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MG's Sam Tordoff: “I really enjoy driving Oulton Park”

Monday, June 03 2013

Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship rookie Sam Tordoff is a potential winner of this weekend's (8/9 June) Oulton Park round. Having started the season with just one weekend racing in the championship under his belt, the Leeds-based racer left round one at Brands Hatch with a maiden podium finish.

It was a performance even the Porsche Carrera Cup and Clio Cup graduate wasn't expecting: "No, not at all to be honest," he admitted". I knew I'd get there eventually and I knew that we had a good car and a good team around us, but I didn't think it would happen quite so quickly."

However it wasn't a totally new experience for the 24-year-old, who raced a Vectra for Triple 8 in a one-off appearance back in 2010. "Because I knew them from two years ago and kept in touch and a lot of the guys from two years ago are still there today, and I think that's been a big help for me - I don't really feel like I've moved to a new team in a sense."

Even with a familiar environment being at the sharp end of the BTCC field is a tough place for a newcomer. But Sam's willing to give as good as he gets: "The way I approached it was that if you're not going forwards in Touring Cars then you're always going to be the victim. I made a conscious effort that I wasn't going to get bullied at the start of the year because a reputation sticks. If they think you're a soft touch then you end up getting bullied for the rest of your career. You've also got to have the pace to go with it, because they're not going to respect you if you just fire people off but you're actually quite slow."

All this despite having one of the toughest team mates in the business. It helps that Sam is part of the Jason Plato-headed KX Akademy but there's also an MG to develop if they are to beat the Hondas. "It helps just being in an comfortable environment where I can work  and enjoy racing and me and Jason get on well. Obviously I can learn a lot from him, and he's been very open with all his experience and knowledge. At the end of the day, he's not going to beat those three Hondas on his own and he's well aware of that. It's up to me to take points off them and to help him out and to do the best job for the team and we've worked closely to try to make the car as quick as possible."

Sam's ready for his next milestone and admits it could happen this weekend: "The car is definitely capable, again it's just a case of staying out of trouble, but with getting the podium at the first weekend, suddenly the expectation has changed now and we want to be on the podium every weekend and the win is now the goal."

Oulton Park would be the ideal location too: "I like it, it's one of the tracks that I've done more testing at. It's arguably my local track, so I've done a lot of testing and I've raced there in the Porsche and the Clio over the last four years. I really enjoy the circuit and it's always nice weather at Oulton Park, you can guarantee that, so hopefully if it's like that I think we'll go well. Whether we get the win or not I'm not too sure but I definitely would like to think it will be this year."

Tickets for Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Oulton Park on 8/9 June are available from £26, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.