Jordan extends his advantage in the BTCC
Reigning champion Andrew Jordan extended his advantage at the top of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship standings after an impressive win in the opening race at Thruxton, before the Honda of Gordon Shedden and BMW Colin Turkington claimed the honours in races two and three respectively.
Pirtek Racing’s Jordan secured pole position for the third consecutive season at the high speed Hampshire circuit, but surprisingly had yet to taste victory champagne at what is arguably the UK’s most daunting track. That all changed when he took a lights-to-flag victory in the opener, however, which he followed up with second and fourth place finishes in the other two contests. Honda Yuasa Racing’s Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden completed the podium in race one, but the latter would go even better in the next showdown.
Shedden attacked for the lead from the outset but was lucky to stay in contention after running off at the Campbell/Cobb complex on the first lap. It was the eBay Motors BMW of Rob Collard that took the challenge to Jordan in the immediate aftermath of Shedden’s moment, but the Honda was soon being hauled back towards the leading duo. Now running line astern, Shedden eventually got by Collard coming out of Church corner and the top two began to pull clear. Jordan’s hatchback looked decidedly looser than its Tourer rival and when the former slid wide through Church, Shedden got a run on the outside of Brooklands and made the move stick before they’d reached Club on lap 11. Shedden went on to win from Jordan and Collard.
It was Colin Turkington’s turn to star in race three after the Ulsterman surged from fifth on the grid and into the lead before the end of the first lap. It was a postion the BMW driver would keep until the finish line, promoting him up to third in the overall championship standings behind Jordan and Shedden. The Airwaves Racing cars of Mat Jackson and Fabrizio Giovanardi were second and third respectively, rounding out an impressive day for the Wrotham-based squad. The two Ford Focuses battled for a number of laps, with Team Owner David Bartrum warning his drivers to ‘play nicely’ over the team radio. That’s exactly what the experienced duo did with Giovanardi eventually relinquishing second place to his faster team-mate on the day. Jackson had already secured two top five finishes earlier in the proceedings, so this weekend represents his and the team’s biggest points haul of the season so far.
The final race will be largely remembered for a huge accident involving the Toyota Avensis of Simon Belcher at the fastest corner in the country. His car went off at well over 100mph before hitting the barrier and barrel rolling over the tyre wall at Church Corner. Belcher emerged from the car completely unscathed although the same couldn’t be said for his rather second hand looking Toyota.
MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save endured a rather challenging day as it lost ground to Honda Yuasa Racing in both the Manufacturers’ and Teams’ standings, with eBay Motors moving into second place in the latter.