BTCC

WSR Boss Says “Tyre Gamble” Paid Off For Knockhill Pole

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West Surrey Racing boss Dick Bennetts witnessed his cars lock out the front row of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship grid at Knockhill, telling TCF that the red flag interruptions almost cost them.

The WSR boss was left celebrating his drivers qualifying first, second and fourth on the grid at Knockhill, Andy Priaulx denying Sam Tordoff with a late lap record-breaking effort while Rob Collard was fourth on the grid.

Speaking to The Checkered Flag afterwards, Bennetts admitted that his squad had played it cautiously on tyres in practice, but were almost caught out in their efforts.

“We were a bit worried in free practice because we can’t afford to put new rubber on because we only have three sets. To balance it, we were only down to two sets of runs for qualifying.

“We took a gamble to run on used tyres – luckily we had three runs so we could have a bit of an adjustment with the red flags.”

Two red flag interruptions made qualifying more difficult to judge at the Fife circuit, Tordoff also enduring a collision with the tyre barriers early on.

Bennetts added: “Then we were 2nd, 3rd and 5th, but there’s a regulation that says if the red flag comes out with less than five minutes to go, they give you at least five minutes to run.

“That really helped us to go P1, and it’s quicker than our pole time last year so we’re very pleased.”

The reigning Teams’ Champions are still very much in the Drivers’ Championship hunt, second-placed Tordoff just 39 points behind Jason Plato who will start a mere 22nd on the grid tomorrow.

When asked on his team’s prospects of making a big championship push, Bennetts remained coy, joking: “I like to say yes, but I’ve been in motorsport too long!

“There’s three races to get through; I know what happened with Colin last year, but if they all use their heads and behave then everything will be ok.”

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