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Jordan gunning for wins at Brands Hatch BTCC opener

Friday, March 22 2013

Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship contender Andrew Jordan is set for a serious attack on the title after a strong 2012 season which saw him enter the final round with a shot of glory. His campaign kicks off at Brands Hatch next weekend (30/31 March).

With the consolation prize of an Independents' title under his belt, the 23-year-old is pretty clear about his intentions for the year: "That's our aim - to win the overall championship. I think we're putting together a good team to be able to do that if I'm honest." The Pirtek driver staked his claim during pre-season testing, where he is developing the NGTC Civic that took him to the brink of the title in 2012.

Following a season that yielded consistency but just a solitary pole position and win, the team is refining their Civic, a car that in works configuration is considered the class of the field. "We're making little changes to the car and lots of them," he reported. "When you get a good car, and the chassis was very good last year, you're never going to find chunks of time but if you can come away after pre-season testing and you find three tenths, it's still enough of a gain really."

Last year there was a lot of talk about turbo boost levels, with the Honda drivers in particular feeling that they were being penalised. Andrew doesn't think this will be the case in 2013 however: "I think it's going to be a lot closer. Last year there were a lot of cars and drivers that weren't performing well and getting a lot of boost to help their performance. That's not going to be the case this year, so I think it's going to be a lot fairer. It'll probably make the racing a bit more pure and I think that the guys at the front are the ones that should be there, as last year some of the guys that shouldn't have been there got a lot of horsepower. I'm looking forward to that side of it, but the usual ones will be up there."

The 'usual ones' includes fellow title contenders Matt Neal, Jason Plato and eventual champion Gordon Shedden. But there's another name to be added to that list as Colin Turkington makes a long-awaited return to the BTCC, albeit in a brand new and unproven BMW 1-Series. Andrew doesn't underestimate the threat that the Irishman poses to his ambitions: "He's a very good driver so he's not going to forget how to drive the car quickly! I think they'll be strong really, West Surrey Racing build a good car and are a very good team."

Andrew will need to be keeping an eye on the opposition, especially at Brands Hatch where a nudge from Plato at Clearways denied him victory in the third race at last year's opening round. "Brands always makes for good racing," he confirmed. "It's a very short lap so the race never really gets spread out here, but my aim coming here for the first race is to get pole and a win and then see what happens after that. But if we can come away with ideally a win and some podiums, that will do!"

Tickets for the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch are available from £26, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.