Jordan quickest in the pre-season test
Pirtek Racing’s Andrew Jordan set the fastest time of the day in the official BTCC pre-season test at Donington Park. Jordan, who clinched the title in the final round of last season, was just 0.001 ahead of Honda Yuasa Racing’s Gordon Shedden.
The vast majority of the 31 entries immediately went out on circuit, with the top twelve covered by just over a second in the early running, before a heavy rain shower brought everyone back into the pits. Intermittent rain showers for the rest of the day ensured that no faster times were set, with Jordan and Shedden followed in the times by returning double-champion Alain Menu who lapped the Donington Park National Circuit in 1:11.226 to go third fastest. While the limited dry running means that the outright pace of the 2014 field remains unknown, Menu’s competitiveness bodes well for the Chrome Edition Restart Racing squad as fellow VW CC driver Aron Smith also posted a strong time to go seventh quickest.
Adam Morgan’s brand new WIX Racing Mercedes-Benz A Class impressed on its first official outing in the BTCC. The Lancastrian put in the fourth quickest time ahead of the newly-liveried MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save MG6 of Sam Tordoff, and Honda Yuasa Racing’s Matt Neal in the eye-catching Civic Tourer. Colin Turkington headed up the eBay Motors trio of drivers in eighth, three tenths of a second ahead of team-mate Rob Collard, with BTCC rookie Tom Ingram taking tenth for Speedworks Motorsport.
While Ingram’s tally of 59 laps was impressive, Marc Hynes completed the most mileage of any driver – 64 tours in total – and ended the day just 0.006 outside the top ten.
With five of the seven champions occupying top ten slots, the 2014 season remains almost entirely unpredictable. Fabrizio Giovanardi is getting to grips with the Airwaves Racing Ford Focus on his return to the series and went twelfth fastest; with fellow double champion Jason Plato not putting in any competitive dry running.
The teams now have less than two weeks to prepare for the opening rounds of 2014, to be held at Brands Hatch on 29/30 March.