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Sam Tordoff targeting first win of 2018 after scoring ‘long overdue’ pole

Team GardX Racing’s Sam Tordoff is aiming to secure his first victory of 2018 following achieving what he feels is a “long overdue” pole position in the 2018 British Touring Car Championship at Silverstone.

Tordoff set a time of 58.323 to secure a fifth career pole and his first of 2018, ahead of Ricky Collard’s Team BMW entry.

He told TouringCars.Net that a win has to be the aim in race one tomorrow, and that he is keen to show the potential of the new-for-2018 Motorbase Ford Focus RS.

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“We’ve got to try and win,” said Tordoff. “We’ve got to get a good start and head off. We’ve got no weight so that’s advantageous and I think we’ll be competitive.

“The car is good. It’s been good this year and we’ve just not shown what we’ve been capable of. Which has been a shame really.

“We’ve underperformed for a variety of reasons and not shown the improvements that we made over the winter.

“That pole was a long time coming. It was long overdue. We should have had it in round one let alone round nine. But we’ll take it.”

Tordoff admitted he was surprised to score pole position after what he described as “shockingly bad” free practice sessions, in which he placed 20th and 24th respectively.

“We’ve really struggled today,” he said. “It was going shockingly bad up until qualifying and then suddenly the roles reversed.

“It was good, we changed a lot of stuff for qualifying. We needed to, we were really struggling, which was weird because I expected to be fast here.

“And we should be fast, we’ve got no weight so no excuses really. But practice means nothing, it’s qualifying where it counts and thankfully we did it when it counted.”

Despite clearly finding a much happier setup for the Focus RS in qualifying, Tordoff couldn’t pinpoint what issue had been solved, and rather pointed towards the unique nature of the short 1.6-mile national layout.

“It might only be four corners this circuit but it’s a tricky four corners and it all has to be right to produce lap time,” said Tordoff.

“It was just little things like if you lose a tenth every lap then suddenly you’re half a second off. That’s really where we were at in free practice.

“And they’re such small margins round here that if you’re slightly wrong you can be 20 places further down the grid. But we just got it sorted and it still wasn’t perfect in qualifying but perfect enough. It’s nice to get the first pole.”

With Ricky Collard for company on the front row, Tordoff is wary of the BMW’s fast starts, but feels he will have the better of him over the 22-lap race distance.

Start: “He [Collard] has got the rear wheel drive advantage so he might get a good one he might not. I worry about when I arrive at the apex of turn one.

“Regardless of that I think we’ve got the faster car and if he does get ahead there’s a lot we can do in the race.”

Race one tomorrow [16 September] is scheduled to get underway at 12:10.

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