WSR on the hunt for more at Donington Park
The three West Surrey Racing BMWs head to Donington Park this weekend hoping to build on a promising Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season opener at Brands Hatch.
Donington Park holds a special place in the history of the Sunbury-on-Thames WSR outfit, as the team made their BTCC debut at the East Midlands venue in 1996. They will be chasing a sixth win to add to their tally at the former European Grand Prix venue as the campaign rolls into Leicestershire.
Heading into this weekend, Team IHG Rewards Club’s Jack Goff, finds himself sixth in the BTCC Drivers’ Championship – the highest placed driver in the WSR stable.
Goff kicked off his 2016 campaign with a podium finish in what was his first event competing in a rear-wheel drive car and also notched the fastest racing lap of the weekend, going some way to proving the underlying pace of the WSR-prepared BMW 125i M Sport.
The 25-year-old is hoping to augment what was an impressive Brands Hatch opener at what is a ‘special’ circuit for him, having won there on his car racing debut back in 2009.
“Brands Hatch provided us with some great highs in terms of the podium and the fastest lap of anybody on race day,” said Goff. “There was also a feeling that we could have done even better if I hadn’t made the move in Race One and lost a few spots, or if it hadn’t rained in qualifying and compromised our strategy.
“What was important was that the race pace was definitely there, and there’s no reason why we can’t show similar speed this weekend. Donington is a special track for me as it’s where I won on my car racing debut in 2009, and I also won there during my championship-winning campaign in the Clio Cup.
“I’ve never been on the podium there in the BTCC, but that’s certainly the aim this time, as well as bagging some good championship points.”
Over the other side of the WSR garage, the Team JCT600 with GardX line-up lie third in the HiQ Teams’ Championship, leaving WSR in second spot in the Manufacturers’ table.
Sam Tordoff finished second in the final race of the day at Brands – right under the rear bumper of eventual winner Adam Morgan for the duration; while Rob Collard secured a brace of top six spots – battling through from 16th to sixth in race three in the best of his action.
With Tordoff and Collard eighth and 10th in the drivers’ standings respectively, both will be hoping to have pushed on come the end of the weekend.
“Donington is a circuit at which I’ve won before and as Croft is the only circuit closer to my home, it feels pretty local,” said Tordoff.
“I’m not quite sure what to expect from this weekend; at Brands Hatch we went faster than anyone had ever gone in practice, but then weren’t quite in a position to capitalise on that speed for one reason or another.
“We’ll carry ballast into the weekend, which will slow us down a little, but others will be even heavier, so it may turn out to be an advantage. Race 3 at Brands Hatch was great and we nearly won it, so if we can have three clean races, who knows what might be possible?”
Rob Collard said: “I enjoy Donington as it’s a real challenge for a driver. The Craner Curves are among the very best sequences of corners in the BTCC, and the track is wide enough that you can have great, close racing and good overtaking opportunities.
“I scored my first BTCC podium at Donington with WSR in 2005 and have won there too, so I’m sure we can achieve some strong results this weekend and move up from our current 10th place in the championship.”