Pyro Motorsport’s Ollie Taylor says he regards his development as a driver across the 2018 TCR UK Touring Car Championship season as ‘a championship in itself’, despite what happens at Donington Park in today’s title decider.
Current points leader Dan Lloyd starts his WestCoast Racing Volkswagen Golf GTI from pole position, and with a 35-point lead over Taylor in the standings only needs a 6-point swing to become the series’ inaugural winner after the opening contest.
Taylor will start fourth behind Lloyd’s team mates Andreas and Jessica Backman.
Speaking to TouringCars.net after qualifying, Taylor said he was pleased with his own performance as ‘best of the rest’, but believes the extra 60kgs of compensation weight hurts the Honda relative to the VW.
“Qualifying went well, that was by far the fastest I’ve been all weekend. We made some changes to the car between practice and qualifying which had a great impact, so from that point of view, I think I got as much out of the car as I was going to get,” said Taylor.
“I think when you consider the VW Golfs are 60kgs lighter than us, it’s a lot, and for them all to be 1-2-3, it’s a sign that they’ve obviously got an advantage over the Hondas. I’m the ‘best of the rest’, as you might say, quite comfortably.
“I’m happy with my performance, I think that was the most we were going to get from the session. But at this point in the championship, being three places behind Dan [Lloyd] is not where I wanted to be, but it is where we are.”
Taylor also admitted he hopes the wet weather holds out for the double-header, or that it dries marginally and gives drivers an option on tyre choice – another variable that could help his title bid.
“I want it to be wet. I want it to absolutely chuck it down – or to be like it was during practice – be greasy, we gamble and go on slicks and we walk away like heroes. It’s one thing winning the race, but if Dan finishes second that’s still not enough. We need him to be off the podium in both.
“Even if it’s all over after Race 1 and the championship has been wrapped up, it’s still been a great year for me. From where I’ve come from at the start of the year to where I am now, that’s a championship in itself.”
The opening race in Leicestershire gets underway at 13:15 BST.