After a mixed weekend at his local circuit at Croft, Sam Tordoff was happy to emerge still leading the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship heading into the summer break.
The Leeds racer extended his single-point series lead to a margin of 12 after the North Yorkshire visit, collecting results of 13th, eighth and second for West Surrey Racing who now have three cars in the top five.
An engine problem dropped Tordoff back in race one and resulted in a change of power plant for the second encounter, before the BMW driver lost out on a second win of the season to a charging Ashley Sutton in a wet final race of the day.
“A mixed day”, Tordoff told The Checkered Flag of his Croft weekend. “We still scored some good points and, after the trouble-free run we had at Oulton Park, this has been a fright from the word go.
“We had an engine failure in race one; we just managed to get to the end and I don’t really know how, then the boys did an engine change between races one and two and it was only the fact that there was a 10-minute delay that allowed us to make the start of the race.
“I owe everything to them, as the race two result catapulted us on the podium for race three.”
Tordoff held onto the lead of the final race of the day for all but the final two laps, Sutton’s Triple Eight MG pouncing inside his BMW 125i at Sunny In.
The result was still one that Tordoff treasured considering his championship position, saying: “In the early part when it was just moist the car felt good, but the heavier the rain got I was starting to struggle, and Ash was on a bit of a mission and came through and was quick and has nothing to lose.
“I thought with two laps to go after the safety car I could hold him off, but I had a wild moment at Barcroft and by the time I finished gathering it up he was already down my inside. After the day we’ve had, second was good enough.”
Tordoff is not discounting the threat posed by the rapid Silverline Subaru BMR Racing team, expecting some stiff competition from his BMR rivals as well as his own WSR team-mates.
He said: “We can’t discount them. They’ll go to Snetterton with no ballast on and will probably be somewhere near the front. But the more [Turkington] does that, the more ballast he’s going to get and then he’ll be getting to the point where he’s carrying a reasonable amount of weight.
“Sure, we’ve got to keep an eye out for them, but at this point we’ve got to just keep scoring points and not think about the championship as there’s a hell of a long way to go.
“The car is working really well, and I think my biggest competition will come from inside this truck with my two team-mates.”
Championship Standings After Round 5/10:
|1)||Sam Tordoff||West Surrey Racing (BMW 125i)||168||1|
|2)||Rob Collard||West Surrey Racing (BMW 125i)||156||2|
|3)||Matt Neal||Halfords Yuasa Racing (Honda Civic Type-R)||153||2|
|4)||Andrew Jordan||Motorbase (Ford Focus ST)||131||1|
|5)||Jack Goff||West Surrey Racing (BMW 125i)||130||-|
|6)||Tom Ingram||Speedworks Motorsport (Toyota Avensis)||123||1|
|7)||Ashley Sutton||Triple Eight (MG6)||119||1|
|8)||Mat Jackson||Motorbase (Ford Focus ST)||117||2|
|9)||Gordon Shedden||Halfords Yuasa Racing (Honda Civic Type-R)||116||1|
|10)||Adam Morgan||Ciceley Racing (Mercedes A-Class)||110||2|