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Silverstone BTCC: Motorbase Ford's Tordoff takes first 2018 pole

Sam Tordoff takes Silverstone BTCC pole 2018

Motorbase Performance Ford Focus driver Sam Tordoff took his first pole position of his British Touring Car Championship return at Silverstone.

The 2016 championship runner-up, who raced in sportscars last season, banked his lap early on within the first eight minutes of running, and was forced to wait as others tried to knock him off the top spot.

As the major players were beginning their second runs, the red flag flew to collect the stranded Eurotech Racing Honda Civic of Brett Smith, which had ground to a halt.

That left the field with a five-minute dash to improve times, but no one could lower the earlier benchmarks.

Tordoff credited his Motorbase team for turning around his fortunes at Silverstone after he had struggled during the morning's free practice sessions in 20th and 24th.

"I have come close on many occasions before this season, so it was agonising having to wait and see if someone would beat my time," said the 29-year-old.

"I was really down after the free practice sessions because we were nowhere, but the team has really turned it around.

"We have changed everything on the car and left no stone unturned, and we went one second faster this afternoon than this morning, so it is a real credit to the lads and the team."

Sam Tordoff Motorbase Ford Silverstone BTCC 2018

Tordoff's time was enough to eclipse the earlier benchmark set by Ricky Collard's ballast-free BMW 125i M Sport, which had benefited from a tow from team-mates Andrew Jordan and Colin Turkington to set a time just 0.018 seconds adrift.

Series newcomer Collard, only in his third BTCC meeting deputising for his father Rob who has stepped down for health reasons, said he was constantly learning more about the rear-wheel-drive car.

"I am improving all the time, and I have a little bit of experience at this circuit, which is a benefit," said Collard.

"The times are so close and if I have had a shave this morning, I probably would have picked up the 100th of a second or so that I needed for pole.

"My dad is known for his demon starts and I am going to take some lessons from him to prepare for tomorrow. I am very excited."

Tom Chilton, a winner last time out at Knockhill, heads up the second row in another Motorbase Ford, despite carrying 33kg of success ballast into the meeting.

"Previously, I have always known I have a good racecar, but this was the first time that I felt I had a strong qualifying car too," he said. "This has given me high hopes for the race."

Last year's Silverstone pole winner Jack Goff will line up fourth in his Eurotech Racing Honda Civic Type R ahead of Jordan and Matt Neal in the factory Team Dynamics Honda.

Turkington, leading the points chase coming in to the meeting, could only struggle to 18th in his car laden with 75kg of success ballast.

His main rival Tom Ingram was 19th in the Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis, which was carrying 66kg of extra lead.

Third in the championship Ash Sutton was 25th of the 31 runners in his Team BMR Subaru Levorg, one place ahead of his team-mate Jason Plato.

Qualifying result

1Sam TordoffMotorbaseFord58.323s-
2Ricky CollardWSRBMW58.341s0.018s
3Tom ChiltonMotorbaseFord58.370s0.047s
4Jack GoffEurotech RacingHonda58.401s0.078s
5Andrew JordanWSRBMW58.480s0.157s
6Matt NealTeam DynamicsHonda58.490s0.167s
7Matt SimpsonSimpson RacingHonda58.493s0.170s
8Aiden MoffatLaser Tools RacingMercedes58.500s0.177s
9Adam MorganCiceley MotorsportMercedes58.560s0.237s
10Brett SmithEurotech RacingHonda58.589s0.266s
11Dan CammishTeam DynamicsHonda58.597s0.274s
12Tom OliphantCiceley MotorsportMercedes58.614s0.291s
13Rob AustinHMS RacingAlfa Romeo58.623s0.300s
14Josh CookPower Maxed RacingVauxhall58.637s0.314s
15Mike BushellTeam HardVolkswagen58.637s0.314s
16Daniel LloydBTC NorlinHonda58.655s0.332s
17James ColeMotorbaseFord58.678s0.355s
18Colin TurkingtonWSRBMW58.702s0.379s
19Tom IngramSpeedworksToyota58.709s0.386s
20Chris SmileyBTC NorlinHonda58.717s0.394s
21Senna ProctorPower Maxed RacingVauxhall58.730s0.407s
22Stephen JelleyTeam Parker RacingBMW58.736s0.413s
23Ollie JacksonAmD TuningAudi58.781s0.458s
24Rory ButcherAmD TuningMG58.793s0.470s
25Ash SuttonTeam BMRSubaru58.867s0.544s
26Jason PlatoTeam BMRSubaru58.943s0.620s
27Bobby ThompsonTeam HardVolkswagen58.952s0.629s
28Sam SmeltAmD TuningAudi59.067s0.744s
29Ollie PidgleyTeam HardVolkswagen59.141s0.818s
30Josh CaygillAmD TuningMG59.609s1.286s
31Ethan HammertonTeam HardVolkswagen59.844s1.521s

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