Team JCT600 with GardX are targeting a treble title success as the Dunlop British Touring Car Championship heads to Brands Hatch for an eight-way showdown at the season finale this weekend.
The WSR-run team lead the drivers’, teams’ and manufacturers’/constructors’ points tables with Sam Tordoff and Rob Collard both in contention to become drivers’ champion for the first time.
Sam, from Leeds, is 11 points clear of Gordon Shedden at the top of the table with Matt Neal a further two behind. Hampshire team-mate Rob lies fourth, just 17 behind Sam, with four others also in title contention.
Both Sam and Rob have had incredibly consistent seasons, taking a combined four wins, 15 podiums and six fastest laps ahead of the triple-header event.
As championship leader, Sam carries 75kg of success ballast into the season finale, which takes place on his favourite circuit – the 2.6-mile Brands Hatch Grand Prix layout – one on which he has finished on the podium three times. Rob, meanwhile, has 48kg on his BMW 125i M Sport.
Both are aiming to repeat the achievements of 2009 and ’14, in which WSR, clinched both of their previous drivers’ titles at Brands Hatch.
The Brands Hatch triple-header on October 1-2 is the last of 10 events in this year’s BTCC, which takes in nine circuits the length and breadth of the country. Each race will be screened live and exclusively on ITV4 in HD.
Sam Tordoff said: “I had a set of targets for the season and we’ve surpassed all of them, so whatever happens now is a bonus. Having said that, I’ve led the championship for half the season so of course it would be a disappointment not to convert it into a title, both for myself and WSR, who have worked incredibly hard to give me a fantastic BMW. Carrying maximum ballast won’t help matters, but it’s been the same for the past few rounds and exactly the same thing has been at stake, so we’re pretty used to it now as a team. I’m just going to go out there and enjoy the weekend and we’ll see what happens. It’s my favourite circuit anyway and I’ve finished second there three times, so I’ll enjoy it, whatever the outcome.”
Rob Collard said: “I made my BTCC debut 15 years ago, but this has been my best season by some margin. I’ve consciously taken fewer risks this year with the aim of staying in the championship hunt, and WSR have given me a BMW that has worked fantastically in the races, even when I’ve been carrying a lot of ballast weight. To become BTCC champion would be a dream come true. To win from 17 points behind at the final round won’t be easy, but you never know what can happen in motorsport. Around me are seven other title contenders, all of whom will be incredibly tough to beat, and it will be crucial for Sam and I to work together as a team to try and make sure we secure all three titles at stake this weekend.”
Dick Bennetts, Team Principal, said: “This weekend is a tremendous opportunity for Sam, Rob, Team JCT600 with GardX and WSR as we lead the drivers’, teams’ and manufacturers’/constructors’ points with just one event left. As a team we have 35 years of experience of winning titles and that should help us this weekend. In Sam and Rob we have two drivers who have stepped up a level and deserve to be where they are, and as a team we’ve worked very hard to make the BMW 125i M Sport one of the best out there and are confident in our ability to get the job done. I hope that will be enough, but we’re not over the line yet, as this year’s BTCC is incredibly competitive and we’ll have to keep pushing right to the end to hopefully end up as champions.”