On the Saturday at Brands Hatch, Sam Tordoff had managed to qualify his Team GardX with Motorbase Ford Focus RS onto the front row of the grid and it seemed like the dream return for the 2016 championship runner up.
However, on the Sunday it quickly turned into a nightmare for the 28 year old. Various incidents and accidents meant that race day didn’t go as smoothly as he expected. The points salvaged probably got quite the Hallelujah! from the team.
Despite the spirited performance, Sam and Motorbase must ponder what might have been if the momentum from Saturday continued into race day.
Contact on the first lap of a wet race one meant a puncture on the Ford and the entirely blameless Tordoff had to limp back to the pits to have the tyre changed. Then after re-joining at the back of the grid during the safety-car, a second puncture as he was trying to get through the back of the pack meant a second trip into the pit. This ultimately put paid to ambitions of finishing in the points.
Race two saw the team run Sam on the Dunlop Blue Response wet tyres again, this ultimately proved to be the wrong choice as those cars on Dunlop slick-shod tyres were the ultimate winners by the end of that action packed wet-dry race.
The final race was where Sam finally managed to score points, avoiding any incident to take thirteenth at the flag and the three points that come with that position.
To leave the opening weekend with only three points after such a fantastic qualifying session must be pretty galling for the Leeds driver and his GardX Motorbase team. However Sam remains pretty confident of a successful second race meeting of the year at Donington Park.
“We’ve just not had that right bit of luck on our side and this track is chaos when you are three quarters of the way down the grid!
“We’ll keep our heads up though. There are 27 races still to go and the positives are that we’re super-fast heading to Donington, and with zero weight on-board.”
Meanwhile Team Principal David Bartrum also keeps up this optimism despite Brands disappointment.
“I feel gutted for Sam. The team and Sam did such a good job on Saturday getting onto the front row in qualifying, he deserved so much more this weekend.
“Race one was an unfortunate incident which saw his weekend basically finished by lap 2.
“On the plus side, the pace of the RS is good and the work the whole team have put in over the winter looks to be paying off. It just didn’t work out for us this weekend.”