Sam Tordoff converted his first pole position into a maiden BTCC victory in Sunday’s first race at Snetterton, the rookie leading the contest from start to finish.
Following on a day after a fine maiden pole position in qualifying at the Norfolk circuit, the 24-year-old made a lightning start when the lights went out to lead the field into the first corner, a position he would never yield as he claimed a comfortable first BTCC win ahead of MG KX Momentum Racing team-mate Jason Plato.
The two MG6 machines ended the first lap leading the way, while the biggest winner at the start was Colin Turkington, the star of the previous round at Croft leap-frogging the Honda of fourth place starter Andrew Jordan who held onto fifth place from a charging Aron Smith in the repaired Airwaves Ford.
The lead quartet then remained stationary for the remainder of the race, Gordon Shedden perking up as the 12-lap encounter passed half-distance, the Honda driver adding pressure onto second place man Plato while Tordoff began to open out a steady 1.5s lead cushion.
Shedden’s brief attack soon faded in the final laps, Tordoff becoming a BTCC winner in style as he cruised to a 2.6s victory, MG claiming their second 1-2 finish of the season as Plato finished second ahead of Shedden who was forced to fend off the charging eBay Motors BMW of Turkington, the Irishman having found pace later in the race thanks to using the softer Dunlop tyre compound for this race.
A distant sixth was a welcome one for Smith as he held off Adam Morgan‘s Toyota Avensis, while Mat Jackson showed promising speed in the second Airwaves Ford Focus as he charged up to eighth by passing championship leader Matt Neal in the dying laps.
The three-time champion made his way up from a dismal qualifying in 11th, passing Jack Goff into the Montreal hairpin before Jackson hunted him down, passing the Honda Civic around the outside under braking for the Brundle/Nelson’s complex.
The result narrows the points lead of Neal to 15 over Jordan, Plato now closing to 26 behind in third spot ahead of Shedden a further two more back from the MG man.
Team HARD‘s Goff eventually lost out on a top 10 position to the BMW of Rob Collard, the eBay Motors driver having survived an early collision exiting Agostini with Dan Welch that saw the Proton man spinning into the infield grass, disappointing after such a promising qualifying.
The Jack Sears Trophy class became a race of attrition, won by Lea Wood for the seventh time in 2013 ahead of David Nye as the pair were in fact the only classified finishers, Liam Griffin and James Kaye falling victim to mechanical problems.
Mechanical dramas also saw Frank Wrathall‘s race come to an early end, while Will Bratt was forced to pit when his bonnet lifted on the front straight in the opening stages of the race.
Warren Scott and Robb Holland‘s races both included offs at Montreal and Brundles respectively, Holland finishing 21st ahead of the also-returning Andy Neate.
Race two is expected to get underway at 14:35pm, and you can follow all the happenings from Snetterton on thecheckeredflag.co.uk, and on Twitter through tcfBTCC.