Joint British Touring Car Championship leader Sam Tordoff expressed his relief in finishing 13th during the opening race after mechanical issues has prompted an engine change for his West Surrey Racing BMW ahead of race two.

The WSR driver started the first race in fifth but a brief trip to gravel in avoidance of Daniel Lloyd's trip to the barrier sent Tordoff down to the fringes of the top-ten.

From that point onwards, Tordoff began to feel all was not well with the powerplant of his BMW 125i M Sport and subsequently dropped down to 13th by the end of the race.

While others may not have welcomed the safety car phases in the race, Tordoff was thankful for the stoppages as he believes the laps spent at reduced speed did enough in preserving his reliability.

"I just went wide trying to avoid it. The problem was that I got such a good start that I was on the outside in no man's land, then I tried to go around the outside with Dan - I don't know who's fault it was there," said Tordoff.

"That could have been the start of our engine problems. We could have got some debris or gravel in the radiators. It seemed fine during the first half of the race, but then for the last eight laps, all the temperatures went through the roof. I think the only thing that saved me was the three-lap safety car at the end."

With his new engine now almost installed, Tordoff is optimistic of rising back through the pack with no weight in race two.

"The degradation was good, but we've got it out of the way now. We still scored some points in that race when, in reality, we should have had a DNF if the engine had gone bang," the BMW driver continued.

"With a new engine in it and a normal tyre on the car I think we'll be fine", Tordoff said ahead of race two. "We should get back into the top 10 and be good for the reverse grid race."



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