Sam Tordoff led an MG 1-2 on the opening day of a two-day Dunlop tyre test for the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship regulars at Snetterton.
With rivals Honda missing the test in favour of a test later this month, Tordoff took full advantage to put his MG6 GT on top of the times in both the morning and afternoon session in sweltering weather conditions.
The youngster would lap below Frank Wrathall's qualifying lap record with a best time of 1min 57.534secs during the morning running, which left him just under three-tenths of a second clear of experienced team-mate Jason Plato.
“It has been a really good day,” Tordoff – who set his best time on Dunlop's soft compound tyre – said. “We've worked through our programme and completed so many laps. Days like this are invaluable to me – as a rookie I haven't had a full test day so I really enjoyed it.
“It's always great to see your name at the top of the timesheets and in terms of productivity this has been one of my best days ever in motor sport. Hopefully my lap time can send a bit of a message out for when we come back here to race in August. I love this track – it's one of my favourites – but more importantly we now feel that we know how to work the soft tyre as a team.”
Behind the MG pair, Andrew Jordan was third fastest, with his best time being a tad shy of eight tenths of a second slower than Tordoff's benchmark.
Unlike the pair ahead, Jordan posted his best time on the regular medium compound rubber as did Nick Tandy in fourth, as the Porsche factory driver enjoyed his second outing in the Addison Lee Motorbase Ford Focus that debuted in the series at Croft prior to the summer break.
Tandy was at the sharp end of the times in both sessions and ended up fourth quickest by virtue of his afternoon time and was notably quicker than both Airwaves Racing drivers as Mat Jackson and Aron Smith ended the day down in 14th and 15th. Smith completed five laps in Tandy's car during the afternoon.
“I am a racing driver and I love racing so I am always delighted to get the opportunity to jump into a car,” Tandy admitted. “It's obviously very different from what I am used to but in many ways that might be a good thing, as I can hopefully help the team with a fresh pair of eyes. I have just been chipping away little by little and we've definitely made progress. If my sportscar commitments don't clash and the opportunity arises then I'd love to race in the BTCC at some point this season.”
Colin Turkington was fifth for eBay Motors running on a 2014 development tyre, while there was an impressive showing from Jack Goff, who put his Team HARD. Vauxhall Insignia into the top six in the afternoon session – ahead of the VW Passat of team-mate Tom Onslow-Cole.
Rob Collard, Frank Wrathall and Nick Foster completed the top ten, while Liam Griffin was fastest S2000 car in 18th ahead of David Nye. Nye's Welch Motorsport team-mate Dan Welch also had a brief run in his Ford Focus alongside his own programme in his Proton Persona.
Elsewhere, with Jeff Smith absent, Mike Jordan stepped into the second Pirtek Racing Honda and was 13th, while Robb Holland returned to BTCC machinery as he spent the morning in the second HARD. Insignia – ending up 20th quickest and finishing ahead of Howard Fuller who then ran in the afternoon.
At Speedworks, Ian Loggie had another in the team's Toyota Avensis during the morning and ewas 24th quickest although Chris Jones was prevented from setting a time in the afternoon by a gearbox problem. Rob Austin would complete a short run at the end of the day in the Avensis to check the issue was resolved ahead of tomorrow's running.
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