MG’s homegrown duo fired up for Croft
Jason Plato and Sam Tordoff are hoping to enjoy home comforts this weekend as the MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save team targets a return to the top step of the rostrum.
Newcastle-born Plato is firmly in title contention while Leeds-based Tordoff is still within touching distance of the championship chase, but the Triple Eight-run squad is looking to improve on the lone podium it secured last time out at Oulton Park.
Jason is no stranger to Croft, having raced at the circuit 40 times in the BTCC alone and with four wins to his name. The former local was full of positives about his ‘home’ track, but doesn’t under estimate the challenge posed by his rear-wheel-drive rivals. Currently fifth in the driver’s standings, Jason is looking to make the most of his closest competitors carrying success ballast this weekend.
“Croft is a spiritual home circuit for me,” enthused Jason. “I’ve been lucky to get good support there in the past; it’s a nice weekend. The BTCC event there is the biggest motorsport show at the circuit, and it’s the only opportunity for locals to watch top drivers at the track. It’s great to see so many fans at any race, but at Croft they turn up in their tens of thousands. I think it’s fair to say Croft loves the BTCC and vice versa, it’s a great track.
“I think we stand a good chance this weekend. It has historically been a good stomping ground for RWD cars, but with Turkington on maximum ballast after Oulton, that could level things; he only pipped me last year as he was running less weight in the car than me.”
Last season Tordoff had a tricky time at the former World War Two airfield, but the 25-year-old Yorkshireman has taken podiums here in other series and wants to set the record straight with a win here in the BTCC. Having already taken a stunning victory earlier in the year at Donington Park and with one in his debut season twelve months ago, the JCT600-backed driver has improved his consistency and sits eighth in the points standings, still very much in contention for the 2014 title.
“I love Croft,” he said. “The atmosphere’s always really good, and it’s a great place to spectate at. If the weather is good, we should have a good big crowd.
“I think the BMWs will do well, but we’ll be in the mix. We should be okay on paper; last year wasn’t too bad for us. Despite it being the circuit nearest to where I live, it’s probably one of the circuits I’ve raced on least. That said, I’ve been on the podium here in the past, but I’ve never won a race here in anything, so I’m rather keen to try and break that duck.”
More so than some of the other circuits on the BTCC calendar, Plato sees car set-up as both challenging and critical if you want to have a successful weekend.
“Croft is a challenging circuit, it has very, very fast sections and some technically very tricky parts too,” the double BTCC champion concludes. “Your car has to be well-balanced at Croft and while you can never get a perfect car, the laws of physics never allow for that, you have to work closely with your engineer to get as close as you can.”
If you’d like to see 31 flame-spitting BTCC machines taking on the challenge of Croft then you can still purchase tickets on the gate for as little as £13 on Saturday and £27 on Sunday. You can also watch all of the action live and exclusively in high definition on ITV4.