Current Jack Sears Trophy Cup leader Lea Wood says he feels ‘fantastic and pressured’ to be holding the top position in the BTCC’s new class for 2013, expecting a tough fight with Liam Griffin all the way.
The Central/Wood Racing Vauxhall Vectra driver has notched up six wins in the class specifically created for S2000-specification machines, leaving him two wins clear of his nearest rival Griffin heading into the second half of the season, starting at Snetterton this weekend.
Snetterton is a place that Wood almost grabbed a maiden overall BTCC podium finish at during the visit to Norfolk last year, and he feels confident that he can handle the pressure of leading the class, using the summer break wisely to keep himself up to the challenge as the season gets back underway this weekend at the same venue.
“Fantastic and pressured”, Wood told thecheckeredflag on his current enviable position in the class.
“It’s always going to be great if your name is at the top of anything to do with the BTCC, but it comes with a lot of pressure to make sure we stay there.
“It’s given us a break to regroup, up my personal training to another level to help with the warmer conditions, talk to some new sponsors and strip the car. But sometimes I think it’s better to keep the momentum up, if you relax too much you get rusty so I’ve made sure I’m at my best physically and mentally.”
Despite the added pressure of being the man in the firing line of his S2000 rivals to catch, Wood goes into the second half of the 2013 season with the same mindset as he has all season, aiming to continue reaching the top step of the podium in his quest for that maiden Jack Sears Trophy.
“Its got to be the podiums. Standing up there in front of all the fans makes all the effort worthwhile”, continued Wood.
“Its a little frustrating when you’re as fast as some of the NGTC cars into and around the bends, but then they pull away from you up the straight.”
The S2000 cars have thus far produced some spectacular and respectful racing for the fans to vent their enthusiasm towards. The fact is not lost on Wood, as he singles out Motorbase Ford’s Griffin as his main title challenger for the remainder of the season, the Addison Lee-backed driver currently two wins behind Wood.
“The class of driver I’m against though is very competitive and the second half is only going to get harder. Liam is great to race with and we have a high level of respect for each other, which always helps when we are nose to tail.”