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BTCC Donington RACE REVIEW 20/21st April 2013

Qualifying

After the successful weekend at Brands Hatch, Andrew Jordan carried forward 36kg success ballast to Round 2 at Donington. However this clearly didn’t affect the Honda with Jordan setting the fastest time at free practice 2. Qualifying was under slightly better weather conditions than Brands Hatch and Jordan pushed the Pirtek Honda to gain 3rd place for Race 1.

Donington is Jordan’s home track with high kerbs, often called “Sausage Kerbs” by the commentary teams. Kerbs such as these stop corner cutting, as drivers who hit these super raised kerbs will lose speed and control which can result in, at best, lost time or at worst, early retirement through spins or car damage.

Drivers always try to push the tracks hard and the way they round the kerbs can make the difference between winning and losing.

Race 1

Andrew Jordan started the race in 3rd place and after a great start he took the inside line taking him side by side with Wrathall. Ducking inside at the old hair pin Jordan edged ahead and secured second place behind Sheddon whose Honda was lighter than Jordans with no success ballast.

The battle for third kept Jordan focused on building a gap between his Pirtek Honda and Matt Neal, with Plato closely behind chasing 3rd place.

At the end of the first lap Jordan remained in 2nd place, 0.359 seconds behind Sheddon.

The next few laps saw Jordan holding 2nd place and the gap between 2nd and 3rd widened which allowed him to focus on closing down on Sheddon for pole position.

Jordan continued to pursue Sheddon with the gap reducing by a 5th of a second on lap 13, a further 0.5 seconds off on lap 14. A great performance given that Jordan had 36kg ballast. He reduced the gap by a further 4/10th of a second on the final lap, but Sheddon just managed to pip Jordan to the win.

After the finish Jordan said “I had a fantastic car today, really pleased with the result and to challenge Sheddon who had zero weight ballast was a fantastic result for the team.”

The result added 45kg success ballast to Sheddon for the following race with Jordan staying at 36kg.

Race 2

Jordan started race 2 on the 1st row in second behind Sheddon in pole.

Jordan got another great start and reached the first corner in second place taking the inside line keeping Neal and Plato behind. Two cars at the back of the race spun and crashed into the pit wall causing the safety car to come out at the end of lap 1.

The Safety car went back into the pits on lap 3 and after a good restart Plato takes 3rd place behind Jordan. Jordan pushes on to close the gap to pull alongside Sheddon and on lap 7 he took the inside line to pass and take the lead.

The battle for 2nd and 3rd intensified which allowed Jordan to pull away after putting in strong lap times and hitting his markers to maintain his lead.

Lap 10 saw Plato move into second behind Jordan but Jordan pushed on to put 2.3 seconds between 1st and 2nd place.

Jordan crossed the finish line in 1st position much to the delight of the home crowd and his supporters. A confident experienced drive from the Independent champion showing his strengths teamed with a great car set up. Roll on Race 3!

Race 3

The reversed grid for Race 3 moved Jordan into 10th position on the grid, also carrying maximum ballast of 45kg following his win. He would need to focus to get a good start and work through the field.

After another strong start Jordan maintained 10th position, with Turkington taking the lead.

Pushed slightly wide just before the old hair pin Jordan came into the pit lane to have debris removed from his air intake at the end of lap 2. He rejoined the race back in 20th position.

Due to the mud and grass picked up by the drivers the track was covered in debris resembling a Rally track rather than Touring car event. This saw, in quick succession, Wrathall off, Collard spin and Newsham sitting side ways before the old hairpin, narrowly missed by the rest of the field.

This led to a noticeable gap developing between the top 5 and rest of the field. Jordan set the fastest lap after rejoining the race and continued to gain places over the next 18 laps taking him from 20th to 14th on the final lap.

A great recovery drive from Jordan saw him finish 13th including a pit stop with maximum ballast, something not easy to achieve.

Summary

Jordan had another great weekend at Donington with 2 podium finishes including the first win of the 2013 season. Jordan stays at 2nd in the championship table, just 5 points behind Jason Plato.

With a strong car set up and Jordan clearly on track to challenge, if not win the 2013 BTCC championship the next round is clearly one to watch!!!

Next Round is at Thruxton on 5th May 2013

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Category BTCC