Speedway: Croft the original!

Reigning Dunlop British Touring Car champion Matt Neal claims the Croft circuit in North Yorkshire is top of his list when it comes to driving challenges.

Reigning Dunlop British Touring Car champion Matt Neal claims the Croft circuit in North Yorkshire is top of his list when it comes to driving challenges.

Neal and his BTCC rivals, including series leader Jason Plato, are gearing up for their next rounds at the Darlington track on Sunday, June 3, the only time this year Britain's premier motor racing series will visit the North East.

Neal, champion for the past two years, believes Croft throws up one of the biggest thrills of the season for the drivers and the crowds.

Neal, already a race-winner this year in his new Team Halfords Honda Civic, said: "Croft has a taste of everything: fast stuff, slow stuff, kerbs and big outbraking places.

"The whole lap is challenging, but if I was to pinpoint one section which stands out it is the Clark Esses and the following corner, Barcroft.

"This is a big commitment corner, with the cars drifting at high speed as you start to brake. It catches your attention every lap.

"The crowds, probably even more so than at Brands Hatch, are close to the circuit and can probably almost smell the oil and rubber.

"Croft is one circuit I would miss if it was not on the calendar."

Neal lies fourth in the BTCC standings behind SEAT star Plato and Vauxhall team-mates Fabrizio Giovanardi and Tom Chilton.

Tickets for Croft cost £25 at the gate or can be booked via www.croftcircuit.co.uk or on (01325) 721 815. Free admission for children 15 and under.

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