Honda: Plato tough to beat

Jason Plato is the clear favourite to win the British Touring Car Championship this year, according to his title rival Matt Neal

Honda: Plato tough to beat

Honda driver Neal lies third in the standings, 23 points behind Plato and five adrift of Tom Onslow-Cole after amassing only two podium finishes from the six races at Snetterton and Silverstone.

He reckons that it will be difficult to overhaul the Chevrolet man over the remaining three rounds.

"Jason's going to be very tough to beat for the rest of the season," Neal told AUTOSPORT. "The main thing is that he has the advantage in the points, and you'd always take the points over the potential for scoring them.

"The Chevrolet is a good car and its run by a good team [RML] and it seems to handle well as well as being quite quick down the straights. Jason knows how to finish races, so it will be tough to catch him."

Neal said that he and his Honda team-mate Gordon Shedden, who have won six races between them this year, will go all-out in the remaining races, starting at Knockhill this weekend, to close the gap to Plato.

"At least we're going to some places that our car likes now with Knockhill and Donington, so we'll just roll our sleeves up. We've got nothing to lose."

Shedden, fourth in the championship, will be racing in front of his home crowd at Knockhill.

He knows that consistent podium finishes will be crucial to keep both drivers in the hunt for title honours.

"For us Honda, the last few circuits have been tough," he said. "Silverstone and Snetterton really didn't suit the characteristics of our car.

"However, now we're moving onto three circuits with a lot more corners and braking points, and that's where the Civic is particularly strong.

"We'll be biting at their necks for sure. We need to make sure we're in the mix enough that come finals day at Brands Hatch, we're both in the fight for the championship."

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