Computeach Racing/Halfords: Podium frenzy for Dynamics Duo!
Computeach Racing with Halfords drivers Matt Neal and Dan Eaves stole the limelight in rounds 10, 11 and 12 of the British Touring car Championship at Oulton Park. Matt’s mega points haul lifted him up to third place overall in the points, while Dan took his first BTCC race win on only his fourth meeting with the team, after almost three and a half years trying.
Eaves was delighted with his success. “It’s been a special weekend,” said the 28-year-old after his maiden BTCC win in round 11. “And, when it came down to it, that was one of my easiest races ever.”
Despite a troubled qualifying session, Eaves fought through to ninth place in round 10 and that earned him a place on the front row of the grid for round 11 under new rules for 2004, which mean the grid for the second race each weekend is formed by reversing the top 10 finishing order in the first race.
Dan made a superb start to the race and then simply controlled the race from the front, staying cool when his lead was wiped out by a safety car period and calmly rebuilding it again when racing resumed.
Neal didn’t manage a victory this time, but he took a turn in each of the other top four slots, finishing third in round 10, fourth in round 11 and second in round 12.
“The car was great. It felt strong, very strong, all day,” said Matt after taking the fight to the factory Vauxhalls, which have dominated the BTCC since the current formula was adopted in 2001.
Eaves made it a fine team performance overall by working with Neal early in the third race to help Matt to his great result, despite himself having to cope with a maximum dose of success ballast for the first time. Eaves finished race three in a strong eighth place.
Oulton Park is widely regarded as the most challenging drivers’ circuit in the UK and it rewarded not only the skills of Neal and Eaves but also the development work that Team Dynamics, which runs the cars, has carried out on the Honda Civics this season. “We’ve taken a major step forward here,” said team principal Steve Neal, who like the rest of the team is particularly proud that Matt was able to battle on even terms with the Vauxhalls in race three, despite carrying more success ballast than either of them.
That bodes well for the next rounds of the championship at Mondello Park, near Dublin on June 13, when Neal and Eaves will continue their fight to humble the big-budget factory teams while simultaneously pursuing victory in the Independents’ Trophy.