Sam Tordoff takes last-gasp pole position in tight Thruxton qualifying

Sam Tordoff takes last-gasp pole position in tight Thruxton qualifying

Photo: PSP Images

AmD Tuning’s Sam Tordoff secured pole position by just 0.030s from Dan Cammish in an interrupted British Touring Car Championship qualifying session at Thruxton.

The 2016 runner-up left it very late to top the times, setting a new qualifying lap record in the dying moments after a lengthy red flag period which saw both Tordoff and Cammish jump Team BMW stablemates Andrew Jordan and Colin Turkington.

With just under two minutes remaining, Tom Chilton and Mark Blundell made contact exiting the final chicane as the latter ran wide over the kerbs and hit the side of Chilton, breaking his suspension and spearing him into the barrier.

A lengthy delay followed, before the clock was set to five minutes and runners had another opportunity to imrpove their efforts, with Cammish initially topping the times before Tordoff secured pole position.

Jordan, who was ruled out of the races at Donington Park after being hospitalised in a heavy shunt in race one, sat on provisional pole ahead of WSR stablemate Turkington before the red flag, with the pair eventually completing the second row of the grid in third and fourth respectively.

Tordoff’s team-mate Rory Butcher was next, having initially bettered the qualifying lap record before being stripped of the lap time due to a track limit infringement, most likely at the final chicane in a session in which the majority of drivers had their best times taken away.

In sixth position was Jason Plato’s Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra, with former team-mate and championship leader Ash Sutton putting in an impressive performance in seventh despite carrying maximum ballast.

Matt Neal was next despite having a disjointed session after a high-speed spin at Church wrote off a set of tyres and forced him to start the crossover process again, eventually ending up eighth.

Plato’s PMR team-mate Rob Collard lines up ninth for race one with the third Team BMW machine of Tom Oliphant completing the top ten.

The BTC Racing duo of Josh Cook and Chris Smiley line up 11th and 12th respectively, despite the former also having a high-speed slide on a hot lap.

Stephen Jelley’s older BMW 125i M Sport managed 13th position, ahead of Trade Price Cars Racing’s Jake Hill in 14th, while Donington Park’s race three winner Tom Ingram struggled to complete the top 15.

Chilton’s damaged Ford Focus RS set a best time of 22nd before his incident with Blundell, with the latter attempting to set his first time of the session after a powersteering issue hampered his efforts, eventually ending the session in 30th and seven seconds off Tordoff’s benchmark.

The opening race of the British Touring Car Championship at Thruxton is set to get underway tomorrow [19 May] at 12:10 with a 16-lap contest to kick off the action.

Qualifying result

POS NO CL DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME GAP
1 600 I Sam TORDOFF Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid / RCIB Insurance Honda Civic Type R 17 1:15.511 0.000
2 27 M Dan CAMMISH Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type R 12 1:15.541 0.030
3 77 M Andrew JORDAN BMW Pirtek Racing BMW 330i M Sport 17 1:15.648 0.137
4 1 M Colin TURKINGTON Team BMW BMW 330i M Sport 16 1:15.654 0.143
5 6 I Rory BUTCHER Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid / RCIB Insurance Honda Civic Type R 14 1:15.724 0.213
6 11 M Jason PLATO Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra 17 1:15.943 0.432
7 116 M Ashley SUTTON Adrian Flux Subaru Racing Subaru Levorg 20 1:15.986 0.475
8 25 M Matt NEAL Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type R 16 1:15.989 0.478
9 9 M Rob COLLARD Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra 19 1:16.039 0.528
10 15 M Tom OLIPHANT Team BMW BMW 330i M Sport 9 1:16.043 0.532
11 66 I Josh COOK BTC Racing Honda Civic Type R 17 1:16.098 0.587
12 12 I Stephen JELLEY Team Parker Racing BMW 125i M Sport 15 1:16.199 0.688
13 24 I Jake HILL TradePriceCars.com Audi S3 16 1:16.206 0.695
14 80 M Tom INGRAM Team Toyota GB with Ginsters Toyota Corolla 16 1:16.286 0.775
15 22 I Chris SMILEY BTC Racing Honda Civic Type R 17 1:16.339 0.828
16 16 I Aiden MOFFAT Laser Tools Racing Mercedes-Benz A-Class 15 1:16.428 0.917
17 303 I Matt SIMPSON Simpson Racing Honda Civic Type R 15 1:16.456 0.945
18 33 I Adam MORGAN Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes-Benz A-Class 17 1:16.485 0.974
19 48 I Ollie JACKSON Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher Ford Focus RS 15 1:16.493 0.982
20 18 M Senna PROCTOR Adrian Flux Subaru Racing Subaru Levorg 20 1:16.503 0.992
21 32 I Daniel ROWBOTTOM Cataclean Racing with Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes-Benz A-Class 14 1:16.779 1.268
22 3 I Tom CHILTON Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher Ford Focus RS 11 1:17.000 1.489
23 31 I Jack GOFF RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport Volkswagen CC 15 1:17.168 1.657
24 28 I Nicolas HAMILTON ROKiT Racing with Motorbase Ford Focus RS 17 1:17.310 1.799
25 19 I Bobby THOMPSON GKR Scaffolding with Autobrite Direct Volkswagen CC 11 1:17.379 1.868
26 37 I Rob SMITH Exceler8 Motorsport MG6 18 1:17.797 2.286
27 777 I Michael CREES GKR Scaffolding with Autobrite Direct Volkswagen CC 14 1:18.750 3.239
28 4 I Sam OSBORNE Exceler8 Motorsport MG6 18 1:18.847 3.336
29 41 I Carl BOARDLEY RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport Volkswagen CC 12 1:19.276 3.765
30 8 I Mark BLUNDELL TradePriceCars.com Audi S3 3 1:22.556 7.045