Sam Tordoff endured a frustrating return to the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship as he found himself out of luck at Brands Hatch.

Back in the series after a year-long sabbatical, the Team GardX Racing driver started the weekend in fine form as he secured a front row start for the opening round of the season in qualifying.

Suffering wheel spin as the lights went out in the Motorbase Performance-prepared Ford Focus RS, the Yorkshireman found himself in further strife as he suffered two punctures following contact with Matt Simpson, forcing him to pit and dropping him out of contention.

Opting for wet tyres in what was a frenetic second encounter, the multiple race winner made early progress before the ever-drying track conditions played into the hands of those on slicks, meaning Tordoff could only salvage P20.

The final race of the day proved to be more rewarding for Tordoff as he notched his first points of the season, taking the chequered flag in P13.

“This weekend was just a shame really,” Tordoff said. “I’ve never worked so hard on a BTCC weekend and got so little from it.

“We were consistently fast, but sadly it’s just not happened for us. We made the wrong tyre choice in race one and that ended up biting us and then races two and three just didn’t go our way.

“We deserved to finish a lot higher up the order. We’ve just not had that right bit of luck on our side and this track is chaos when you are three quarters of the way down the grid.

“We’ll keep our heads up though. There are 27 races still to go and the positives are that we’re super-fast heading to Donington, and with zero weight on-board.”

PHOTO CREDIT: Jakob Ebrey Photography