After collecting his first podium finish in West Surrey Racing colours at Thruxton, Sam Tordoff says he expects BMW to enjoy greater performances in June’s Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship meetings at Oulton Park and Croft.
Former Triple Eight driver Tordoff recovered from a cautious start to the Thruxton weekend with 11th place in race one after qualifying 12th, battling through to sixth from 14th on the grid in the second encounter before holding on to third place throughout the final race at the Hampshire circuit.
The Leeds racer climbed onto the podium for the first time in WSR overalls as his reward for the race three performance, also his first top-three finish in a rear-wheel drive BTCC machine.
“It feels really good, even if it took a bit longer than I though to be honest”, Tordoff admitted to The Checkered Flag in reaction to his first podium with the BMW squad.
“Circumstances have played against us already this year. I never seemed to get the run of the mill, but here it changed.
“After race one, I didn’t think I was going to get that either. The lucky break came in race two with Andy [Priaulx] having a spin that caused chaos and allowed me to make a great recovery from 14th to sixth. From then I just hung on.”
The result also moved Tordoff up to ninth in a still tightly-contested championship table, just five points behind WSR team-mate, Rob Collard. Although the high-speed nature of Thruxton suited BMW 125i less so, Tordoff sung praise of the car’s handling after three rounds in his new environment.
“The car is really, really good”, continued Tordoff. “Struggling a bit in a straight line though meant that I needed the tow.
“I was never going to win the race, but I needed to latch onto the back of the guy in front of me because I thought ‘if I lose this tow, the guys behind could come and breeze past me’.
“It got very close at times, but we were very good through the Complex and that got us away again.”
Next month sees the series visit Oulton Park’s Island circuit in Cheshire on 6/7 June, a venue where defending Teams’ Champions WSR secured pole position and two wins last year in the hands of reigning champion, Colin Turkington.
Tordoff enters buoyant of his and the team’s chances to return to winning ways at Oulton Park, adding: “The next few tracks we go to should be a lot more beneficial to the BMWs.
“The car has always been notoriously good at these circuits such as Oulton Park, Croft and Knockhill coming up. We don’t rely as much on the straight-line speed at these tracks.”