Priaulx beats Tordoff to first win since return

Andy Priaulx secured a first win in the BTCC since his return to the series by beating West Surrey Racing teammate Sam Tordoff in the first race at Croft.

The race proved to be a straight fight between the two BMW drivers at the head of the field, Tordoff converting his pole into an early lead ahead of Priaulx and Rob Collard in the third WSR car.

Tordoff made good his escape in the opening laps, building an advantage of 1.4 seconds after lap three, but was then reeled in Priaulx, who had the advantage of being 27kg lighter.

The triple World Touring Car champion dived up the inside of Tordoff at Tower on lap six to take the lead he would hold until the end, the duo was split by just 0.7s at the chequered flag.

Five seconds behind, Collard, running soft tyres, completed an all-BMW podium, with Gordon Shedden dropping from third to fourth at the start and holding the place for the duration to end as the best of the front-wheel drive cars, 10 seconds behind Priaulx.

Matt Neal made it two works Hondas in the top five ahead of Andrew Jordan’s MG, the pair taking advantage of Rob Austin and Colin Turkington – fifth and sixth on the opening lap – losing time on soft tyres as the race wore on.

BMR Volkswagen driver Turkington was able to hold on to seventh, shoving aside Tom Ingram at the final corner on the last lap to take the place, with the Toyota driver taking eighth ahead of Adam Morgan’s Mercedes and Jack Goff in the second MG, another to suffer on softer rubber.

Jason Plato meanwhile opted to head into the pits at the start of the formation lap in an attempt to record fastest lap in clean air and secure pole for race two having shed his success ballast.

The two-time champion could only set the third fastest race lap behind Tordoff and Priaulx, finishing a lapped 27th – two places behind BTCC debutant Nicolas Hamilton.

Race results:

Pos Driver Car Time/Gap
Andy Priaulx BMW 21'32.210
Sam Tordoff BMW 0.764
Rob Collard BMW 5.770
Gordon Shedden Honda 10.031
Matt Neal Honda 21.250
Andrew Jordan MG 21.730
Colin Turkington Volkswagen 23.344
Tom Ingram Toyota 23.617
Adam Morgan Mercedes 29.403
10  Jack Goff MG 34.136
11  Aron Smith Volkswagen 34.191
12  Josh Cook Chevrolet 34.587
13  Rob Austin Audi 34.801
14  Martin Depper Honda 38.440
15  Dave Newsham Chevrolet 39.287
16  Hunter Abbott Audi 39.778
17  Aiden Moffat Mercedes 40.533
18  Warren Scott Volkswagen 41.428
19  Alex Martin Ford 47.148
20  Simon Belcher Toyota 47.844
21  Max Coates Infiniti 57.256
22  Derek Palmer Infiniti 58.825
23  Daniel Welch Proton 1'04.182
24  Stewart Lines Toyota 1'13.784
25  Nicolas Hamilton Audi 1 lap
26  Jeff Smith Honda 1 lap
27  Jason Plato Volkswagen 1 lap
Ret Andy Wilmot Proton -
Ret Mike Bushell Ford -
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About this article
Series BTCC
Event Croft
Track Croft Circuit
Drivers Andy Priaulx , Matt Neal , Rob Collard , Gordon Shedden , Sam Tordoff
Teams West Surrey Racing
Article type Race report