Sam Tordoff: BMWs Were The Strongest Cars On Soft Tyres


Sam Tordoff said that although West Surrey Racing lost out on a second Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship win at Donington Park, the BMW outfit should be encouraged by their pace.

After race two success for team-mate Rob Collard on Sunday, Tordoff and Jack Goff upheld honours for WSR in the final race of the day by running one-two for much of the 16-lap encounter on the softer tyres.

The Leeds driver soon saw himself slip to third by the flag as degradation took its toll, Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden slipping by with help from the medium compound tyre worn by their Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civics.

Despite losing out in the final three laps, Tordoff was encouraged by the fact that the BMW 125i appeared to lead the way in terms of performance on the offending softer tyre.

“They were on the right tyre”, Tordoff told The Checkered Flag of his Honda rivals after the final race. “I don’t think it was because they were quick – I just think they were on the right tyre.

“Unfortunately we were on the wrong one, but we finished the best soft tyre-shod car today and, until four laps to go, I really thought we were going to do it. When the soft tyre goes, it really goes. It’s across the field, but plenty of cars have fell off a hell of a lot worse than we have.”

Echoing the thoughts of his Honda rivals, Tordoff admitted that stringing together three consistent races on a weekend is a challenging feat in 2016, something that he felt was saved at Donington Park by a race two recovery to eighth, following a brief excursion in a mid-race dice.

Collard7
Collard sealed BMW’s first win of 2016 (Photo: BTCC Media)

“I had three good starts and three solid points finishes, so I’m happy that, even with what happened in qualifying, we’ve recovered it well”, Tordoff said.

“When I had a bit of a misdemeanor in race two and went through gravel, I was suddenly back in P14 I think. Getting back to eighth for that reverse-grid pole probably did save us a little bit.”

On the task of collecting a hat-trick of solid results, Tordoff said: “This game’s tricky. You go away sometimes thinking you’ve not had a great weekend, but then you realise ‘we’ve actually had a good points haul’. I don’t think you’re ever happy unless you win all three races!”

Despite a spin in the opening race of the season at Brands Hatch, Tordoff has since tallied up a strong points haul that sees him just 18 adrift of Neal in sixth spot in the standings, but the BMW driver admits that the best circuits are to come in the summer for WSR.

“The first three rounds – Thruxton in particular – are looking like our weakest circuits”, said Tordoff. “If we can do this on our weaker circuits, that bodes massively well for the summer visits.

“Then we can stretch our legs and really have a go at this championship. Here was the first real test of straight-line and engine performance; we ticked all those boxes, so we go into Thruxton in a much better position than last year.”