Tordoff tops the times on opening test day at Snetterton

Young MG racer edges out team-mate Plato at Snetterton tyre test

Sam Tordoff set the fastest lap time in the Dunlop tyre test at Snetterton today (9 July), as the young MG KX Momentum Racing driver edged out team-mate Jason Plato in both the morning and afternoon running.

The MG duo made use of the scorching weather conditions in Norfolk to turn more than 160-laps between them – the top two drivers in terms of number of laps completed. Both racers set their respective quickest times on the Dunlop SportMaxx soft tyre compound in the morning session, with Tordoff’s benchmark time 0.061s quicker than Frank Wrathall’s 2012 lap record.

With all teams running their own strategies, it was left to Andrew Jordan to set the quickest time on the medium compound – his 1:58.322s lap time nearly eight tenths slower than Tordoff. Relatively speaking, however, his times were much closer to the MGs when both were running the medium tyre and Jordan expects to run quicker on the soft compound tomorrow.

Nick Tandy produced similar lap times using both compounds but it was his late run on the medium tyre that pushed him up to fourth. Tandy enjoyed a maiden run in the Motorbase Ford Focus at Brands Hatch last week and backed-up his undoubted talent during the group test today – setting a time well over a second quicker than the team’s regular drivers Mat Jackson and Aron Smith.

Croft sensation Colin Turkington was fifth on the timesheets for eBay Motors, and to add more variables to the assessment of the session, the Northern Irishman set his time while running one of Dunlop’s 2014 prototype tyre compounds. Plato and Jordan also helped the tyre manufacturer in assessing new compounds and structures throughout the day.

Jack Goff had a fantastic day at the wheel of his RCIB Insurance Racing Vauxhall Insignia. After ending the morning session in seventh, the reigning Clio Cup champion improved to take sixth in the afternoon – pipping Team HARD stablemate Tom Onslow-Cole in the VW Passat. The other Insignia was shared during the day between American Robb Holland and Howard Fuller.

The BMWs of Rob Collard and Nick Foster sandwiched the Toyota Avensis of Frank Wrathall in the times with the trio rounding out the top ten, whilst Liam Griffin headed David Nye in the S2000 stakes.

A total of 24 drivers set lap times. Whilst the vast majority of the 2013 BTCC field are in attendance, champion squad Honda Yuasa Racing are among the few that have chosen not to run at Snetterton. The final day of the Dunlop BTCC tyre test will take place tomorrow (10 July) between 0930-1700.

Sam Tordoff said: “It has been a really good day. We’ve worked through our programme and completed so many laps. Days like this are invaluable to me – as a rookie I haven’t had a full test day so I really enjoyed it. It’s always great to see your name at the top of the timesheets and in terms of productivity this has been one of my best days ever in motor sport. Hopefully my lap time can send a bit of a message out for when we come back here to race in August. I love this track – it’s one of my favourites – but more importantly we now feel that we know how to work the soft tyre as a team.”

Nick Tandy said: “I am a racing driver and I love racing so I am always delighted to get the opportunity to jump into a car. It’s obviously very different from what I am used to but in many ways that might be a good thing, as I can hopefully help the team with a fresh pair of eyes. I have just been chipping away little by little and we’ve definitely made progress. If my sportscar commitments don’t clash and the opportunity arises then I’d love to race in the BTCC at some point this season.”

Colin Turkington said: “It’s a really important two days for us. We haven’t had a chance like this all season to really work on improving the car in this environment. It’s nice to verify that some of the changes we’ve already made have worked but we still need to find more. We’ve been working through some things today and we hope to find even more pace tomorrow. We’ve shown good speed at the last two events but we need to show that we can maintain it for the rest of the season.”

BTCC

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About this article
Series BTCC
Article type Testing report
Tags bmw, collard, dunlop, ford, honda, jordan, mg, onslow-cole, plato, record, snetterton, tandy, testing, tordoff, turkington, tyres, vauxhall, volkswagen, wrathall