However, the three-time British Touring Car Champion believes he has found an affordable road car that tops the lot. Matt Neal and Honda has been a synonymous partnership in Britain’s leading racing series for almost two decades.
His career has almost been defined by competing behind the wheel in some of the models most iconic vehicles such as the Insignia and more recently the Civic Type-R.
However, the champions interest in the Japanese marquee is extended to his driveway due to the vehicles mixc of practicality and performance.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Neal says: “I go a bit more practicality.
“I like performance, a little bit of posing is fun and nice but I’m cruising around in a CR-V at the moment and that ticks all the boxes. I can get my mountain bike in the back, I can put all my kids bags in there, it’s super comfy.
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Neal adds: “I’m pretty much Honda through and through. I mean the one good thing about the Honda’s, or the valuable thing about them, is touring car racing does have to bear some resemblance with the standard engine and the standard shell.
“Because Honda creates such a motorsport oriented product it makes that job very much easier.”
He added: “The new Type R is such a lazy car to drive with just bags of performance.
“When I’m on the road I don’t use more than half throttle anywhere for weeks on end because you don’t, the performance is there already.”
“I remember every detail of it. It had the old manual choke and everything in it so when you’re on the road it’s revving its nuts off.
“It was great, I had that for a year or so and then I thought I’d leave it at that.”
Despite Matt’s stage appeal as a non-compromising race star, he says his driving style dramatically changes while on the road.
Switching from 120mph to 70 may be difficult for some, but Matt says patience is important when behind the wheel.
“The amount of people that say ‘oh I bet you drive really mad when you drive away from a racetrack’. No, I’m literally toggling around at the speed limit and it’s so relaxing to drive slowly.
“I know it’s probably because I’m ok now but patience [is key], just stay cool. The road is a different place than it was 20 years ago.
“All this road rage nonsense, just let them go. Give them a wave and a smile, that costs you nothing.”
Published at Sun, 21 Jun 2020 14:16:00 +0000