WSR looks to double down on Manufacturers’ lead
West Surrey Racing heads to Donington Park this weekend with the aim of strengthening its advantage atop the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship Manufacturers’ standings.
Andrew Jordan, in BMW Pirtek Racing colours, is shooting for more this time out on home soil, with the BMW 125i M Sport’s pace, he believes, conducive to better results than those achieved at Brands Hatch – though he did score the 100th BTCC podium finish for a WSR-run BMW there.
“I always look forward to racing at Donington Park,” said Jordan.”It’s the closest circuit to where I live and I can always feel fantastic local support from the fans. I also have some great memories of this place, like my first BTCC pole and my two wins here.
“It was great to start the year with a podium at Brands Hatch, but ultimately the results of the weekend weren’t a reflection of the speed we had. On the positive side, I head to Donington without success ballast and aiming to make BMW winners for a third straight season.”
Over on the Team BMW side of the garage, Colin Turkington and Rob Collard are determined to chalk up more valuable points for the Sunbury-on-Thames-based team at the demanding 1.9-mile East Midlands venue.
Turkington lies sixth in the Drivers’ Championship and carries 33kg of success ballast as a result.
The two-time BTCC champion took the first victory for the BMW 125i M Sport at Donington in 2013 and has two pole positions and four wins at the circuit – including one last year – to his name.
“It was great to secure a podium on our first race of 2018 at Brands Hatch but an unfortunate issue with the car had me fighting back for races two and three,” said Turkington.
“Despite this, we left feeling optimistic about the pace and potential of the BMW. It’s a long season ahead!
“It’s time to look ahead to Donington now and I’m aiming for a similar trio of results to last year. It was here I collected my first win of 2017 and took two further top-five finishes. This year looks more competitive than ever though so we must ensure we’ve done our homework before the weekend.”
Hampshireman Collard scored his first BTCC podium at Donington in 2005 with WSR and has recorded two wins and five rostrum finishes there – including a charging drive from sixth to second last year.
Having endured a challenging weekend at Brands Hatch, Collard is confident of a better time at Donington as he aims to climb the championship table and elevate Team BMW from their current eighth spot in the Teams’ title race.
“I’m treating Donington as the start of my season. I’ve had some great results there in the past, including my first BTCC podium, a second-place finish last year and two wins.
“We’ve certainly been able to show the BMW’s speed there over the past couple of seasons to a greater level than before, which shows the top job the team’s doing. I’m not carrying any success ballast into the weekend so that will help as I aim to make a big jump up the championship table.”
Dick Bennetts, Team Principal, added: “Brands Hatch was a mixed weekend. On the one hand, we’re pleased to have started the defence of BMW’s Manufacturers’ title by being the top scorers at the opening round, but we also suffered some unfortunate issues that meant we weren’t able to build on Colin’s and AJ’s podiums in race one.
“Since then, we’ve had a solid test at Thruxton and we now head to Donington – where we’ve won three times in the past five years with the BMW 125i M Sport – in good shape. Traditionally it’s been a track that’s favoured the front-wheel-drive cars, but we have a strong engineering team and they’ve helped us close the gap in recent years.”