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Sam Tordoff ‘thrilled’ with second pole

Sam Tordoff says that he is ‘thrilled’ to have taken his second pole position in the British Touring Car Championship, admitting that he expected to be on the pace at Rockingham this weekend.

Tordoff admits that he is happy to start on pole position for the second consecutive meeting, despite recent results not reflecting his pace.

“I’m very happy! We’ve been on a good run of form at the moment,” said Tordoff to TouringCars.Net. “Results have not shown it but we’ve been quick and we’ve been qualifying well. Unfortunately a few car issues have let us down.

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“The car is quick – it was always going to be around here. We expected it to be quick based on last year. We had a bit of a blip in FP2 – I threw it off and only did four [flying] laps but even so I think that just goes to show some of the pace we’ve got in the car.”

Tordoff was a comfortable 0.484 seconds faster than second-placed Colin Turkington, with team-mate Jason Plato a further 0.012 seconds further back. The Yorkshireman puts the difference down to achieving his best time on his first run.

“I think all the times we had were on the first set of tyres,” explained the 25-year-old. “The start of the session was much, much quicker than the rest because even I couldn’t get within half a second of my time on the second set of tyres.

“You had to do the lap on the first run and he [Plato] didn’t. You’ve got to be there and take the opportunities when they come. I’m thrilled – I didn’t expect to be half a second up the road. With a grid as competitive as this I think it’s fantastic.”

Tordoff will have championship leader Turkington alongside him for the first race on Sunday but admits that he is not too concerned about the Northern Irishman alongside him.

“I expected him [Turkington] to be up there and actually Rob Austin qualified third this time last year,” added Tordoff. “Perhaps the track does suit the rear-wheel drive cars a little bit. We just have to play it by ear – he’s got 45 kg and I haven’t, so irrespective of the fact he’s in a BMW it’s still going to have to hurt him at some point.

“I think we‘ve got a reasonable race-pace so we’ve given ourselves the best possible chance by starting on pole and we’ll see what happens tomorrow.”

Tordoff’s pole is his first on merit since Snetterton in 2013, despite starting from the front at Knockhill last time out.

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