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BTCC Oulton Park

Dynamics stars pay tribute to Neal 

Stars of British Touring Car Championship squad Team Dynamics have paid tribute to its “visionary” founder and long-time principal Steve Neal, who died last Sunday aged 82.

Steve Neal, Matt Neal's father, Team Dynamics

Neal, whose son Matt won three outright BTCC titles with the team, was emulated by Gordon Shedden, who not only took triple crowns but also matched Neal Jr’s record of 52 race wins with Dynamics. 

“Steve and Matt gave me my chance in touring cars in 2006,” Shedden, who claimed Dynamics’ last BTCC race win at Croft in 2022, told Autosport. 

“Matt had just won the championship, and it was Steve’s vision to take me as a young upstart and put me in a championship-winning touring car team, and to pair me with Eddie Hinckley as engineer. 

“I owe everything to Steve; it was his belief in me that gave me everything. 

“He was an absolute character. I only spoke to Steve on the phone three times in my life, and he fired me each of those three times!  

“Any other time it was Steve on the phone, I would phone Matt and say, ‘What’s going on?’  

“You’ve never met anyone so driven in your life. He was a workaholic, unbelievably passionate about everything he was doing. You knew exactly where you were with him.” 

2006 BTCC champion Matt Neal, Team Halfords with his father Steve Neal

2006 BTCC champion Matt Neal, Team Halfords with his father Steve Neal

Photo by: Edd Hartley

Dan Cammish, who replaced Shedden at Dynamics went the Scot went on his World Touring Car Cup interregnum, told Autosport: “He was a proper character. He was so passionate about it.  

“Matt said, ‘At some point he’s going to come at you and he’s going to be all fired up and he’ll let you have it with both barrels, you’ve just got to know who he is, but it doesn’t mean it can’t give you motivation.’  

“I prepared for this moment for years but it never came! He always spoke to me calmly and softly, and gave me encouragement all the time. He really believed in me and was a big supporter of mine, not only within Dynamics but generally, and that means a lot to me.” 

Neal Sr remained at the helm of the team for Cammish’s first two seasons in 2018 and 2019, but took a step back during the COVID-ravaged 2020 campaign. 

But Cammish, who came within two laps of claiming the 2019 crown, pointed out that “he was always in the office when I was in. He was very driven, and once Rimstock [the family wheels business] had been sold he was very motivated by the racing team.” 

Under Neal Sr’s watch, Dynamics won BTCC races with the Super Touring Nissan Primera, and then built and developed various generations of Honda from the Integra Type R to numerous iterations of Civic, including the Tourer estate car of 2014. 

Gordon Shedden and Matt Neal, Honda Yuasa Racing Honda Civic

Gordon Shedden and Matt Neal, Honda Yuasa Racing Honda Civic

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

“I think he’s an icon of the championship,” said Shedden.  

“There’s not many who put their money where their mouth is through the Super Touring era, through BTC Touring to NGTC, supporting other drivers.  

“And to build the Integra… He was a visionary who looked for every angle and supported the championship through thick and thin regardless.  

“I’m biased, but for Team Dynamics to be the benchmark team for so long is pretty incredible. They were a proper team who everyone aspired to beat. 

“Matt idolised his dad, and it hurts to think what he’s going through.” 

Cammish added: “From my originally sitting with Matt, Steve and Barry [Plowman, technical director], being in those discussions and then being part of the team and ultimately nearly winning the title, Steve was someone I wanted to earn the respect of and prove I was the right man for the job.” 

“There was no one I wanted to prove it to more than Steve Neal.”

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