Pirtek targets title
Independent champion Pirtek Racing is targeting the overall BTCC Drivers’ title with Andy Jordan this year, and it’s preparing for the challenge by running a comprehensive pre-season testing programme.
The Eurotech-run squad kicked off its campaign with a test at Brands Hatch last week, before moving on to Thruxton over the last two days (20/21 February). The team is confident of making significant progress in the off-season as the development phase continues at Snetterton next week with another two day run.
A buoyant Jordan told btcc.net: “I am really looking forward to this season. I’m improving every year as a driver and now we’re improving the car, too. I’m young and still learning, which is important – now our aim is to target the overall title and we hope the hard work pays off.”
The team receives identical machinery as its Honda ‘works’ counterpart, and it also has the benefit of sharing data, something that Jordan sees as key to his ambitions. “The equipment we have is first class – we swap data with Dynamics and the relationship works well for both teams,” he said. “Last year was the first time we had a car on a level playing field as the major players. You’re always going to have Jason [Plato], Matt [Neal] and Gordon [Shedden] up there and we were probably the only ones consistently knocking at their door. We were fairly consistent throughout but we need to win more races to challenge for the overall title and that’s the aim.”
Team boss Mike Jordan believes the testing programme is also key to the team’s title aspirations as the squad has a number of days scheduled between now and the end of March.
“It’s a good position to be in,” said Mike. “Our cars were still being built at this stage last year, so to have everything in place and be able to prepare thoroughly for 2013 is fantastic. I am genuinely surprised not to see more teams testing here at Thruxton as it’s the only opportunity to do so, and therefore we hope the Honda teams have gained the advantage for when we come back here in May.”
With four full days already under his belt, Andy concurs with his father’s comments on the importance of testing. “If you stand still and don’t develop the car, then you’ll get left behind in the BTCC,” he commented. “We’ve tried a number of changes and set-ups that hadn’t been done before and we’ll continue to push during testing, so that we’re ready from the off this season.”
Despite being in confident mood, Andy is well aware that the level of competition is going to be as strong as ever this year. “The championship is looking really competitive,” he concluded. “The guys I mentioned before will obviously be up there, but I expect it to be very close with lots of different race winners. There are a number of others like Mat Jackson, Rob Collard and Colin Turkington that will fancy their chances too, so the manufacturer cars are in for fight. I’m evolving as a driver and we’re evolving as a team so anyone who’s writing me out of the championship at this stage would be very silly.”
The opening round of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship takes place at Brands Hatch on the 30/31 March – for tickets visit www.brandshatch.co.uk/calendar/2013/march/btcc-3031-march-bh.aspx