Andrew Jordan could scarcely contain his emotion and his enthusiasm following his dominant breakthrough Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship victory at Croft at the weekend, and he was effusive in his praise for Pirtek Racing after notching up an unchallenged lights-to-flag triumph.
The opening race of the day saw BTCC newcomer Pirtek score its first of three points finishes in North Yorkshire with tenth spot. Jordan made a good getaway from the dirty side of the track when the starting lights went out, but lost out to the rear wheel-drive BMW of Mat Jackson into the first corner. The 21-year-old spent the subsequent laps chasing down the BMW, before a good exit out of the last hairpin onto the start/finish straight gave him a run up the inside of Turn One.
Following brief contact, Jordan took the place from his Airwaves rival and went on to close in on the Ford Focus of Tom Onslow-Cole, who defended his position well and backed the West Midlander up to Jackson again – and as the cars came around the final corner for the last time, Jackson moved up the inside and just pipped Jordan to P9 on the run for the line.
With the race one finishing positions forming the grid for race two, the Sutton Coldfield ace once more lined up alongside the fast-starting BMW in tenth. Getting the jump on Jackson this time, Jordan made progress into the first chicane before having to take evasive action from the cars in front. He later found himself embroiled in a race-long battle defending from Alex MacDowall in the Chevrolet – a battle he would win to take the chequered flag a strong seventh, thereby tallying four more valuable championship points.
With the grid for the final race of the day as ever being determined by a draw which reverses part of the top ten, Lady Luck shined on Pirtek and left Jordan on pole. Aided by an excellent start, he pulled out a three-second advantage on the first lap alone as those behind jostled for position, and from then on he was able to control his pace and extend a margin over nearest rival Onslow-Cole.
When the flag fell, Jordan took his maiden BTCC victory eight seconds clear of the chasing pack, with his superb success similarly earning him the Independents' spoils and marking the first win for the TOCA NGTC turbo-powered engine, as he left Croft again with a haul of 21 points and having moved into the top ten in the outright drivers' standings heading now into the long summer break before the circus reconvenes at Snetterton on 8 July.
“We had a lot of understeer in the car in the first two races, which made it difficult to get on terms with some of the cars around us,” reported the former multiple British Rallycross champion of his brightly-liveried Vauxhall Vectra. “After race two we found one of our dampers was damaged, which when we changed it, just transformed the car. Then, with the reverse grid pole we were optimistic we could achieve a good result in race three.
“In some ways it was probably one of the easiest races I've done in the BTCC, but at the same time it was tough because we knew what was at stake. My dad was on the radio to me ensuring we pegged the gap back to Onslow-Cole, and I was able to easily keep a steady pace.
“The car felt mega throughout and the engine was on-form, and the lads in the team as always did a brilliant job – I can't thank them enough for their efforts. We've had some tough races, but we always said when our luck changed we'd have our day and this is such an amazing feeling. I want to thank everyone who has backed us this season, especially Pirtek – they've been so supportive, and it's fantastic that they've achieved their first win after only five rounds in the BTCC.”