BTCC Snetterton – Qualifying

BTCC action  (Photo by Marc Waller)Sam Tordoff has taken his first career Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship pole position in this afternoon’s qualifying session at Snetterton Circuit.


On the return of the championship after the six week summer break, the two MG’s of Tordoff and team mate Jason Plato were quick as the session got into its opening stages, before a big shunt from Airwaves Racing’s Aron Smith brought out the red flag with seventeen minutes remaining on the clock.

After the Focus had been cleared from the track and the barriers fixed, the session was restarted. As drivers were making improvements across the field, the biggest change came from the struggling Matt Neal who had jumped into the top ten from fourteenth. He battled his way through the session with full ballast, before finally admitting defeat and coming into the pits having done all he could with the Honda Yuasa Racing Civic.

Team mate Gordon Shedden was pressuring the MG’s at the top of the field – with Sam Tordoff and Jason Plato still holding onto their team 1-2 as the clock ticked down.

With yellow flags out on track for Tom Onslow-Cole’s stricken VW Passat, it was unlikely that there would be many improvements out on track. Gordon Shedden was the only one on track who could have split the MG’s who still held on to the top spots, however further yellow flags at Brundle/Nelson – brought out by a spinning James Kaye in the ex-Gordon Shedden run S2000 Honda Civic – saw him have to settle for third.

BTCC action  (Photo by Marc Waller)BTCC action  (Photo by Marc Waller)Sam Tordoff impressed the team to take his first pole position – beating Frank Wrathall’s 2012 qualifying time by 0.899 seconds – with Jason Plato sitting behind ahead of tomorrow’s first race of the second half of the season.

Fellow championship contenders Shedden and Andrew Jordan lie in third and fourth respectively whilst leader of the standings Matt Neal was left disappointed in eleventh. 

Despite suffering from heavy damage after the earlier incident, Aron Smith’s time was still good enough for sixth position after the session. The team will work hard between now and then to make sure the Focus can start from their best qualifying position of 2013.

Adam Morgan, Jack Goff, Dave Newsham and Dan Welch round out the top ten.

Lea Wood, who had issues with his Houseman Racing Vauxhall Vectra early on in the session, came back out on track after the red flag period and achieved the Jack Sears class pole position ahead of James Kaye, David Nye and Warren Scott – who didn’t manage to do any laps in his new Team BMR/Team HARD. VW Passat after problems occurred.

BTCC action  (Photo by Marc Waller)BTCC action  (Photo by Marc Waller)Andy Neate, who’s making his IP Tech Race debut this weekend finished in twenty-third in the new Chevrolet Cruze, whilst Robb Holland on his return to the championship with Team HARD ended a couple of places ahead in twenty-first.

The first race of the day gets underway just after 12pm tomorrow at Snetterton – with Sam Tordoff hoping to capitalise on his maiden pole position to take his first victory.

Qualifying Classification:

1. Sam Tordoff

2. Jason Plato

3. Gordon Shedden

4. Andrew Jordan

5. Colin Turkington

6. Aron Smith

7. Adam Morgan

8. Jack Goff

9. Dave Newsham

10. Dan Welch

11. Matt Neal

12. Rob Austin

13. Mat Jackson

14. Tom Onslow-Cole

15. Jeff Smith

16. Rob Collard

17. Frank Wrathall

18.18:07 03/08/2013 Ollie Jackson

19. Will Bratt

20. Nick Foster

1. Robb Holland

2. Lea Wood

3. Andy Neate

4. James Kaye

5. Liam Griffin

6. David Nye

7. Warren Scott    By Nikki Thompson –  Photos by Marc Waller

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