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November 22nd, 2012
Honda British Touring Car team boss Steve Neal is not convinced that the new championship’s rules will improve it in 2013.
It has not yet been decided whether the boost equalisation will be applied to teams or individual drivers. Most squads prefer the former, but Neal is adamant it should be done on individuals.
He is concerned that, if it is applied to teams, outfits with two leading drivers, such as Honda, will be disadvantaged.
This is because it is unlikely that both drivers will have a bad weekend, meaning that boost levels would remain low all season.
In teams dominated by one lead driver, such as Honda’s chief rival MG, any poor performance is likely to result in extra boost being made available.
“I’m only for the rolling boost adjustment if it applies to drivers,” Neal told AUTOSPORT. “If it’s applied to teams, it’s unfairly penalising any teams that have two top drivers.
“All the NGTC cars are essentially the same, so if others can’t make their chassis handle properly that’s not our problem.
“We should have ballast or boost adjustment, not both.”
Neal, whose squad has taken the last two BTCC titles with Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden, is also dubious about the introduction of the soft tyre.
“I don’t see the value of it,” he added. “In my experience, soft tyres go off sooner, but we just don’t know because we haven’t tested them yet.”
Neal supports the new driver penalty, but believes it should go further.
“It’s a step in the right direction,” he said. “I think it should say you get another six-place grid penalty on the fourth offence, another on the fifth and so on.
“That would keep the pressure on.”