A champion prepared
Just over two weeks remain for Pirtek Racing’s Andrew Jordan to enjoy his 2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship title unchallenged. 30 other drivers will line up at Brands Hatch to challenge Jordan for supremacy, but the 24-year-old is confident that a strong winter testing programme has put him in the best possible position to defend the most coveted crown in British motor sport.
Along with a number of other teams, Jordan tested this week at Brands Hatch as final preparation before the Season Launch on Tuesday 18 March. Speaking after an afternoon of long runs and race simulations, Jordan said, “I don’t remember it having gone this quick from season finish to season start before! I’ve been busy, but that’s good – not long after the last race we were already looking at what we needed to do for this season. We’ve done a lot of testing all over the place, clocked up the miles and made some progress. We wont truly know where we are or where anyone else is until the end of the first qualifying session.”
The Pirtek Racing Honda Civic was one of the fastest and, crucially, most reliable packages of 2013, with Jordan suffering only one DNF all year in the penultimate round due to contact with another car. The Eurotech-prepared car has been evolved over the winter, as Jordan continued, “We’re ready and we’re looking forward to it. The car was very good last year, but we still had a lot to work through. It’s working so we don’t want to play with it too much – it’s a winning formula, so we’re going to stick with it and hopefully make it a winning formula again this year.
“Today has been about race set-up because we know the one-lap pace is pretty much where we want it to be. We’ve been going well, but we’re just concentrating on ourselves – with the weight we’re running I think we’ve got a bit in hand going into the first round but like I said we wont really know until after qualifying.”
While the number one sticker on the car is undoubtedly a target for the rest of the field, Jordan is going into the season firm in the belief that there is less pressure on him now that he has won his first title.
“There’s loads less pressure – we’ve done it now!” he enthused. “There’s just as much reason to fight, but less pressure for sure. My aim is for back-to-back championships, but there’s a lot of other guys looking to stop me doing it! I’m really looking forward to it – it’s going to be a great season. The number of champions on the grid doesn’t really affect me, but it’s great for the championship and it’s great for everyone watching too.
The only official pre-season test takes place at the BTCC Season Launch next Tuesday 18 March at Jordan’s local Donington Park circuit. It’s the only test that will have official live timing, and entry is free to the public from 12:30pm, so don’t miss out if you’re looking to get the inside line on what’s sure to be a stellar year for the BTCC. Click here for more information.