Triple Eight revealed their new MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save BTCC Team livery for 2014 at Tuesday’s Media Day test, with both Jason Plato and Sam Tordoff confident of being in championship contention after the visit to Donington Park.
Plato took the championship fight down to the wire with two wins in the sodden finale at Brands Hatch last year, only to finish third for what was ironically the third time in as many seasons since last clinching the title in 2010.
The duo unveiled their MG6 GT on the Tuesday morning prior to the four-hour official timed session, carrying new Tesco Clubcard Fuel Save backing for the season. Plato was hampered more so than many by the downpours that affected the subsequent Donington Park test as he finished in 22nd, but feels that the team are better prepared than ever head of the new season.
The two-time BTCC champion said: “We’ve done two years of this project now, we’re starting the third and we’re better prepared than we ever have been.
“We’ve got genuine manufactured developments coming through now, which we’ve never had before and in the past we’ve spent time in the off season trying to understand the car, but we have that information now and we also have a good wet setup too, which had previously been a big achilles heel for us.
“We were a bit unlucky last year, but the mindset this year is very different. All of that gives us real confidence ahead of this season and as a team we’re a more organised and in the best position we’ve been to challenge for the title.”
His team-mate Tordoff faired a lot better during the rain-affected session, ending the day by rounding out the top five finishers on the official timesheets.
Tordoff said: “I’m excited to get back into the car, I feel a lot better than I did last year and that’s down to having the experience of a season in BTCC now under my belt. Last year we reached our objectives a lot quicker than we thought we would, the win certainly caused me to reassess my objectives and this year I want to be fighting at the front, challenging for podiums and ultimately wins.”
Tordoff enjoyed a massively rearding debut season in BTCC last year that netted a maiden race win at Snetterton, and told The Checkered Flag that 2014 will be all about adding consistency to his and Plato’s speed for the MG squad to emerge as title challengers once again.
He said: “There’s no doubt that we’ve got the speed on our day, but the most difficult thing in touring cars is having three races on a weekend where you score good points, because it’s all good and well having a strong first race but, if you crash in the second, then obviously you’re starting from last in race three which happened several times to me last year.
“That’s the biggest thing I’ve got to work on – to accept that sometimes finishing fifth or sixth in race two is a good result. So my aim is to consistently get three top 10 finishes each weekend, and then try and force myself closer to the championship.”