Tag Archives: Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship

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

It's an all-MG front row for tomorrow's first race at Silverstone
It’s an all-MG front row for tomorrow’s first race at Silverstone

Plato on pole at Silverstone BTCC—

MG locks out the front row for the fourth time this season —

MG KX Momentum Racing streaked to its fourth qualifying one-two of the season as Jason Plato and Sam Tordoff produced a stellar performance at Silverstone. The session turned out to be one of the closest in BTCC history with the top twenty cars sensationally covered by less than a second.
 
The MG duo drafted in tandem during the early running with each racer getting an opportunity to push for the ultimate lap, and it was Plato who edged out his young team-mate by the miniscule margin of just 0.009s to claim his third pole position of the 2013 campaign.
 
Dave Newsham backed-up his practice pace from earlier in the day with an impressive run to third on the grid – his and Speedworks Motorsport’s best qualifying performance of the season so far.

Championship challenger Colin Turkington will steal a march on his main title rivals by completing the second row for tomorrow’s opener in his eBay Motors BMW, as Honda endured its most difficult qualifying session of the season. The fastest Honda Civic driver has qualified on either the first or second rows in the previous eight events this season, but incredibly Matt Neal produced the best performance for the Japanese marque down in ninth place here at Silverstone. Championship leader Andrew Jordan could only manage tenth while reigning supremo Gordon Shedden qualified in 15th – his lowest position of 2013.
 
Three young guns took maximum advantage of the woes experienced by the main contenders with Frank Wrathall being particularly impressive. Despite running in the top five early on Wrathall’s Dynojet Toyota failed a mid-session ride height test and the stewards removed his lap times from the leader board. Undeterred by the set-back, Wrathall returned and fired himself back into fifth on his first flying lap after his team had corrected the issue.
 
Jack Goff completed the best qualifying display of his short BTCC career when he hauled his Vauxhall Insignia into sixth ahead of the ever-consistent Adam Morgan in the Ciceley Racing Toyota Avensis. The eBay Motors BMW of Rob Collard did enough to edge out the aforementioned Neal and Jordan to claim eighth.
 
Andy Neate narrowly missed out on a top ten qualifying berth but the Team Club 44 squad will be hugely buoyed by the potential shown in its Chevrolet Cruze, particularly after the unfortunate accident in the recent Rockingham opener that forced the car out of the remainder of the event.
 
Lea Wood continued his dominant day in the Jack Sears Trophy by cruising around comfortably quicker than the Ford Focus of Liam Griffin.

 
Jason Plato said: “I think we’re in pretty good shape – our race pace was really good last year here so we’re well placed for tomorrow. I’m pleased to get another one-two for the MG KX Momentum Racing team, but we’ve got to convert it to results in all three races tomorrow. It looks like it will be set dry so we won’t have the same issues we suffered at Rockingham, so I’m looking forward to getting out there and having three good races.”
 
Sam Tordoff said: “I’m not sure where I can find the nine thousandths, but we’ll be looking very closely at the data to try and find out! The car felt really good in qualifying, we’ve made steady progress from an average start in free practice and it’s always good to see positive progression across the weekend. Jason and I went a different way in set-up to learn as much as we can about the car but have settled on very similar things for both cars so it should be a great battle tomorrow.”
 
Dave Newsham said: “It’s been good to have a strong qualifying because we haven’t been able to hook it up this season so far. We came here with a completely different car and have been on it from the word go. We’ve been refining our set-up all day, and while I don’t think we could have got any more time out of it today I know we’ve got great race pace. We’ve changed pretty much the whole front end and it’s eliminated the understeer we’ve been suffering recently, so I’m really looking forward to tomorrow.”
 
Andrew Jordan said: “I’m actually really pleased with my lap – I was really smooth and the car felt great. It’s good to be so close to Matt (Neal) with maximum ballast, and to be ahead of Shedden is really important. Turkington will be really strong from his grid spot tomorrow, but I’ve got to run my own race and we’ve hit our target of the top ten today.”

Colin Turkington said: “Straight line speed is important at Silverstone and it isn’t one of the strengths of our car. We’ve done a really good job to maximise the strengths we do have – we’re particularly good in slow corners and change of direction, and we made the most of that in qualifying today. We lost most of FP2 with a problem on the car, so there was an element of chance in that session. Part of the job is done, but the important bit comes tomorrow.”

2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Silverstone – Qualifying

1 Jason Plato (MG KX Momentum Racing) 58.210s
2 Sam Tordoff (MG KX Momentum Racing) +0.009
3 Dave Newsham (Speedworks Motorsport) +0.148
4 Colin Turkington (eBay Motors) +0.388
5 Frank Wrathall (Dynojet) +0.491
6 Jack Goff (RCIB Insurance Racing) +0.539
7 Adam Morgan (Ciceley Racing) +0.540
8 Robert Collard (eBay Motors) +0.578
9 Matt Neal (Honda Yuasa Racing) +0.587
10 Andrew Jordan (Pirtek Racing) +0.611

BTCC

Jordan BTCC

JORDAN MOVES TO CHAMPIONSHIP SUMMIT AFTER DOUBLE VICTORY— 

Rob Austin also stars at Rockingham by taking maiden BTCC win—

Andrew Jordan moved to the summit of the 2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship after taking two impressive wins at Rockingham, whilst Rob Austin also starred with his maiden series victory.
 
Pirtek Racing’s Jordan stormed from fourth on the grid to lead at the end of a frantic first lap in race one, which he comfortably converted into a commanding victory ahead of Airwaves Racing’s Mat Jackson and WIX Racing’s Rob Austin.
 
Drama struck further down the order when the Audi of Will Bratt was touched by the eBay Motors BMW of Nick Foster on the run to Gracelands for the first time, and the Toyota Avensis of Adam Morgan was collected in the ensuing melee. This triggered a separate incident as the Proton of Daniel Welch and Ford Focus of Tom Onslow-Cole collided while trying to take avoiding action. With the Malaysian machine of Welch stranded on the circuit he was hit by the oncoming Chevrolet Cruze of Andy Neate – ending both cars involvement for the rest of the day.
 
Race two belonged to the ever-popular Austin who blasted by Mat Jackson and pole-sitter Jordan off the line from third on the grid. By the time Honda Yuasa Racing’s Gordon Shedden had made his way into second, Austin had cruised into an unassailable lead. The main grandstand rose as one when Austin crossed the line to take the win ahead of the Scotsman and the BMW of championship challenger Colin Turkington, who had made a late race move by Jackson.
 
Having already moved to the top of the standings, Jordan extended his advantage after producing an assured victory in the final showdown, whilst Turkington and the MG of Jason Plato battled it out behind for the final podium positions.
 
As in the first race, Jordan had to contend with a safety car period following a high-speed incident in the midfield. The Toyota Avensis of Adam Morgan ran across the grass coming out of Pif Paf, whilst the Honda Civic of Jeff Smith spun luridly across the track. As cars ducked and dived to avoid Smith, Jack Goff’s Vauxhall Insignia and Rob Collard’s BMW made contact and both hit the barrier with significant force.
 
The safety car period had initially looked as if it could spice up the top order, but with a repeat performance from race one, Jordan dealt with the interruption with consummate ease to take the lights-to-flag win ahead of Turkington and Plato.
 
Rockingham represented Mat Jackson’s biggest points haul of the 2013 campaign as he backed up his podium and fourth places from the first two contests with another fourth in the last race.
 
Matt Neal endured a torrid time after spinning down the order in the opener and retiring from race two. He soared through the field to finish seventh in the third race and at least brought home some solid points in his quest to win a fourth BTCC drivers’ championship. Having led the standings coming into Rockingham, Neal is now fourth behind Jordan, Shedden and Turkington.
 
A hat-trick of wins for Lea Wood in the S2000 class means the Vauxhall Vectra driver has now moved beyond the reach of his Jack Sears Trophy rivals with six races of the season still remaining.
 
The 2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship now moves on to Silverstone for its penultimate event on 28/29 September before a title-deciding season finale at Brands Hatch on 12/13 October.
 
Andrew Jordan said: “That went even better than I’d planned to be honest! We thought we’d be quick in the wet but didn’t really know how well we’d go in the dry so such success was a bit unexpected – the car was a dream to drive all day. With six races to go a lot can happen – Matt has had a bad day today, but that could easily be me at Silverstone so we’ve got to keep our heads down, not focus too much on the championship and keep doing what we do best which is be competitive right to the end.”
 
Rob Austin said: “What a feeling! It has been three years of blood, sweat and tears – for the team, for my family, for everyone. We’re up against teams with four times our budget and to beat guys like that is just incredible. I backed off a bit towards the end but Sherman was brilliantly prepared and the guys did a great job – I’m so proud of the whole team. The BTCC crowd are amazing too and I love them all! They’ve got me out of trouble already this season when we had our big shunt on the first weekend. We wouldn’t be here without them so I can’t thank the fans enough.”
 
Gordon Shedden said: “Today wasn’t perfect but a fourth, a second and a fifth was good strong points. It looked like we had a good run in race two, but Jordan got pole for race three and we were left to fight it out mid-pack. Even though the car didn’t quite feel in the sweet spot this weekend, it’s points that make prizes at the end of the day and it was good to score well in every race. Now I just need to go on and score some more – everybody’s been having their problems as the year has gone on except Andrew, so it’s up to the rest of us collectively to outscore him. Historically Brands Hatch GP at the end of the year has been great for us, but we’ll have a lot of work to do at Silverstone.”
 
Lea Wood said: “In my mind the championship isn’t over until the end of the year, but to get the results we did today and move out of reach of the others is fantastic. The car performed faultlessly all weekend. We gambled in race one on the slick tyres – it was touch and go for quite a while but we reeled in David Nye and to pass him on the final lap was a great feeling and probably one of the best moments of the year. The plan for the rest of the season is to keep winning as many as we can!”

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

Race 1

1 Andrew Jordan (Pirtek Racing) 19 Laps
2 Mat Jackson (Airwaves Racing) +3.379
3 Rob Austin (WIX Racing) +9.071
4 Gordon Shedden (Honda Yuasa Racing) +9.271
5 Jason Plato (MG KX Momentum Racing) +14.803
6 Colin Turkington (eBay Motors) +19.462
Race 2

1 Rob Austin (WIX Racing) 16 Laps
2 Gordon Shedden (Honda Yuasa Racing) +3.351
3 Colin Turkington (eBay Motors) +8.983
4 Mat Jackson (Airwaves Racing) +10.569
5 Sam Tordoff (MG KX Momentum Racing) +10.696
6 Jason Plato (MG KX Momentum Racing) +14.784
Race 3

1 Andrew Jordan (Pirtek Racing) 19 Laps
2 Colin Turkington (eBay Motors) +3.180
3 Jason Plato (MG KX Momentum Racing) +4.076
4 Mat Jackson (Airwaves Racing) +10.327
5 Gordon Shedden (Honda Yuasa Racing) +12.587
6 Sam Tordoff (MG KX Momentum Racing) +15.076
 
Championship Standings:

1 Andrew Jordan (Pirtek Racing) 338
2 Gordon Shedden (Honda Yuasa Racing) 308
3 Colin Turkington (eBay Motors) 305
4 Matt Neal (Honda Yuasa Racing) 304   
5 Jason Plato (MG KX Momentum Racing) 276     
6 Sam Tordoff (MG KX Momentum Racing) 218 

BTCC

Colin Turkington

Mixed emotions for double top Turkington—

eBay Motors racer wins twice before Pirtek Racing’s Andrew Jordan claims final race victory at Knockhill—
 

Colin Turkington fired himself further into championship contention after taking two stunning wins in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Knockhill, before a technical infringement in race three saw the Ulsterman disqualified from a vital fourth place.
 
The 31-year-old won the opener after making his way by the Audi of pole-sitter Rob Austin in the early running. The eBay Motors racer subsequently streaked away from the chasing pack to claim his first ever BTCC victory at the Scottish circuit and he duly doubled up in race two.
 
Turkington’s second win was far more routine as he cruised to an impressive lights-to-flag victory ahead of Austin and local hero Gordon Shedden, who both reversed their positions from the first race.
 
Scotsman Shedden seemed set to build on his big points haul in race three but he faced unfortunate late heartache. While running in fifth place the reigning champion’s Honda Civic caught fire due to an engine failure, much to the dismay of the tens of thousands of home fans. He wasn’t the only championship contender to endure disappointment, however, as Turkington was excluded from fourth place when his car was found to have exceeded the maximum boost allowance.
 
The main benefactors from Shedden and Turkington’s respective woes in the final contest were the championship’s top two, as Pirtek Racing’s Andrew Jordan produced a flawless drive to claim a commanding victory ahead of Honda Yuasa Racing’s Matt Neal and eBay Motors’ Rob Collard – the latter scoring his first podium of the 2013 season.
 
Austin rounded off his best weekend ever in the BTCC with a fourth place finish, whilst Daniel Welch also produced his highest result of the season with sixth. Sandwiched between them was MG KX Momentum’s Jason Plato who had earlier claimed a fourth and a seventh from the opening races to keep his championship hopes alive.
 
Neal maintained the standings lead at the conclusion of the event although Jordan edged closer to the championship summit after his race three victory – the 24-year-old is now just six points behind the three-time champion. Shedden and Turkington are separated by three points in third and fourth respectively.
 
The Jack Sears Trophy provided its usual pulsating action with the lead duo of Liam Griffin and Lea Wood mixing it against a number of NGTC cars throughout the day. Griffin looked set to score an incredible hat-trick after two stellar wins in his Ford Focus ST, but he was nudged out of the race three lead by BTCC debutant Kieran Gallagher in his Team HARD-run Vauxhall Insignia. The victory went to Wood in his Vauxhall Vectra, who now leads Griffin by ten wins to six.

Colin Turkington said: “The car was really on rails today and it was a strong weekend. It was good to win at Croft and we thought that was something like peak performance but it felt even better today. There’s no feeling like being out at the front! When your car works well at a track you have to capitalise, which we did in the first two races. I’d never won here, despite leading before, so it’s great to win at a new track. It’s hard to know how the circuits to come will suit us as it’s the first time we’ll be taking the new BMW to them all, but we’ll keep pushing.”
 
Andrew Jordan said: “Race three was where we thought we could get the win and thankfully we did. We went with the soft tyre and got a really good start, which was ideal and it was a great race after that. The championship is going to be up and down for everyone and there are still nine races to go. Anything can happen in touring car racing, and it usually does, so we’ll just keep to our plan by trying be consistent and hopefully I’ll end up as champion.”
 
Matt Neal said: “I think that every point you get is vital whether it’s a fifth place, a seventh or the podium that we picked up in race three. You’ve just got to grab what you can because the competition is pretty tough and it’s not easy out there. I’d had a pretty tough weekend so it was a relief to see the podium again – this championship could come down to the odd point. I said before this weekend that Turkington could be the one to watch and we’d all be foolish to discount Plato too, but it’s great to have three Civics in the top three of the championship.”
 
Gordon Shedden said: “That’s the first engine I’ve ever had blow in touring cars so I can’t complain too much. It doesn’t help with the points of course as it’s all well and good having two good results but you need to convert results in all three races. There’s no room for error but I’ve kept chipping away since Thruxton, so it’s tough to take when you get within ten points of the championship and then fall away again with this. There’s still a lot of races to go though so we’ll give it absolutely everything until the end of the season.”

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

Race 1

1 Colin Turkington  (eBay Motors)27 Laps
2 Gordon Shedden(Honda Yuasa Racing)+3.452
3 Rob Austin(WIX Racing)+4.229
4 Jason Plato(MG KX Momentum Racing) +6.867
5 Adam Morgan(Ciceley Racing)+7.364
6 Robert Collard(eBay Motors)+7.939
Race 2
1 Colin Turkington (eBay Motors) 24 Laps
2 Rob Austin (WIX Racing) +1.821
3 Gordon Shedden (Honda Yuasa Racing) +4.658
4 Robert Collard (eBay Motors) +5.075
5 Matt Neal (Honda Yuasa Racing) +8.738
6 Andrew Jordan (Pirtek Racing) +9.520
Race 3

1 Andrew Jordan (Pirtek Racing) 26 Laps
2 Matt Neal (Honda Yuasa Racing) +3.962
3 Robert Collard (eBay Motors) +4.440
4 Rob Austin (WIX Racing) +9.206
5 Jason Plato (MG KX Momentum Racing) +12.782
6 Daniel Welch (Welch Motorsport with Sopp + Sopp) +15.899
 
Championship Standings:

1 Matt Neal (Honda Yuasa Racing)      293     
2 Andrew Jordan    (Pirtek Racing)     287     
3 Gordon Shedden  (Honda Yuasa Racing)    266     
4 Colin Turkington   (eBay Motors)    263     
5 Jason Plato  (MG KX Momentum Racing)   239     
6 Sam Tordoff (MG KX Momentum Racing)   197      

Penalties:

Adam Morgan received a 2.5s penalty for gaining an unfair advantage in race one

Nick Foster received an official reprimand for an incident relating to driving standards in race one 

Aron Smith received a £500 fine and 3 penalty points for an incident relating to driving standards in race three. In a separate incident in the same race Smith also received a further reprimand and 2 penalty points for an incident relating to driving standards

Colin Turkington was excluded from the race three result after his car was found to exceed the maximum boost allowance

Kieran Gallagher received an official reprimand and two penalty points for an incident relating to driving standards in race three

BTCC

Turkington3

Colin Turkington takes epic pole…

eBay Motors driver sets new lap record on a last-gasp lap to take pole position at Croft 

Colin Turkington took a sensational pole position after his last gasp flyer edged out Jason Plato’s MG at Croft in North Yorkshire. Current Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship leader Matt Neal secured third for Honda Yuasa Racing ahead of his team-mate Gordon Shedden.
 
The action was frenetic from start-to-finish in what was arguably the most exciting qualifying session of the season so far. Pirtek Racing’s Andrew Jordan led the way early on, whilst fellow Honda driver Shedden was lucky to escape without damage on his first run after locking up and running into the tyre barrier at the Complex.
 
Neal also made contact with a tyre wall as he made his way through the chicane but not before he’d lowered the ultimate benchmark – setting a time just 0.001s shy of Tom Chilton’s 2010 lap record.
 
It was a lap record that would be broken before the session’s end, however, as first Plato dipped under the time with a 1:24.465s. Neal, Shedden and Turkington followed, making it a quartet of BTCC champions in the top four positions, but the order would change again after late drama.
 
The session was stopped with just under four minutes remaining when Joe Girling lost control of his S2000 Chevrolet Cruze while exiting the chicane. The car made heavy contact with the barrier, firing debris across the circuit, before coming to a rest at the side of the track.
 
A brief pause in proceedings to clear up the accident was followed by a final two-lap dash as the entire field tried to improve their times. A number of drivers managed it with the best being saved until last as Turkington hooked up a quite brilliant lap – even avoiding a spinning Airwaves Racing Ford Focus in the process – to cross the line 0.148s quicker than Plato.
 
Neal and Shedden held off a late challenge from Jordan, who scuppered his final chance of moving up from fifth after running into the gravel at turn one.
 
It proved to be a double late celebration in the eBay Motors garage as Rob Collard improved to sixth in the final moments, securing his best grid position of the season.
 
Dynojet’s Frank Wrathall proved the best of the Toyota runners in seventh, whilst MG KX Momentum’s Sam Tordoff had to settle for eighth after a relatively low-key run for the Yorkshireman at his home circuit.
 
Tom Onslow-Cole was another to set his best lap on his last attempt, which pushed his VW Passat up to ninth, ahead of the Ciceley Racing Toyota of Adam Morgan.
 
Jake Hill (Ford Focus) led the Jack Sears competitors for much of the running in his first ever BTCC qualifying session, before class leader Lea Wood (Vauxhall Vectra) came through to take the honours shortly before the red flag.

 

Colin Turkington said: “Croft has always been a good hunting ground for me and the rear wheel drive cars, so I knew that if we were going to go well it would be around here. The car has been competitive all day, and in qualifying I had a bit of drama before the red flag. I knew there was a time in the car if I could get a clean lap – it only happened once in that session but that’s all it takes! My first lap on the final run I was caught in traffic, then on the pole lap one of the Fords lost it in front of me and I thought I’d have to back out of it. Thankfully he just veered off line so I got a clean lap – it wasn’t perfect but it was good enough. Looking at tomorrow, we’re still very much in the dark if it rains – I have driven the car in the wet but in the race we’ll just have to suck it and see.”

Jason Plato said: “It wasn’t a big surprise to see Colin up there ­– it has always been a really good circuit for rear wheel drive BMWs and as we’ve said many times before Colin is a class act. He’s going to be a tough man to beat tomorrow, and providing he doesn’t make mistakes – which he won’t because he’s one of the world’s best – then it’ll be difficult. Our plan is to go for the people who are ahead of us in the championship at the moment. Our immediate focus and target therefore has to be Honda. If we can out-perform them this weekend and close the gap up then it’ll be job done going into the summer break.” 

Matt Neal said: “I’m really pleased to get third place carrying maximum weight on the car. It’s handling really well – there might be a little bit more in it, but the session went really well. I’d used all my tyres up by the time the red flag came out so I didn’t have to worry about pushing too hard at the end. Wet or dry the car is good – but if it does rain tomorrow then we know we’ll still be at the sharp end. Starting near the front is especially critical around here in the wet – the aquaplaning up to Tower Bend is really bad, and if you’re any further down than about sixth it’s pretty hard to pick the puddles out.”
2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship: Qualifying 

1 Colin Turkington (eBay Motors) 1:24.465 
2 Jason Plato (MG KX Momentum Racing) +0.148 
3 Matt Neal (Honda Yuasa Racing) +0.165
4 Gordon Shedden (Honda Yuasa Racing) +0.241
5 Andrew Jordan (Pirtek Racing) +0.291
6 Robert Collard (eBay Motors) +0.354
7 Frank Wrathall (Dynojet) +0.678
8 Sam Tordoff (MG KX Momentum Racing) +0.811
9 Tom Onslow-Cole (PPCGB/Kraftwerk Racing) +0.856
10 Adam Morgan (Ciceley Racing) +0.909

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