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Andrew Jordan celebrates ‘bizarre’ first pole with BMW

Andrew Jordan celebrated taking a ‘bizarre’ pole position in Croft’s British Touring Car Championship qualifying, which was defined by five separate red-flag stoppages, the last of which was caused by Jordan himself.

The unusual session saw more red flag time than it did green flag action, with Jordan emerging as the fastest despite having his best time deleted for causing the last red flag when his tyre punctured and pitched him off the road at the Complex.

The BMW Pirtek driver had not taken a pole position since 2014, and admitted that he was both relieved and frustrated to take pole with such little fast-lap running.

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“It was just very bizarre – it was hard for everyone to get into any sort of rhythm,” said Jordan to TouringCars.Net. “It was impossible as it was red flag after red flag.

“I was getting quite frustrated because we hadn’t fulfilled the potential. [The team] said ‘look, you’re on pole, just chill out for a bit’.

“Then the rain came, and I thought that might be it. But as soon as I went out there was good grip, so I cracked on and did a couple of better times straight away.

“Even though we were sat there on pole, and even if it had rained then, I would still have been frustrated because the [pole] lap had been with some traffic.

“It was a weird, weird session. I couldn’t believe it – every time I’d go to start a lap it would be another red flag.”

Three of the stoppages were caused when drivers clipped barriers positioned on the inside or exit of corners to prevent drivers from abusing the track limits.

Despite the incidents interrupting the flow of the session, Jordan believes that the organisers had little choice to use the barriers due to the wet and soft ground off-circuit.

“I think they’re trying to make the best of a bad situation. The grass is so wet and muddy that they need to put something there. It is what it is.

“Frankly, if that had been there or not you’re still going to do a lot of damage because it’s such thick mud that your splitter would just dig in anyway.

“It’s just a consequence of how muddy it is, because if you do run out wide it will just drag more mud on to the circuit.”

Jordan goes into race day joint eight in the championship, 36 points from the lead of the series, but he considers that leaving as the points leader on Sunday would be an optimistic prediction.

“It’s my first pole with West Surrey Racing and with BMW so we’ll see what we can convert it into tomorrow.

“The car felt really good today, so I’m focussed on getting it right in race trim and will try and win some races.

“If we can come away as the top points scorer then that will be a good day. However we do that, if it’s with wins or podiums or whatever, if we come away with some solid points then I’ll be happy.

“I’m not sure what the gap is to the top. It would mean Colin [Turkington] would have to have some bad luck or something like that. But equally I think we can bring ourselves up into the top three or four and go from there.”

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