West Surrey Racing boss Dick Bennetts said that the team’s historic first clean sweep of a Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship podium is a “great omen” for the BMW squad with two more races remaining at Croft.
Andy Priaulx took his maiden BTCC win for the squad and the first of his comeback to the sport he last raced in back in 2002, leading home early leader and pole-sitter, Sam Tordoff.
Rob Collard made it three BMW 125i machines filling the top three spots on the podium, the first time the current Teams’ Champions have done so in their illustrious history.
“It’s a great omen for the day”, an elated Bennetts told The Checkered Flag after race one.
“It has been our best track for years, but we didn’t know in the brief before this weekend whether it was more because of Turkington or the car.
“Now we know it’s both. Colin was by far the quickest Volkswagen and the the WSR BMWs are still very quick around here.”
The victory closes WSR to 69 points adrift of second-placed MG in the Constructors’ Championship, while Tordoff moves to within 36 points of the championship lead.
Bennetts added his personal congratulations to Priaulx, saying: “We’re closing in on the guys at the top of the championship again now. I’m so pleased for Andy to finally get his first win and to lock out the podium with a 1-2-3 – we’ve never done that before.”
A small shower during the race made conditions slightly tricky after the first five laps, Bennetts feeling that the spots on the surface may have attributed to Tordoff’s mistake at the chicane that handed Priaulx victory.
Asked on whether the unlikely threat of any more rain on Sunday would be the biggest affect to WSR’s dominance, Bennetts commented: “I think so. I also think that it was what maybe cost Sam the lead in that race because he was first on the road when the spots of rain were first coming down.
“We radioed the guys to tell them that there were a few spots, but when you’re leading the race it is difficult to know when you need to brake.
He said of Tordoff: “Second place, fastest lap, pole for the race and now pole for race two is great for him.
“They’re all going well. The soft tyres were just starting to drop off towards the end so we were monitoring the gap between Rob and Gordon [Shedden].”