Tordoff is hoping for golden moments

Ilkley Gazette: Sam Tordoff would love to be spraying the champagne with team-mate Jason Plato at Croft Sam Tordoff would love to be spraying the champagne with team-mate Jason Plato at Croft

RAWDON'S Sam Tordoff heads to one of his favourite circuits this weekend in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship - but ironically he has never had much success at Croft.

The North Yorkshire track is celebrating its 50th season, and rounds 13, 14 and 15 of the championship will be the biggest event of their Golden Jubilee year.

"It's in a great part of the world," enthused Tordoff, who is a fans' favourite at Yorkshire's premier motor racing circuit, which first staged BTCC racing in 1997.

"I've never seemed to have much luck at Croft, but I love going there.

"It's my local track and I always enjoy a lot of support there from sponsors, family and friends.

"I'm really looking forward to the weekend, and hopefully I can enjoy a change of fortune on home turf!"

It is also a local track for Tordoff's MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save MG6 team-mate Jason Plato, who admitted: "Croft is like my second home track, having grown up in Newcastle.

"The circuit has a fantastic blend of technical slow corners and some blindingly quick ones, which test the drivers to the max.

"I love the annual trip up North, the crowd there love the BTCC and the BTCC loves Croft."

Both Plato and Tordoff have a win apiece this season and have every chance of adding to their respective tallies from the grids of over 30 cars.

Tordoff is eighth in the overall standings with 102 points, with team-mate Plato fourth with 147 points.

Together they are third in the team standings behind eBay Motors BMW 125i (overall leader Colin Turkington, who already has four victories, and fifth-placed Rob Collard) and Honda Yuasa Racing (second-placed Gordon Shedden, who is the first driver to win a round in an estate car, and sixth-placed Matt Neal).

Also above 25-year-old Tordoff are holder Andrew Jordan (Pirtek Honda Civic), who is third with 156 points, and fellow lone wolf Mat Jackson (Airwaves Ford Focus).

With the cars travelling at 150mph and a carnival atmosphere expected, a huge crowd is anticipated at Croft.

The current track was completed in July, 1964 and 40,000 spectators attended the first event on it – the Daily Mirror Trophy Meeting on August 3, 1964, which included various classes of car and motor-cycle races.

Since then, F1 world champions Ayrton Senna, James Hunt, Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and Alan Jones have competed at the Darlington & District Motor Club venue, as well as national treasure Sir Stirling Moss and Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti.

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