Find out more about our subscriptions

Snetterton BTCC: MG rookie Sam Tordoff claims first pole

Sam Tordoff BTCC 2013Sam Tordoff took his first British Touring Car pole position by beating team-mate Jason Plato at Snetterton.

The Triple Eight-run works MG6s dominated practice and again moved to the top with their first runs in qualifying.

Tordoff managed 1m56.817s to Plato's 1m56.919s before moving even further clear of his double champion team-mate with a 1m56.696s, almost a second faster than last year's pole.

After red flags, caused by Aron Smith crashing his Motorbase Ford Focus heavily at Riches, many drivers pushed again, but none of the frontrunners improved.

"I'm thrilled," said Tordoff. "I didn't expect to get that lap time. This place has always been kind to me over the years and we're looking strong for the races."

Live motorsport updates with AUTOSPORT Race Centre Live

Reigning champion Gordon Shedden's Honda Civic was best of the rest behind the MGs, almost half a second slower than Tordoff.

The Eurotech Civic of Andrew Jordan was next, from Colin Turkington's WSR BMW.

Smith's best time, set just before his crash, was good enough for sixth. The damage to the Focus was extensive, however, so it is not yet clear whether he will drive his regular machine or Motorbase's third Focus in the races on Sunday.

A spectacular Adam Morgan was top Toyota in seventh, while Jack Goff continued his good Snetterton form with eighth in his Team Hard Vauxhall Insignia.

Reigning champion Matt Neal struggled for pace with his 45kg of success ballast, ending up 11th and 0.7s down on team-mate Shedden.

Despite wiring loom and engine problems earlier in the day, Lea Wood came through to pip James Kaye (AmD Honda Civic) to be quickest S2000 runner in his Vauxhall Vectra.

Pos  Driver            Team/Car           Time       Gap
 1.  Sam Tordoff       MG                 1m56.696s
 2.  Jason Plato       MG                 1m56.919s  +0.223
 3.  Gordon Shedden    Honda              1m57.179s  +0.483
 4.  Andrew Jordan     Eurotech Honda     1m57.389s  +0.693
 5.  Colin Turkington  WSR BMW            1m57.486s  +0.790
 6.  Aron Smith        Motorbase Ford     1m57.568s  +0.872
 7.  Adam Morgan       Ciceley Toyota     1m57.684s  +0.988
 8.  Jack Goff         Hard Vauxhall      1m57.708s  +1.012
 9.  Dave Newsham      Speedworks Toyota  1m57.722s  +1.026
10.  Daniel Welch      Welch Proton       1m57.771s  +1.075
11.  Matt Neal         Honda              1m57.877s  +1.181
12.  Rob Austin        Austin Audi        1m57.894s  +1.198
13.  Mat Jackson       Motorbase Ford     1m57.958s  +1.262
14.  Tom Onslow-Cole   Hard VW            1m58.059s  +1.363
15.  Jeff Smith        Eurotech Honda     1m58.345s  +1.649
16.  Rob Collard       WSR BMW            1m58.454s  +1.758
17.  Frank Wrathall    Dynojet Toyota     1m58.493s  +1.797
18.  Ollie Jackson     Speedworks Toyota  1m58.829s  +2.133
19.  Will Bratt        Austin Audi        1m58.923s  +2.227
20.  Nick Foster       WSR BMW            1m59.112s  +2.416
21.  Robb Holland      Hard Vauxhall      1m59.741s  +3.045
22.  Lea Wood          Wood Vauxhall      1m59.975s  +3.279*
23.  Andy Neate        IP Chevrolet       1m59.988s  +3.292
24.  James Kaye        AmD Honda          2m00.298s  +3.602*
25.  Liam Griffin      Motorbase Ford     2m00.864s  +4.168*
26.  David Nye         Welch Ford         2m01.198s  +4.502*
27.  Warren Scott      BMR VW             -

* S2000
  More news  
Read the AUTOSPORT Digital Edition
Visit the shop
See highlights from 60 years of AUTOSPORT
Shedden wins as Plato rolls in finale
Jordan takes controversial win
Tordoff storms to first BTCC win
Smith expects to start despite crash
MG uncatchable in BTCC practice