TORDOFF MOVES TO BRITISH GT
Tin-top star makes a permanent switch to GT racing with top squad Barwell Motorsport
British Touring Car star Sam Tordoff will chase a career in sportscars after opting to join Barwell Motorsport to contest next year’s British GT Championship aboard a factory Lamborghini Huracan.
Tordoff will share Barwell’s second Huracan GT3 with Liam Griffin for the full British championship, and also has his eyes set to some European outings.
Tordoff enjoyed a stellar 2016 season, finishing second in the BTCC in his Wsr-run BMW 125i M Sport to cap the strongest year of his career so far.
Despite that, Tordoff decided to walk away from tin-top racing and instead chase a different career path, bringing an end to his four-year BTCC stay.
“As much as I love the BTCC, I didn’t want to be stuck in that bubble of only being a touring car driver, so I want to show people that I’m versatile and can race in other disciplines too,” Tordoff, 27, said.
“BTCC also tends to be the end of a career path, not the start of one. You pay to drive there, regardless of if you finish second or 22nd, so it wasn’t a sustainable option.
“My manager, Tim Sugden, knows Mark Lemmer [Barwell boss] well and when this chance came about it made complete sense. There’s a career ladder in GTS and sportscars and there are multiple manufacturer programmes.
“I’ve never raced a pure-bred GT3 car, and I won’t get my first test in the Huracan until next year. My experience of racing a rear-wheeldrive BMW will stand me in good stead and I have my background in the Porsche Carrera Cup to fall back on too, so it won’t be completely alien.
“I’ve known Liam for a long time, having raced against him, and I know he’ll be a great team-mate and that the Lambo will be a very quick car. British GT3 will be a very high level for next season, but we’re coming in aiming to win.”
Tordoff and Griffin join series regulars Phil Keen and Jon Minshaw at Barwell for 2017. Team head Lemmer said he believed that Tordoff and Griffin would have great chemistry.
“We couldn’t be happier with our driver line-ups, and having Sam on board is hugely exciting,” he said.
“Liam struggled this season sharing his car with two different team-mates [Fabio Babini and latterly Alexander Sims]. He’s probably one of the most naturally talented Ams on the grid, but you need stability to make the full package.
“Jon has that with Phil, and Phil squeezes every last ounce of performance out of Jon, much like Alexander did with Marco [Attard in 2014-’15]. Sam will do that for Liam and together they will be genuine title contenders.”
It was the news that anyone planning to compete in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB didn’t want to hear. Dan Cammish will be back in 2017. He will be back and determined to make history. Cammish has already broken Carrera Cup GB records. He could break some more next year. He could become the first driver to win three titles in the category. He might even beat his manager Tim Harvey’s most wins in the series record.
But for those put off, a Cammish win should be tougher this time. A clash between the Porsche Supercup German round and the Snetterton TOCA meeting means he has 13 races instead of 15 to seal the crown, with no dropped scores to take into account. That will at least put him under some pressure. In theory.
First reason for that caveat, he hasn’t needed those extra two races the previous campaigns, wrapping up the title at the penultimate Silverstone event both times.
Second, the clash may not even occur. With the speculation surrounding the future of the German Grand Prix, Cammish may not end up competing abroad that weekend.
Regardless, it’s great news that Cammish will be stepping up to the Supercup, alongside remaining in the British series. Now we’ll really get to know how good he is. He’s dominated a strong GB field the last two years but that will be nothing compared to the level of those in the Supercup.
Even if some of this year’s top drivers may be moving on, the F1-support category is still one of the toughest series out there. Cammish has made a great start by signing for the mighty Lechner squad. But now he has to deliver.
He has finally got the opportunity to compete on the world stage and this will be a crucial year. Fail to impress and it may be his one chance gone. Succeed and he could still find himself on the path to a factory Porsche drive.
With the exception of one miserable year in British GT4, Cammish has blown away the competition in his main series for three of the last four years. If he can win races again in his new series this year, that will keep the momentum up.
Cammish has stated he’s targeting the title. That may sound like a ludicrously bold claim to make but he carries with him the confidence of being unstoppable in the past two years. And it will be a level playing field with the new 911 GT3 Cup racer introduced for next year. So he stands as good a chance in 2017 as any.
Then there’s the small matter of that third Carrera Cup title too…
The M3 Cup has been granted MSA championship status for the 2017 season.
The new-for-2016 M3 Cup struggled for numbers at times this year, with 750 Motor Club competitions manager Giles Groombridge acting on driver feedback to improve the M3 Cup’s long-term viability.
“We had 14 cars at the end of the season at Donington and it should’ve been more,” he said. “Championship status was strongly identified as important to our drivers and we saw some weren’t willing to commit to races further away at places such as Croft.”
Groombridge added the championship status had already led to high levels of interest from drivers.
New entrants include former Toyota MR2 frontrunner Alex Knight and T-cars champion Simon Walker-hansell.