Sam Tordoff told The Checkered Flag that starting on the second row of the grid could pay off for him in the season-opening Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship round at Brands Hatch.
The West Surrey Racing driver topped the times in second practice earlier on Saturday afternoon, improving in qualifying but ending just 0.112s off the pace of pole-sitter, Tom Ingram.
Fourth place was the reward for the Leeds racer, who starts the opening race at the Kent circuit in the best-placed rear-wheel drive car.
When asked by TCF whether fourth place was a good position to start the season, Tordoff said: “I think so, yes. We’re right in the mix where we need to be.
“We didn’t get pole, but we went a bit quicker than in FP2 which is what you need to do to be up there. We put a bit of pressure on ourselves to match that lap. We got pipped more by the changing weather conditions and circumstances.”
Tordoff praised a busy winter period of development for the BMW 125i, which he said showed improvements on Saturday compared to its pole-sitting performance in 2015.
“It’s definitely paid off”, he added. “We’ve made massive gains and we’re three tenths quicker than Andy [Priaulx]’s pole lap from last year, so that goes to show that we’re making gains.
“We’re top BMW and top rear-wheel drive car, so hopefully those three guys at the start will struggle. It’s better to actually be on row two than the front row here at Brands Hatch.”
Tordoff turned his attentions to Sunday’s opening race, saying: “We did a few long runs and the car felt good, so we’ve got to just wait and see what we can do.
“Tom [Ingram] seems genuinely quick throughout, the Honda is very good on its tyres over a race period so it should be a good race.”