Sam Tordoff said that he feels the pressure will be on the former Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship title winners at Brands Hatch, the West Surrey Racing man leading by 11 points after Silverstone.
Tordoff endured a tough meeting at the national circuit in Northamptonshire, taking two 11th place results and a sixth place to maintain his series lead.
The WSR driver left holding an 11-point lead over Gordon Shedden with three races to go at Brands Hatch GP, Matt Neal 13 points behind in the second Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type-R in third.
“We’ve somehow extended our points lead, so I’m going to take that, go home and be happy”, Tordoff told The Checkered Flag afterwards. “What with two 11th place finishes and a sixth, that’s good because it’s felt like a s*it day from my end!
“It’s been a struggle. With 75kg [ballast] I thought we would struggle for obvious reasons, but it was actually a blessing to see the likes of [Adam] Morgan and [Andrew] Jordan struggle in race three. At least I could appreciate that others were struggling.”
A gearbox problem in race two affected Tordoff’s chances to make further improvements during Sunday, adding: “We thought we’d make real progress in race two. Unfortunately, we had a technical problem where we had no fifth gear for the whole race. That considered, it was pretty good just to finish 11th in that race.”
Tordoff ended the day with a solid sixth place finish in the final race, losing out to Neal in a fight that featured all of the current title contenders. He added: “After our two 11th place finishes, I needed some points so I wasn’t that bothered about [battling].”
The outcome means that eight drivers remain in contention to win the championship, Tordoff admitting that the pressure lies not with himself, but the more experienced former title winners.
“It’s really exciting”, said the BMW man. “I’ve got 75kg to deal with, but I’ve also got an 11-point cushion. I’m sure the other guys would like to have that cushion.
“Qualifying will be key. I don’t think we’ll struggle as much as we did here, but I just think that there’s no pressure on me. Nobody expected me to be in this position, so the pressure is on the champions.”
Drivers That Can Still Win The 2016 BTCC Title:
|1)||Sam Tordoff||West Surrey Racing (BMW 125i)||278||2|
|2)||Gordon Shedden||Halfords Yuasa Racing (Honda Civic Type-R)||-11||4|
|3)||Matt Neal||Halfords Yuasa Racing (Honda Civic Type-R)||-13||3|
|4)||Rob Collard||West Surrey Racing (BMW 125i)||-17||2|
|5)||Mat Jackson||Motorbase Performance (Ford Focus ST)||-21||4|
|6)||Andrew Jordan||Motorbase Performance (Ford Focus ST)||-31||2|
|7)||Colin Turkington||Silverline Subaru Team BMR (Subaru Levorg GT)||-37||3|
|8)||Jason Plato||Silverline Subaru Team BMR (Subaru Levorg GT)||-58||1|