Pole sitter Sam Tordoff expects BMW to be even stronger in Sunday’s Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship races at Croft than in qualifying, after claiming his first pole in BMW machinery.
The West Surrey Racing man grabbed the top spot for Sunday’s action at the North Yorkshire venue with a late 1m24.886s effort, beating BMW team-mate Andy Priaulx by 0.070s.
WSR almost made it a lock-out of the top three positions, Rob Collard losing his third place time for disrespecting track limits, although the BMW squad continued their strong form after Tordoff took his breakthrough win for the German marque at Oulton Park since joining from MG in the winter.
Tordoff told The Checkered Flag after qualifying that his purple patch of form has given him a boost in confidence behind the wheel, saying: “I’m enjoying my driving a lot more now. A lot more.
“Every time we go out, we’re even better than before. To get the win last time out at Oulton and come here and get pole shows it’s going really well.
“It makes it that little bit sweeter knowing that I beat [Priaulx] even with more ballast. I pulled the best lap out of the bag, so now I need to go and bag some solid points to try and close the gap to the guys ahead of me while the likes of BMR are going to struggle.”
Extending BMW’s pole position run at Croft to three in succession, the Leeds racer added that race runs in free practice pointed towards an even stronger performance in Sunday’s three races.
Tordoff added: “It’s important that we take advantage of our good circuits and this is BMW territory. Colin has won four of the last six races here, so we had to come here and show that it’s not just Colin being that good!.
“We had expectations on our shoulders but we overcame them with a 1-2-4 result.”
A distraction to drivers on Sunday could potentially be the weather, rain expected to hit the circuit in the afternoon. Despite this, Tordoff believes that the rear-wheel drive cars have more speed up their sleeves should mother nature produce a wet encounter or more.
He said: “I’ve got two team-mates behind me as well. I’m feeling confident; come rain or shine on Sunday, I’m expecting a good result.
“To qualify at the front must mean you have enough of an advantage even if it rain”, Tordoff added on the chance of showers. “With the nature of the circuit – it’s very abrasive wet or dry.
“We should be a lot kinder on our tyres. We’ve done some race runs in practice and had good pace in these tyres.”