The MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save Team head to the super-fast Thruxton circuit this weekend (3/4 May) for the third event of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship in high spirits after a pair of dominant 1-2 finishes last time out.
Widely acknowledged as one the most formidable circuits in the UK, the former World War II airfield will see a vast 31-car grid take on the challenge of the daunting 140 mph+ 2.356 mile circuit.
Last season the MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save drivers Jason Plato and Sam Tordoff had a tricky time at the Hampshire circuit, but after advancements throughout last year and with some aerodynamic tweaks over the winter, the pair are confident of being on the front foot and securing a maiden Thruxton win for the MG6, before the series heads for its spring break.
Jason arrives at Thruxton in the joint lead of the BTCC driver standings following a sublime weekend at Donington Park a fortnight ago. Having overcome some initial challenges with the Triple Eight-run MG6 GT, the two-time champion knows he is in a strong position to challenge for a third title in 2014.
After celebrating his 25th birthday weekend with a second BTCC career victory at Donington, Sam is keen to build on his positive momentum and is hopeful of another victory at the punishing Thruxton circuit. Currently sixth in the drivers standings with 57 points, the Yorkshireman is determined to close the gap to the championship leaders and keep his title campaign on track.
The 22-time BTCC Champions Triple Eight are currently second with 142 points, 22 adrift of Honda Yuasa Racing, and in the manufacturers standings, MG lie four points behind Honda, with all to play for over the May Day Bank Holiday weekend.
Round 3 of the 2014 season at Thruxton takes place on May 3rd – 4th. Live coverage of Sunday's events will be shown on ITV4, itv.com and also in HD from 10.45am - 6pm; with itv.com featuring live streaming online of Saturday's qualifying session between 3.25 and 3.55pm.
Jason Plato, driver #99
“Last year I went to Thruxton leading the championship and left third. Our aim is to score points in every race this year. Donington was full of positives, but the job isn’t done yet. We still have little niggles to iron out, but the front aero changes and some other little development bits we’ve worked on should benefit us this weekend. We were quick there last year and I’m looking forward to going to Thruxton and coming away with another bag of big points; that’s our plan.”
Sam Tordoff, driver #88:
“We scored forty-odd points last time, that’s very much the aim this weekend. You don’t get to test at Thruxton much and it isn’t a circuit I know hugely well, but I have had some good performances there. Last year, we had good pace, but struggled with rear stability and as such were a little behind the Hondas. This year I think the performance gap has closed, but there are other contenders in the mix too. It’s an abrasive, fast circuit so tyre wear will be a concern for everyone, but we have faith in our package and we just have to fine-tune it when we’re there. I don’t see any reason why we can’t be on the first couple of rows in qualifying and challenging for wins in the races.”
Ian Harrison, Triple Eight Race Engineering Team Principal:
“I’m pleased with our development of the 2014 MG6, but it’s still work in progress. We’ve shown that we’re really good on both the normal tyre and really good in the wet, have improved on the soft tyre, but we still have improvements to make. Thruxton is another circuit that will test our tweaks made over the winter, it sorts the men from the boys and tyre management from the cockpit is a key factor to seeing the chequered flag. Jason and Sam are both in good form at the moment and hopefully we can come away with some solid results and see where we are in the mix come Sunday evening.”
2014 BTCC driver standings (after round 6 of 30)
=1 Jason Plato (MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save) 87
=1 Andrew Jordan (Pirtek Racing) 87
3 Gordon Shedden (Honda Yuasa Racing) 86
4 Colin Turkington (eBay Motors) 84
5 Matt Neal (Honda Yuasa Racing) 79
6 Sam Tordoff (MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save) 57
2014 BTCC Manufacturers Championship
1 Honda/Dynamics 197
2 MG/Triple Eight 193
2014 BTCC Teams' Championship
1 Honda Yuasa Racing 164
2 MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save 142