Confident Sam Tordoff says there are “no excuses” as the Leeds ace heads into Sunday’s opening three races of the British Touring Car season.
Tordoff, just 23, has landed a dream drive with the MG KX Momentum Racing team alongside dual champion team-mate Jason Plato.
And Tordoff, grandson of rally driver Jack, is not intent on merely making up the numbers.
The Leeds ace will take in his first three races at Brands Hatch tomorrow following this afternoon’s qualifying session and even on the opening weekend Tordoff wants three top 10 finishes.
That’s a minimum – with the excited Yorkshireman believing he has the car, talent and backing to make visits to the podium a common occurrence in the series, screened live on ITV4.
“For the last four years I have been on the Touring Car weekend – racing in the support categories but always looking at envy at where I wanted to be,” Tordoff told the YEP this week.
“I feel a sense of relief that I am finally there and it’s been a long time coming.
“To be able to go straight into Touring Cars with one of the top, best teams with the best team-mate, it’s perfect for me.
“There’s no excuses. I believe that I’m good enough and the car is good enough so we just need to all work together nicely and the results will come, I’m sure.
“This weekend I want to finish all three races and I want three top tens. I think that’s a very reasonable and achievable target and if I have three top tens I think that will be a good place to start.
“But I do want to be on the podium this year and I do want to win races.
“I think given two or three meetings into the Championship where everything settles down and everything feels more comfortable, there is no reason why in the second part of the season I can’t be fighting for wins. I’m sure Jason will be wanting to go out and win all three races this weekend and he is quite capable of doing that but for me a realistic target is three top tens and to get some points up. That would be stepping stones from which to build on.”
Tordoff departed for Brands Hatch on Wednesday with the Yorkshireman in no doubt that the Honda Civic team are the outfit to beat. Honda are represented by reigning champion Gordon Shedden and last year’s runner-up Matt Neal. But former champion Colin Turkington also returns from World Touring Cars to race for BMW meaning that alongside Plato, the 2013 series will feature four past champions. But Tordoff insists he will soon settle in.
“It’s a bit daunting as you see their names and you think ‘I used to be you on the Play Station and be you when I was 10 years old’,” said Tordoff.
“It’s all a bit mad really and it still feels a bit surreal but it’s just something that you adapt to.”
Indeed, never mind merely keeping Plato company, as Tordoff already has designs on beating him. The Yorkshireman showed his cheeky side this week, tweeting Plato: “I don’t want you doing a Vettel.”
Tordoff laughed: “I Tweeted Jason about the Vettel incident after watching the Malaysian Grand Prix. I don’t know what will happen after that event and I don’t think even Red Bull know the answer.
“Obviously there is team orders in Touring Cars and we are both racing for MG and Tesco.
“But if I am leading him and the manager says ‘Jason, let Sam have this one,’ I’d quite appreciate that if he did let me win!”