AmD Tuning’s Sam Tordoff says he “grabbed the car by the scruff of the neck” on his pole lap for the British Touring Car Championship at Thruxton, in what he described as “unexpected” success.
The 2016 runner-up has had a woeful start to his 2019 campaign after pre-season promise, and admits he was not expecting to secure pole after his last-gasp effort promoted him to head the front row for race one.
He told TouringCars.Net he expected to struggle once the session resumed after a late red flag period as he had no new tyres to run on – eventually “cobbling together” four old rear tyres for his final run in which he scored pole.
“With five minutes to go we didn’t have any tyres left for the restart,” explained Tordoff.
“So we cobbled together the best set we could out of what we’d used the least, and it turns out we managed to pull a lap time out of it!
“I genuinely was not expecting to go quicker. Maybe we need to try a different approach in future qualifying sessions!
“We’ll sit down and have a look and see where the lap time came but it was just a case of me grabbing it by the scruff of the neck and being a bit brave in a few places where I hadn’t been earlier in the today!”
Despite being pleased with the result, Tordoff remains realistic heading into tomorrow’s trio of contests, admitting he “expects to be third” as he believes the Team BMW duo of Andrew Jordan and Colin Turkington – who share the second row – will leapfrog him at the start.
“I think the BMWs [will be the biggest challenge], I fully expect to be third by the time we get to turn one because they’ll both just drive straight past me off the line.
“But then we’ll settle into the race and they’ve obviously never been here before with the new car, so hopefully they’ll have problems in the race and we’ll be good.”
Tordoff is also hopeful of enjoying strong race pace based on the Thruxton test between the Brands Hatch and Donington Park rounds, but admits it’s a bit of an “unknown” for all the runners.
“I’m fairly happy with what I think our race pace will be,” Tordoff said. “FP1 was a washout with the rain we had.
“Nobody has done a great deal of running so it’s a little bit into the unknown, because FP2 we focused more on qualifying.
“Starting from the front row – even if we don’t have race pace – at least we’re there and can fall back a few places.
“We need points, but also we would love a win!”
The opening race of the British Touring Car Championship at Thruxton is set to get underway at 12:05 BST with a 16 lap encounter kicking off the day’s action.