WSR’s Andy Priaulx insists that his pass for the lead in the second British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) race at Silverstone ‘wasn’t wayward’, despite appearing to put all four wheels off track when he passed Mat Jackson.
Priaulx took the lead from the Motorbase driver on lap eight at Copse, but did so around the outside of the Ford, putting all four wheels of his car over the line.
When quizzed by TouringCars.Net about the legitimacy of the pass after the race, Priaulx explained that he had no choice but to go slightly wide when Jackson made a small mistake heading into the first turn.
“Mat lost the rear of the car, which meant that I closed really close and had nowhere to go,” explained Priaulx, who was not officially warned during the race. “I had to actually avoid him to be honest, but I wasn’t wayward; it was marginal.
“I looked in my mirror and for the next five laps he had four wheels over [the line], so I definitely didn’t gain any advantage from that. He’d already made the mistake mid-corner.”
Having taken the lead with confidence, Priaulx admits he checked with his team over the following laps whether he should give the position back to Jackson.
“I did mention it [giving the position back] but there was no need to do it – they looked at it on the TV and said it was normal racing. So, no worries.”
Priaulx’s third win in the BTCC came at a circuit not widely believed to suit the rear-wheel drive BMWs. As a result, the Guernseyman was delighted to be able to defeat the in-form Focus, which he believes has a significant top speed advantage.
“I’m really happy, obviously Mat’s got a massive engine advantage,” added Priaulx. “It’s on another planet, with 75 kg he’s pulling away six or seven car lengths along the straight, so that was going to be tough and I needed to fight hard to stay with him and then pass him.
“I was hoping that his tyres would drop more and more during the race, and in fact I felt he almost improved as the race was developing so I saw that I really had to push. I saw my opportunity at Copse, he had his moment and lost the rear and there we go.
“I think I had two wheels on the kerb; we were pretty much side-by-side and he over corrected and that was it. I needed to pounce.”
Priaulx will start race three from tenth on the grid and, with 75 kg of ballast on board, he is not optimistic of another strong performance.
“I’ve got weight, I’ve got a soft tyre, so I’m going to be in trouble. I’ll try and be a crowd pleaser.”