West Surrey Racing boss Dick Bennetts praised the ‘team effort’ required to clinch both Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship Teams and Manufacturers’ titles in 2016, despite missing out on overall Drivers’Championship honours.
The New Zealander’s squad beat Halfords Yuasa Racing and Honda to both the Team and Manufacturer Championships by 17 and 53 points respectively, after four wins and 17 podiums combined from their three-car assault.
Despite the double triumph for the BMW outfit at Brands Hatch GP circuit, team principal Bennetts admitted he felt sympathy for 2016 runner-up, Sam Tordoff, the Leeds racer missing out on the Drivers’ Championship by a mere two points to Honda’s Gordon Shedden.
“We did, of course, come here looking for three titles, rather than two and I’m gutted that we weren’t able to get Sam over the line”, said Bennetts after lifting a brace of championship titles in Kent. “But, he’s raised his level considerably this year – as has Rob [Collard] – and we’re determined to bounce back even stronger in 2017.
“I’m really happy for everyone at WSR to be celebrating the manufacturers’/constructors’ title and have to say a big thank you JCT600, GardX and BMW UK for the support they’ve given us this year on our way to the teams’ title.
“Motor racing is a real team effort and this is a deserving reward for a fantastic group of people.”
As of the conclusion of Sunday’s action at Brands Hatch, questions surrounding WSR’s 2017 driver line-up and potential machinery remained unanswered.
Tordoff himself praised the team’s performances in 2016 as he came so close to title success in the season finale, adding: “I’m incredibly proud of myself, of the job done by everyone at WSR and the support we’ve had from BMW, JCT600 and GardX all season.
“We’ve ended the season as constructors’ and teams’ champions and honestly I couldn’t have asked for much more.”
Tordoff’s father John, CEO at JCT600, told TCF: “West Surrey Racing are, without doubt, the best team in the BTCC paddock and it’s been a real privilege to work with them.
“Everyone in the team from top to bottom is a credit to Dick Bennetts and what he stands for; their professionalism, attention to detail and ‘will to win’ are second to none and it’s easy to see why they’ve been so successful over the years.”