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Matt Neal
Matt Neal
Driver Details
Nationality {{{{{natflag}}}}} British United Kingdom
Date of Birth 20/12/1966[1]
Date of Death Unknown
Début 1991 Silverstone[1]
Championships 3 (2005, 2006, 2011)[1]
2015 Position Unknown
First Win Unknown
Previous Teams Pyramid Motorsport
Tech-Speed Motorsport
Team Mazda
Peugeot Sport UK
VX Racing
Career Statistics
Total Entries 0 (0 Starts)
Pole Positions 0
Fastest Laps 0
Wins 0 (0 in Class)
Total Points 0
Current Season
Team Honda Yuasa Racing
Car Unknown
Number Standings Points
4 0


Matt Neal, born on the 20th of December 1966, is a three time BTCC champion set to compete in the 2014 Season. Neal is perhaps the most experienced driver on the 2014 BTCC grid, and enters the season with his family run outfit Team Dynamics.[1]

Current SeasonEdit

Neal is to compete in the 2014 BTCC Season sporting the number 4.[1] For the fifth consecutive season, Neal will be competing for his father's run team, Team Dynamics.[2] Alongside him for this season will be long time team mate Gordon Shedden, running the other Honda Civic Tourer, prepared by Team Dynamics.[1] Two podiums in the opening round sees Neal second in the driver's standings with 27 races to go.

BackgroundEdit

Neal is the son of Steve Neal, founder of Team Dynamics.[2] Neal began his motor racing career in 1988, having run in numerous Motorcross events.[2] Neal won the British Group N Championship in 1990 and 1991, alongside a 1990 win in the Willhire 24 Hour race at Snetterton.[2]

BTCC HistoryEdit

Matt Neal's BTCC career began in 1991, when he made his debut for Pyramid Racing at Silverstone.[2] Neal would appear twice more in 1991, later driving for BRR Racing at Oulton Park and Donington Park, although his best finish in the season would be the 13th he achieved at Silverstone.[2]

MN 1992 BMW M3

Matt Neal gets airborne in his BMW M3 in 1992.

1992 saw Neal drive for his father's team, Team Dynamics, competing under the name "Rimstock Racing". Using the BMW M3 that Will Hoy drove to the 1991 title, Neal clamied his first points in the BTCC, taking 8th place at Brands Hatch.[2] At the end of the season, damage to the car made it impossible for the team to repair, causing them to switch to a 318i for the final meeting at Snetterton.[2]

Neal continued racing for Team Dynamics  in 1993, before switching to Team Mazda in 1994.[2] An unsuccessful part-season in which Neal only claimed a single point from four meetings, culminating in a barrel-roll at Silverstone which destroyed the car's shell, saw him return to his father's team in 1995.[2] Six full seasons with Team Dynamics followed this change, with the team running Ford Mondeos for two and a half years before switching to Nissan Primera GTs.[2]

Race WinnerEdit

MN 1999 Nissan Primera

Neal's 1999, race winning, Nissan Primera.

It was during this time that Neal achieved a feat for which Alan Gow (the sport's director) had set a reward of £250,000 (doubled from the previous years' prize of £125,000). Neal became the first Independent driver (ie lacking manufacturer support) to win a race in the Super Touring era, having taken the flag at Donington Park in 1999.[1] Neal raced for a further season in the BTCC, winning again at Brands Hatch - but taking no additional prize money - before switching for a year in the European Touring Car Championship.[2]

Neal returned to the BTCC in 2002, although for this year he opted to drive for Triple Eight Race Engineering, running under the name egg:sport.[2] A career best finish of third in the driver's standings was repeated a year later, with Neal returning to Team Dynamics for a third time.[2] 2004 would yield Neal a fifth place in the standings at the end of the season.[2]

ChampionEdit

MN 2005 Integra

Matt Neal demonstrating his title winning Honda Integra Type-R at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

It would be the seasons of 2005 and 2006 that Neal would go into the history books for, however, as he took his first overall drivers title in 2005, before holding onto it in 2006.[1] This feat was made all the more impressive by the fact that Team Dynamics, unlike most Independent teams, had built the Honda Integra Type-R from a road car (rather than the conventional method of using ex-works cars).[2] The consistency that typified Neal's championship was carried over into 2006, when he again took the title.[2] Ironically, having already secured the championship, Neal was prevented from taking part in the final race of the season, with a suspension failure prior to the start, his first mechanical failure for two years.[2]

Team Dynamics reluctantly dropped their champion Integra in 2007, as BTC regulations prevented it from being able to score points.[2] The team switched to Honda Civic Type-Rs instead.[2] A crash at Brands Hatch left him in hospital for a time, meaning he lost ground on the championship leaders which he could not recover.[2] The season finale saw Neal allow the two VX Racing Vauxhalls to pass him, before blocking Jason Plato, allowing Fabrizio Giovanardi to take the title.[2] It is thought that Neal did this because he had agreed to drive for VX Racing the following season.[2]

MN 2009 Vectra

Matt Neal's 2009 Vauxhall Vectra in VX Racing colours.

A two season spell with VX Racing did not result in another title for Neal, as team mate Giovanardi beat him on both occasions.[2] For the 2010 season, Neal returned to Team Dynamics for a fourth time, although with the team now receiving full factory support from Honda. A season long battle with Plato resulted in Neal finishing second in 2010's final standings, although he and long time team mate Gordon Shedden managed to win Team Dynamics (racing under the name Honda Racing) their first manufacturers title.[2]

NGTC eraEdit

The Next Generation Touring Car era began in 2011, with Team Dynamics placing an NGTC engine into their trusted Civics. With the new unit, Neal took the 2011 title, before finishing second in 2012 behind team mate Shedden.[2] The fourth year, in his fourth spell, with Team Dynamics saw Neal take fourth in the championship in 2013, behind another Team Dynamics built car, run by Pirtek Racing.

BTCC RecordEdit

Below is a table showing Neal's BTCC record. The number after the car model indicate Neal's best finish at that meeting.

Matt Neal's BTCC Record
Year Team Pos Pts Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
1991 Pyramid Racing 30th 0 BMW M3 N 13 N - N - - - -
BRR Motorsport - R bgcolor="white" style="color:black; font-size:90%; border-radius:5px;"|DNS - - -
1992 Rimstock Racing 16th 5 BMW M3* 15 R R R 8 11 R 7 10 R 12 - - -
1993 Team Dynamics 20th 3 BMW 318i 8 R bgcolor="white" style="color:black; font-size:90%; border-radius:5px;"|DNS 17 R 14 18 13 14 16 18 19 13 17
R 15 14
1994 Team Mazda 23rd 1 Mazda Xedos 6 12 15 10 15 N -
17 bgcolor="white" style="color:black; font-size:90%; border-radius:5px;"|DNS
1995 Team Dynamics 21st 12 Ford Mondeo 15 16 R 13 13 R R 14 9 15 15 13 17 -
14 13 15 14 14 bgcolor="white" style="color:black; font-size:90%; border-radius:5px;"|DNS 13 12 4 11 11
1996 22nd 1 N R 11 17 N R N R 14 13 10 14 12 -
16 R bgcolor="white" style="color:black; font-size:90%; border-radius:5px;"|DNS 17 13 14 18 R 13
1997 21st 0

Nissan Primera GT **

R 13 15 15 16 13 R 11 R 14 - -
12 bgcolor="white" style="color:black; font-size:90%; border-radius:5px;"|DNS 14 bgcolor="white" style="color:black; font-size:90%; border-radius:5px;"|DNS 14 13 R bgcolor="white" style="color:black; font-size:90%; border-radius:5px;"|DNS 12 R 16 12
1998 13th 35 10 16 5 5 14 6 12 13 12 8 5 7 R -
1999 9th 109 1 4 3 3 2 7 5 7 6 7 5 6 6 -
2000 8th 129 10 8 7 4 6 4 3 5 2 1 7 5 - -
2001 Peugeot Sport UK 14th 11 Peugeot 406 Coupe 5 -
2002 egg:sport 3rd 145 Vauxhall Astra Coupé 1 4 2 3 1 R R 1 4 3 - - - -
2003 Honda Racing 148 Honda Civic Type-R R 1 2 R 1 1 1 4 1 1 - - - -
2004 Computech Racing with Halfords 5th 181 Honda Integra Type-R 2 1 1 2 4 3 2 1 2 R - - - -
2005 Team Halfords 1st 316 1 2 1 1 2 2 3 1 4 3 - - - -
2006 289 3 1 1 1 1 4 1 1 2 1 - - - -
2007 4th 195 Honda Civic 1 5 2 3 4 3 2 R 2 3 - - - -
2008 VX Racing 5th 185 Vauxhall Vectra 3 1 2 3 2 4 5 7 4 2 - - - -
2009 4th 170 1 2 2 3 6 3 4 13 R 5 - - - -
2010 Honda Racing Team 2nd 229 Honda Civic 2 1 2 1 2 3 4 1 1 2
2011 1st 257 1 1 1 4 1 4 2 3 1 1
2012 Honda Yuasa Racing 2nd 387 1 2 2 1 1 4 3 2 R 1
2013 4th 356 1 3 1 4 1 2 2 7 3 6
2014 Honda Civic Tourer 2

* Team Dynamics switched to the BMW 318i for the final round of the 1992 season.

** Team Dynamics switched to the Nissan Primera GT after problems half way through the 1997 season.

ReferencesEdit

Image Origins:


Independent Drivers Champions
One Time Lee BrookesTom ChiltonRob CollardDan EavesJames NashRobb GravettAnthony ReidTommy Rustad
Two Time James KayeAndrew Jordan
Three or More Time Matt NealColin Turkington

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