Sam Tordoff has announced today that he will return to the British Touring Car Championship after a year away with Motorbase Performance in 2018. The Yorkshireman will partner Mat Jackson and Tom Chilton in a third Ford Focus RS however he will race under the Team GardX Racing banner in a striking blue and white livery, similar to the one seen on his 2015 WSR BMW.
After finishing runner up in 2016, Tordoff spent 2017 away from the BTCC to compete in the British GT Championship and returns to the series with the aim of mounting at overall title assault. Tordoff is no stranger to BTCC titles, having played a part in three of them during his time in the series. 2014 saw Tordoff help MG to the Constructors’ Championship and in 2016 he was part of the WSR team that claimed both the Team’s and Manufactures title.
After testing for AmD Tuning and Power Maxed Racing over the winter, the 28-year-old is ready to start work in the Ford Focus RS and is expected to sample it for the first time during testing in Spain later this month.
Speaking about his return to the BTCC Tordoff said, “I’m excited to be coming back to the BTCC this year, it’s great to be representing the Ford brand, especially with it being 25 years since the RS was last on the grid. It’s also 60 years of BTCC this year, so there are some cool events coming up like the Diamond Double at Snetterton to mark the anniversary.”
“When I left in 2016, I needed to clear my head and try something new: I wanted to drive a GT3 car and to race around Europe. Having done that for a year I’ve reset and I’m ready to do battle again,” added the GardX-backed driver.
“I definitely have unfinished business in the BTCC. There’s one thing I need to come back for and that’s the Drivers’ title. Having missed out on it by such a close margin, I wanted to come back in a situation that was enjoyable for me and in an environment where I fit in with the team and I’ve found the perfect solution with Motorbase.
“When I found out David’s plan with the new RS, that was the final seal of approval that I needed. They’ve re-engineered the car and the guys have put in so much work on the new RS to overcome what was lacking in the ST. I’m really confident with the package.
“Front-wheel drive is not new to me, but it’s been a few years so I’m going to have a bit of transitional phase to get back into the zone again,” Tordoff added. “I wouldn’t be coming back or working with Motorbase if I didn’t think we could win the title, it’s as simple as that.”
Motorbase Performance Team Principal David Bartrum added, “Sam is a great addition to the team,” he said. “He’s a quality driver, with a proven winning track record. He’s a multiple-time race winner and did a great job in his four previous seasons racing in the BTCC as well as the British GT’s last year.
“Sam stepped away from the BTCC at the peak of his career to go off and do something else, he’s got that out of his system now and he’s ready to come back and fight for the drivers’ title now. I’m very proud of the fact that he’s chosen Motorbase as the team to come back and carry on where he left off in 2016.”