Andrew Jordan salvaged a trio of top-five results at an unpredictable second British Touring Car Championship round at Donington Park, the Pirtek Racing man maintaining his championship lead.
The reigning BTCC champion had his job made tougher by the maximum 45kg of penalty ballast for leading the championship heading into the second meeting of the season, qualifying seventh before salvaging three strong points-paying results in mixed weather conditions on Sunday.
Speaking to The Checkered Flag afterwards, a happy Jordan said: “If you’d have said that we could have had a third, fourth and fifth with the weight that we’d had at the start of this weekend, then I’d have been very surprised.
“The weight is having such an effect on your position in qualifying that it will hurt your weekend more, so to come away with that is really good. It’s been a good points day for us.”
The Honda Civic driver carved through from seventh to a podium finish in race one held in greasy conditions following a morning shower, backing that up with fourth place in race two despite a mistake at Old Hairpin allowing Gordon Shedden to inherit the spot in their tussle for the last podium place.
His final race however was blighted by a sideways moment heading into the first corner that dropped him down to 12th, Jordan graciously admitting it was a simple mistake before carving through the pack to an eventual fifth place, a pass on Jason Plato returning him to a joint points lead with the MG driver.
Commenting on the frenetic final encounter, Jordan added: “I’m a bit disappointed with the last race; it was my mistake at turn one, so fighting back through was good because I was very, very angry with myself!
“We had the pace to win that race. We were catching all of the guys in front of me and were on a mission, but aside from that, we’ve just got to forget that it happened now, and we’re in a good position still.
“That last race was one we might look back on and say that was important because we were down in 12th, so to fight back I drove it hard.“
Jordan and Plato will share the points lead, as well as second-placed penalty ballast of 36kg heading to Thruxton’s high-speed circuit on 3/4 May, a track Jordan admits a certain soft spot for having qualified on pole in the previous two seasons.
“Myself and Jason [Plato] have now got second-placed weight because we’re both joint [leaders], so that will help, but frankly I don’t think it will hurt as much around Thruxton because of the nature of the circuit.
“I love it, although I’ve been on pole the last two years and still haven’t won. I came so close last year to winning it, but we should be very strong and I can’t wait to get there.”
Championship standings after round 2/10:
1) Andrew Jordan – 87 pts
2) Jason Plato – 87 pts
3) Gordon Shedden – 86 pts
4) Colin Turkington – 84 pts
5) Matt Neal – 79 pts
6) Rob Collard – 56 pts
7) Sam Tordoff – 55 pts
8) Mat Jackson – 38 pts
9) Aron Smith – 32 pts
10) Tom Ingram – 30 pts