MG KX Momentum racers Jason Plato and Sam Tordoff say that they are pleased to have increased their points tallies at the third meeting of the 2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season at Thruxton last weekend despite a last-gasp heartbreak.
Plato was on course for victory in the third race of the weekend when the front-left tyre on his car suffered a puncture and he was forced into the pits for a replacement. It was a disappointing end to the weekend after a second and a fifth place finish in the opening two races.
Tordoff, racing a BTCC car at the daunting Thruxton circuit for the first time, took a fourth and a seventh place in the opening two events before he too suffered tyre woe in the final showdown. Feeling a vibration in his car’s steering and not wanting to suffer a failure, he lowered his pace to make sure he made it to the flag in eighth position.
Plato, who is now third in the championship standings, said:
“We didn’t really get the car to handle quite as we would have liked over the course of the weekend and that hurt us a bit. But there are positives that we can take away from it, because we put new set-ups on the car in between the three races and we made progress with each one. But the end of meeting, I had a car that I could really push with, and that’s a strong sign for the future.
“We have banked points this weekend when we were on the back foot, so that is another positive to take away and we have less success ballast when the championship reconvenes at Oulton Park in five weeks’ time too. We can make more progress between now and then, so we are still upbeat.”
Tordoff said the results were damage limitation at a track where the cars had not had the ultimate pace. He was nevertheless pleased with three top ten finishes.
“It was clear that we didn’t have the quickest car at Thruxton so the objective then is to try and chip away at it and get as fast as possible while keeping things sensible,” he explained. “We tried lots of things on the set-up and managed to limit the damage in terms of points to the Honda drivers, so in that regard it has been a success. We’ve got Thruxton behind us now and we don’t have to go back there, so we can concentrate on tracks where we know we will be stronger.”
Team principal Ian Harrison said the pace in the third race of the weekend was encouraging and that he too was looking forward to moving forward at the tracks that are coming up on the calendar.
“In a way, it is better to have a puncture when you are leading than if you had been in ninth place or something like that,” said Harrison. “We worked well across the races and by the time of the third race, we were in the ballpark. I don’t think we got the results we deserved this weekend but this championship is full of highs and lows. We will be determined to get back to the front at Oulton Park.”
The next rounds of the championship take place at Oulton Park on June 8/9.
Standings after 9/30 rounds
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