Honda duo Neal and Shedden think BTCC title possible with Civic estate

Former British Touring Car champions Gordon Shedden and Matt Neal believe they will be able to challenge for the 2014 crown despite switching to the new Civic estate

Honda duo Neal and Shedden think BTCC title possible with Civic estate

Shedden took his first BTCC title in 2012 with the Civic hatchback. Both he and Neal challenged for the 2013 crown with the car too, but the Team Dynamics-run works Honda squad will run the Civic Tourer this season.

Despite the extra bodywork of the estate version, which will appear at AUTOSPORT International this week, Shedden is not worried about its performance.

"It's still got the heartbeat of the Civic," he told AUTOSPORT.

"It's always been Honda's philosophy to push the boundaries and do things differently. We've won the championship in the hatchback and the aim is still to fight for the title.

"There's a lot from the old car that transfers and we got to grips with the NGTC Civic pretty quickly."

Triple champion Neal is also looking forward to the new challenge.

"I'm pretty excited about it," he said. "It's 20 years since the Volvo estate appeared [in the BTCC] and people still remember that.

"The Tourer is longer, so it won't be as agile and there's more weight over the back, but the drag should be a bit better.

"We haven't stood still - we've been working on things to improve the car underneath."

As well as hosting both hatchback and estate versions of the BTCC Civic, AUTOSPORT International will also be the venue for the launch of three new BTCC liveries.

Rob Austin, who took his first series win at Rockingham last season, will unveil the new look of his Audi A4, while newcomer Simon Belcher will show off his Toyota Avensis. Both will appear on the BTCC stand, 6440.

AmD's recently acquired Ford Focus, which Dave Newsham will drive in 2014, will also be revealed.

Get your tickets for AUTOSPORT International here.

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