BTCC

Andrew Jordan: 2013 BTCC Champion
Andrew Jordan: 2013 BTCC Champion

ANDREW JORDAN CROWNED BTCC CHAMPION—

24-year-old takes maiden title after thrilling finale at Brands Hatch—

Andrew Jordan has won the 2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship having held his nerve on a quite thrilling final day of racing at Brands Hatch.
 
The 24-year-old went into the weekend leading the standings, but with four former champions breathing down his neck. When one of those, Jason Plato, cruised to victory in the first two races it looked as if Jordan may face late heartache.
 
Jordan had driven tentatively in the first race, but still secured a credible fifth, before disaster struck the Lichfield driver in the second contest. Up to that point he had finished and scored points in all of the season’s 28 races, but that run came to a dramatic end in race two of the day.
 
Embroiled in a four-way scrap for sixth, the Ford Focus of Aron Smith moved down the inside of Rob Collard’s BMW and the two cars touched, spinning Collard’s eBay Motors machine into the middle of the circuit. Jordan jinked left to avoid him, leaving the Honda of fellow championship challenger Matt Neal with nowhere to go.
 
The two clashed and the impact immediately broke Jordan’s left rear wheel while Neal was forced to pit with a puncture. Neal’s own title hopes then went up in smoke when a fire broke out in his Honda Civic on the final lap of the race, before exploding into flames shortly after the triple-champion had exited his car.
 
Plato went on to win while Shedden recovered from his own spin to take seventh, keeping his slim championship chances alive going into the final race of the year. Colin Turkington’s flickering hopes of winning a second BTCC title had already extinguished in race one when he crashed out after unfortunate contact with team-mate Collard.
 
This left Jordan, Plato and Shedden as the remaining championship contenders going into the final race of an incredible 30-race season.
 
With the pressure now firmly on him, Jordan had to surge from the back of the grid to score enough points to take the crown. Shedden did his job by leading from start-to-finish, but he still needed a non-score from fellow Honda driver Jordan to retain the title that he’d won himself for the first time last year.
 
Jordan picked off one car after another during the opening minutes and was up to 11th just five laps in. Plato needed to haul his MG into the podium positions to keep his title hopes alive, but the double champion’s car began to fade after mid-distance.
 
Jordan had made his way up to ninth and secured the fastest lap of the race, before his team informed him over the radio that the position would be enough to secure his maiden title. Plato had no answer, dropping behind Jordan late on, and although Shedden stormed to another stellar win it was Jordan who had the fans on their feet at the finish.
 
He added the Independents’ Drivers’ title to the overall championship and his Pirtek Racing squad won the Independents’ Teams’ trophy for the second year in succession. There was some consolation for Honda Yuasa Racing, who won the Manufacturers’ and overall Teams’ titles.
 
Lea Wood won the inaugural Jack Sears Trophy, which was presented to the Hereford-driver by Sears himself – who was the first ever BTCC champion back in 1958.
 
Jack Goff closed out his maiden BTCC season by taking a first podium with second in the final race, whilst Airwaves Racing’s Mat Jackson and MG’s Sam Tordoff finished their respective campaigns in style with two rostrums over the course of the day.
 
Champion Andrew Jordan said: “After race one I was still pretty tense and then the odds were really stacked against us after race two. It was my aim at the start of the season to win the title and we’ve done it – it’s just such an emotional feeling. It’s hard to explain – it’s relief but mostly complete joy to have won this as a team. I have felt a lot of pressure these last few weeks but I knew what we had to do. I am sure we’ll celebrate hard this evening but we’re back testing at Donington Park on Thursday, so we’re already preparing to defend our title next season!”Gordon Shedden said: “We’ve had our ups and downs this year, but it’s nice to sign off with a win. Fair play to Andy, he’s done a great job and as a team they’ve done a top job. We’ve got to raise our game and try and go one better next year. Five DNF’s was just too much, particularly when you consider that we didn’t finish that far behind in the end, but it is what it is.”
 
Jason Plato said: “I wish I could have put in a better performance in race three, the conditions were difficult and we just couldn’t get the car working like it was in the first two races. I knew going into the race it was going to be tough. I’m still very pleased, we came into the weekend, got pole and then maximum scores in races one and two. Andrew is genuinely a very worthy champion, he’s driven fantastically well this year. I’ve known his team and his dad for a long time and seen them grow into a very good outfit. We’ve got a long winter ahead of us to try and improve the car – we really need to win it next year!”
 
Matt Neal said: “I’m absolutely over the moon for Andrew, Mike and all the guys at Pirtek. They’ve not bought their way into it – they’ve put the programme together, given Pirtek a good return on their investment and worked hard on the engineering side with us, and what a result they’ve come away with. I’d have loved to have come away with the title in our stable, looking at Andy and Mike reminds me of my dad and myself when we did it, and a Honda still won which is the main thing! I’ll be coming back harder, faster, leaner and meaner, and I’ll be trying not to break my hand near the end of the season again!”
 
Lea Wood said: “I’m very impressed with this trophy! I’m so pleased with the way this year has gone, we never dreamed we’d get this far. We had a mechanical problem today with the gearbox, but we managed to bring the old Vectra home one last time, and it’s brilliant to be a part of this moment. I’ll always remember this day, it’s absolutely fantastic.”

2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Brands Hatch GP race results:Race 1

1 Jason Plato (MG KX Momentum Racing) 17 Laps
2 Gordon Shedden (Honda Yuasa Racing) +5.209
3 Sam Tordoff (MG KX Momentum Racing) +10.151
4 Tom Onslow-Cole (Airwaves Racing) +12.603
5 Andrew Jordan (Pirtek Racing) +12.918
6 Matt Neal (Honda Yuasa Racing) +13.495
 
Race 2

1 Jason Plato (MG KX Momentum Racing) 15 Laps
2 Sam Tordoff (MG KX Momentum Racing) +0.906
3 Mat Jackson (Airwaves Racing) +5.691
4 Dave Newsham (Speedworks Toyota) +8.062
5 Aron Smith (Airwaves Racing) +9.734
6 Jack Goff (RCIB Insurance Racing) +16.855
Race 3

1 Gordon Shedden (Honda Yuasa Racing) 15 Laps
2 Jack Goff (RCIB Insurance Racing) +2.112
3 Mat Jackson (Airwaves Racing) +2.279
4 Colin Turkington (eBay Motors) +3.143
5 Aron Smith (Airwaves Racing) +11.209
6 Dave Newsham (Speedworks Motorsport) +12.775
 
Final Championship Standings:

1 Andrew Jordan (Pirtek Racing) 397
2 Gordon Shedden (Honda Yuasa Racing) 390
3 Jason Plato (MG KX Momentum Racing) 380     
4 Matt Neal (Honda Yuasa Racing) 356
5 Colin Turkington (eBay Motors) 347
6 Sam Tordoff (MG KX Momentum Racing) 286

FIA ERC

FIA ERC Peugeot

FIA ERC RALLYE SANREMO (OCTOBER 11-12): PEUGEOT CLAIMS ITALIAN TITLE—

image The 2013 Rallye Sanremo turned out to be a drama-packed and highly emotional roller-coaster ride! The Peugeot Rally Academy lost Jérémi Ancian on SS3, and an ’off’ on Day 1 forced his team-mate Craig Breen to make use of the ‘Rally2’ ruling. Peugeot Italy’s Paolo Andreucci also went ‘off’ while leading. Despite this cascade of incidents, 207S2000 driver Giandomenico Basso went on to clinch the win and hand Peugeot its seventh Italian Manufacturers’ title.

Peugeot Sport’s customer competition ambassadors

Once again, the challenging Rallye Sanremo provided an eloquent demonstration of the 207 S2000’s potential. Although now in its seventh season, it continues to deliver a winning cocktail of performance and reliability, not only in the case of the cars backed by the brand’s subsidiaries but also those run by privateer customers. “We make no difference between the two,” stresses Peugeot Sport Director Bruno Famin. “They all benefit from the same data, evolutions and recommendations.” In Italy, the 207 S2000 was in dominant form and the nail-biting scrap which opposed different Peugeot teams and drivers went down to the wire. image

 

Victory eventually ended up in the hands of Basso after a thrilling duel with Bouffier, despite the Frenchman dropping more than a minute after an ‘off’ on Friday afternoon. He responded by posting an impressive sequence of top times to close to within seven seconds of Basso going into the final stage. On the ultimate test, however, he was compelled to change a wheel after picking up a puncture, which dropped him out the top three and promoted Lappi (SkodaS200) and Périco (207S2000) to second and third places at the finish. image

 

Peugeot Italy seals home title

 

With programmes in 2002, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, Peugeot’s Italian subsidiary has long been active in topflight rallying and has been associated with Paolo Andreucci throughout this period. Today’s result enabled Peugeot Italy to claim its seventh Italian Manufacturers’ crown. This year, its programme has been based on both the 208R2 and the 207 S2000 as a function of the characteristics of each round. True, Paolo Andreucci, who topped the points table ahead of the extremely competitive Rallye Sanremo, made a mistake on SS7, but it was his first error in 53 outings, and there is every reason to predict further title success in the years ahead as the team switches to the new 208 T16! image

Retirement for Ancian; Breen in attack mode

After having a troubled run in the gruelling conditions encountered in Poland, Jérémi Ancian – co-driven by Olivier Vitrani – was hoping to provide a glimpse of his speed in Italy. Unfortunately, an alternator problem and an engine issue on SS3 brought his run to a premature halt. Understandably dejected by his fate, the thoughts of the 2012 ‘Volant 207’ winner are now focused on the Rallye du Valais where he hopes to round off his year with the Peugeot Rally Academy on a high note. image

 

Meanwhile, Craig Breen and his co-driver Lara Vanneste pushed hard from the start and were up with the front-runners when an ‘off’ on SS4 sparked off a sequence of problems which forced the crew to park up their 207S2000 and re-join the event on Saturday thanks to the so-called ‘Rally2’ ruling. Their mission on the final day was to post times on a par with those of the crews who were still in the running for the win, and their run effectively harvested a number of second- and third-fastest times. “I wasn’t perfectly happy with my front-end set-up.” he admitted. “I also had a couple of warnings and a brake problem, so it wasn’t easy to be one hundred percent competitive. It’s wasn’t my weekend…” image

 

Next outing for the Peugeot Rally Academy: Rallye du Valais (November 7-9) with Breen, Ancian and Lefebvre