Development Will Be Key In BTCC Title Fight, Says Tordoff

British Touring Car rookie Sam Tordoff says his impressive start to life with MG will be crucial in the team’s battle against title rivals Honda.

The KX Akademy-backed youngster netted three top five finishes in his first ever BTCC weekend at Brands Hatch, rounding it off with a podium in race three.

Tordoff now lies third in the drivers standing with teammate Jason Plato – who won twice at Brands – at the top of the table and MG ahead of Honda in the manufacturer’s standings.

The Porsche Carrera Cup GB graduate reckons hitting the ground running means the squad will reap the benefits of a car developed “twice as fast”.

“You can’t really complain with that at all can you?” he told “I’d have settled for three top ten finishes coming into the weekend, that would have been a good way to starting putting points on the board. But to get three top fives that’s better than I could have expected. It’s great.

“Jason and I have a good working relationship – he wants me to do well, he’s my mentor, and he also knows that having a good teammate and someone who can give as much information about the car back as he can, it will progress twice as fast. The Hondas have got two very good drivers and we need to match the development.”

After an impressive opener, Tordoff’s eyes are now firmly on the next round at Donington Park – where he expects the MG will be strong and says anything less than a podium would be a disappointment.

“Now, I think the minimum requirement is to be on the podium” he added. “[Donington is] a track that should suit us better than here, with longer corners that should suit the MG better. I think we can only look positively to then.

Tordoff’s race three podium came after a disappointing start from third of the grid left him fighting back from sixth – a fightback which included passing two-time champion Plato, something he was pleased with.

“It was good,” he admitted. “Jason made it a bit easy for me in that race, he moved over and let me through. He knew I was on a different tyre than him and there was no reason for him to hold me up.

“I didn’t [expect such a strong opening meeting], no. Obviously I had a good qualifying and starting third for race three I thought I had a chance. I didn’t get off the line well which is difficult in these cars and something I need to work. It just goes to show if I can get on the line well – where could we be?”