The 2017 BTCC season will no doubt see a fascinating battle for the title. Perennial frontrunners Honda-Yuasa Racing and WSR BMW will no doubt be in the mix, and the ever improving Team BMR Subaru’s are there as well after a stunning end to the 2016 season.
Vauxhall also are returning with a fully-fledged factory team and there is one man hoping to be in the mix more regularly – Andrew Jordan. He has driven for three teams in the last three seasons: MG, Motorbase Ford, and WSR BMW. The question on everyone’s lips is this: Is he a man under pressure?
Jordan became BTCC champion back in 2013, adding the overall title to his 2012 Independents Title. He was then racing for his family run Pirtek Eurotech Honda team. But following a difficult 2014 that saw his title defence ruined by concussion, he made the switch to the MG factory squad that was run by Triple Eight Racing.. Great things were promised but they never came. Jordan mustered a mere five podiums across the course of the entire season without clinching a victory. His frustration was compounded when teammate Jack Goff took a win at Snetterton. Jordan was a lowly fifth in the championship and in October of 2015 he announced he would be leaving the team to go to Motorbase Ford for the 2016 season.
“It’s a shame not to be carrying on but it’s simply a commercial decision and there’s nothing more sinister to it.”
Taking his Pirtek livery with him, Jordan partnered up with Matt Jackson at Motorbase and hoped for a much more successful season than 2015. His wish was granted and he took two great wins across the course of the season. The first being an impressive one at Thruxton where he really had the bit between his teeth. The second one followed at Silverstone and despite being just eighth in the championship it looked like things could get better in 2017. But he and the team failed to sort out a contract with funding being a decisive factor. In November 2016, he announced he was heading to WSR BMW, his third team in three years.
The last few years have been tough for Jordan and switching teams so much is not good for continuity or impressions on the fans and media. His failure to really make it work at MG and Ford and his shortage of wins since leaving Eurotech doesn’t bode well. The pressure is surely on to deliver at WSR, particularly as outgoing driver Sam Tordoff narrowly missed out on the drivers title with the team. But to say Jordan has lost his edge is just rubbish. His title winning year was a defining one and he was back to his best more often in 2016 with a team he clearly liked and wanted to be at in the future. Having tested the BMW with WSR recently, he was been buoyed by its performance and is very much looking forward to the new season.
“I was driving around with a huge grin on my face. I am absolutely buzzing about our chances next year. We have already started to open up set-up avenues with the car and I have learnt so much already.”
Despite having the pressure to deliver, I honestly believe this could be Jordan’s best year since 2013. A new car that he loves, a new team that know how to win races and titles and a renewed motivation will all help Jordan in his quest for title number two. On his day, he is almost untouchable and it would be great for the entire series if one of its youngest and most fantastic talents could be back to his winning best in 2017. Just another reason why the 2017 BTCC season is a must watch!
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