Sam Tordoff and Rob Collard are preparing for the Brands Hatch BTCC in Kent this weekend - the start of the 2016 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.
Back from a superb race-winning season in 2015, Team JCT600 has returned in the hope for another successful season, with the prospect of achieving higher places in the championship rankings this time round.
Tordoff, 26, boasts five podium finishes to date in the BTCC at Brands Hatch and is hopeful that he will be able to better that this weekend. Similarly, Collard, 47, has an outstanding record at Brands Hatch, winning a grand total of four times at the British Grand Prix venue - he is also hoping to continue his winning streak from last year.
Sam Tordoff said: “I’ve been itching to get back into race mode for months, so Brands Hatch can’t come soon enough. It’s not a circuit where I went particularly well last year, so while I’d like to correct that statistic, it’s even more important to come away with three solid lots of points and not have any silly incidents on what’s a tight circuit that can bite you very easily – especially with 32 cars on track. Brands Hatch will be the first time you see everyone running ballast-free, so that will give us a good indication of where we are in the pecking order. If we can have a good, clean run, I’ll consider that a job well done.”
Rob Collard also commented: “The Brands Hatch Indy Circuit has always been a great track for me and I’d love to repeat last year’s success of winning the first race of the season. The rear-wheel-drive BMW seems ideally suited to the track; it’s probably the best car in the BTCC in terms of traction and is very kind to the tyres so you can usually coax some good speed out of it at the end of a race when some of the other drivers are struggling a bit. Race wins are certainly the aim for this season and I’d like to think that the improvements made to the car should make us a serious contender this year.”
In terms of the cars that team JCT600 will be driving this year, the BMWs have a very different look from last year; featuring enhanced styling of the latest 1-series and included added extras to better the BMWs performance levels.
There are also a few changes to this year’s BTCC, including a new supplier, as well as a revision to the race set up format which will see the grids for Race Two be determined by Race One’s finishing order as opposed to the fastest lap as previously.
Dick Bennetts, Team Principal, said: “It doesn’t feel like very long ago since we were at Brands Hatch to finish the 2015 season, but here we are ready to go again. In the BMW 125i M Sport, we have a car that has won races in each of the past three seasons – including the drivers’ and teams’ championship in 2014. In Rob, we have an experienced driver who never gives up and has a superb record at Brands Hatch while Sam is an extremely fast driver who will try everything he can to move up the championship order this year. The 2016 season has the potential to be very interesting indeed for Team JCT600 with GardX and WSR.”
Each of the races taking place at this weekend’s BTCC will be showing live and exclusively on ITV4 in HD, so be sure to tune in and see it all in action!
Added: 31 March 2016