Our motorsport heritage
Motorsport forms a large part of the history of JCT600, and even had a hand in the naming of the company as it is today. The company takes its name from our founder, Jack Tordoff's, own personalised number plate from the Porsche Carrera in which Jack won the prestigious Circuit of Ireland Rally in 1973. Fast forward 42 years and the JCT600 name is still just as prominent in the motorsport arena, with the logo adorning the BMW of Jack's grandson, Sam Tordoff, whilst competing in the British Touring Car Championship.
Jack Tordoff MBE
Joining the rally driving ranks at the relatively late age of 28, Jack Tordoff forged a career as one of the most successful private entries on the national and international stage. Having been persuaded to give the sport a go by a friend in the early 60's Jack bought a two stroke Saab whilst building up the Tordoff Motors business, before moving onto a Mk1 Ford Cortina in 1964 and having success on a variety of restricted and international rallies. A highlight of this period for Jack was his win by a margin of over two and a half minutes in the National Molyslip Morecambe Rally delivering him the largest prize pot for a club rally in Great Britain at the time. A win in the Seven Dales rally in the same year, followed by a successful defence of the title a year later crowned a successful period for Jack and the Cortina.
A stint in an early Ford Escort Twin Cam followed in 1968 before a return to Saab with an ex-works 96 V4 in 1974 brought the Swedish manufacturer their first national win in Britain, with Jack at the helm.
Jack's crowning glory undoubtedly came in 1973 where, using the power of a 2.7 litre Porsche 911 Carrera with the now instantly recognisable JCT600 number plate, he pulled off a minor miracle with an inspired drive to beat the Irish home favourites in their own back yard in the Circuit of Ireland Rally. The win catapulted Jack to FIA graded driver status and only the near-invincibility of the famous Roger Clark stood between Jack and becoming British Champion in 1973.
Retirement from the rally scene in 1975 at the age of 39 ended an illustrious career from motorsport, but in doing so, allowed Jack put more time into his beloved JCT600 Motor Group which was experiencing rapid growth and laying the foundations for the business we see today.
Sam started his racing career aged just 8, competing in the Honda Cadet Karting British Championship and by the age of 18 was British Karting Champion in the hotly contested 'Super One ICA' Championship. 2009 saw Sam's first move into car racing in the Renault Clio Cup Championship where a third place in the championship, including 2 wins saw Sam named as a BRDC (British Racing Drivers Club) Rising Star. Another step up in class followed in 2011 with an entry into the Porsche Carrera Cup GB championship, ironically in the modern day equivalent machinery to that of his Grandfather Jack 38 years previous.
Two impressive seasons with the Porsche's culminated in a third place finish in the championship in 2012 with 4 wins as well as an entry into the Porsche SuperCup round at Silverstone on the weekend on the British F1 Grand Prix. On the back of his prior success, Sam has been plying his trade in the famous British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) spending two years as a Factory MG driver. Two Wins and regularly mixing it at the sharp end of the grid saw Sam awarded BRDC SuperStar status.
Eager to build on his BTCC ambitions, Sam switched teams to reigning champions West Surrey Racing in 2015 where JCT600 became Title Sponsor for the renamed "Team JCT600 with GardX". Sam made it to a sixth place finish in the Championship in 2015 and then in 2016 saw even greater success as he finished the season with the Manufacturers' and Teams' titles as part of the WSR line-up, as well as overall runner-up in the Driver's Championship - missing out by just 2 points!
In 2017, Sam decided to step away from BTCC and try something different as he joined title-winning team Barwell Motorsport for his debut season in the British GT Championship. However, he couldn't stay away for too long as Sam returned to the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) for 2018 where he finished 5th in the Independent Drivers’ Championship, with Team GardX Racing with Motorbase 11th overall and 6th in the Indy Teams’ points. Tordoff joins Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing for the 2019 BTCC campaign, watch this space...
For updates on Sam’s progression follow his Twitter page @samtordoff or visit www.samtordoffracing.com.