Jordan heads BMW one-two at Brands Hatch
Andrew Jordan completed a dream debut for BMW by claiming a victory in the final Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship race at the opening Brands Hatch weekend.
Jordan – who switched from Ford to BMW machinery during the off-season – held off a late attack from fellow stablemate Colin Turkington. The pair touched briefly during the final lap, but Jordan held on to claim an historic win for the returning manufacturer.
Tom Chilton made it a memorable podium as Vauxhall marked its own BTCC comeback with a fine third place for Power Maxed Racing.
BMW Pirtek Racing’s Jordan blasted from third on the grid to lead the pack into Paddock Hill Bend for the first time, as Mat Jackson faced heartache while trying to follow suit. Jackson’s Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo with Ford went around the outside of Chilton’s Vauxhall Astra, but the former ran out of road and endured a trip across the gravel.
Chilton maintained second while fellow front-row starter Josh Cook was shuffled down the order in the Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport Ford Focus. Cook was sixth by the end of lap three but worse was to follow for the young driver as he would eventually finish 26th after running wide at Druids Hairpin.
Tom Ingram was another struggling to hold station with his ballast-laden Toyota Avensis slipping behind Matt Neal, before he was tag-teamed by the charging Team HARD-run duo of Michael Epps and Jake Hill.
Turkington had jumped from from tenth to third in the BMW 125i M Sport by a little over mid-distance and he busily reeled in Chilton ahead of him. The series returnee had no answer – deciding discretion is the better part of valour – and he allowed Turkington to nip by on lap 17.
Far from settling for second, Turkington reeled in fellow WSR driver Jordan at a rate of knots, and was on the blue Pirtek machine’s tail for the final few laps. He tried everything he could to get by – including a friendly rub through Clearways – but 2013 champion held firm to lead home a fantastic one-two for BMW.
Neal took fourth from Adam Morgan, with both finishing ahead of the fading Rob Collard, whilst Gordon Shedden had to settle for seventh – cementing an extremely positive day for the reigning champion. Eurotech Racing’s topsy turvy day ended with eighth for Jack Goff, whilst the impressive Epps and Hill rounded out the top ten.
Andrew Jordan said: “That was quite a start wasn’t it with rear-wheel drive and a new team? I was getting a bit twitchy with Colin (Turkington) looking really, really strong on the soft tyres behind – the rear-wheel drive expert! We had a little rub at the end there but it was a good way to end. I knew he wasn’t going to do anything silly. It wasn’t the calmest moment of my career when he did get past Tom (Chilton). I was hoping he’d be behind him a bit longer but I knew he was coming. I just kept driving to my markers, tried not to look in my mirrors any more than usual and tried to be kind on the left rear tyre. It’s special really, to get the win on my first event with BMW Pirtek Racing and West Surrey Racing. It’s down to the team – credit to the guys for all the work they’ve put in, especially with the addition of the new engine.”
Colin Turkington said: “It’s so easy to let the head drop at the start of the day when you make 12 yards off the line and end up facing the traffic but I’ve been around in this championship for so long that I know you’ve just got to look to the next race. Race two was where all the hard work was done really, carving through from the back and giving myself a chance with a good slot on the grid for race three. The guys gave me a great car in the BMW for the last one. We tweaked it for the soft tyre and I couldn’t believe the pace. I got close to Andy (Jordan) but we had our instructions and I wasn’t going to do anything silly!”
Tom Chilton said: “It was perfect. It’s our first event of the year and we’re still learning the car. It shows what a great job Power Maxed Racing has done and to get a podium, even with a bit of luck with the reverse grid draw, it’s brilliant. It’s put me right up there in the championship in a new car – it’s amazing. I didn’t expect it at all. The BTCC has 32 of the best drivers in Britain and some of the best teams around, so to get a result is very difficult – especially a podium, so I’m absolutely over the moon. It was quite special and for us, it felt like a win.”
2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 3 – Brands Hatch (Indy):
1 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) BMW Pirtek Racing 24 laps
2 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +0.315s
3 Tom CHILTON (GBR) Power Maxed Racing +4.692s
4 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +7.558s
5 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Ciceley Motorsport +10.205s
6 Rob COLLARD (GBR) Team BMW +10.812s
7 Gordon SHEDDEN (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +11.719s
8 Jack GOFF (GBR) Eurotech Racing +12.141s
9 Michael EPPS (GBR) Autoaid/RCIB Insurance Racing +12.970s
10 Jake HILL (GBR) TAG Racing +14.367s
11 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport +18.859s
12 Aron TAYLOR-SMITH (GBR) MG Racing RCIB Insurance +21.500s
13 Mat JACKSON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo +21.648s
14 Dave NEWSHAM (IRL) BTC Norlin Racing +22.117s
15 Daniel LLOYD (GBR) MG Racing RCIB Insurance +22.587s
16 Ollie JACKSON (GBR) AmDtuning.com with Cobra Exhausts +23.653s
17 Jeff SMITH (GBR) Eurotech Racing +25.070s
18 Rob AUSTIN (GBR) Handy Motorsport +25.546s
19 Senna PROCTOR (GBR) Power Maxed Racing +25.942s
20 Luke DAVENPORT (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo +26.183s
21 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +26.540s
22 Martin DEPPER (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo +26.932s
23 Ant WHORTON-EALES (GBR) AmDtuning.com with Cobra Exhausts +29.636s
24 Josh PRICE (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +30.335s
25 Chris SMILEY (GBR) BTC Norlin Racing +33.244s
26 Josh COOK (GBR) Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport +1 lap
27 Stephen JELLEY (GBR) Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport +2 laps
28 Will BURNS (GBR) Autoaid/RCIB Insurance Racing +3 laps
DNF Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +4 laps
DNF Matt SIMPSON (GBR) Simpson Racing
DNF James COLE (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing
DNS Jason PLATO (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing