Sam Tordoff hailed a “mega” Sunday at Rockingham after leaving the circuit still leading the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship by five points.
The West Surrey Racing driver emerged from the visit to Corby still holding a five-point cushion over Honda’s Matt Neal, following a remarkable recovery from 27th on the grid in race one to victory in race two.
Results of 10th and 16th sandwiched that second triumph of 2016, Tordoff admitting afterwards that such a turnaround was a fine outcome on a rollercoaster weekend for the BMW squad.
Speaking to The Checkered Flag after a frenetic weekend, Tordoff admitted: “I’m really pleased with that. To score any points that we did today, let alone be still five points clear from where we were yesterday, is mega. Wow. From here on in, I don’t think the weight will hurt me as much.
“In race three we struggled with the hard tyre and full ballast, so we were a bit of a sitting duck from lap one really. That turned out to be terrible, but what a lovely position to have found myself in.”
Tordoff retains 75kgs success ballast for the next race at Silverstone on 18 September for leading the Drivers’ Championship, but was massively encouraged by the outright pace of the BMW 125i during the weekend at Rockingham.
“I’ve obviously been hampered by weight”, admitted Tordoff. “That’s reflected in qualifying but, like you see, when you take the weight off it in race two, that’s the pace we have.
“I’m glad we’ve got that harder tyre out of the way; I’m glad we’ve got Rockingham out of the way too if I’m being honest because, out of the three meetings left, we recovered a disaster.”
Tordoff expects WSR to be fighting inside the top 10 once again at Silverstone, a track that BMW were competitive at 12 months ago.
“I think it will be OK at Silverstone”, Tordoff added. “The engine is better and we actually went well there last year, despite an engine deficit. I’ll need a tow in qualifying and a bit of luck, but I still think we can qualify in the top 10.
“We gambled in terms of set-up and as you could see it clearly worked in race two, so that’s no longer a gamble. We could go down that route for Silverstone, or we could try something different and play safe.”
BTCC Drivers’ Championship Standings After Round 8/10:
|1)||Sam Tordoff||West Surrey Racing (BMW 125i M-Sport)||258||2|
|2)||Matt Neal||Halfords Yuasa Racing (Honda Civic Type-R)||253||3|
|3)||Gordon Shedden||Halfords Yuasa Racing (Honda Civic Type-R)||238||3|
|4)||Mat Jackson||Motorbase Performance (Ford Focus ST)||230||4|
|5)||Rob Collard||West Surrey Racing (BMW 125i M-Sport)||227||2|
|6)||Colin Turkington||Silverline Subaru BMR Racing (Subaru Levorg GT)||210||3|
|7)||Andrew Jordan||Motorbase Performance (Ford Focus ST)||201||1|
|8)||Jason Plato||Silverline Subaru BMR Racing (Subaru Levorg GT)||199||1|
|9)||Adam Morgan||Ciceley Racing (Mercedes A-Class)||179||2|
|10)||Jack Goff||West Surrey Racing (BMW 125i M-Sport)||174||-|