Triple Eight Race Engineering Team Principal Ian Harrison says that the signing of former Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship title winner, Andrew Jordan, was the perfect replacement for the team’s departing star, Jason Plato.
The most successful squad on the grid among the current BTCC field with six Driver’s titles and seven Team’s crowns to their name, Triple Eight’s clean slate began with the announcement that 2013 BTCC champion Jordan will be the team’s first driver in 2015.
The 14-time race winner brings Pirtek sponsorship across from his family-run Eurotech squad that he has raced with for six of his seven BTCC seasons, the team hopeful of adding a second MG6 GT to run alongside their new signing.
“His age, his profile and his speed make him a pretty straightforward choice; it was a bit of a no-brainer for us.”
Jordan will fill the seat vacated by former double champion, Plato, who parts company with the touring car giants after three successful years together that tallied up to 12 pole positions, 20 race wins and three consecutive top-three finishes in the championship, the Greatworth-based team also helping MG to the Manufacturers’ crown last season.
Triple Eight founder and Team Principal, Harrison, said: “ It was a commercial decision from their side, not ours; but it gave us an opportunity to change things around and that’s sometimes not a bad thing. We knew that we were coming to a bit of a crossroads for 2015, so we had to go out and try and find a replacement for Plato, which is difficult.
“There aren’t many people out there who can replace a driver like that. We looked around and Andrew was the obvious choice”, stating that the appointment of another BTCC champion in Jordan was a healthy scoop for the squad’s performance as well as brand.
“His age, his profile and his speed – which goes without saying – make him a pretty straightforward choice; it was a bit of a no-brainer for us. We thank Jason for his contribution over the past three seasons; we had a pretty good go at it. We wish him luck this year, and I am sure we will be firing broadsides at each other throughout the season.”
The partnership of Triple Eight and Jordan is not a new one. Back in 2009, the then-champions ran a 19-year-old Jordan alongside fellow BTCC title winners, Matt Neal and Fabrizio Giovanardi, where he claimed a maiden pole position at Donington Park in a Vauxhall Vectra that season.
Speaking of the relationship with Jordan, Harrison continues, “There is mutual respect between us because we have worked together before, and that is important. It is important that people understand that you are going to do your damnedest to do the right thing and Andrew and his backers know that.”
Triple Eight plans to run another factory MG alongside Jordan’s Pirtek-backed version in 2015, discussions reportedly in the final stages of negotiation with several parties.
Harrison adds on the topic of a second car and driver: “We would be looking for a younger driver. With manufacturers trying to sell a big volume of small-sized cars; the guys that normally buy those are the 21-year-olds.
“The manufacturers need guys that they can use to do that, so a choice that supports that is the best one for us. We have options, but it is not sorted out yet.”