Honda pushing for improvements to escape improving BTCC rivals

British Touring Car star Matt Neal and his Honda squad are pushing forward with developments to the Civic because they believe rivals will close the gap in 2013

Honda pushing for improvements to escape improving BTCC rivals

Honda swept all available BTCC titles with its new NGTC Civic last season, with Gordon Shedden and team-mate Neal finishing one-two in the drivers' standings.

Despite the strong campaign, in which the Civic took 14 wins, Neal believes improvements will be needed for this year.

"We've been working hard in all areas of the car during the break," Neal told AUTOSPORT. "We've not stood still over the winter.

"I expect the level of opposition to be a bit higher and for that reason we have to push to make sure we're still tough to beat."

Neal believes the 2012 performance of the Civic will help others push forward with their own cars.

"We were the first to understand the NGTC regulations and get on top of everything," he added. "Everyone has seen our car now and will have had the winter to improve."

Neal confirmed some of the improvements concerned "optimising the engine for the regulations".

The Civic spent most of 2012 on its low baseline turbo boost level.

2013 British Touring Car line-up so far: Team Car Drivers Honda (Team Dynamics) Honda Civic Gordon Shedden/Matt Neal MG (Triple 8) MG6 Jason Plato/TBA Motorbase Performance Ford Focus Mat Jackson/TBA WSR BMW 1 Series C Turkington/R Collard/N Foster Team HARD VW Passat Tom Onslow-Cole Vauxhall Insignia Jack Goff/James Cole Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis Dave Newsham/TBA Ciceley Racing Toyota Avensis Adam Morgan IP Tech Race Chevrolet Cruze Andy Neate AmD Tuning VW Golf/Vauxhall Astra TBA Rob Austin Racing Audi A4 Rob Austin/Will Bratt Eurotech Racing Honda Civic Andrew Jordan/TBA Dynojet Toyota Avensis Frank Wrathall 
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Series BTCC
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Author Kevin Turner
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