AmD pair expecting RWD cars to retain Croft advantage
Cobra Sport AmD pair Rory Butcher and Sam Tordoff say they expect rear-wheel drive cars to have retain an advantage when the BTCC heads to Croft this weekend.
Rear-wheel drive cars have traditionally been strong at the North Yorkshire venue, but a new track surface laid across the winter is expected to work in favour of those cars powered through the front wheels.
Despite that, Butcher – who sits level with BMW driver Colin Turkington at the head of the standings – said he felt RWD cars would still have an edge in the battle for top honours.
“I’m hoping that the resurfacing work at the circuit will help us and provide more grip, but at the same time, I think the rear-wheel drive cars will still have the edge on us,” he said. “We’ve just got to stay focused and get as much from the weekend as we can.
“We go into the weekend in a fantastic position after a strong start to the season, although that provides us with a fresh challenge because of the extra weight we’ll have to carry when we get to Croft.
“That’s going to have an impact in qualifying and race one – particularly when it comes to getting the car stopped at the complex – but hopefully as we lose the extra ballast across the weekend, we can challenge for some good results.”
Team-mate Tordoff picked up his first podium of the season last time out at Thruxton, and whilst he agreed that RWD cars could still be the ones to beat, the Yorkshireman said he was hopeful that running ballast free would work in his favour.
“Croft is a circuit that has traditionally favoured rear-wheel drive cars like the BMW and the Subaru because the track was so abrasive, but the fact it has been resurfaced over the winter means there will be a bit of a step into the unknown for everyone,” he said. “Looking at the lap times some of the support series have done in testing, it definitely looks like it will be a lot quicker, and hopefully tyre wear for the front-wheel drive cars will be less of an issue.
“I still think rear-wheel drive cars will have an advantage over us but I’m going into the weekend without any extra success ballast and hopefully I can make the most of that.
“The target has to be to qualify towards the front, and then push for some strong points on race day. The weather could also have an impact but wet or dry, I think we’ll be okay.”