AmD man takes the upper hand on-track ahead of Rounds 19, 20, 21 tomorrow
Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid/RCIB Insurance driver Sam Tordoff claimed pole position during today’s Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship qualifying session at Thruxton, a feat he previously achieved at the same circuit earlier this season.
Tordoff took top spot when Britain’s premier motorsport series visited Thruxton back in May, and the Yorkshireman proved that he’s fast becoming a Hampshire speedbowl specialist by repeating the trick this afternoon.
The AmD-run Honda Civic Type R of Tordoff had steadily improved throughout the day, having ended the opening practice session down in P20. The 30-year-old fired his #600 machine into the top six during final practice, and then went even better with his stellar showing during qualifying.
Double BTCC champion Jason Plato will line-up on the front row for tomorrow’s opener after the Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing star fell just 0.014s short of the ultimate pace. Plato – fresh from the enthralling battle for victory with Ash Sutton and Rory Butcher at Snetterton last time out – continues to grow in confidence, speed and understanding with his Vauxhall Astra and a first win of 2019 seems ever-closer.
Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Dan Cammish is on an outstanding run of form – securing seven podiums from the last 12 races – and he will be nicely poised again from third on the grid tomorrow. Cammish has been one of the stars in recent rounds, but the Honda manufacturer squad surprisingly still searches for its first victory of the season.
Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport endured a challenging first half to its BTCC campaign, but the Mercedes team has enjoyed a resurgence since the mid-season break. An encouraging summer test at Snetterton was followed by an improved qualifying performance at the Norfolk circuit, and Adam Morgan improved yet further here with the fourth fastest time at Thruxton.
Bath racer Josh Cook took fifth for BTC Racing, ahead of Rory Butcher – ensuring that both Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid/RCIB Insurance cars were inside the top six.
Team BMW’s Tom Oliphant pipped Team Toyota GB with Ginsters’ Tom Ingram to seventh, whilst BTC Racing’s Chris Smiley and Hampshire man Rob Collard rounded out the top ten.
A trio of title contenders had to make do with results outside of the top order with Colin Turkington (Team BMW), Ash Sutton (Adrian Flux Subaru Racing) and Andrew Jordan (BMW Pirtek Racing) only managing 11th, 12th and 13th respectively.
Rounds 19, 20 and 21 of the 2019 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship take place around the UK’s fastest circuit tomorrow. Tickets can still be purchased on the gate with a big crowd expected at the venue, whilst many more will watch the action live on ITV4 from 11:30.
Sam Tordoff said: “I’m really happy with that. After FP2 we were scratching our heads a little bit. The car was very different from where it was earlier in the season. We made some big setup changes and the car was good. It’s quickly becoming my favourite track and we’ve given ourselves such a good chance for tomorrow. I should have won here in May and would have were it not for power steering failure. I’ll be looking to put that right tomorrow.”
Jason Plato said: “I loved that session. On that last run I was up and just bit a bit too much off into Church. I nearly got through and tightened up in the car, slid and and scrubbed off time. I got to the Chicane at the same time as my best and it was a bit too much. I’m good friends with the car at the moment and I’ve got the car almost where I want it. I’m really looking forward to tomorrow. We’ve got some real pace and I think we can fight for wins. It’s going to be a good day.”
Dan Cammish said: “That was a great session. I’d love to have my name in lights but I’m 0.070s off pole with 30kgs of success ballast on-board. If that weight’s not there we’re on pole. We made some changes after FP2 and I’m glad we stuck to our guns on that. The lap time was probably in there somewhere but you can easily overcook it here, especially at the last chicane. I was caught somewhere between not trying hard enough and overdoing it. I’m really happy with P3 and we can race from there.”
2019 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Qualifying – Thruxton
1 Sam TORDOFF (GBR) Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid/RCIB Insurance 1m15.876s (111.78 mph)
2 Jason PLATO (GBR) Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing +0.014s
3 Dan CAMMISH (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +0.073s
4 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport +0.119s
5 Josh COOK (GBR) BTC Racing +0.235s
6 Rory BUTCHER (GBR) Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid/RCIB Insurance +0.306s
7 Tom OLIPHANT (GBR) Team BMW +0.312s
8 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Team Toyota GB with Ginsters +0.364s
9 Chris SMILEY (GBR) BTC Racing +0.399s
10 Rob COLLARD (GBR) Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing +0.477s
11 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +0.484s
12 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +0.486s
13 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) BMW Pirtek Racing +0.505s
14 Ollie JACKSON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher +0.534s
15 Bobby THOMPSON (GBR) GKR Scaffolding with Autobrite Direct +0.553s
16 Tom CHILTON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher +0.570s
17 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +0.615s
18 Senna PROCTOR (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +0.647s
19 Jack GOFF (GBR) RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport +0.679s
20 Jake HILL (GBR) TradePriceCars.com +0.721s
21 Daniel ROWBOTTOM (GBR) Cataclean Racing with Ciceley Motorsport +1.030s
22 Matt SIMPSON (GBR) Simpson Racing +1.114s
23 Stephen JELLEY (GBR) Team Parker Racing +1.195s
24 Nicolas HAMILTON (GBR) ROKiT Racing with Motorbase +1.383s
25 Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +1.429s
26 Mark BLUNDELL (GBR) TradePriceCars.com +1748s
27 Michael CREES (GBR) GKR Scaffolding with Autobrite Direct +1.961s
28 Rob SMITH (GBR) Excelr8 Motorsport +2.013s
29 Carl BOARDLEY (GBR) RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport +2.082s
30 Sam OSBORNE (GBR) Excelr8 Motorsport +3.146s