Snetterton BTCC: MG rookie Sam Tordoff claims first pole

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

Snetterton BTCC: MG rookie Sam Tordoff claims first pole

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."

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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 
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Snetterton BTCC: MGs of Tordoff and Plato uncatchable in practice

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