What a story to kick off the new season. Before Brands Hatch, the best that two-time British Touring Car Champion Matt Neal was hoping for was a modest top-six finish. No-one could expect his hastily built-from-scratch Honda Civic to be on the pace. This was going to be a weekend simply to get through.
During the Autosport podcast, recorded a few days before Brands, I questioned whether Neal might even be facing a win-less season. That's how up against it he looked. Well, my question was answered! In the last of the three races at Brands, Neal took the lead at the start - and won. Incredible!
Incredible because Team Dynamics only committed to building this car three short months ago. The switch to the Super 2000 regulations had been forced on them by the decision for the series to fall into line with the World Touring Car Championship, and they had looked long and hard at all their options.
Matt Neal (Team Dynamics Honda Civic) © LAT
It would have been easier to buy a proven chassis from BMW, Alfa Romeo or even arch rival SEAT - all of which were investigated. But Dynamics chose the harder road.