Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid/RCIB Insurance driver Sam Tordoff secured a lights-to-flag victory in the opening Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship contest at Thruxton, after fellow front row starter Jason Plato fell foul of a drive through penalty having started the race out of position.
“I’m relieved as that’s probably long-overdue – a bit of redemption after what happened here a few months ago,” said Tordoff, who failed to convert pole into victory at Thruxton back in May. “It was one of the longest 16-lap races I’ve done! It probably looked like I was managing it from the pit-wall but it didn’t feel like it!
“I was giving it everything. It’s a great start from the team. I got the radio call about Jason (Plato) at the end of lap one and that was a big relief. Commisserations to him but rules are rules. We’ll adjust for the weight now, start on pole and hang on!”
ITV cameras quickly picked up on Plato’s Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall lining up ahead of his grid box as the green flag came to a close. Despite running side-by-side with Tordoff on the run down to the Complex after the lights went out, news soon filtered through of Plato’s penalty and his challenge at the front was over.
Tordoff ran relatively untroubled until the finish but he was kept honest by the trio of Dan Cammish (Halfords Yuasa Racing), Adam Morgan (Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport) and Josh Cook (BTC Racing). When the quartet eventually reached the chequered flag after 16 laps of racing they were covered by a little over a second.
“We can score a podium… winning’s the next bit!” enthused second placed Cammish. “We did a good job into turn two to keep it all in control with knocks all-round. I feel sorry for Jason (Plato) as that’s happened to me before. We struggled for pace a little and we need to transform the car for race two.
“We’re lacking where I need the car to be quick. I’m using every trick in the book and Adam (Morgan) was so fast through Church he was really hard to keep behind. I’m not hard on the team, they do a fantastic job. There comes a point where you’ve got to ask the question as to why you’re not winning. We’ll go back and work that out.”
“I’ve got a nosebleed I’m that high up!” responded Morgan, after scoring his first podium since the opening weekend at Brands Hatch. “When things have been tough, these guys have never given up and it’s just rewards – it’s another hard-earned yellow cap and trophy.”
Team BMW’s Tom Oliphant, Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing’s Rob Collard and Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid/RCIB Insurance’s Rory Butcher took lonely fifth, sixth and seventh places respectively, whilst there was plenty of action behind them.
It was Matt Neal who came out on top in the tussle for eighth in a battle that included Chris Smiley, Ash Sutton, Andrew Jordan and Colin Turkington.
The BMWs of Jordan and Turkington, as well as the Subaru of Sutton, were at it as early as the first lap with the trio touching and swapping positions on the run around Thruxton’s super-fast sweepers.
BTC Racing’s Smiley later had his own bit of drama, sliding wide and into Butcher’s Honda at the final chicane, and when the dust settled the Northern Irishman had to settle for tenth behind Sutton.
The pace of the BMW 3 Series’ faded late on with title protagonists – Jordan and Turkington – finishing the race in 12th and 13th respectively.
2019 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Round 19 – Thruxton
1 Sam TORDOFF (GBR) Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid/RCIB Insurance 16 laps
2 Dan CAMMISH (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +0.403s
3 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport +0.714s
4 Josh COOK (GBR) BTC Racing +1.208s
5 Tom OLIPHANT (GBR) Team BMW +3.189s
6 Rob COLLARD (GBR) Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing +4.660s
7 Rory BUTCHER (GBR) Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid/RCIB Insurance +8.923s
8 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +10.562s
9 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +10.863s
10 Chris SMILEY (GBR) BTC Racing +11.446s
11 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Team Toyota GB with Ginsters +12.883s
12 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) BMW Pirtek Racing +13.422s
13 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +15.118s
14 Bobby THOMPSON (GBR) GKR Scaffolding with Autobrite Direct +17.272s
15 Ollie JACKSON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher +18.034s
16 Jake HILL (GBR) TradePriceCars.com +19.126s
17 Jason PLATO (GBR) Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing +22.321s
18 Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +25.134s
19 Stephen JELLEY (GBR) Team Parker Racing +25.337s
20 Daniel ROWBOTTOM (GBR) Cataclean Racing with Ciceley Motorsport +25.837s
21 Matt SIMPSON (GBR) Simpson Racing +27.670s
22 Tom CHILTON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher +29.823s
23 Michael CREES (GBR) GKR Scaffolding with Autobrite Direct +38.288s
24 Jack GOFF (GBR) RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport +38.454s
25 Rob SMITH (GBR) Excelr8 Motorsport +39.463s
26 Nicolas HAMILTON (GBR) ROKiT Racing with Motorbase +41.643s
27 Mark BLUNDELL (GBR) TradePriceCars.com +46.446s
28 Sam OSBORNE (GBR) Excelr8 Motorsport +48.601s
29 Senna PROCTOR (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +1m04.720ss
30 Carl BOARDLEY (GBR) RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport +1 lap