Turbos versus normally-aspirated cars versus NGTC. Neal versus Plato versus Shedden. Honda versus Chevrolet versus Ford. There were many different battles fought out during the 2011 British Touring Car season, and in the end Matt Neal scooped his third crown.
Chevrolet driver and 2010 champion Jason Plato started the year as favourite, but arch-rival Neal's Honda squad switched to a new turbo engine for its S2000 Civic and stole a march on the field.
Various rules tweaks then pulled them back and helped create tension throughout the paddock. At times the fighting got a little rough - both in and out of the cars between Neal and Plato at Rockingham - before five drivers went to the Silverstone finale with a chance for the title.
Motorbase Ford driver Mat Jackson and Triple 8 Vauxhall man James Nash were outsiders and needed miracles that didn't happen, while a puncture in race one killed off Plato's chances. That left it to Honda team-mates Neal and Gordon Shedden to fight it out, with the experienced Neal delivering to become the sixth man to take three BTCC crowns.
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Kevin Turner is the editor of Autosport magazine, having previously been the editor of sister publication Motorsport News. He joined the magazine in 2006 after writing club race reports as a freelancer while studying history at the University of York. He has also covered international events for both the magazine and the website, including the Le Mans 24 Hours. Kevin covered the British Touring Car Championship from 2011 to '14 and has a keen interest in the historic racing scene. He lives in Fleet with his wife and two children.@KRT917 More features by Kevin Turner