Bennetts: “Titles a deserving reward for WSR”
West Surrey Racing and Team JCT600 with GardX secured double title success following a dramatic conclusion to the 2016 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch last weekend.
The Sunbury-on-Thames stable made sure of the BTCC Manufacturers’/Constructors’ crown with a race to spare on Sunday – marking its 20th anniversary in the BTCC with a fifth overall crown, a fourth in three years.
Team JCT600 with GardX were to be champions in their own right, too, bringing home Teams’ honours after a nail-biting season finale.
Team-mates Sam Tordoff and Rob Collard started the day holding hopes of claiming the coveted Drivers’ honours as part of an unprecedented eight-way battle.
Collard’s challenge would prove not to stay the course, losing time with others’ incidents in races one and two, finishing 12th and 10th – not enough to take the fight to the final race of the season.
Long-time standings leader Tordoff, however, remained at the head of the pack right until the finale. It wasn’t to be for the Yorkshireman, though, as reigning champion Gordon Shedden homed in, passing his rival after an enthralling battle in the finale. This move proved decisive in handing the Scotsman a second title in a row – Tordoff missing out by just two points in the end. Title or not, the 27-year-old’s 2016 has been a watershed year.
Tordoff and Collard’s efforts over the course of the season ensured WSR claimed the HiQ Teams’ Trophy – capping off what has been a successful campaign for Dick Bennetts’ charges.
“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, IHG® Rewards Club and BMW UK for the support they’ve given us this year on our way to the Teams’ title,” said the Team Principal.
“Motor racing is a real team effort and this is a deserving reward for a fantastic group of people. 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. But he’s raised his level considerably this year – as has Rob – and we’re determined to bounce back even stronger in 2017.
Tordoff said: “While I’m obviously gutted to lead the championship for most of the season and then miss out on the Drivers’ title by two points, 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. This weekend I’ve actually scored some decent points, but the pace needed to get us over the line wasn’t quite there; we needed something extra and it wasn’t quite there.”
“Two out of three isn’t bad and I’m very proud to be a part of a team that’s won the Teams’ and constructors’ titles this year,” said Tordoff’s team-mate Rob Collard.
Team IHG® Rewards Club’s Jack Goff played his part on the other side of the WSR stable.
Goff claimed two podium finishes in his maiden year in a rear-wheel drive BTCC machine on the way to 11th in the Drivers’ standings while Team IHG®Rewards Club claimed eighth in the Teams’ championship.
“It’s fantastic to be celebrating the Manufacturers’/Constructors’ championship with WSR,” said Goff.
“They’ve given me a wonderfully-balanced BMW all year and with four fastest laps, I think I’ve proven that we’ve all had strong pace this year.
“With better luck, I’m sure I could have been in the top six of the championship and the speed we’ve shown all year is proof of that.”