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|Tordoff takes dominant double with Parker|
|13 Aug 2012 12:26|
An utterly dominant weekend at Snetterton for Team Parker Racing’s Sam Tordoff has elevated the young Yorkshireman to second place in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB points with eight races still remaining.
Tordoff, who has always performed well at the Norfolk track, was fastest in qualifying by 0.223 seconds, claimed both pole positions, led each race from start to finish and set one fastest lap – only denied a clean sweep of points by missing out on the second fastest lap by three hundredths of a second.
Championship leader Michael Meadows did his best to chase Tordoff, but the Team Parker Racing runner had extended his lead to two seconds by the 11th lap of 13 in race one, and had consolidated a similar advantage by the eighth lap of 14 in race two. He then took it easy, but still claimed a comfortable victory.
“It’s been an absolutely fantastic weekend,” said Tordoff. “Ever since the first test session on Friday morning we’ve been strong. Two pole positions, two wins: that’s just what we needed to catch Michael in the title race.
“I just had to keep my cool, and we deserved these wins. I’ve had a tricky start to the season, but I’m not giving up trying to catch Michael in the championship. Thanks to Stuart Parker and the guys – they gave me a wonderful car to drive.”
Meanwhile, an excellent performance gave Andy Meyrick a podium finish on his Porsche Carrera Cup GB debut with Team Parker Racing.
The Cheshire racer, a former single-seater and historic ace and works Aston Martin sportscar driver, qualified third fastest and kept that position throughout race one, holding off pressure from behind early on. From fourth on the grid for race two, he again held his nerve early on before firming up another strong finish – a great entry to the Carrera Cup GB for Meyrick.
Daniel Lloyd, normally such a strong performer for Team Parker Racing, had a tough weekend that had its roots in a spin in qualifying that knocked off the car’s front splitter.
Yorkshireman Lloyd made progress from sixth on the grid in race one, and passed Rory Butcher for fourth on the final lap as they headed onto the back straight. In the second race, he inadvertently collided with Butcher on the penultimate lap while trying to save a wild slide. Although Lloyd emerged from the incident with a sixth-place finish, he was penalised down to 12th by the stewards.
Richard Plant, the third of Team Parker Racing’s trio of Yorkshiremen to have won a Carrera Cup race this season, had a solid weekend. In both races he found himself behind Glynn Geddie, striving to pressure the Scotsman into a mistake. He finished race one in seventh place, then in race two he passed Geddie with five laps remaining to finish seventh on the road – sixth once Lloyd’s penalty was applied.
Team principal Stuart Parker said: “Sam drove fantastically all weekend, right from the word go until the last lap of the second race. He controlled both races, and was only three hundredths away from that final fastest lap and a perfect weekend.
“Other than that he did a really dominant job and his whole performance was an absolute blinder. He had the lead pretty much out to three seconds in the second race, and then he just backed off and controlled it. Now he’s gone from fourth to second in the championship and, even more importantly, gained points on Meadows.
“Andy came in with very little testing, and what he had done was in bad weather. But he did a fantastic job in qualifying and drove two solid races. Let’s face it, he’s only going to get better from this point as he gains experience – he shows great promise.
“Dan made a mistake in qualifying but he raced very well in both. Unfortunately he got booked for the second-race incident with Butcher, which I think was harsh, but he’ll move on and I’m sure he’ll get some great results over the rest of the season.
“Richard was a little lower than we would expect to find him but he had a workmanlike weekend and scored some good points. Consistency is all-important in this championship and he’s always in the mix somewhere.”
TEAM MISSES OUT AFTER LEONARD’S PRO-AM1 POLE
With Michael Leonard qualifying on the pro-am1 class pole at Snetterton in his Naas Court Hotel with Team Parker car, and Derek Pierce starting fourth with his JD Pierce with Team Parker entry, things looked good for an excellent result.
But an unfortunate collision at the third turn on the opening lap between Irishman Leonard and Scotsman Pierce left Leonard out of the race, and Pierce marooned a long way behind the pack. While Pierce raced back to 13th overall, and fifth in the pro-am1 class, it still meant he missed a chance to gain ground on class leader Ahmad Al Harthy, who went out of the race in another collision.
Leonard ran second early in race two but began to slip backwards as the result of an imbalance at the rear of the car, leaving him to take the flag sixth in the pro-am1 class.
Pierce was one of those to move ahead of him – he got hit by numerous people over the course of the race, but clung on to score more points for fourth in class.
Team principal Stuart Parker said: “Michael did a fantastic job in qualifying and fully deserved to start from pole for the first race, but the collision with Derek showed how frustrating motor racing can be. Then he lost confidence in the rear end of the car in the second race – which we will have to investigate.
“Derek had a hard weekend – he seemed to be the victim of everybody’s assaults but he’s got a great knack of getting to the end of races and scoring good points.”
As part of the ultra-popular British Touring Car Championship package, the Porsche Carrera Cup GB enjoyed live coverage from Snetterton on ITV4 and ITV4 HD, and was streamed live at itv.com/touringcars. The next round is at Knockhill in Scotland on August 25/26.
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