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MG leads the way in day one of Snetterton BTCC test

Tuesday, July 09 2013

Sam Tordoff headed team mate Jason Plato in today's (Tuesday) opening day of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship Snetterton tyre test.

Most of the teams were present, with testing primarily being carried out for the purpose of evaluating the championship's Dunlop rubber. Sunny conditions and high temperatures enticed fans to the circuit, where they could watch the cars free of charge. The test continues tomorrow, with the heatwave set to stay.

The day also provided the opportunity to test out new drivers. Both Team HARD. and Speedworks took advantage of this, whilst Motorbase gave Porsche ace Nick Tandy a second run in their Autoglym-sponsored NGTC Focus. He rewarded them with an excellent fourth place in the afternoon, putting him in the same position overall, albeit with different tyres being used by the teams making it difficult to gauge form.

"It's very different," said Tandy of his experience. "For a start I sit on the other side of the car to the Porsches that I'm used to and all the other stuff really, but at the end of the day it's still a racing car, there's still a steering wheel, four tyres and an engine and you still have to drive the car to the limit of the tyres, which is what racing driving is all about. It's a different discipline, the way you go about using the controls, but it's not so different to driving a sportscar. I raced front wheel drive cars for ten years when I was between 11 and 20 (Minis), but I think in those days we had between 30 and 85 horsepower so it's a little different!

"It hasn't been decided if I'm racing here next month, a lot of things come into it, but I'm free for certain weekends from my Porsche commitments, and I run a Formula Ford team on the TOCA package anyway, so if Dave says there's a seat available and would you like to get in it, I'd be stupid to turn him down because it's racing and racing drivers love to go racing!"

Andrew Jordan was third for Pirtek, with father Mike also out on track as sole Honda representatives at the test. 2009 champion Colin Turkington was fifth from Team HARD.s Jack Goff and his team mate Tom Onslow-Cole, whilst eBay's Rob Collard and Nick Foster were also in the top ten.

Plato summed up MG's feelings after a successful day with a warning to his rivals: "The important thing here today is that we're learning about our car, we're trying to improve our performance, not just for our race performance, but also our outright one-lap pace for qualifying. So we're definitely learning by being here and our main opposition isn't learning because they're not here! Their ice creams probably taste nicer than ours, but I think I'd rather be here getting hot and sweaty without ice creams and learning about how our car might be in a few weeks' time."

The test continues tomorrow and entry to the venue is free to spectators.

Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship test day one, combined times
1, Sam Tordoff, MG KX Momentum Racing, MG6, 1:57.534s
2, Jason Plato, MG KX Momentum Racing, MG6, +0.272s
3, Andrew Jordan, Pirtek Racing, Honda Civic, +0.788s
4, Nick Tandy, Addison Lee Motorbase, Ford Focus, +1.182s
5, Colin Turkington, eBay Motors, BMW 125i, +1.326s
6, Jack Goff, RCIB Insurance Racing, Vauxhall Insignia, +1.652s
7, Tom Onslow-Cole, PPCGB.com/Kraftwerk Racing, VW Passat CC, +1.709s
8, Rob Collard, eBay Motors, BMW 125i M Sport, +1.958s
9, Frank Wrathall, Dynojet, Toyota Avensis, +2.086s
10, Nick Foster, eBay Motors, BMW 125i M Sport, +2.167s

Tickets for the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Snetterton 300 on 3/4 August are available from £26, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.