Pirtek Racing’s Andrew Jordan was crowned BTCC champion at last weekend’s final race of the 2013 British Touring Car Championship at the Brands Hatch circuit in Kent.
The 24-year-old held his nerve to clinch the title on what was a thrilling day of racing, despite his only notable finish being a fifth place in race one.
It was a tentative drive from Jordan with Jason Plato eventually taking the spoils, followed by Gordon Shedden and Sam Tordoff.
Race two didn’t hold any better luck for Jordan. The young British driver was involved in a four-way battle for the lead along with Ford Focus driver Aron Smith, Rob Collard in the eBay Motors BMW and championship rival Matt Neal.
Smith made a move on Collard and the two cars touched, with the BMW spinning and coming to rest in the middle of the track. Jordan swerved left to avoid the stricken Collard meaning Neal had nowhere to go.
The two made contact, which broke Jordan’s rear wheel, while Neal had to pit with a puncture, dropping him down the order. That wasn’t the end of the action for Neal, however.
A fire raged inside his Civic on the last lap of the race, but the three-time BTCC champion managed to escape from his car unhurt.
With four challengers out of race two, victory went the way of Plato again, with Tordoff improving on his race one finish, scoring a second place. Mat Jackson rounded off the podium.
With Shedden finishing in a lowly seventh, it left three drivers vying for the title in race three: Jordan, Plato and Shedden.
Shedden led from start to finish, however, to win the title he needed Jordan to drop out of the final race of the season.
This wasn’t to be and the young Civic driver moved through from the rear of the field and was in 11th spot by the end of lap five.
Plato, needing to finish on the podium to keep his title hopes alive, faded mid-race and with it went his chances of securing yet another BTCC crown.
Jordan made his way up to ninth, bagging the fastest lap of the race in the process. This was enough for him to secure the championship as his team informed him over the radio, so the Pirtek Racing man settled for ninth, eventually finishing ahead of Plato.
Along with the overall crown, Jordan also bagged the Independents’ Teams’ title, topping off an amazing season for the young driver and a brilliant maiden BTCC championship.
Champion Jordan on his season in the BTCC:
“After race one I was still pretty tense and then the odds were really stacked against us after race two. It was my aim at the start of the season to win the title and we’ve done it – it’s just such an emotional feeling.
It’s hard to explain – it’s relief but mostly complete joy to have won this as a team. I have felt a lot of pressure these last few weeks but I knew what we had to do.
I am sure we’ll celebrate hard this evening but we’re back testing at Donington Park on Thursday, so we’re already preparing to defend our title next season!”
Jordan’s rivals took defeat gracefully, too, with BTCC legend Matt Neal extremely complementary of the Civic driver’s exploits this season:
“I’m absolutely over the moon for Andrew, Mike and all the guys at Pirtek. They’ve not bought their way into it – they’ve put the programme together, given Pirtek a good return on their investment and worked hard on the engineering side with us, and what a result they’ve come away with.”
Jordan’s next task is to join the BTCC elite and become a double championship winner.
Did you watch the final race of the BTCC season last weekend? What did you think of the action and Jordan’s amazing championship win, going down to the very last race of the season.