Andrew Jordan

BTCC Round 10 – Brands Hatch GP Review

Although we already know the main outcome from last weekend’s final round of the 2013 British Touring Car Championship, there was still plenty of action to be covered by our correspondent.

Jordan takes his first BTCC crown!

BTCC 2013 Brands Hatch GP 000

Andrew Jordan secured his first BTCC Drivers’ Title after another pulsating weekend of action. However, it wasn’t as easy as I’d previously predicted as he went in to the final race still needing a good points finish to clinch the trophy.

The weekend’s major talking points started in FP1, where Airwaves Racing driver Aron Smith had a massive smash. Smith was taking evasive action from the cars in front of him before he found the barrier, turning over his Focus. Later on in qualifying, Matt Neal also found the barrier with a heavy hit. Neal put a wheel wide on the exit of Paddock Hill Bend and spun across the track before going head-on into the barrier. The crash left Neal visibly shaken and sore from the on-board shots and it will have not helped his broken finger one jot.

However, one man with no such problems in qualifying was Jason Plato, who led home yet another MG 1-2 from Sam Tordoff. Jordan had a positive qualifying result taking third from Gordon Shedden, Adam Morgan and Colin Turkington. The atrocious weather conditions that met the teams on Sunday morning meant that Race One was delayed by around 25 minutes.

BTCC Brands Hatch GP 2013-001

When the race eventually got underway, Plato and Tordoff made excellent starts off the line and held position initially, before Shedden soon took Tordoff for second. The ever unfortunate Turkington was slightly tagged from behind by one of his teammates, Rob Collard, which sent him into a spin, where he was duly collected head-on by his other teammate, Nick Foster. Turkington’s now probably lost count of the amount of times he’s been tagged this season, I certainly have. Lap 1 also saw Neal make good progress through the field following his Saturday incident, but Frank Wrathall was once again out. (more…)

Andrew Jordan Takes 2013 BTCC Title

It took him all 30 rounds of the 2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship to do it, but Pirtek Racing’s Andrew Jordan finally secured the title at a soaked Brands Hatch.

Andrew Jordan 2013 BTCC Title

Despite a comfortable lead going into the final race weekend, Jordan didn’t make winning the championship easy. Atrocious conditions caused the start of race one to be delayed, with the Honda driver subsequently making his way to a cautious fifth place finish.

Broken rear suspension in race two caused Jordan’s only DNF of the year, and meant he would have to battle through from the rear of the grid to have any chance of taking the championship. Fortune seemed to be on his side though, as the field parted to let the Lichfield based driver thread his way to a title-securing ninth place.

EngageSportMode.com’s BTCC Correspondent will have a full review of the race weekend soon.

BTCC Round 9 – Silverstone Review

Plato at the double but Jordan remains in control

MG celebrate a 1-2 in the first race of the day.

MG celebrate a 1-2 in the first race of the day.

The penultimate weekend of the 2013 BTCC season took place at Silverstone and produced some excellent close racing. As I have previously mentioned, I am not a fan of these ridiculous laps that take last than a second to complete, but for once I could get away with it because of the high-speed nature of the National Circuit.

Qualifying on Saturday produced one of the closest sessions that I can remember, but then again, there’s going to be less variance when the lap takes less than a minute to complete! Jason Plato took the honour of pole, ahead of his teammate Sam Tordoff, a fabulous third for Dave Newsham, Colin Turkington, and an impressive fifth and sixth for Frank Wrathall and Jack Goff.

The MG pair were able to get off the line cleanly in Race One, with Tordoff getting the better start and he was able to challenge Plato for the lead. However, after the pair had a small rub of body work, it allowed Turkington to nip through and take second as Plato just held onto the lead. Towards the end of the first lap, as the cars approached Brooklands, Newsham was able to challenge for second – that was until he lost it on cold tyres and went spinning backwards.

The second lap brought a decent sized crash as Will Bratt found the pit wall and it appeared that Nick Foster and Andy Neate took evasive action to avoid him, but could only find the gravel trap, which eventually resulted in the first safety car of the day. However, despite appearing to pass under yellow flags, Tordoff was able to pass Turkington to re-take second and a little further down Rob Collard was able to make a pass on Wrathall. (more…)

BTCC Round 8 – Rockingham Review

Jordan takes control of the championship, whilst Austin secures a maiden victory

ESM BTCC Croft 2013 (61)up5

Rob Austin’s ‘Sherman’ took his first ever BTCC win at Rockingham!

The BTCC is approaching the business end of the season and this weekend saw the teams ‘rock’ up at Rockingham Motor Speedway in Northamptonshire, a track recently visited by our very own ESM Editor. It proved to be a weekend of delight for Andrew Jordan, but a weekend of despair for Matt Neal.

The big news in the build-up to this event was that Tom Onslow-Cole was to miss the remaining rounds of the season to concentrate on developing his NGTC VW Passat CC for next season. However, when I read about this I knew something didn’t feel right. The car was still going to be at the remaining rounds, just without Onslow-Cole as driver, but with a young driver. Onslow-Cole himself said that it was ‘‘hard to develop the car on a weekend,’’ something I would question, and that he wanted to make sure that by stopping now it meant that he had ‘‘the best possible chance of winning in 2014.’’ Fair enough so far you’d think. But, TOC continued to say, ‘‘obviously this turn of events negates our long-term deal and puts me in a position where I need to reassess my future in the BTCC. Hopefully we can look at the situation when the dust has settled and the team’s plans for 2014 are clear.” So now, he’s gone from saying he’s happy to develop the car, although it hurts him that he won’t be racing, to he’s now assessing his future in BTCC and that Team HARD. don’t have clear plans for next season. Confused? Yes, me too. I’ll predict it has something to do with money.

Anyway, in the following days after this announcement, Airwaves Racing confirmed a deal that would see TOC running in the third Airwaves NGTC Focus for the remaining 3 rounds. I, for one, am pleased that Onslow-Cole was able to get something sorted for the end of the season.

Race One saw a drying and extremely greasy track, similar conditions to those experienced by ESM Editor on his recent Rockingham jaunt. Rob Austin revealed that TOCA had turned his boost levels down following his best-ever weekend at Knockhill, although this still didn’t stop him taking another impressive qualifying position of 3rd, behind the two MGs of  Jason Plato and Sam Tordoff. Title challenger Jordan took 4th ahead of Gordon Shedden and Jeff Smith. (more…)

BTCC Round 7 – Knockhill Review

EngageSportMode.com’s dedicated BTCC Correspondent made the trek to Scotland for the latest round of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.

Turkington flies North of the Border

BTCC Knockhill 2013 001

The BTCC made the annual trip north of the border to Knockhill for the latest rounds. It was a meeting dominated by rear wheel drive cars and Colin Turkington continued his late charge towards the Drivers’ Title as he was in inspired form once again.

Rob Austin achieved his first ever pole position in his Audi A4, followed by Turkington, local hero Gordon Shedden, Jason Plato, Matt Neal and Adam Morgan. Amazingly, it was the first Audi on pole since Frank Biela in 1997. There were BTCC debuts for Mike Bushell, Kieran Gallagher and Aiden Moffat, who became the youngest ever BTCC driver at 16 years, 10 months and 28 days. There was also a popular return for Paul O’Neill driving a Team HARD. prepared Vauxhall Insignia alongside Gallagher who replaced Jack Goff. Other notable absentees were James Kaye, Andy Neate, Jeff Smith and Joe Girling who now appears to be finished with the championship for the year.

Race One saw great starts from the front two of Austin and Turkington as they made the most of their rear wheel drive power. Andrew Jordan, who was starting in 9th following his penalty for several misdemeanours this season, made a clean move up the inside of Frank Wrathall on lap 1 as he tried to make his way up the field. Lap 2 saw a significant overtake as Turkington was able to take the lead by having the inside line at the Hairpin, with Austin in the middle of a sandwich with Shedden on the other side.   (more…)

BTCC Round 4 – Oulton Park Review

A year ago EngageSportMode was at Oulton Park for the British Touring Car Championship. Although we might not have been there in person this time round, ESM’s BTCC correspondent still brings you the lowdown on all the action:

Plato’s on Fire with Double Oulton Park Win

Jason Plato secured his first victories since the opening two rounds of the season with victories in the first two races at Oulton Park. Plato was largely untroubled in both races and was a dominant winner each time out. He did, however, suffer some bad luck in the third race, a rather large fire under the bonnet meant it was no points third time out.

Race One saw the first ever MG 1-2 starting grid as Sam Tordoff backed up Plato’s dominant qualifying performance. There was drama before the race started as Ollie Jackson’s Speedworks Avensis failed to make the grid due to an issue, but he did later join the race. There was a lively start off the grid as Gordon Shedden did his best to drive past Tordoff, but the Yorkshire man just held his ground.

Frank Wrathall’s Avensis and Warren Scott’s Seat Leon were next to encounter trouble as they were promptly into the pits on lap 2. Island Bend, as ever, provided great overtaking opportunities and also opportunities for plenty of contact over the weekend, with Andrew Jordan particularly finding the backs of other cars easier to help him stop rather than his own brakes. Race One saw notable taps from the aforementioned Jordan on Dave Newsham, James Cole on Lea Wood and Colin Turkington on once again, the unlucky Newsham.

Race One was a bit of a precession to be honest and not a great deal happened. Aron Smith was out on lap 6, with the Airwaves NGTC Focus still struggling to find reliability this season. A point of drama however, was when Jordan’s car started pouring out black smoke on lap 8. It looked inconceivable that he would be able to finish the race, but finish the race he did with the eventual cause being diagnosed as an exhaust issue. (more…)

BTCC 2013 Round 2 – Donington Review

ESM’s BTCC correspondent dishes out his review of the action-packed second round of this year’s season:

Honda’s Donington Dominance Stopped by Turkington!

Turkington! (c) BTCC.net

Turkington! (c) BTCC.net

Last weekend saw the second round of 2013’s British Touring Car Championship at Donington Park. The hills surrounding the circuit still look like huge quarry mud banks due to the works to upgrade the track and facilities, so I can’t say it was all that aesthetically appealing, nor are eBay Motors’ vile grey and yellow race suits! Who chose those colours?

Anyway, enough about aesthetics and more about the racing! Race One saw Gordon Shedden on pole, for amazingly the first time in nearly two years since he lined up as leader at Oulton Park in 2011. Jason Plato was quick to point out, as normal, that he was the fastest man if all ballast had been taken account of. However, it wasn’t and Shedden was the first man to see the lights go out. Shedden led from pole with Andrew Jordan in second into the first corner. The cars appeared to be fairly processional in the early part of the race after sorting themselves out after the first few corners. The cars on the soft tyres suffered towards the end of the race, with Aron Smith being the best placed come the end in only 11th.

A car which perked up my interest in Race One was that of Tom Onslow-Cole. I think the VW Passat looks great and I fully expect it to be a competitive car by the end of the season, especially on the evidence witnessed this weekend. I would suggest that the Passat needs a bit more speed as it looked a bit sluggish at times.  I was surprised at how much traction it had off the corners, especially compared to Rob Collard’s BMW, who he was having a good battle with. (more…)