Tag Archives: BTCC

BTCC

The huge 2014 grid lines up for the Season Launch at Donington Park
The huge 2014 grid lines up for the Season Launch at Donington Park

BTCC confirms huge grid for 2014 season

Seven champions spearhead impressive racing line-up

The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship has today (18 March) confirmed a huge 31-car grid for the forthcoming 2014 season. Announced at its annual Season Launch at Donington Park, all BTCC machines will run to NGTC (Next Generation Touring Car) specifications for the very first time.

Allocation of the newly introduced TOCA BTCC licences (TBLs), required for teams in order to guarantee participation for the next three seasons, has exceeded the original allowance of 30, with TOCA approving 31 entries for the new season. All TBL holders are obliged to contest every round while TOCA has retained one final TBL, which it may loan to a suitable entry at any stage during the year.

As noted above, the entry list is completely made up of NGTC cars, which completes the planned final transition to the new specification machines since the introduction of the regulations in 2011. Not only does this year’s grid boast incredible strength in numbers, but the NGTC rules have also significantly aided the diversity of cars now seen on the entry list. 14 models from 11 different manufacturers will be represented in 2014, with the total number of cars on-track expected to be the largest in the series’ 2-litre history.

Adding to the impressive numbers and variety in the 2014 line-up, a quality field has also been further enhanced with seven champions making the grid, and a further five drivers having already won BTCC races.

Stability and longevity among its partners and sponsors also remains a key asset to the BTCC with all of its major ongoing commercial partners cemented for multi-year deals. For example, Dunlop has extended its title sponsorship and tyre supply term and ITV will continue to broadcast live coverage of every event until at least the end of the 2016 season. The Haymarket Consumer Media group has also joined the BTCC’s family of partners after inking a three-year deal to provide extensive and in-depth BTCC content across all of its major publications, with Autocar, WhatCar? and PistonHeads.com at the forefront of the agreement.

This year’s Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship will again comprise of 30 races across ten events at nine venues around the UK, with the season commencing at Brands Hatch on 30/31 March and concluding on the legendary Grand Prix circuit at the same venue on 10/11 October.

Magnificent Seven

The BTCC field will include an unprecedented seven champions in its ranks, headed by reigning supremo Andrew Jordan who took his maiden title during an unforgettable 2013 season. Jordan fended off four former champions last season and the 24-year-old will defend his title in the Pirtek Racing Honda Civic.

2012 champ Gordon Shedden fell short of retaining the crown by just seven points last season. The Scotsman and his three-time champion team-mate Matt Neal both remain with Honda Yuasa Racing in 2014, but the duo will be piloting the all-new Civic Tourer model.

Jason Plato has won more BTCC races than any other driver in history and despite the MG driver coming close in 2013, he has just one goal for the year ahead: to win a hat-trick of championships.

Colin Turkington returned to the BTCC in 2013 after a three-year hiatus and produced a stunning effort. The Ulsterman remained in title contention until the final day of the campaign, despite his BMW 125i M Sport only breaking cover on the eve of the season. His eBay Motors squad has a year with the car under its belt and a strong pre-season behind them, so Turkington is confident of contending again.

The two biggest announcements in the off-season proved to be the return of two double-champions in Alain Menu and Fabrizio Giovanardi. Menu, a legend of the much loved Super Touring-era will be driving a VW Passat for Team BMR this time around, whilst Giovanardi will be spearheading the challenge from Airwaves Racing.

Variety is the spice of life

The NGTC rules were first introduced in 2011 with the intention to provide greater competition at a reduced cost. The plan was to phase in the new specification cars into the series over a three-year period and that programme is now complete with all cars running to NGTC spec.

The BTCC has one of the most varied grids of any major motor sport championship in the world, with some 14 models from 11 different marques making up the class of 2014.

Official manufacturer entries from Honda Yuasa Racing and MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save are joined by a host of other independent teams entering cars from Audi (AlcoSense Breathalysers Racing, Exocet Racing, Rotek Racing), BMW (eBay Motors), Chevrolet (Laser Tools Racing, Power Maxed Racing), Ford (Airwaves Racing, AmD Tuning.com, Crabbie’s Racing), Honda (Pirtek Racing), Mercedes (WIX Racing), MG (Quantel BiFold Racing), Proton (STP Racing with Sopp + Sopp), Toyota (Handy Motorsport, Houseman Racing, United Autosports, Speedworks), Vauxhall (RCIB Insurance Racing) and Volkswagen (Chrome Edition Restart Racing).

Dunlop extensions and enhancements

The Goodyear Dunlop group has provided title sponsorship and official tyre supplier to the BTCC for a decade, and has further extended its partnership in both areas during the off-season.

The new multi-year deal continues Dunlop’s association with the series since its inception in 1958.

Such a strong partnership does not mean a simple continuation of service, however, as Dunlop continue to develop tyre technology in the BTCC. This year will see the introduction of an all-new compound across all of its Sport Maxx range, which is based on a new construction to offer improved driver feedback and confidence.

As per 2013, every driver will have to nominate one of the three races on each weekend (except Thruxton) in which to run the soft compound instead of the medium construction.

In a new development Dunlop will now reveal each driver’s tyre choice via its social media feeds at 10am on race days, whereas previously spectators and competitors would not find out until the cars had reached the grid. In a joint decision with TOCA, it’s believed that this introduction will provide fans with yet more talking points ahead of the action.

Lights, Camera, Action

ITV will continue to screen around seven hours of live free-to-air coverage from each event on both its ITV4 and ITV4 HD channels as well as the itv.com website. Adding to the coverage are 60-minute edited race highlights repeated three times after each event on ITV and ITV4 as well as their respective HD channels and ‘simulcast’ on itv.com. In total more than 230 hours of the BTCC will be broadcast across the ITV network each season until at least 2017.

Commentators David Addison and Tim Harvey have signed new three-year deals with the broadcaster, as have presenters Steve Rider and Louise Goodman.

The BTCC will also enjoy greater coverage in major print and online publications thanks to its new media partnership with Haymarket.

Autocar, What Car? and PistonHeads logos will feature on the BTCC cars throughout the 2014, 2015 and 2016 seasons, as well as on official interview and podium backdrops, as the group provides extensive coverage of Britain’s premier motor sport series.

BTCC Series Director Alan Gow said: “Our huge entry list is a clear demonstration of the success of the championship and the NGTC regulations. 31 cars on the grid is a modern-day BTCC record and the quality of the field, including seven champions, is also at a real high. That calibre of driver wouldn’t be here if they didn’t see that the championship is in rude health, but we also have to remember that many of those have the BTCC to thank for making them household names in the first place.

“The long-term value of the NGTC cars, as well as our new TBL system, is also proven. Adam Morgan’s Mercedes for example is made up mainly of internal parts that came from his car last season, whilst Lea Wood will now be using the Toyota shell previously raced by Morgan. This car and its parts originated from one of the first NGTC machines used in 2011, which is testament to the way the rules have allowed some teams to join the championship that wouldn’t have been able to previously. Such has been the success in fact that from this point onwards the term NGTC will no longer be a factor in the BTCC, because the next generation of touring cars are here now.

“Our major partnerships have either been renewed or consolidated over the off-season too. Dunlop has recommitted for a further multi-year term and ITV has re-signed its BTCC commentary and presenter team until at least 2017. The TV audiences and trackside audiences continue to grow, which is yet more evidence why the BTCC is Britain’s biggest and most successful series.

“I have no doubt that 2014 will prove to be one of the most exciting and competitive season’s in the illustrious history of the BTCC.”

BTCC

Another legend joins the 2014 BTCC grid as Airwaves Racing sign double champion Fabrizio Giovanardi
Another legend joins the 2014 BTCC grid as Airwaves Racing sign double champion Fabrizio Giovanardi

AIRWAVES RACING CONFIRMS TWO-TIME BTCC CHAMPION FABRIZIO GIOVANARDI FOR 2014—

Airwaves Racing has ignited its most ambitious Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship programme to date by revealing multiple touring car champion and BTCC legend Fabrizio Giovanardi as the Motorbase Performance-run squad’s new signing for the 2014 season.
 
Team Principal David Bartrum chose to officially unveil the news during a one-off special edition of the Tin-Top Tuesday radio show earlier this evening (4 February), and the news was simultaneously published on the official BTCC.net website.
 
“This is a very important year for Airwaves Racing. This is going to be the one when we really do underline the product we’ve built here at Motorbase Performance and Fabrizio is the man to show you how it should go,” said Bartrum. “I tried to get Fabrizio on board a couple of years ago, we’ve talked a lot about touring cars and this year I decided just before Christmas that was the right way to try and go. It was something that Airwaves set out in their criteria; they wanted us to up our game, and I was very happy to meet it.”
 
With former champion Giovanardi behind the wheel of the Mountune-powered Ford Focus ST NGTC, the Wrotham-based squad’s sights are set firmly on a return to winning ways after a challenging start to the 2013 season. “The intentions are the same as last year, the team wants to win” continued Bartrum. “We want to win races and we want to go after the championship and if you’re going to go after the championship this is the year to do it. There are thirty cars on the grid and possibly seven guys that have won it before; so I think it’s a fantastic year for Giovanardi to come back and join us.
 
“A lot of work has gone into the car over the winter. I’m really pleased with what the team has done, they’ve worked very hard. As I’ve said before, you need to take a step back and look sometimes, that’s what we’ve done and now we’re hoping to get the reward.  
 
“We’ve always been proud of our driver line-up and no more this year than last year, but this year it’s got a little Italian spice to it that might take the team forward that bit more.”
 
With back to back 2007/2008 championship titles to his name; Giovanardi has an impressive BTCC pedigree.  With 122 appearances, 41 podiums and 24 race wins already under his belt, the twice crowned BTCC champion was last seen in the championship in the 2010 season, where he celebrated two race wins and two podiums during the opening weekend at Thruxton.
 
Following his four year break from the championship Giovanardi is delighted to be joining the Airwaves Racing squad and relishing his highly-anticipated return to the illustrious BTCC grid. “I am really looking forward to coming back to this special championship. For the last four years I have done long distance racing and for me, it’s quite boring! I need to be fighting for championships and this is the best place to find that, so I’m really happy to be back. Obviously, I have to respect the other guys out there but I want to come here and try to win another championship; I need to win the third one!”  
 
Giovanardi’s union with the Airwaves Racing team has been a long time in the making, with behind the scenes talks with the Motorbase Performance Team Boss going as far back as 2010. “When I stopped racing with Triple Eight I had a chat with David Bartrum and we tried to find a deal, but there wasn’t the condition to do that, so now after four years, David has given me the technical effort to win the championship.”
 
“In 2008 and 2009 I had a big battle with this team and they were one of the teams to beat then. After four years I believe they’ve got good experience, they’ve grown up and they are right at this time to give me the winning chance,” added Giovanardi. “These are passionate guys, it’s a small team but with people that work well together. Good people and the right people make the right target and I believe straight away that we can be one of the teams fighting for the championship.”
 
The Airwaves Racing squad will be embarking on its winter testing programme in the coming weeks ahead of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship’s official Season Launch to be held at Donington Park on 18 March. The 2014 BTCC season opener takes place at Motorbase Performance’s local track, Brands Hatch on March 29/30.

BTCC

Snetterton enjoyed three action-packed BTCC races in perfect conditions
Snetterton enjoyed three action-packed BTCC races in perfect conditions

Tordoff, Jordan and Shedden share the spoils – 

Neal maintains championship lead after thrilling BTCC event at Snetterton… 

MG KX Momentum Racing driver Sam Tordoff secured the first victory of his BTCC career in Sunday’s opener at Snetterton, before the Hondas of Andrew Jordan and Gordon Shedden claimed a win apiece in races two and three respectively.
 
Proving something of a Snetterton specialist, having won there previously in both the Clio Cup and Carrera Cup, Tordoff stormed to his maiden BTCC pole position on Saturday and then duly backed-up his pace with a commanding lights-to-flag victory in race one.
 
Plato followed Tordoff home to secure MG’s second one-two finish of the season, whilst Shedden had to fend off late challenges from both Colin Turkington and Andrew Jordan to secure the final podium position.
 
While the first contest was relatively incident free, the final two races provided enough drama to last a whole season.
 
Jordan won an action-packed race two after he passed Turkington when the two made contact late on. Matt Neal blasted from ninth on the grid to finish second, and the ever-improving Ford Focus of Aron Smith took the first podium of the season for the Motorbase-run squad.
 
Plato had led the early running before his car ground to a halt with an engine problem, but his day was to take an even bigger twist in the final showdown. Fighting his way through the order on the opening lap of race three, his MG6 spun wildly on the run down to Hamilton before making heavy contact with the barrier, which tipped his car into a dramatic barrel roll. The two-time BTCC champion walked away unharmed from the spectacular incident although his championship hopes were obviously dented.
 
The drama continued after the restart and when Shedden honed in on early leader Turkington, the pair touched while racing for position. Turkington spun down the order as Shedden nipped through to take a comfortable win. The Scotsman’s victory proved to be the second success of the day for the Dunlop Sport Maxx Soft tyre after Jordan’s earlier race win.
 
Airwaves Racing enjoyed its best race of the season so far as Irishman Aron Smith took his second podium of the day behind team-mate Mat Jackson, who scored his first rostrum of 2013 with second place.
 
Honda Yuasa Racing’s Neal maintains the championship lead after his podium and a further two top ten finishes. Jordan is now nine points in arrears with Shedden a further 13 points adrift. Turkington has moved into fourth ahead of the MG pairing of Plato and Tordoff, who will feel they could’ve made more of their superior performance in Norfolk. Honda extended its points advantage over MG in the Manufacturers’ standings.

Lea Wood claimed the first ever hat-trick on wins in the Jack Sears Trophy as his Vauxhall Vectra ran faultlessly throughout, whilst his main class rivals suffered myriad of issues.  

Sam Tordoff said: “The first one is always special. I knew that if I got away well I’d have a great chance of winning and thankfully I did. A one-two is great for the team and it feels like I have ticked an important box with this maiden win.”
 
Andrew Jordan said: “It was a frenetic race win. Colin was driving very very well, defensively but fair, and then he made a little mistake. I put my car up the inside – he closed me down a little bit and I couldn’t go anywhere else. It was a great race and a good win, but it’s typical of Matt Neal to come through to finish second, so I only got a few points back on him.”
 
Gordon Shedden said: “It was a nice way to finish. It looked like it was going to be a tough weekend, and that’s how it turned out. It’s always good to finish on a high, and it’s just reward to all the effort that Honda and Team Dynamics have put in to try and get our little Civic on the case this weekend.”
 
Mat Jackson said: “Everybody at Airwaves Racing has worked really hard to get to where we’ve got to, and it’s all credit to them for the results this weekend. We’ve turned a corner – we’re back. We’ve obviously found something in the car, and for a change I’m really looking forward to the next round!”
 
Aron Smith said: “It’s unbelievable – this is the weekend our efforts deserved and it’s like our championship has finally started. The pace Mat and I had all weekend shows that all the work that we’ve put in is now starting to pay dividends, and we now have a package that can challenge at the front. I’m sure it made for some entertaining TV, but it was certainly frantic in the car!”

2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Snetterton race results:

Race 1
1 Sam Tordoff (MG KX Momentum Racing) 12 Laps
2 Jason Plato (MG KX Momentum Racing) +2.514
3 Gordon Shedden (Honda Yuasa Racing) +3.564
4 Colin Turkington (eBay Motors) +3.829
5 Andrew Jordan (Pirtek Racing) +4.313
6 Aron Smith (Airwaves Racing) +8.908 

Race 2
1 Andrew Jordan (Pirtek Racing) 14 Laps
2 Matt Neal (Honda Yuasa Racing) +2.770
3 Aron Smith (Airwaves Racing) +3.467
4 Mat Jackson (Airwaves Racing) +4.158
5 Adam Morgan (Ciceley Racing) +6.822
6 Colin Turkington (eBay Motors) +7.207
Race 3

1 Gordon Shedden (Honda Yuasa Racing) 15 Laps
2 Mat Jackson (Airwaves Racing) +3.090
3 Aron Smith (Airwaves Racing) +10.656
4 Adam Morgan (Ciceley Racing) +11.995
5 Sam Tordoff (MG KX Momentum Racing) +12.578
6 Colin Turkington (eBay Motors) +12.991 
Championship Standings:
1  Matt Neal (Honda Yuasa Racing) 256

2 Andrew Jordan(Pirtek Racing) 247
3 Gordon Shedden (Honda Yuasa Racing) 234
4 Colin Turkington (eBay Motors) 219
5 Jason Plato (MG KX Momentum Racing) 206
6 Sam Tordoff (MG KX Momentum Racing) 182

For full results from the weekend, click here.

Penalties:

Andrew Jordan received two penalty points for an incident relating to driving standards in race two

Gordon Shedden received three penalty points and a £500 fine for an incident relating to driving standards in race three

BTCC

Warren Scott flies during FP1 at Snetterton
Warren Scott flies during FP1 at Snetterton

Team BMR Restart unveils new VW Passat…

Warren Scott to run Team HARD-built NGTC machine for remainder of 2013 season –

2013 has already been an incredible year for the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship and the Next Generation Touring Car (NGTC) regulations. At the halfway point in the season, Warren Scott and Team BMR Restart took the decision to make the switch to an NGTC car earlier than originally planned, and its brand new VW Passat CC built and prepared by Team HARD was unveiled today (3 August) at Snetterton Circuit.

The unveiling was attended by a number of media as well as the ITV cameras shortly before Scott took to the circuit for the opening free practice session of the weekend. The Passat is not the only NGTC machine making its debut this weekend, as Andy Neate also adds to the ranks in the Team Club 44 Chevrolet Cruze.

Team BMR Restart will run the Passat but will receive support from Tony Gilham’s Team HARD squad, as they continue to work together to help develop the car for the remainder of the 2013 season. In the hands of Tom Onslow-Cole the Passat has already scored three podiums in its first season – an impressive record that Scott wants to go some way towards emulating. 

The Restart-backed squad is based in Hertfordshire, and has run an S2000 specification SEAT Leon in the first half of 2013. Now Scott is moving into the fiercly contested NGTC class things will undoubtedly be challenging, but the ex-superbike rider showed great promise at a recent test session where he tried his hand behind the wheel of an NGTC car for the first time. Of the four different drivers that tested Team HARD’s second Vauxhall Insignia, Scott was the fastest, and both he and the team are aiming to carry this momentum into the race weekend. 

The car will make its race debut in front of a huge crowd at Snetterton tomorrow for rounds 16, 17 and 18 of the championship. Many thousands more will be watching the action live and in high definition on ITV4. 

Warren Scott said: “Everyone is smiling because it’s here! Team HARD has done an amazing job, we always knew it was going to be tight to get the car prepared in time, but they’ve managed it just like they have with all the cars they’ve built this year.

“I’m really looking forward to being a part of the NGTC battle, but obviously we’re being realistic, we’ve got a lot of practice to get under our belts to get up to speed. We found the Insignia pretty easy to get on with and hopefully it won’t take long to get this in the same place. We were looking forward to this for next year, we were having problems with the SEAT and I didn’t want to put money into a car that wasn’t going to be racing in 2014.

“Restart has been great – they’re a young company that are looking to the future with some new products coming soon and hopfully we’re going to grow together. Team BMR has been helping Team HARD getting the car ready and learning as much as they can in the process, as we both have the same outlook.”

Mark Turner, Team Principal for Team BMR Restart, said: “Everyone involved has done a cracking job to make this happen. Ourselves, Team HARD and the BTCC technical team have all been a massive help. The hours everyone has put in have been incredible – the guys have been working through the night for the last few days and now we’re set up for a good shakedown this weekend. We’re really looking forward to the challenge, but for this event we’ve just got to get the car sorted and set out our targets for the rest of the season.

“We’re grateful to have some data from the other Passat which gives us a base setup. We’re learning something new again, and this is a learning year for us ahead of the next two seasons of racing.”

Tony Gilham, Team Principal for Team HARD, said: “It has been a massive task for us to complete another car build in time for the Snetterton round. That’s now our fourth NGTC build in only six months. For a small family team like ourselves this is a huge achievement from all at Team HARD, to now be alongside Honda with four NGTC cars on the grid. The boys have worked tirelessly to make this happen and the relationship we have already formed with all the guys and girls at Team BMR Restart makes it even more rewarding.

“I would personally like to thank the faith Warren, Mark and the team has shown in us to give us the opportunity to team up with each other and we look forward to a long and successful relationship together.”

BTCC

PlatoFire4e096e1

Jason Plato on fire at Oulton Park!…

MG’s Jason Plato scores double victory before Pirtek Racing’s Andrew Jordan wins reversed grid race three- 
MG KX Momentum racer Jason Plato scored a flawless double BTCC victory at Oulton Park today (9 June) before a dramatic fire put him out of the final contest, handing his Honda Yuasa Racing rival Matt Neal the championship lead.

 
Two-time champion Plato is no stranger to winning at the Cheshire venue, having taken seven victories at the circuit prior to this weekend, and he duly added to his impressive tally.
 
He was in dominant form throughout the event – claiming pole position before securing two lights-to-flag wins in commanding fashion. But for the agony of race three, the Oxfordshire driver was still pleased with his weekend’s work, “I’ve been on fire – literally,” he said in reference to both his fine form and later misfortune!
 
Plato’s young team-mate Sam Tordoff starred in race one by claiming second – the best result in his short BTCC career so far and the first ever one-two for MG KX Momentum Racing.
 
Reigning champion Gordon Shedden took third in the opener before going one better in race two in his Honda Civic, whilst 2009 champion Colin Turkington claimed third in his eBay Motors BMW 125i M Sport.
 
The chaotic final encounter was won by Andrew Jordan in his Pirtek Racing Honda Civic after his team-mate Jeff Smith spun away the lead with just three laps remaining. Turkington scored another podium, rounding out an extremely encouraging weekend for the eBay Motors driver.
 
The impressive Adam Morgan took his first ever Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship podium in the final race, which was just reward for the Ciceley Racing driver and continues his fantastic form so far in 2013.
 
Matt Neal finished just 0.078s off the rostrum after hounding down Morgan in the closing stages but his race results of sixth and two fourth places were enough for him to leave Oulton Park with the championship lead. Such is the competitiveness of the 2013 BTCC season that Neal, Jordan and Plato are separated by just seven points at the top of the standings.
 
Other notable results belonged to the Rob Austin Racing-run Audis of Rob Austin and Will Bratt – the duo finished fifth and sixth respectively in race three.
 
Lea Wood looked set to claim a first ever treble in the Jack Sears Trophy but after taking two wins he was forced into retirement in the final contest, which handed Liam Griffin’s Ford Focus his fourth win of the season. Wood heads the S2000 order with five victories.
 
Further to Neal’s lead in the overall Drivers’ standings, Honda lead the Manufacturers’ Championship and Honda Yuasa Racing also top the Teams’ Championship. Andrew Jordan and his Pirtek Racing squad hold the advantage in the Independents’ Drivers’ and Teams’ standings respectively.
 
Rounds 13, 14 and 15 of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship take place at Croft on the 22/23 June.
 
Jason Plato said: “I’ve been on fire – literally! It has been a fantastic weekend. What happened in the final race was just one of those things. The most important thing for me is that we’ve got the performance and we’ve sent a shockwave down the pit lane. There’s a long way to go but we’ve put on a pretty dominant display here, which bodes well for Croft and beyond.”
 
Andrew Jordan said: “If you’d asked me how my day was going after race two I’d have been a lot less happy than I am now. To pull that result off has made my weekend – you can never be sure what’s going to happen in race three and it was only once I got up into fourth that I thought I could actually win it. It’s a shame that we couldn’t get a one-two for the team – there were no team orders, Jeff (Smith) just lost the rear going into the chicane and didn’t quite manage to save it. Consistency is key for me this year and while I didn’t get great results in the first two races, we scored big in the last one while Shedden and Plato didn’t finish, so that makes it an even better result.”
 
Colin Turkington said: “That’s the first podium (race two) that we’ve had on raw pace. We didn’t have any luck or a reverse grid to be there so we’re definitely moving forward, but we have to keep our feet on the ground. We’ve still got more performance to find in the car and it’s not there yet. I didn’t expect two podiums, especially with the speed of the Hondas and the MGs, so to take those results when they’re in the kind of form they are is absolutely fantastic.”
 
Adam Morgan said: “It’s absolutely amazing to get that result, not just for myself but for my team, my family and all the sponsors that support me. The race was pretty hectic – I didn’t get a second to catch my breath, but I just kept pushing and to get my first BTCC podium at my home circuit – it’s brilliant. The car felt really really good, and now I’ve got one, I’ll be pushing harder than ever to get up there again.”

BTCC

OnslowCole

Andrew Jordan flies at Thruxton…

23-year-old Honda Civic driver claims fourth pole position of his BTCC career after late lap at Thruxton

Pirtek Racing’s Andrew Jordan claimed the fourth pole position of his BTCC career after a blistering last gasp qualifying lap at Thruxton today (4 May). Jordan continued his run of qualifying in the first three positions at each round so far this season and also starting from the second row or higher at Thruxton in each of the last four years. 
 
The 23-year-old – second in the current driver standings – waited until the final minute to set the ultimate pace that eclipsed the Honda Yuasa Racing pair of Gordon Shedden and Matt Neal.
 
Shedden looked set to secure his second pole position in as many rounds after an early dash of 1:16.894s saw the Scotsman dip under Jordan’s pole time from 2012. Both he and team-mate Matt Neal ran in tandem during the early laps, looking to gain a slipstream advantage at the high-speed Hampshire circuit, but Neal had to wait until a later run to force his way up the order into third.
 
MG KX Momentum had to settle for fourth and fifth with Jason Plato and Sam Tordoff respectively, but the team is still confident for race day tomorrow as both cars were carrying significant success ballast owing to their positions in the championship standings.
 
An exciting battle to get inside the top six ensued throughout the 30-minute session, as Jeff Smith, Tom Onslow-Cole and Frank Wrathall traded places on several occasions. It was Smith that eventually made the place stick, but the Pirtek Racing driver’s session ended off track after he ran wide at the ultra-fast Church corner and lost control of his Honda Civic. 
 
Onslow-Cole produced an impressive performance in his VW Passat to hold off Wrathall’s Toyota for seventh. Dave Newsham and Colin Turkington rounded out the top ten – the latter completing a speedy spin that dislodged the windscreen from his BMW 125i M Sport just after he’d crossed the line to set his fastest time of the day.
 
Adam Morgan’s Toyota Avensis lines up on the sixth row of the grid after he pipped the Airwaves Racing duo of Aron Smith and Mat Jackson.
 
The battle for top spot among the Jack Sears Trophy runners ended in success for Joe Girling in his Chevrolet Cruze after a great late effort put him ahead of Lea Wood’s Vauxhall Vectra and James Kaye’s VW Golf.
 
All the action from rounds 7, 8, and 9 of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship taking place at Thruxton tomorrow (Sunday 5 May) will be screened live on ITV4 from 10:45.

Andrew Jordan said: “The car was fantastic and I’m looking forward to tomorrow. I was relaxed after the win at Donington and I love it here. I was really hanging on during the lap but it was a lot of fun. The timing wasn’t planned to be honest – it was tight to get the lap in. The car is great so it was down to me just to get the best out of it. We were carrying quite a bit of weight too as we’re second in the championship so we have to be really pleased with that.”

Gordon Shedden said: “I am looking forward to race day. I think I started 19th here last year after some problems so I’m much happier to be up the front. I am really happy with the balance we have in the car, and we’ll have our elbows out to go racing tomorrow. We need to close the points gap on the leaders and I think we’re in good shape to do that.”

Matt Neal said: “I thought we had the front row locked out with Honda Yuasa but at least we got beaten by another Honda – and it was still a Honda 1-2-3. It’s great to start near the front tomorrow and tyres will be critical. What you can’t see on the TV is that we’re always drifting through the fast stuff here and when you get to the edge of the circuit with no run-off curbs or anything, it’s a long way to the banking. It always makes for some good racing when you come to a great circuit like Thruxton.”
 

2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Thruxton – Qualifying
 
1. Andrew Jordan (Pirtek Racing): 1:16.527
2. Gordon Shedden (Honda Yuasa Racing): +0.270
3. Matt Neal (Honda Yuasa Racing): +0.367
4. Jason Plato (MG KX Momentum Racing): +0.518
5. Sam Tordoff (MG KX Momentum Racing): +1.032
6. Jeff Smith (Pirtek Racing): +1.041
7. Tom Onslow-Cole (PPCGB / Kraftwerk Racing): +1.263
8. Frank Wrathall (Dynojet): +1.296
9. Dave Newsham (Speedworks Motorsport): +1.391
10. Colin Turkington (eBay Motors): +1.485