Catching up with: Henry Neal - MINI CHALLENGE

Will Neal will become the newest member of the Neal racing dynasty to join the MINI CHALLENGE when he lines up on the Cooper Class grid at Donington Park this weekend.

Will is the youngest son of three-time British Touring Car champion Matt Neal, and the second member of the family to race in Britain’s fastest MINI championship, following in the wheel tracks of his elder brother Henry.

With Henry moving up to the premier F56 JCW Class for his second season in the Challenge, Will has the chance to take the wheel of his Team Dynamics-run Cooper machine.

Will, an engineer with the Honda Yuasa Racing BTCC team his father drives for, said: “I’ve always wanted to go racing and now the time is right to try it myself. I went to university to get my degree instead of starting racing when Henry did. I kind of wish we’d both started together as we could have pushed each other on. But then we might have driven in to each other too!

“It is nice that it is staggered. Henry will help me out so I can learn the tracks and I can use him as a guide. Next year, if he is in the F56 JCW still, then I will be there too and we will be together. That will be the dream.

“My dream is to make it into the BTCC. I’ve done some racing in Scottish Legends but not much as I spent six-months in Australia working for a V8 Supercar team. MINIs is more what I want to do in terms of racing as you can tune them and you race on slick tyres.”

Neal insists he has no pressure or expectations when it comes to his maiden weekend in the championship at Donington Park.

“I just want to get out on track, and not to roll like Henry did in his first race weekend last year!” he said. “We are testing a lot this week and I will have a good go. Obviously you always have to go for the win, but I am not going to get my expectations up too much. There are guys that have done it for ages, so I am not going to push myself too much and get too stressed. I just want to learn as much as I can.”