Motorsport: Tordoff claims victory at Rockingham to maintain championship lead

Leeds driver Sam Tordoff claimed an outstanding victory in race two at Rockingham today to maintain his lead at the top of the British Touring Car Championship standings.

Sam Tordoff with his winner's trophy at Rockingham today. Picture: Dennis Goodwin.

The weekend had started disastrously for the BMW driver as he could only qualify at the back of the grid as he struggled with the wet conditions yesterday.

However, a storming first race of the day saw Tordoff fight his way through the field to claim a respectable 10th place before his heroics in race two.

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Starting 10th, Tordoff cut through the pack and wasted no time in overtaking leader Mat Jackson, before cruising home to victory. Tordoff paid tribute to his Team JCT600 with GardX team after today’s triumph.

He said: “The BMW was beautiful, absolutely beautiful, and that was probably the best race I have ever enjoyed because I could put the car where I wanted, it did everything just beautifully and to win after everything that happened yesterday in qualifying – we’re firmly in this championship hunt.

“After qualifying I told the guys it would be all right. I had faith in them, they had faith in me and that’s the result so, fabulous. I’m absolutely over the moon.”

Tordoff could manage only 16th in the final race of the day after struggling on hard tyres but his efforts earlier in the day meant he leads the championship standings by five points from chief rival Matt Neal with just six races to go.

Tordoff added: “I’m really proud of the boys and if you’d told me yesterday that we’d still be leading the championship I would not have believed you at all.

“I think Matt’s taken four points out of me after that qualifying session. It’s only a small points lead but it’s phenomenal after the day we had yesterday, so I’m really happy and can’t wait to get to Silverstone.”

Championship standings: 1, Sam Tordoff 258 points; 2, Matt Neal 253; 3, Gordon Shedden 238; 4, Mat Jackson 230; 5, Rob Collard 227.