Andrew Jordan

BTCC 2016 – Silverstone | Recapped and Rated |

Forgotten what happened in the BTCC last time out at Silverstone? You’re in luck, as ESM’s BTCC Correspondent is here to refresh your memory, and make predictions on tomorrow’s season finale.2016 BTCC SilverstoneEight drivers will go into the season finale at Brands Hatch with a chance of becoming the 2016 British Touring Car Championship champion following the latest rounds at Silverstone. Once again, the action-packed races produced three different winners and a bout of controversy.

Saturday’s qualifying brought a return to form for the MGs as Ashley Sutton took pole and teammate Josh Cook qualified third, with the duo sandwiching Tom Ingram. Andrew Jordan took fourth, Adam Morgan fifth and Rob Austin sixth, but championship leader Tordoff qualified poorly for the second meeting in a row, down in sixteenth.

2016 BTCC Silverstone

Race One (Sutton*, Cook*, 1st Ingram, 2nd Jordan, 3rd Austin)
The opening race was certainly lively, especially by first race standards. It started with Ingram taking the lead off the line and Jordan moving up the third, before cars swapped places up and down the grid, more regularly than normal. After a robust move to retain third, Jordan eventually lost out on the fifth lap as Cook powered through, while Sutton also closed on Ingram. It didn’t take long for Sutton to make his move and Cook was soon on the tail of the lead duo. Cook had a fantastic battle that lasted several corners with Ingram as he tried to make it an MG 1-2 and he succeeded following a little tap.

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BTCC 2016 – Thruxton | Reviewed and Rated

Without doubt, the latest rounds of the British Touring Car Championship from Thruxton proved to be the most entertaining and intriguing of the season so far; crashes, punctures, arguments, withdrawals, shortened race distances, a red flag, it had it all. ESM’s BTCC Correspondent reviews the aftermath.

BTCC 2016 ThruxtonSaturday’s qualifying session brought the second outright pole in three meetings for Tom Ingram, followed by a stunning effort from Aiden Moffat to take second ahead of a ballast-laden Matt Neal and MG pair Josh Cook and Ashley Sutton.

Race One (1st Morgan, 2nd Ingram, 3rd Jordan)
Quite simply, the best race of the season so far and it’ll take something special to beat this in the remaining races, despite there being plenty still to go. For a first race of the day, it is hard to remember anything as interesting and exciting. It was like a final race of the day.

After the withdrawal of all four Team BMR Subarus on Sunday morning due to safety concerns about their fuel lines, Neal managed to jump Moffat off the line when the lights went out. He immediately pushed Ingram hard into the opening corners, but Moffat soon came back at him around the outside. With Neal down the inside of Ingram at the third corner, Ingram was nudged sideways into Moffat resulting in a half spin that he managed to power around. All of a sudden Neal was leading the race, Josh Cook was challenging Neal and there was a gaggle of cars ready to pounce on any incident from the leaders. And incident there was. Ingram was turned sideways, allowing Adam Morgan through, and then Sutton’s car was turned sideways before heading off into the barriers with what appeared to be a puncture. All this by the end of lap two!

Things had hardly settled down on the third lap as Morgan was able to overtake Cook for 2nd with it being so close at the front. It was astonishing that a fully ballast Neal was driving so aggressively on a track known to be so abrasive, but he was holding his own. That was until the end of the lap, when Morgan was able to get a better exit out of the chicane and overtook Neal on the start-finish line, but Neal didn’t give up. Back he came for almost half a lap, as it bunched up the leaders, resulting in an incredible sight of six abreast around the back of the circuit. This race was anybody’s.

BTCC 2016 Thruxton

Moffat came back at Neal to reclaim 2nd, but Morgan started to pull away at the front. Following a lap or two’s lull, lap ten brought puncture after puncture in the hot conditions. The first to suffer was Moffat, then Mark Howard and Mat Jackson, whose tyre caused spectacular damage to the front wing of his Ford Focus. However, the punctures continued as Neal was the next victim at the end of the lap, luckily for him, or so it seemed. This didn’t prove to be the case as he couldn’t find a route into the pits as Ingram overtook on his inside, before Cook mounted the rear of Neal, sending them both into spins collecting several cars in the process, most notably Gordon Shedden who ended up spinning into the pit wall. With cars strewn everywhere and concerns over other car’s tyres, the inevitable red flag occurred, allowing Morgan to claim his second victory of the season. (more…)

2015 British Touring Car Championship Preview

After what seems like a very long winter, the British Touring Car Championship is finally back this weekend. With a huge grid and new faces, our resident BTCC Correspondent gives us his views on the season ahead.

BTCC 2015 – A few thoughts…

2015 BTCC Grid
The Easter weekend sees the return of the BTCC to the track and our television screens. Pre-season has, of course, been filled with many driver and team changes. However, with all the changes and a couple of major departures – drivers, sponsors and teams, I’ve found it hard to be excited about the coming season.

The 32-car grid is a great idea in principle, but the grid isn’t exactly filled with 32 household names, nor I suppose could it be. However, other than our usual main protagonists, the grid isn’t exactly filled with names that I’m going to be losing any sleep over with excitement. We’ve lost Alain Menu and Fabrizio Giovanardi in the close season, meaning we’re back down to 5 champions on the grid. Another notable absentee is Nick Foster, who despite never winning race, I actually quite liked.

eBay have withdrawn their sponsorship from WSR, which seems odd from an outsider’s point of view. The title-winning car from 2014 can’t retain their lead sponsor? Really? I’m not involved in either of the businesses, but I find it simply odd. Another baffling part of the BTCC jigsaw, 2014 champion Colin Turkington and runner-up Jason Plato seemingly taking so long to find a drive for the current season. They have since assured us their drives for the current season were never in doubt.

2015 BTCC Media Day tracking

What does excite me for this season is Turkington and Plato joining forces together at Team BMR. (more…)

BTCC 2014 – Knockhill – Rounds 19/20/21 – Review

Trio of New 2014 Winners at Knockhill!

BTCC 2014 Knockhill 006

The British Touring Cars made their annual trip north of the border to Knockhill on August Bank Holiday weekend. There were several strong performances from the drivers and teams, as three drivers won for the first time this season. It was also the first time since soft tyres were introduced, that all three races were won by cars using them.

Championship leader, Colin Turkington, set the fastest time in qualifying but lined up 9th following a grid penalty from Snetterton. Turkington’s teammate, Rob Collard, lined up at the back of the grid, again due to misdemeanours. It meant that Sam Tordoff took pole, from an impressive performance from Sherman and Rob Austin, Andrew Jordan, Gordon Shedden, Matt Neal and Jason Plato. There was BTCC-best qualifying for Glynn Geddie in 10th and Hunter Abbott in 11th.

Race One started slowly, as the front-runners stayed in position off the start line although Turkington did manage to get ahead of Nick Foster for 8th. On lap 4, Shedden managed to pass Jordan at the Hairpin after running closely behind him for a few laps. Lap 7 brought the first major incident of the day as Dan Welch launched into the side of Robb Holland off the curbs, damaging his front wheel and suspension. Welch later received a warning for his part in the incident.

Turkington catches some air

Turkington catches some air

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BTCC 2014 – Croft – Rounds 13/14/15 – Review

You’ve already seen the galleries (one, two), but here’s the review from our Correspondent as the British Touring Car Championship hit the North East.

Turkington Maintains Championship Advantage

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In the latest rounds of the British Touring Car Championship held at Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire, 2009 champion Colin Turkington maintained his lead at the top of this year’s championship. It would have been a perfect weekend for Turkington, had it not been for a retirement in the final race of the day.

Following a superb performance at Oulton Park, Turkington arrived at Croft leading the championship for the first time since his title-winning season in 2009. Despite carrying full ballast, Turkington set a new lap record with his qualifying time to take pole from Jason Plato, Honda Yuasa Racing duo of Gordon Shedden and Matt Neal, reigning champion Andrew Jordan and Rob Collard. Since Oulton Park, all rear wheel drive cars have had their first gears lengthened, to much discussion down the pit lane, so they have less of an advantage off the start line.

Turkington lined up on pole after a record lap

Turkington lined up on pole after a record lap

However, in race one, nobody was moving off the start line quickly as the red lights stayed on for an age, before the start was aborted. It was decided another green flag lap would be completed, knocking one lap off the final race distance. Lap 1 of the first race, arguably, brought more action than all three of Oulton Park put together. Turkington was sluggish off the line, but he just held position from Plato, whilst Collard made a good start and ended up 4th. A couple of places back, Jordan tagged Neal and sent him sideways, although he was able to control it and continue. Nick Foster found himself taking a huge excursion across the midfield after he was spat out after the chicane, at high speed, and Rob Austin, who’d qualified well in 10th, was turned around by Adam Morgan’s A-Class. In the meantime, Shedden had found a way past Plato to take 2nd.

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Lap 3 saw Morgan’s damage from his earlier collision prove too much as he was forced to retire, whilst Collard started to apply heavy pressure to the back of Plato’s MG. Throughout the entire race, Plato demonstrated a master class in defensive driving and nobody was able to find a way past, which meant Collard was rather frustrated come the end of the race!

Geddie gets in a spin at The Complex

Geddie gets in a spin at The Complex

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BTCC 2014 – Oulton Park – Round 10, 11, 12 – Review

Le Mans might be the big event on everyone’s mind this weekend, but cast your mind back a few days to the British Touring Car Championship’s outing at Oulton Park. Our correspondent brings you his detailed review.

Turkington Takes Charge of the Championship

2014 BTCC Oulton Park 01

Colin Turkington enjoyed a fantastic weekend in the latest rounds of the British Touring Car Championship at Oulton Park in Cheshire. The Ulsterman finished the weekend leading the championship for the first time since his title triumph in 2009.

All the drivers and important people from the teams had to pass the mandatory breath test before any action could take place on both Saturday and Sunday. Qualifying on Saturday took place in mixed conditions and on a drying International Circuit, being used in the BTCC for the first time since 1996, Turkington stormed to pole ahead of Jason Plato, Gordon Shedden, Rob Collard, Sam Tordoff and Rob Austin. Championship leader Andrew Jordan qualified in 13th with Matt Neal a place behind him.

The weather had cleared up for Sunday and the first race took place in dry conditions. As the lights went out for the start of Race One, Turkington sped away from the line, making the most of his rear wheel drive power. Turkington’s teammate, Collard, made a similarly good start, charging up to 2nd. Austin, in his rear wheel drive Audi A4, also made a good start by jumping Tordoff for 5th, although Tordoff tried his best to regain the place, but to little avail. First lap action was fairly quiet, but Warren Scott and Hunter Abbott managed to collide at Hislop’s.

2014 BTCC Oulton Park 02

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BTCC 2014 – Thruxton – Round 7, 8, 9 – Review & exclusive photos

If you’ve already read the editorial you’ll know ESM attended Thruxton for the BTCC at the start of the month. Now, here’s our BTCC Correspondent’s full round-up. Forgive him for the delay; he’s had a first-born child to christen.

Jordan On Form As Plato Falters

Jordan celebrates another victory

Jordan celebrates another victory

The latest rounds of the 2014 British Touring Car Championship brought more joy to current champion, Andrew Jordan, with a 1st, 2nd and 4th, but his main challenger going into the weekend, Jason Plato, certainly faltered with a 6th, 7th and a DNF. This meant that at the end of the weekend the pair were separated by 35 points after starting as joint leaders. The weekend provided plenty of high speed action, seen more clearly from the television set than at the circuit itself I have found out, and some notable incidents at the high speed Church corner in particular.

Saturday qualifying saw Jordan put his Pirtek Honda in top spot, which was followed by the Yuasa Honda of Matt Neal, who incredibly hadn’t had a front row start for a year and a half since Croft in 2012. The top 3 was completed by another Honda, of Gordon Shedden, with Mat Jackson, Tom Ingram and Plato completing the top 6. There was an unusually poor qualifying for 2009 champion, Colin Turkington, as he finished 13th.

Race One saw the top 4 get away cleanly from the line, with Rob Collard using his rear wheel drive advantage to climb from 8th to 5th off the start. The opening lap saw the impressive Jackson overtake both Neal and Shedden before he challenged Jordan for the lead coming into the complex. However, despite being a car length ahead, Jordan out-braked Jackson to retain the lead. Race One was seriously low on action, hence the need to mention that Warren Scott and James Cole had an off coming into the complex on lap 3.

2014 BTCC Thruxton AH 170

By lap 7, Jackson’s early momentum had steadied out and he was busy defending from Neal, which only lasted another lap until both Yuasa Racing Hondas found a way past thanks to a good bit of teamwork. The following lap saw Turkington make more progress after his poor qualifying with a fine move around the outside of Adam Morgan for 8th before arriving at Church corner. The only other note from the race worthy to mention, was that in the last couple of laps Collard needed to make his BMW as wide as possible to defend from Plato, something he just managed. Overall, a poor race won by Jordan from Neal, Shedden, Jackson, Collard and Plato.

Luckily Race Two provided a little more entertainment, but again, it was hardly a classic. Jordan and Neal were both cleanly away from the line and another fine Collard start helped him climb up the order. Collard was soon to be 2nd as Shedden out-braked himself trying to jump Jordan.

Jordan leads the way at the start of race two

Jordan leads the way at the start of race two

Lap 2 saw confirmation that Alain Menu had received a drive-through penalty for being out of position on the grid, a shame considering he finished the first race 7th and was running well again. Following his trip through the pits, Menu returned to the track down the grid before finishing a lowly 18th. (more…)

BTCC 2014 – Donington Park – Rounds 4, 5 and 6

The second race weekend of the 2014 BTCC calendar produced more dramatic and controversial racing. What did our BTCC Correspondent make of it? Read on for his in-depth analysis. 

A Weekend to Savour for Plato

BTCC 2014 Donington 001

It was a great weekend for title contender Jason Plato in the latest rounds of the British Touring Car Championship at Donington Park. Plato secured a huge haul of points thanks to a victory, a second and a sixth place which meant he finished the weekend as joint leader of the championship with reigning champion Andrew Jordan.

Saturday qualifying saw Plato take pole from Gordon Shedden, teammate Sam Tordoff, Colin Turkington, Aron Smith and Alain Menu in what was an impressive performance for the two VW drivers. This time last year, I remember complaining about the lack of action at both Brands Hatch and at Donington Park, but the same cannot be said this year. This weekend’s racing was certainly helped by changeable weather conditions.

Race One brought a damp track, leading to some tough decisions between the teams on whether to go with wets or slicks. The main men went wets and the rest followed. The start saw Plato get away cleanly with Turkington coming through from 4th to take 2nd in the, as ever, fast starting BMW. However, Tordoff soon took the position from Turkington with a great move down the Craner Curves and Turkington was soon back to his starting position as Shedden took 3rd from him not long after. Tordoff was working hard to put Plato under pressure and on the second lap he was only 0.2s behind him. Other second lap action saw Rob Collard make great strides from his starting position of 13th as he made his way up to 8th and Dave Newsham went sideways down the Craners after contact with Adam Morgan’s A-Class.

2014 BTCC Donington 004

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BTCC 2014 – Brands Hatch Indy – Rounds 1, 2 and 3

The British Touring Car Championship got itself back on track at the Brands Hatch Indy circuit. Just what did our BTCC Correspondent make of the opening three rounds? Read our in-depth coverage below:

2014 BTCC BHI 001

2013 BTCC champion Andrew Jordan was in a defiant mood as he started the defence of his title at the Brands Hatch Indy Circuit with 2 victories. However, the usual protagonists were not too far behind him and the standings were very close at the end of the first BTCC meeting of the year.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a fan of the Indy Circuit, it’s just too short and I find it ridiculous that we’ve got a serious championship with cars doing sub 49 second lap times. Having said that, I was able to bare it more this year than on previous occasions and that was because there was a better quality of racing. This was also the first event where a few new rules or tweaks to the rules have been introduced, most notably the track limits of the circuits have been considerably tightened to encourage the drivers to stay on the track, rather than gaining advantages from run-off areas.

One man, who seemed to have no problem staying on track in qualifying was Jordan who took pole from Jason Plato by 0.012s. Colin Turkington lined up third ahead of the Yuasa Honda Racing duo of Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden, while there was an impressive 6th for Tom Ingram in his first BTCC qualifying. The ridiculousness of the Indy Circuit was shown by the fact only eight tenths of a second separated the top 23 drivers.

2014 BTCC BHI 003

Race One saw a clever start by Jordan and Plato as they worked together to box in the fast starting Turkington, as all the top drivers held position. Further down the pack, returning double champion, Alain Menu, had a nightmare start as he lost the back of his car at Paddock Hill Bend sending him sprawling across the track where he was lucky not to be collected by someone. Menu was ok to continue after a quick excursion onto the grass. (more…)

BTCC 2014 – EngageSportMode’s Full Championship Preview

Let Battle Commence…

BTCC 2014 Media Day

The time for talking is over, the time for pre-season testing is over, the time for relaxing on a Sunday afternoon is over; the British Touring Car Championship is back for a new campaign. Admittedly, I haven’t been all that interested in the close season, perhaps more due to a young child, but that’s not to say I haven’t been keeping my eye on events. I’d highlight 2 major additions to the 2014 driver-up as being the biggest news from the pre-season build up.

The 1997 and 2000 champion Alain Menu returns to the BTCC for the first time since his one-off appearance at Thruxton in 2007 to help Fabrizio Giovanardi win the title, and for his first full season since his title-winning campaign in 2000. Funnily enough, it’s the man who he helped win the title in 2007 who is also returning. Double champion from 2007 and 2008, Giovanardi also returns with Airwaves Racing and the Ford Focus. Menu has joined the confident CHROME Edition Restart Racing team, driving a Volkswagen CC. The addition of the duo forms a line-up of 7 BTCC champions on the starting grid.

2014 BTCC 7 Former Champions

All 7 champions will no doubt be hoping to add another crown to their former glories. Reigning champion Andrew Jordan will be eager to retain his title after fighting so hard to claim his first crown last time out. However, standing in his way will be the Honda duo of Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden in their now estate Civic, as well as stalwart Jason Plato and ESM favourite, Colin Turkington. I’m not sure whether the cars of Giovanardi and Menu will be strong enough to sustain a full title challenge, but I’m sure they’ll be somewhere in the mix.

I’ve compiled a few thoughts and predictions about the 31 car strong grid for 2014 below: (more…)