Matt Neal says forcing Gordon Shedden toward pitwall accidental
|By Kevin Turner||Sunday, March 31st 2013, 12:44 GMT|
Matt Neal says he did not intend to force Honda team-mate Gordon Shedden towards the pitwall in the first British Touring Car race at Brands Hatch.
Reigning champion Shedden had got sideways at Paddock on the opening lap, causing Neal to back off. Neal was then hit from behind by Dave Newsham, damaging the Civic.
A hobbled Neal continued in fourth, with Shedden behind, until Sam Tordoff's MG forced his way by at Clearways on lap 11.
Shedden tried to follow the MG on the inside, but Neal came across, forcing his team-mate towards the pitwall and onto the grass.
Neal believes the damage to his car caused him to misjudge their relative speeds.
"It was a big hit with Dave Newsham [on lap one] - I was slow on the straights because of the tyre rubbing and the wheels were pointing the wrong way," he said.
"I thought I was far enough ahead of Flash [Shedden] and was going to let him through at Paddock. I was on the radio because I wanted to see if he could challenge those ahead.
"But he had a good run and I was so slow."
Both cars survived the incident but subsequently had to make pitstops, forcing them out of the points.