Thruxton BTCC: Tordoff edges Plato by 0.014s to take pole

Sam Tordoff scored pole position for the second time at Thruxton this season, edging Jason Plato in a BTCC qualifying shootout dominated by front-wheel-drive competition.

Thruxton BTCC: Tordoff edges Plato by 0.014s to take pole
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The AmD Tuning driver earned his seventh series pole and backed up the form shown in the first visit to the circuit earlier in 2019, during which he broke the qualifying lap record.

An ultimate time of 1min15.876sec meant Tordoff was 0.365s shy of his benchmark from earlier this year, but he still topped the times by 0.014s over free practice pacesetter Jason Plato.

Tordoff went quickest early on as the front-wheel-drive cars came to the fore, beating provisional polesitter Adam Morgan who displayed a marked improvement in form following an overhaul to the Ciceley Motorsport engineering team.

Tordoff’s teammate Rory Butcher, currently third in the points, then went fastest overall before the Hondas were split by the Toyota of Tom Ingram.

A few spots of rain quietened the session as drivers struggled to improve in any sector, but wind over the track cleared the conditions swiftly.

That allowed WSR driver Tom Oliphant to climb to second, 0.016s off Butcher.

Then, a personal best first and final sector combined with the absolute best second promoted Plato to first.

The Vauxhall driver was the first person of the weekend to drop below the 1m15s barrier, as Cammish and Morgan completed an all-new top three.

Tordoff found a further 0.014s with an improved second sector to post his unbeaten 1m15.876s benchmark.

Butcher looked to make it an AmD 1-2 with a session best first sector, but he ran wide through the second and could not recover the time.

That left Plato second from Cammish and Morgan, with Josh Cook a late improver from 11th to fifth ahead of Butcher.

Oliphant was the quickest rear-wheel-drive runner as he lined the BMW 330i M sport up in seventh ahead of Ingram and Chris Smiley.

Plato’s teammate Rob Collard put the second Power Maxed Racing machine in 10th ahead of points leader Colin Turkington – entering the weekend with the maximum 54kg of success ballast.

Ashley Sutton was 12th ahead of final WSR driver Andrew Jordan – carrying the second heaviest 48kg payload.

The Thruxton session was only the second qualifying of the year not to be interrupted by a red flag, although Matt Neal and Cook had to recover high-speed half spins.

Ex-Formula 1 driver Mark Blundell also tangled with the MG of Sam Osborne in the closing minutes.

The collision at the chicane resulted in a puncture for Blundell and a left-rear wheel failure for Osborne – they wound up 26th and 30th respectively as a result.

Qualifying results:

Cla 

Nº0

Driver 

Car / Engine 

Time 

Gap

600 

Sam Tordoff

Honda

1'15.876

 

11 

Jason Plato

Vauxhall

1'15.890

0.014

27 

Dan Cammish

Honda

1'15.949

0.073

33 

Adam Morgan

Mercedes

1'15.995

0.119

66 

Josh Cook

Honda

1'16.111

0.235

6 

Rory Butcher

Honda

1'16.182

0.306

15 

Tom Oliphant

BMW

1'16.188

0.312

80 

Tom Ingram

Toyota

1'16.240

0.364

22 

Chris Smiley

Honda

1'16.275

0.399

10 

9 

Rob Collard

Vauxhall

1'16.353

0.477

11 

1 

Colin Turkington

BMW

1'16.360

0.484

12 

116 

Ash Sutton

Subaru

1'16.362

0.486

13 

77 

Andrew Jordan

BMW

1'16.381

0.505

14 

48 

Ollie Jackson

Ford

1'16.410

0.534

15 

19 

Bobby Thompson

Volkswagen

1'16.429

0.553

16 

3 

Tom Chilton

Ford

1'16.446

0.570

17 

25 

Matt Neal

Honda

1'16.491

0.615

18 

18 

Senna Proctor

Subaru

1'16.523

0.647

19 

31 

Jack Goff

Volkswagen

1'16.555

0.679

20 

24 

Jake Hill

Audi

1'16.597

0.721

21 

32 

Daniel Rowbottom

Mercedes

1'16.906

1.030

22 

303 

Matt Simpson

Honda

1'16.990

1.114

23 

12 

Stephen Jelley

BMW

1'17.071

1.195

24 

28 

Nicolas Hamilton

Ford

1'17.259

1.383

25 

16 

Aiden Moffat

Infiniti

1'17.305

1.429

26 

8 

Mark Blundell

Audi

1'17.624

1.748

27 

777 

Michael Crees

Volkswagen

1'17.837

1.961

28 

37 

Rob Smith

MG

1'17.889

2.013

29 

41 

Carl Boardley

Volkswagen

1'17.958

2.082

30 

4 

Sam Osborne

MG

1'19.022

3.146

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