Defending British Touring Car Independent’s Champion Andrew Jordan believes the 2013 crown will be contested by the usual pretenders, and has set in sights on making the outright championship his.
Jordan won the Indy title in an NGTC Honda Civic and took the overall title down to the final round, finishing fourth.
Gordon Shedden, who claimed the crown at Brands Hatch, has been confirmed again at Honda Yuasa Racing alongside Matt Neal, while the other title protagonist in 2012 Jason Plato is set for another season at MG.
The Pirtek Honda driver, 23, believes that quartet – as well as Mat Jackson in the NGTC Motorbase Ford Focus and Rob Collard in West Surrey Racing’s new NGTC BMW 1 Series – will be battling for the championship again, despite even more teams running the series’ next-generation specification machinery.
“I still think it’ll be the usual ones [battling for the title despite there being more NGTC cars],” he told theCheckeredFlag.co.uk at the Autosport International Show. “I think Collard will be strong in the new BMW, the Hondas, Mat Jackson in the Focus and the MG, and us. I think it’ll be the usual ones up at the front. “
“[The outright title is] absolutely our aim. Me and the team are going to work very hard to achieve that. We got the car very good as a base set-up [last season] and in the winter testing we’re going to try and tweak it a little bit. You’re not going to find huge amounts but if we find a couple of tenths we’ve done a good job.”
One team aiming to battle at the front of the grid is Team-HARD., who will run up to five cars this season, including an NGTC Volkswagen CC for outgoing WSR driver Tom Onslow-Cole, and NGTC Vauxhall Insignias for 2012 Clio Cup champion Jack Goff and single-seater refugee James Cole.
Jordan, however, thinks they are undertaking a huge challenge – but welcomed the introduction of more youngsters, like Goff, to the championship.
“On paper I think it looks very good,” he said. “It’s going to be very hard running that many cars, because I know how hard it is to run two! We can concentrate on two cars, but good luck to him.
“It’s very important,” he said of the increasing number of young drivers in the series. “It’s a steep learning curve. I’m still learning.
“It’s one thing being quick over a lap but learning to race the touring car way I’m still learning that. I’m sure he’s very excited. It’s nice – I sound like I’m old, I’m only 23 – for young drivers to be coming into it.”