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All-MG front row as Tordoff takes first BTCC pole at Snetterton

Saturday, August 03 2013

Sam Tordoff took his first Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship pole position today (Saturday), heading an all-MG front row at Snetterton ahead of team mate Jason Plato. Honda's reigning champion Gordon Shedden and Pirtek Civic driver Andrew Jordan will start behind them for tomorrow's opening race.

Mat Jackson held the honour of being the first man to post a representative time, albeit well over a second slower than Tordoff's earlier benchmark. Next Colin Turkington got to within half a second of that mark, before the MGs smashed through the one minute 56 barrier, with Tordoff the faster of the pair.

Tordoff took another tenth off his best but Shedden's 1:157.179 lap suggested that the Hondas were not out of contention. Indeed Jordan was in fourth place, ahead of Colin Turkington.

In sixth place early on, Airwaves' Aron Smith attempted to improve upon his place but took a little too much kerb exiting a corner and slammed into the Armco. The Focus was heavily damaged and the session was red-flagged with 17 minutes left to run.

When the track was reopened, it was a while before any serious improvements were made to the times. Matt Neal was struggling in 14th place before moving up to tenth, whilst Adam Morgan jumped to seventh, with the top six still remaining unchanged from earlier.

As Neal was pushed down to eleventh place, there was a conference in the Honda pit and it seemed that all was not well with the championship leader's car. With no time left to record another lap, their focus turned to tomorrow's races.

Also suffering was the Passat of Tom Onslow-Cole and with a waved yellow flag, it seemed as though the times were set. Indeed as the chequered flag came out both MGs were in the pitlane and Tordoff recorded his first BTCC pole position, with Plato locking out the front row for MG. Shedden will head a Civic second row with Jordan alongside, whilst former champion Turkington was fifth ahead of Smith, who lost no positions despite his crash.

Morgan will start tomorrow's race in seventh place, with Jack Goff an excellent eighth and top Team HARD. driver. Dave Newsham and Dan Welch completed the top ten ahead of Neal. Meanwhile Lea Wood was the fastest S2000 qualifier, ahead of James Kaye.

Race one will take place tomorrow at 12:02pm.

Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship qualifying
1, Sam Tordoff, MG KX Momentum Racing, MG6, 1:56.696s
2, Jason Plato, MG KX Momentum Racing, MG6, +0.223s
3, Gordon Shedden, Honda Yuasa Racing, Honda Civic, +0.483s
4, Andrew Jordan, Pirtek Racing, Honda Civic, +0.693s
5, Colin Turkington, eBay Motors, BMW 125i M Sport, +0.790s
6, Aron Smith, Airwaves Racing, Ford Focus, +0.872s
7, Adam Morgan, Ciceley Racing, Toyota Avensis, +0.988s
8, Jack Goff, RCIB Insurance Racing, Vauxhall Insignia, +1.012s
9, David Newsham, Speedworks Motorsport, Toyota Avensis, +1.026s
10, Daniel Welch, Welch Motorsport with Sopp + Sopp, Proton Gen-2, +1.075s

Raceday tickets for the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Snetterton on 3/4 August are available on the gate for £31, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.