Sam Tordoff claimed his first race win of the season in superb style with a textbook lights-to-flag victory in the weekend opener during the seventh Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship meeting of the year (August 17/18).
Returning to the fastest circuit on the calendar where he took pole and a podium back in May, the 30-year-old set the pace once more with a stellar qualifying performance to take the top spot. Proving himself to be a master on the UK’s fastest circuit, Tordoff’s 1:15.876 flying lap was just 0.365s shy of his lap record set on his previous visit.
A flawless drive from pole secured the race one victory for the Yorkshireman. Early pressure from a fast-charging Plato was relieved when the PMR racer was handed a drive-through penalty. Controlling the 16-lap contest throughout, Tordoff led a convincing race ahead of the closing pack to the take the chequered flag and claim his maiden race win of the season.
Carrying 54kg of ballast into race two, the GardX-backed racer put up a strong early defence. Holding the race lead for the first three tours of the circuit, Tordoff was unable to hoard off the lighter pack and dropped back to P3. A water leak, detected on lap 5, put paid to any progress, however, and the Tordoff did a sterling job to nurse the Civic through the remaining laps and remain in the top 10, picking up another strong haul of points.
Racing against the clock to an incredibly tight two-hour deadline, the Amd Tuning crew pulled out all the stops to complete a full engine change, and Tordoff made it to the race 3 grid just minutes before lights out. A top 11 finish in the final race of the day signed off another successful weekend for the Bradford-based racer’s campaign.
“It feels like a well-earned win;” commented Tordoff. “It was a tricky race, and probably not as comfortable as it seemed. But the overriding feeling is relief. To get the win as it’s been so long, and to make amends for what happened last time with the technical issues. All of our hard work over the last few rounds is starting to come to fruition now. We’ve been a bit under the radar, quietly picking up points.
“We had a water leak at the start of race 2 which meant the engine cooked itself. We were really lucky to get to the end of the race. We were down on power and dropping back at a serious rate of knots, so P10 was a good result all things considered.
“The guys worked endlessly to do an engine change before race 3 so I was really pleased that we made the gird. Whatever happened in race 3 felt like a bonus. I didn’t think we’d even be there.
“With all that drama aside, however, it’s been a super weekend. I’m happy with pole, the win and fastest lap. Again, we didn’t have lady luck with us in race two but overall 1st, 10th and 11th is great.
“We made good progress, and I think we’ll go well at Knockhill. This car has always been good there. I’m quite confident and we’ll be carrying very little weight again so I’ll be hoping for a front-row start.
Thruxton’s gains have moved Tordoff up into 9th in the overall championship standings and strengthened his third position in the Independents. Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid/RCIB Insurance also retain the Independent Teams lead, and 3rd place in the Team championship ahead of the eighth race meeting of the year at Knockhill, in Scotland on September 14/15.