstone is going to be all-important, though – ultimately I want us to go to the final round so there’s a proper showdown for the people watching.”
Meanwhile Honda/Dynamics and the Honda Yuasa Racing Team continue to dominate the Manufacturer/Constructor and outright HiQ Teams championships respectively. Jordan has moved further clear at the top of the Independent Drivers Championship. And his Pirtek Racing squad has also regained the Independent Teams Trophy lead.
Elsewhere several drivers were punished by officials for on-track indiscretions today. Race 1: Jeff Smith, fined £500 and three penalty points on his competition licence following an incident with Aron Smith. Race 1: Matt Neal, verbal warning following an incident with Rob Austin. Race 2, Jason Plato, verbal warning for performing practice starts.


Matt Neal continued his recent strong form with pole position in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship’s qualifying session at Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire.
Reigning Champion Neal, second in the standings, set a best lap of 1m24.900s in his Honda Yuasa Racing Team Civic to grab pole spot on the starting grid for the first of tomorrow’s three races.
The Civics of Pirtek Racing privateer Andrew Jordan and Neal’s team-mate Gordon Shedden, the current championship leader, were second and third fastest as Hondas filled the top three spots.
Frank Wrathall’s Dynojet Toyota Avensis was fourth ahead of Jason Plato’s MG KX Momentum Racing MG6 and Robert Collard’s eBay Motors BMW which just won the battle of the rear-wheel-drive cars as it pipped by Rob Austin’s RAR Audi A4 to sixth by 0.039s.

Plato, who’d set the fastest time of the day in an earlier practice session, was denied the opportunity of going for pole late on when his car stopped with an electrical problem.

Worcestershire’s Neal, who took a victory double at Oulton Park a fortnight ago and also won twice at Croft 12 months ago, commented: “I’m delighted. We played about a lot with tyres in the two practice sessions while working on general set-up and this is the result. But we’ve also seen in the practice sessions that this circuit is very hard on tyres and that will play a factor tomorrow…”
Staffordshire’s Jordan, chasing his first win of 2012 – he achieved his maiden BTCC race victory at Croft two years ago – was satisfied with second. He said: “I put in a very good first lap but that was the ‘banker’ lap done. The next time I went out on track I was going for Matt’s pole but needed to duck around a few slower cars and right at the end there were waved yellow caution flags for the MG at the side of track. I’m still happy, though.”
Fife’s Shedden, who has won an unrivalled five times from the 12 races so far this season, added: “My car’s carrying maximum success ballast, of course, and even though it’s only nine kilos more than Matt’s it does hurt a lot around this particular circuit. I could probably have got a bit more out of the car on my final run but third is OK.”