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BTCC's Sam Tordoff: "Oulton Park is one of my favourites"

Thursday, May 28 2015

Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship race winner Sam Tordoff is ready to give his title campaign a boost at Oulton Park next weekend (6/7 June), after taking a podium finish in the most recent race at Thruxton in the WSR BMW 125i M-Sport.

The third-placed finish is his best of the season so far and he's under no illusions that his transfer to the reigning champion team hasn't gone as planned. "It has been a difficult start," he said. "I don't think any of us at WSR are where we wanted to be. It has been a combination of several things; changes to the regulations for rear-wheel-drive cars, engine performance, getting used to rear-wheel-drive and bad luck!

"However we managed to turn it around at Thruxton and with a few car problems ironed out and a slice of good fortune, it ended with my first podium for JCT600 Racing with GardX."

The turnaround has come at the right time, since Oulton Park is where the WSR BMWs traditionally come alive: "Not only Oulton Park but some of the rounds thereafter. The BMW was strong there in 2014 and even though we revert back to the shorter circuit this year I don't think it will change the order too much."

Despite previous experience in the BTCC-supporting Porsche Carrera Cup, Sam has found the switch back to rear-wheel-drive tougher than he had expected. "I hadn't driven anything but a front-wheel-drive BTCC car for two years, so it took some getting used to rear-wheel-drive again over the winter," he explained. "I feel I am almost there now but in the beginning it was difficult to re-train all your natural instincts, especially what to do when it all goes wrong!

"Qualifying and Racing also has a different mentality in this car; it is more difficult to put together a fast qualifying lap but come the race, the pace tends to come back to you as tyre wear starts to play a part and the front-wheel-drive cars suffer."

Sam's expects at least two of those cars to be quick around Oulton Park next weekend: "I think Honda. They have a great car this year with an equally impressive engine. I think they'll be the benchmark."

Last time Sam was fighting Honda at Oulton Park he was with MG, and proved to be a match for then team-mate Jason Plato. He admits to being a fan of the Cheshire circuit: "Yes it's without doubt one of my favourites. I am a huge fan of the traditional style race circuits; lots of undulations, trees, very little run-off - basically everything that Oulton Park is. It's a great circuit and always attracts a huge crowd, even the weather is usually glorious too!"

Tickets for the BTCC at Oulton Park on 6/7 June are available in advance from £26, with free entry for children under 13. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.