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Jordan times it to perfection to head all-Civic front row

Saturday, March 30 2013

Andrew Jordan will start the opening Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship race of 2013 tomorrow from pole position, after setting his fastest lap before a brief shower that curtailed the 30 minute session. He heads a 1-2 for the Honda Civic, with works driver and reigning champion Gordon Shedden sharing the front row after qualifying today (Saturday).

Qualifying was delayed by a bizarre incident on the exit of Druids that saw Colin Turkington spin onto the exit kerb, with Jack Goff then collecting the BMW. Next both David Nye and Liam Griffin spun in sympathy, the latter into the accident. The BMW sustained heavy damage, with Goff requiring some assistance to extricate himself from the Insignia.

Naturally the session had to be stopped, and the eBay Motors, Addison Lee Motorbase and Team HARD. mechanics faced a tough afternoon. Whilst they worked on their stricken cars, the rest piled out onto the track for another go. Except for Matt Neal, who slid on the exit of Graham Hill and narrowly missed the tyre barrier. With only his pride dented, he resumed his place on the circuit.

There was some cheer for Team HARD. when Tom Onslow-Cole posted an early fast lap in the Passat, and with dark clouds gathering over the track, the rest quickly gathered pace. Rob Collard lapped the BMW under 50 seconds, with Frank Wrathall and Rob Austin in close attention.

Shedden was next fastest, but Jason Plato immediately went two tenths quicker, followed by Neal taking another tenth off the benchmark. Then it was the turn of Jordan, as Shedden took second place ahead of his team mate, before then beating Jordan.

And even faster lap saw Jordan retake his place at the head of the field as a light shower dampened the track surface a little. Initially it wasn't enough for drivers to continue to set fast sector times, but the field began to settle down, with half of the session still remaining.

The pitlane remained empty for a while as drivers elected to keep their tyres warm. However as the track became a little more slick and both Neal and Dave Newsham both had moments, the garages began to fill.

Wrathall had to return to the track however, since his car failed a ride height check. His lack of pace betrayed the slippery conditions and cemented Jordan's pole position. Despite the timing of his lap, 23-year-old posted a time quicker than last year's fastest and almost matched his practice form. He headed an all-Civic front row, with Plato third and Neal fourth. Sam Tordoff took an excellent fifth, aiding the MG cause, with Newsham sixth ahead of Austin, Jeff Smith, Nick Foster and Adam Morgan.

Lea Wood resumed his strength in the Jack Sears Trophy, with class poled ahead of James Kaye and the recovering Griffin. Turkington was unable to resume the session and faces an uneasy time as his mechanics attempt to repair his car in time for race one, which takes place at 11:47am tomorrow.

Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship Qualifying

1, Andrew Jordan, Pirtek Racing, Honda Civic, 48.387s
2, Gordon Shedden, Honda Yuasa Racing, Honda Civic, +0.096s
3, Jason Plato, MG KX Momentum Racing, MG6, +0.184s
4, Matt Neal, Honda Yuasa Racing, Honda Civic, +0.227s
5, Sam Tordoff, MG KX Momentum Racing, MG6, +0.339s
6, Dave Newsham, Speedworks Motorsport, Toyota Avensis, +0.440s
7, Rob Austin, WIX Racing, Audi A4, +0.457s
8, Jeff Smith, Pirtek Racing, Honda Civic, +0.527s
9, Nick Foster, eBay Motors, BMW 125i M Sport, +0.814s
10, Adam Morgan, Ciceley Racing, Toyota Avensis, +0.816s  

Tickets for the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch are available on the gate from £13, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.