Preview: GRR’s Andrew Jordan looks ahead to BTCC 2016

Britain’s biggest championship, the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, gets under way this weekend at Brands Hatch. And one of the drivers guaranteed to be at the sharp end is Goodwood Road & Racing’s very own Andrew Jordan. We caught up with the 26-year-old – who’s joined the crack Motorbase team in a bid to steer its race-winning Ford Focus to the title this year – for a bit of the pre-season lowdown.

HOW DO YOU REFLECT ON 2015 – A SEASON IN WHICH YOU DIDN’T WIN A RACE?

Five years or so ago I’d have been happy with fifth in the championship, having been in with an outside chance of the title at the last round, but once you’ve won it your expectations change. Sure, the MG6 hit a bit of a development wall last year but there were things I did wrong, too. I learned a lot last year – it’s all about working out where you can improve and doing it better. Teams can’t stand still over the winter and expect to be at the same level come the new season, and neither can drivers.

WHAT WAS THE THINKING BEHIND JOINING MOTORBASE FOR 2016?

They’re such a passionate and driven team. I feel like I’ve been there for years already. The way David

[Bartrum, team boss] and Olly [Collins, team manager] run things there is infectious – the team is relaxed and friendly, yet deadly serious about winning. They’re also commercially astute and that’s how my dad [Mike] and I had to be when we won the title in 2013 as a family team. Priority #1 is about the car being quick and priority #2 is making sure the sponsors are being looked after. Motorbase understand all that, big time. They’re open to input and happy to ask what I think, inside and outside the car.

HOW DID YOU GET ON IN THE FOCUS DURING PRE-SEASON TESTING?

I drove the 2015-spec car at the end of last year – the one in which Mat [new team-mate Jackson] won four races in the second half of the season – and it was mega. I gelled with it straight away. We’ve had to go back to the drawing board a bit as we’re all now obliged to run the new, off-the-shelf RML bits on the NGTC cars. It’s meant we’ve had to play around with the suspension. I’ve done a fair bit of testing with the new-spec car and it’s still great so I’m pretty confident that with a bit more fine-tuning we’ll be right there. I’m intrigued for Brands, just to see how everyone will go…

WHO DO YOU THINK IS LIKELY TO BE UP AT THE BUSINESS END IN 2016?

The quality of teams, cars and drivers is massively high, and that’s very important for Britain’s best-loved series. The drivers have personalities, too – and that comes across on- and off-track!

The Motorbase Fords of Mat and me will be there, of course. It’s been nip and tuck between us in testing and we work well together in the interests of driving the team and the car on. Obviously I want to beat him, though!

I expect the new Subaru to be very good. What they’ve done with the boxer engine – low and far back – should help a lot. Never discount Jason [Plato] and Colin [Turkington] either. It’ll be interesting to see how JP compares with Colin with rear-wheel-drive after so many years with front-drive.

You can bet your house on Honda being right there, too. Matt Neal is a seasoned pro and always a big scorer and I expect ‘Flash’ [Gordon Shedden] to be fantastic, just like last year. The West Surrey BMWs will be in the thick of the action, too. Sam Tordoff is already a winner – in front- and rear-wheel-drive – and Jack Goff is a bright talent. Rob Collard’s super-quick on his day, too. Others to watch out for? Adam Morgan, Tom Ingram – they’re quick young lads.

I can’t wait to get going. The racing’s always great, the TV package is a big deal and the race-day crowd is always massive – as well as knowledgeable and enthusiastic. I’m looking forward to a vintage BTCC season, and I’ll be trying my damnedest to nail a second championship, which would be a first – and well-deserved – title for Motorbase. See you out there!

ANDREW JORDAN BTCC STATISTICS

First race: Brands Hatch, Race 1, 2008 – Honda Integra

Total races: 238

First win: Croft, Race 3, 2010 – Vauxhall Vectra

Total wins: 14

First pole: Donington Park, Race 1, 2009 – Vauxhall Vectra

Total poles: 6

First fastest lap: Croft, Race 3, 2009 – Vauxhall Vectra

Total fastest laps: 15

First podium finish: Oulton Park, Race 3, 2008 – Honda Integra

Total podium finishes: 48

Drivers’ Titles: 1 (2013 – Honda Civic)

Images courtesy of BTCC and Motorbase

For more information on Goodwood, please visit this website grrc.goodwood.com

2016-11-02T10:28:41+00:00 Motoring April 16|0 Comments

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