ETCC preview: Neal hunts for victory

Britain's Matt Neal returns to home ground this weekend as he bids for glory in the European FIA Touring Car Championship at Silverstone this weekend, as part of the Eurosport Super Racing Weekend

ETCC preview: Neal hunts for victory

After splitting with the works Peugeot team in the British Touring Car Championship, 34-year-old Neal has returned to his Super Touring roots by contesting a limited ETCC programme in his Team Dynamics Nissan Primera. That started in disappointment at Magny-Cours two weeks ago, when he was taken out by Italy's Fabrizio Giovanardi at the opening corner of the first race, but he ended the weekend vindicated by a strong drive to fourth in race two, despite starting from the pit lane.

"The competition is a lot stronger than I thought," said Neal. "Particularly the Alfas and the Audis, which are bloody quick. Every aspect of the series is really good, and I'm really looking forward to Silverstone."

Neal's opposition this weekend comes in the shape of Alfa Romeo, Honda and Audi. Alfa's ex-Ferrari F1 racer Nicola Larini heads the series coming into Silverstone, and he is partnered in the Nordauto line up by reigning Euro Super Touring champ Giovanardi. The AGS team fields former F3 ace Roberto Colciago, who won last time out at Magny-Cours, and his four-wheel drive Audi A4 Quattro will certainly hold an advantage this weekend if it rains.

But perhaps Neal's strongest challenger will be 1994 BTCC champion Gabriele Tarquini, who has won two races this season in his JAS Motorsport-run Honda Accord. Tarquini also raced in the BTCC last year, and is battling to overcome three non-finishes due to crashes.

In the Super Production category, Duncan Huisman leads the series after winning at Magny-Cours, but fellow Dutchman Peter Kox - who won the other two races at Monza and Brno - will be looking for vengeance for the clash between them which caused his retirement in France.

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