Mixed fortunes for Honda Yuasa in Brands Hatch heat

Auto Torque catch up below with three-time BTCC champion Matt Neal and his Honda Yuasa racing team after the second round of races at a swelteringly hot Brands Hatch on Sunday 9th August.

Dan Cammish took his second win of the season in the opening race but then a double retirement in race two ruined the rest of the Halfords Yuasa Racing team’s day. 

For race 1 Dan secured a second successive front-row qualifying position in his Honda Civic Type R. Team-mate Matt Neal lined up 11th half a second further back.   

With 12 of the 15 laps done, the race was turned in Cammish’s favour – by misfortune to the second Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda. Neal had endured a frustrating race in the pack. As he tried to recover he made contact with the car of Senna Proctor and the Honda was spun into retirement, sparking a safety car period while the car was recovered. On the restart leader Butcher ran wide into the first corner and suffered a puncture as Cammish pulled away to score his second victory of the season.  

Cammish battled back into the podium positions during race 2, and he looked set to challenge the top two in the closing stages of the race. But then a mechanical issue sent the Honda tumbling down the order to a 19th-place finish. Already in the pits was team-mate Neal, the Hondas among several cars suffering from issues in the sweltering conditions.

With both Hondas at the wrong end of the grid for the final race carnage in the pack on lap one helped. Cammish leapt from 19th to 12th, before climbing into the top ten. But then with eight laps down another mechanical issue forced the Honda into retirement.

Matt Neal brought consolation with an inspired drive from 24th on the grid, passing cars throughout the race to eventually secure sixth spot and some vital points.

“Some days in motorsport you just don’t have the luck, and in the heat of today we had the pace but not the luck,” said Matt Neal, Halfords Yuasa Racing Driver and Team Dynamics Director. “I was pleased with my drive in the final race, I passed a lot of cars and scored some perhaps vital points, but it’s scant consolation when our pace suggested we could have had so much more.”

A day that ended in a frustrating manner for the Honda Yuasa team can soon be overcome as the BTCC resumes in just two weeks’ time at Oulton Park in Cheshire.   

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