Friday, January 13, 2012

BTCC: British Touring Car Championship Neal vs. Plato for 2012

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The most heated rivalry in the British Touring Car Championship series is between drivers Matt Neal and Jason Plato.  The two have had on and off track exchanges, with the most notable being at Rockingham. 
For those readers who are unfamiliar with the incident, Plato had taken pole for qualifying and was exiting his vehicle when he made the infamous 1 finger salute to Neal.  Naturally Neal took exception and the two had some choice words for each other. 
If you want to see the video of the incident:  Plato and Neal

The two drivers were joined by Neal's teammate Gordon Shedden in an interview on Autosport International's stage.  The three were asked if they would like to see the rivalry continue into the 2012 racing season.  All of the drivers confirmed they would.  Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden will be debuting new Civics for their Honda racing team.  For now, Plato will continue to campaign his Chevrolet Cruze in the series. 

The largest complaint from Plato was the fact that the previous Civics run by Neal and Shedden were turbocharged and had an unfair advantage against his naturally aspirated Cruze.  With the Civics being a new platform with most likely some initial bugs to work out, perhaps Jason Plato will have a better chance at taking the championship this year.  (Neal and Shedden finished 1-2, with Plato taking 3rd) 

It will be an interesting 2012 season as all three drivers gear up for the first race scheduled for Brands Hatch on March 31st.  The full interview with all three men can be seen here:  Neal, Plato, Shedden interview

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