Reigning champion Andrew Jordan held a familiar place at the top of the standings following a double triumph in the opening round of the 2014 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch, leading by two points after sharing the victories with Colin Turkington.
The Pirtek Racing Honda Civic driver sent out a message on Saturday afternoon with a late pole position effort to deny practice pace-setter Jason Plato and MG the spoils, lowering his own pole time from the event 12 months ago in the process.
Jordan then claimed the opening race of the season less than 24 hours later with a lights-to-flag drive to beat Plato in race one at the Kent circuit, before doubling his tally in race two after resisting pressure from the Honda Civic Tourer of Gordon Shedden.
“It’s not easy with Jason Plato that close to you, but then in race two I had even more pressure from Shedden”, Jordan said after his success in the opening pair of races when speaking to The Checkered Flag.
“It was close, because obviously we had more weight on and [Shedden] didn’t nearly have as much as us, so it was a really, really hard race.
“I had to be really precise and make no mistakes – one mistake and he would get close to passing me.”
Jordan said that a top six position in the third and final race would have been an “amazing” result, but the Honda man found himself buried in the centre of a battle within the latter end of the top 10, only recording 13th place but crucially making it to the flag unscathed to round off a championship-leading performance after round one.
The result sees Jordan leading the way on 47 points after the first three of 30 races, just two ahead of the consistent works Honda of Matt Neal and three ahead of Turkington, who recovered from damage sustained to his BMW 1-Series in race one to fight to victory in the final encounter of the day for West Surrey Racing.
The result means Jordan enters Donington Park on 19/20 April also carrying the maximum 45kg of penalty ballast, a problem the Honda man handled well in 2013, but added cautiously: “With the weight on the car it feels just a bit more lazy. It’s obviously a lot better without it, but I’ll happily take the race win than be without it and have no win.”
On how much this year’s championship potentially would rate, Jordan himself commented: “It would be just as sweet. It was sweet getting my first one, but there’s still only a whole season to go!”
Official BTCC standings after round 1/10:
1) Andrew Jordan – 47 pts
2) Matt Neal – 45 pts
3) Colin Turkington – 44 pts
4) Gordon Shedden – 40 pts
5) Jason Plato – 38 pts
6) Rob Collard – 34 pts
7) Adam Morgan – 18 pts
8) Sam Tordoff – 17 pts
9) Nick Foster – 16 pts
10) Rob Austin – 16 pts