Double BTCC champion Matt Neal could be forgiven for wanting another couple of weeks to savour last weekend's successes at Rockingham.

The Worcestershire star was at his sparkling best to take a pair of wins away from Northamptonshire, but will put his podiums to the back of his mind as he heads to Brands Hatch this weekend.

But back in his familiar Honda surroundings, Neal can't wait to get behind the wheel so soon after Rockingham, at one of his favourite circuits.

He said: "It will be good to get back in the car again. It is running really well at the moment so let's keep the momentum going. The short gap between races gives our opponents less time to react to what we're doing, so it's not a bad thing."

The championship standings are already bearing a striking similarity to bygone seasons, with Neal and his old adversary Jason Plato heading the list.

Last season's VX Racing driver said that the Chevrolet speedster will still be the man to beat come the end of the year - even if he won't look that far ahead for himself.

"I've said right from the start that Jason was the favourite, and nothing has changed my mind. The Cruze looks very impressive and Jason will take some beating. But the gloves haven't come off yet!

"As for my own chances, it's so far so good. The car is doing really well at the minute and I'm happy with that.

"I think I approach things a bit differently now. I'm a bit calmer and pragmatic about it all.

"If I win, like I did at Rockingham, then great. If not, then it won't change my life. I still want to win as badly as ever, but adversity might have affected me more in the past."

And if the weather is atrocious all weekend, Matt won't be too down in the dumps.

"The Honda is strong in the wet and the dry, but I'd like it to be wet if I had to choose. With the added weight we'll be carrying (success ballast) the car may perform stronger in some adverse weather. It might be an advantage for us."

As for the other drivers, Neal has already been impressed with team-mate Gordon Shedden's exploits and is delighted to renew acquaintances with the Scot.

He has also taken note of the pace of Tom Chilton's Ford Focus and Paul O'Neill's successes.

"Owy is going really, really well. He is very strong, particularly in the second half of the race, while we haven't even spoken about the BMWs!

"I love Brands Hatch. There will be a real stadium atmosphere with the big TV screens and it is a place that I can't wait to get racing at."