Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe
Obituary

Team Dynamics boss Steve Neal dies aged 82

Best known in the modern era as the long-time boss of British Touring Car Championship squad Team Dynamics, Steve Neal, who has died aged 82, was also a leading driver.

Steve Neal, Matt Neal's father, Team Dynamics

The ebullient and ever-cheerful Midlander, whose son Matt became a three-time BTCC champion with the team he had founded, began his racing career after he bought a Formula Junior Kieft in 1959 with some of the proceeds from an insurance payout following a motorcycle accident.

Eventually Neal moved into saloon cars and became one of the renowned exponents of Minis – ironically one of the tallest drivers shone in the smallest of cars.

Driving for the factory Cooper team in 1968, Neal scored an overall race win in the British Saloon Car Championship (the forerunner of the BTCC) at Crystal Palace, where due to the short circuit the smaller classes were split from the bigger divisions. He also claimed some good results, again in the 1300cc class, in the European Touring Car Championship.

Neal moved to the Britax Cooper team for 1969 alongside Gordon Spice, but eventually wound down his driving career after an accident on oil at Brands Hatch caused an eye injury.

Steve Neal, Austin Mini Cooper S leads John Rhodes, Morris Mini Cooper S and John Fitzpatrick, Ford Anglia

Steve Neal, Austin Mini Cooper S leads John Rhodes, Morris Mini Cooper S and John Fitzpatrick, Ford Anglia

Photo by: Rainer Schlegelmilch

The family Rimstock wheels company was flourishing when Neal Jr began his racing career in the mid-1980s in Ford Fiestas.

The team ran Neal Jr to great success in the National Saloon Car series in 1991 for Group N machinery with the mighty Nissan Skyline, before Rimstock Racing moved to the BTCC in 1992 with a BMW M3.

For 1993, Neal Sr co-founded Team Dynamics with Ray Bellm, and the team would contest the BTCC for most seasons up to the end of 2022.

Dynamics became renowned as the class act of the BTCC independent ranks from the mid-1990s, first with BMW machinery, then a brave but doomed squad of self-developed Ford Mondeos, and then with a Nissan Primera – sourced from Neal’s old Mini-racing pal, 1969 BSCC champion Alec Poole, who was in charge of the Japanese manufacturer’s European motorsport programme.

From 2004, Dynamics became inextricably associated with Honda machinery and spent many seasons as the manufacturer’s official team in the BTCC.

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

At the wheel of Dynamics-built Hondas, Neal Jr claimed overall BTCC titles in 2005, 2006 and 2011, and then Gordon Shedden added three more in 2012, 2015 and 2016.

Neal Jr had taken over as team principal of Dynamics in recent years, while also overseeing the racing activities of his own sons Henry and Will.

To them, the rest of the Neal family and their countless friends and associates, Autosport extends its sincere condolences upon their loss of a hugely popular, genial and entertaining man, whose devotion to motorsport made a big impact upon the success of the BTCC.

Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article BTCC Oulton Park: Turkington completes comeback with victory
Next article Dynamics stars pay tribute to Neal 

Top Comments

There are no comments at the moment. Would you like to write one?

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe