Sam Tordoff kicked off his 2019 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship campaign in fine style yesterday, topping the time sheets and setting a new lap record on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit layout during the official season launch test day (March 27).

Joining the 30-car BTCC line-up for the first time this year, Tordoff set an early benchmark in the morning session, leading the field in the #600 Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Honda Civic Type R.

With lap times quickening in the afternoon session, the Yorkshireman was the only driver to dip below the 48 second mark during his 170 laps, setting a new lap record of 47.927s on the 1.2mile Indy configuration.

“I’m really happy with how today went. It’s been a great day. We knew this car was good. We’ve been fast in testing all year, but it’s nice to come here in front of everyone else and assess where we really are on the grid.

“It’s the first time that I’ve been fastest in both the morning and afternoon sessions. It’s a good omen to start the season off. I’m very confident ahead of next week’s opening round. We have a good indication of where were going to be for the first race, and it’s very promising.

Looking ahead to next weekend’s opening rounds, Tordoff concluded; “I couldn’t have asked for anymore. Big thanks to the Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid/RCIB Insurance team. They’ve worked really hard this winter and we’re going to arrive with very different expectations of what’s possible.”

The 2019 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship season gets underway on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit on April 6/7, with live race day coverage on ITV4, ITV4HD, and live online streaming via the itvHub.