So the first three rounds are out of the way, and many of the questions that were thrown up ahead of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship have been answered.
The watchword driving out of the circuit on Sunday was continuity. Two under-pressure wins for reigning champion Andrew Jordan in his Pirtek Racing Honda Civic hatchback and one for the eBay Motors BMW 125i M Sport of Colin Turkington thrust them to the top of the standings. The wily Matt Neal, who took two podiums and a fourth place on an impressive debut for the factory-backed Honda Civic Tourer, splits them in the standings.
Jordan and Turkington are in the same cars as last season and that enabled them to hit the ground running. Jordan’s team has refined its Civic without reinventing the wheel, while the BMW has improved aerodynamics and a stronger engine. Underneath, though, they are basically the same machines as in 2013 and it is that familiarity that helped them steal a march on the rest.
The Honda Civic Tourers are new for this year but they have the same underpinnings as the Honda Civic hatchbacks that were used in 2013. There is more weight at the rear, obviously, and that means the handling is very twitchy. That needs to be ironed out before Neal and team-mate Gordon Shedden can go for wins, but three podiums at Brands means that there is potential. Harvesting points when the car is not at its best is something that is going to be beneficial later in the season.