West Surrey Racing team boss Dick Bennetts says that Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship leader Sam Tordoff had “lifted his game” during the 2016 season.
The visit to Rockingham saw a sensational turnaround in fortunes for WSR last weekend, having begun Sunday’s action from 25, 26th and 27th on the grid after a sodden qualifying session that saw all three BMW 125i machines hampered by electrical problems.
Leading the championship by nine points heading into the meeting, Tordoff charged from 27th to 10th in the first race before completing his recovery with a second victory of the season from 10th in race two, joined on the podium by team-mate, Rob Collard.
Bennetts was swift to praise the efforts of the championship leader in 2016, as well as the teamwork displayed by the trio of WSR drivers dueing a competitive season.
“He’s lifted his game big time in only his second year in RWD”, Bennetts told The Checkered Flag of Tordoff, also praising the off-track harmony shown within the squad.
“We work hard as a team; you saw in race one, Rob was on hard [tyres] and gave way so they help each other. You’ve got to work together now because it’s too competitive. You can’t do it by yourself – you need someone there to help you.
“They all sit down and talk with each other about what to try. If you fight each other, then you can see a few things start to blow up a bit like it has down the road from us.”
While 48 points separate the top six drivers, WSR also hold a 31-point Manufacturers’ Championship lead of Honda and sit a mere point behind the Halfords Yuasa Racing squad in the Teams’ Championship chase.
Asked if the current BTCC campaign has been one of the most competitive he has been a part of, the New Zealander commented: “Oh by far. Up until now, Sam had only won one race and he’s leading the championship. It’s all about being there at the end to rack up the points all the time.”
Silverstone is the next stop on the calendar on 17/18 September, a meeting that saw the BMW squad pick up a hat-trick of podium finishes last year including a win for former driver, Andy Priaulx.
The WSR boss remained coy on his team’s chances in Northamptonshire, saying: “It’s not going to be easy this year because Sam has 75kgs. It’s three straights and four corners, but we’ll sit down, get our heads down and work out the our set-ups.”