Sam Tordoff took the positives from a mixed and at times challenging first weekend of the new Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season at Brands Hatch.
‘The JCT600 with GardX driver qualified a solid 4th, before contact in the first race with team-mate Rob Collard sent him spinning at Surtees en route to 16th. In the second contest, Tordoff recovered to 9th and was reversed onto pole position for race three, in which he finished second to Adam Morgan and ahead of his other team-mate, Jack Goff.
The end result was 8th place overall in the standings for the Leeds racer, with a total of 24 points that leaves him 19 points adrift of Matt Neal at the summit of the table.
Tordoff was left taking the positives from the weekend and was pleased with the performance of the car on an engineering front.
“It was a difficult start to race day with the spin in Race One and that put me on the back foot,” explained Tordoff.
“If there was a plus to take away from it, it was that we were then ballast-free on the soft tyre in Race Two, and our plan to take it easy early on and manage the tyres worked exactly as we planned. The race came to us as it went on and to get into the top 10 and secure pole for Race Three was ideal.”
Cold tyres were responsible for losing the lead in the final encounter as the WIX Racing Mercedes A-Class of Adam Morgan made an early move for the race lead stick. Despite closing the gap to Morgan in the latter stages as the tyres reached their optimum performance, Tordoff also had to manage a slender advantage over Goff behind, and eventually was forced to settle for second, just 0.136 seconds behind the race winner.
“I got a good start when the lights went out, but it takes time to get the heat into the tyres so I lost out to Adam Morgan early on,” he commented.
“The tyres came to us towards the end, but yellow flags at Turn One for a car in the gravel worked against us. However, it’s good to start the year with a podium, which meant the weekend ended well.”
Tordoff will look to close the gap to his rivals at the top of the championship when the series reconvenes at Donington Park for the second meeting of the season over the weekend of 16th-17th April.