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BTCC's Andrew Jordan makes BMW debut at Brands Hatch

Tuesday, November 22 2016

Former Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Champion Andrew Jordan had his first taste of WSR's BMW 125i M-Sport at Brands Hatch today (Tuesday) as he began his preparations for the 2017 season, which begins at the Kent circuit next April (1/2).

Jordan, the 2013 champion, switched from Motorbase after just one season with the Kent-based team, which yielded two wins. The 27-year-old was full of enthusiasm for his new BMW, which ran in this year's Team JCT600 with GardX livery. It will be repainted in his familiar Pirtek colours early next year.

"I love it," Andrew raved. "It's very friendly to drive, very compliant, and I feel very at home in it. Today was about just getting me into the car, but after the morning the guys said 'we've got a few things to try, let's try them', so I felt like I was up to speed within a couple of runs. I'll be going home very happy, I feel very comfortable in the car."

JordanBMWAndrew was equally as enthusiastic about Motorbase's Ford Focus last year, but feels this is another step forward. "This is almost starting from scratch," he said. "The setup is completely different to what I've been used to in a front-wheel-drive car, so it's good because I'm really learning a lot straight away from the engineers and the guys. It's almost like starting again and in a way I quite like that because you don't get blasé."

This isn't Andrew's first rear-wheel-drive racing car, but it's the first time the keen historic racer has driven a modern-day Touring Car that utilises the layout, so there are important lessons for him to learn. "Historic cars have got a low-grip tyre on, so it's sliding all the time," he said. "This has high-grip tyres, so when it does slide it goes in less of a progressive way, but honestly I feel really comfortable in the car.

"People will think I'm bound to say that but I genuinely feel very at home in it already. It's still a lot of hard work over the winter trying to develop the car and I need to keep learning all through the testing, but as first days go, I'm very impressed with the car, the team and my performance in the car."

Fellow rear-wheel-drive converts Sam Tordoff, Jack Goff and even Jason Plato have needed time to get fully up to speed, but Andrew thinks he'll be ready to go next April. "Judging on how we've gone today, I expect to be right up there," he said. "All the tricks of the trade that I've learnt in front-wheel-drive, I'm going to have to have to learn again, but I feel on top of the car already. We've just skipped onto boost and development stuff a bit sooner than we thought, so let's get cracking on with it."

Only two NGTC cars have won BTCC titles since the format was introduced in 2011. Andrew won his in the all-conquering Honda Civic, whilst the WSR BMW won in 2014 with Colin Turkington at the wheel. As the first man to have driven both, he's in a good position to compare the two. "This is quite a friendly car to drive," he said. "It's confidence-inspiring, whereas front-wheel-drive cars are quite edgy at the rear as that's how you've got to have them set up."

The other vital part of the winning equation is the team, and Andrew has yet to properly settle since leaving the then-family Eurotech operation in 2014. He thinks he's finally found his new home this time with the famously-meticulous WSR operation. "I'm pretty analytical when it comes to detail, setup information and my notes, so I think we'll get on," he said. "[Team boss] Dick Bennetts is famous for his long debriefs but I don't mind if it makes the car go quicker, I'll sit there all night!"

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