Andrew Jordan had his first taste of his Triple Eight Racing MG6 GT as he began his preparations for the 2015 British Touring Car Championship season at Brands Hatch yesterday (12 February).
The 2013 champion, who announced his switch to the factory-backed squad early last month, enjoyed a fruitful day of testing as he clocked 70 laps of the Kent circuit’s Indy layout.
Conditions were far from ideal for the 25-year-old – who ran on a cold and damp track for much of the day – but Jordan was still able to draw comparisons with his Eurotech-run Honda Civic that he had previously competed with.
“First impressions are that the general feeling’s pretty similar to be honest,” he said of his current and former cars. “It is all the same running gear, so there aren’t too many differences in terms of fundamentals. The Swindon engine has different characteristics to the Honda, which I thought it would based on my experience in 2010.
“I think the engine will be more challenging to drive, which I’ll enjoy, because the power comes in more aggressively than on the Honda. Apart from that it’s been hard to say, the conditions haven’t been ideal and the Indy circuit at Brands doesn’t give me much chance to evaluate the aero, which I know is a strong characteristic of the MG.”
Despite the tricky conditions, Jordan was more than satisfied with the performance of his machine during his outing, and was hopeful that the test would give him a head start when the championship visits the venue for the opening round of the season in April.
“The car is great, as you’d expect from a 2014 title challenger its very quick and rides the kerbs well. It’s hard to be too accurate with the assessment as it was so cold that the tyres were warmer when I came in and crossed them than after a ten-lap run. That said, it’s important to get out as early as possible in February. The UK weather can be any number of things, but I’m really happy to be here today and to have gotten on track early.
“This test has provided us with a couple of interesting ideas for things to try. We’ve got another test here in a few weeks time, which I hope will be dry. I’d love to repeat last year’s form and get pole plus a couple of wins. That’s my aim because it would make a cracking statement.”
Now in his second spell with Triple Eight, Jordan – who was one of two BTCC drivers testing at the circuit alongside Alex Martin in his Dextra Racing Ford Focus – was delighted with how smoothly his return to the team had run and was excited to see what the partnership could yield.
“It’s been great to come back to Triple Eight,” he declared. “I wouldn’t say I’ve had an arm round the shoulder, but the whole team have been really warm and welcoming. There are a few new faces from last time, and I’ve brought a couple of the guys from Eurotech with me, but it’s been really good to have new faces, as you have to go out of your way to get to know people and build relationships.
“I’ve spent a lot of time at the factory, and in our technical meetings I’ve been very sure about what I want; its pointless coming in and just sitting there. I have a lot of experience now, so it’s important to use that and get my views across. I’m not worrying about whose shoes I’m filling, I’ll just come in and do it my way. That won the championship before, so I’ll stick to that approach.”
Photo courtesy of Jakob Ebrey Photography.