West Surrey Racing has confirmed that Andrew Jordan has made a shock withdrawal from the 2020 British Touring Car Championship season, leaving a spare seat at the factory-backed Team BMW outfit.
Jordan had been set to race a BMW 330i M Sport alongside reigning champion Colin Turkington and Tom Oliphant for a second successive season, with the 2013 champion moving from being backed by Pirtek Racing to becoming a factory BMW driver for the first time.
But now the 31-year-old has withdrawn from the season before it has even begun, ahead of the season opener at Donington Park in August.
Jordan had said during the 2019 campaign that he may not be able to make the 2020 grid, after long-time sponsor Pirtek pulled its backing. However, he was then confirmed as a factory BMW driver earlier in the year. Neither party has made any comment as to whether the current announcement is linked to budgetary reasons.
“Team BMW and WSR regret to announce that driver Andrew Jordan has made the difficult decision to withdraw from the 2020 British Touring Car Championship,” said a statement from the team.
“We would like to thank Andrew for his immense contribution to our BTCC success story, which includes 10 race wins, three Manufacturers’ titles and the runner-up spot in last year’s Drivers’ Championship, and to wish him the very best for the future.”
WSR Team Principal Dick Bennetts thanked Jordan for his efforts with the team, which he joined ahead of the 2017 season.
“AJ has made a huge contribution to our BTCC success since 2017 – coming so close to winning last year’s title – and we’re sorry to be losing him,” said Bennetts.
“On behalf of all at WSR and Team BMW, we thank him for our seasons together and wish him well for the future.”
Jordan said that his head had to overrule his heart in making the decision to withdraw from the 2020 season.
“After much thought and consideration, I have made the difficult decision to not compete in the 2020 BTCC season with Team BMW,” said Jordan.
“As I’m sure many can attest to, the current climate has impacted all of us more than we could ever have anticipated.
“Unfortunately, this has placed me in a position where my head had to overrule my heart, and the tough decision was made to not compete this season.
“Thank you to all those who have made this 12-year journey a possibility; becoming BTCC champion was more than I could ever have imagined.
“Over the past year, I have been humbled by the time and effort so many people, on all sides, have put in to try and ensure this dream of mine remained a reality.
“I’d like to thank BMW, WSR, and all my sponsors for the incredible three years we’ve had together. We’ve achieved so much, and I will be forever grateful to have worked alongside the best in the business.
“I’ll be cheering them on when the season starts and wish them every bit of success.”