BMW squad WSR keen to avoid BTCC 'smokecreen'

WSR is hoping its hat-trick of British Touring Car Championship victories at Croft will spark a turnaround in form and not become a "smokescreen" as feared by Andy Priaulx

BMW squad WSR keen to avoid BTCC 'smokecreen'

Three-time world champion Priaulx and team-mates Sam Tordoff and Rob Collard shared the victories in the north-east last weekend, with Tordoff moving into fourth in the drivers' championship.

Priaulx told AUTOSPORT he was concerned the team's performance at Croft, which has always suited its rear-wheel drive BMWs, would mask some of the issues it has had this season.

"We've got to go to the next level," he said. "This is a nice little smokescreen, but we've got to be looking at the performance.

"We need to develop over the winter, look for the scientific advantage, that extra bit."

He has targeted the team's Neil Brown Engineering BMW engines adopting direct injection and fly-by-wire throttle control as two areas in which the team can improve, adding: "We've got a very strong engine but it's how it takes the boost compared to the other cars."

WSR to replace Andy Priaulx for Rockingham BTCC round

WSR boss Dick Bennetts admitted those were two changes that could improve the team's BMW 125i M Sports, but ruled out anything happening this year because such developments required a step up in budget the team did not have.

"People forget Honda and MG are manufacturers, we've been made a constructor but we're a private team," he said. "We're looking at direct injection and fly-by-wire but need the budget."

WSR copped a 30-point constructors' championship penalty for necessary engine repairs after Oulton Park, where Priaulx suffered a failure in race three.

Bennetts added that changes made to the engine by NBE since the early rounds, where the BMWs were down on straightline speed despite a higher power output, had made a positive difference.

"The engine is better, NBE has fixed that," he said. "We bit the bullet after Oulton and had them repaired.

"We've done a bit of work on the chassis that's starting to pay off.

"We've just been chipping away. Croft is our best track for sure but Sam has done well at Snetterton before, Knockhill we should be strong at and Rockingham too. I think we'll be strong still."

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WSR to replace Andy Priaulx for Rockingham BTCC round

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