Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship leader Sam Tordoff expects Subaru to provide fierce competition in the fifth meeting of the 2016 season at Croft.
Traditionally a circuit accustom to rear-wheel drive machinery and the West Surrey Racing team over the past decade, Croft sees Tordoff enter the fifth meeting leading the championship by a single point from Honda’s Matt Neal.
The Leeds racer therefore carries a 75kg success ballast penalty into qualifying and the opening race of Sunday in North Yorkshire, but expects the BMW 125i to handle it well after setting the third fastest time in first practice,
Speaking to TCF after the opening session of the day, Tordoff warned: “The track was very green in FP1, so the times were slow. I don’t know how much you can read into it, if anything.
“The track will rubber in because it rained last night. It’s gone very green so it should get quicker all day and we’ll see come qualifying how the car actually is.”
At a circuit that BMW have claimed 12 victories at since 2007, last year’s pole-sitter and race two winner believes that RWD cars will still be strong, adding: “We know we have a good car and we know this is a RWD circuit. That bodes well for us.
“Out of all the weekends to be carrying the weight, this is the one to do it it where it isn’t such a disadvantage. We’re able to position the car where we want. There’s a lot of corners which destroy the FWD cars’ tyres because they can’t get back on the power and get a narrow exit. Dragging the weight out of the hairpin will hurt us and also the run coming out of Tower before the back straight.”
Tordoff adds that BMW will have additional RWD competition this weekend, as Silverline Subaru BMR Racing enter on the back of the Levorg’s first BTCC win at Oulton Park.
Similar potential is expected by Tordoff of his Subaru rivals, the WSR man adding: “They’ve got no weight as opposed to me running 75 kilos. I think, if they do their job properly, they’ll be on the front row with [Jason] Plato and [Colin] Turkington.
“Traditionally, we haven’t had any RWD competition but now we do in the hands of Subaru. If we can qualify in the top-five with maximum ballast, that would be a great start to the weekend.
“I would envisage that Subaru should lockout the front row in qualifying and consolidate that in race one. I think they will then struggle with weight in race two. If I’m best of the rest, that’s perfect.”