We're at the end of the 2013 season, and Honda drivers Gordon and Matt have secured a great final result of second and fourth place in the championship – with the Honda Yuasa team winning both the teams’ and manufacturers’ crowns for the fourth consecutive year.
Rewards takes five to catch up with the team’s dynamic duo – drivers Matt Neal, pictured left, and Gordon ‘Flash’ Shedden, pictured far left – as they give us the lowdown on life behind the wheel.
Gordon: I guess I was your typical schoolboy, with a passion for cars and a never-say-die attitude. I don't have any family history in motorsport – but, from watching the BTCC with my dad at Knockhill, I set my goal to try and become a racing driver.
Through a lot of hard work, and many trials and tribulations, I’ve somehow made it to BTCC and I truly am living my dream. I'm a very lucky boy.
Matt: To be honest it’s all I can ever remember wanting to do. I never thought I’d actually make it – but it was my dream, and amazingly that dream came true.
I think that to get to the top in any sport it needs to be in your heart as well as your head – and that passion helps drive you, when things aren’t going your way.
Any mascots, or lucky items of clothing?
Gordon: Not massively – however, I always end up with a favourite race suit, helmet or gloves as the year goes on. Oh, and Yoda is an ever-present mascot in the Honda garage!
Matt: On race weekends I am annoyingly superstitious! Lucky clothes, routines, you name it – I drive myself nuts sometimes.
Gordon: I train in some way nearly every day – gym work, cycling and also riding motorbikes. For me, it's as much about training the mind as it is the body.
Matt: I train pretty hard and have done so since I was younger – it’s a way of life for me. I do martial arts and other gym work, and enjoy the challenge as well as keeping in shape.
Gordon: My hobbies are bikes. I’ve got a Fireblade which I do trackdays on, a road bike, and also my bicycle. I love getting out on the open road and enjoying the spectacular scenery in Scotland.
It's also nice to chill out and not do very much every so often – it's quite a fast-paced life I live.
Matt: Time is pretty precious, so I enjoy any I get spending time with my family. Besides that, it’s keeping fit (martial arts), rugby (just watching these days!) and video gaming to switch off.
Gordon: My ultimate road trip would be Los Angeles to Las Vegas – and the soundtrack would be
‘18 months’ by Calvin Harris.
Matt: Mine would be driving across the States on chopper bikes – which I’ve done before with some pals, loved, and would do again tomorrow.
Gordon: Billy Connolly, James Hunt and Rihanna – why not?
Matt: Of all time, it would have to be Elvis, JFK and Marilyn Monroe. For no specific reason – I just think that they’re three cool intriguing people with lots of secrets!
Gordon: Everything! I wouldn’t swap it for the world.
Matt: Meeting people from all walks of life and travelling the world. Driving fast cars for a living in glamorous surroundings is also a fairly major part as well!
Gordon: I think it's important to set your goals high – but also be realistic. Hard work can pay off, but there's no pot of gold – so understanding the commercial side of motorsport, and engaging with sponsors, is as important as the driving. You can't have one without the other.
Matt: Follow your dream, but stay realistic and always keep one foot on the ground – appreciate the people around you, and give them proper time. Be aware that 95% of success is actually failure, hard work and tears – but that other 5% makes up for everything.
If you can keep your drive, focus and enthusiasm through those tough times, then they’ll model you as a person.