Andrew Jordan spoke to The Checkered Flag about his new challenge ahead with Triple Eight Race Engineering in the 2015 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, feeling the excitement already in a bid to reclaim his title.
As a bright-eyed 19-year-old youngster coming through the motorsport ranks in rallycross and car racing, Jordan was hoisted into Triple Eight’s championship-winning squad in 2009 alongside championship winners Matt Neal and Fabrizio Giovanardi. Four years later, he was celebrating a maiden BTCC title triumph at Brands Hatch, and now he returns to Triple Eight on the start of a new chapter.
The visibly elated Jordan was present at the Autosport International Show on Thursday morning to assist the official unveiling of the team’s Pirtek-liveried Triple Eight MG6 GT, Jordan having penned a one-year deal with the multiple BTCC champions.
Jordan’s anticipated switch to the team he previously drove for in 2009 was announced to the public on Wednesday morning, replacing his former championship rival, Jason Plato, while moving away from his Independent Eurotech squad.
“A lot of people say they’re excited at this time of year, but I really am. It’s a new way of life.” – Andrew Jordan
The 2013 champion admitted that the switch to Triple Eight had been long in the pipeline – since Oulton Park’s June 2014 meeting in fact – but asserted that the move which creates a new chapter in his already excitable BTCC career was an opportunity he could not let slip through his fingers.
Jordan, who became a father also towards the end of 2014, told TCF: “It’s a new chapter. A few people have said they’re surprised I’m moving away from the family team, but you can’t stay there forever. I had to look at the best option, simple as that.
“I knew them from 2009 and obviously I’m a lot different to then. I’m looking forward to going back and taking what I’ve learnt with me about the Honda. It’s exciting, and I can’t wait to get started.
The combination of having the works MG assistance and more time to undergo pre-season training regimes has seemingly lit the fire in the 14-time BTCC race winner’s belly to a personal high, the Pirtek-sponsored driver saying: “A lot of people say they’re excited at this time of year, but I really am. It’s a new way of life.”
Jordan will bring across his race engineer and number one mechanic to the MG squad, the Triple Eight outfit still the most successful on the grid with six Drivers’ titles and most recently having helped MG secure thr 2015 Manufacturer’s crown thanks to eight wins across the year.
Commenting on his motivation for the move, Jordan added: “It came down to what I thought was going to give me the best chance of winning the championship. I wouldn’t be doing it if I didn’t think it was going to be a competitive package.
“I’ve taken my race engineer and number one mechanic, and I know Ian [Harrison] very well, so I don’t think there’s going to be a feeling out process. I go to the first test day with the view of being right on it straight away.
The 25-year-old therefore parts company with the Independent Eurotech squad he fought to the 2013 BTCC crown with, one of six seasons spent with the team and his father, Mike Jordan.
Eurotech now expect to continue with Jeff Smith returning as a shareholder and driver at the squad, Jordan jnr saying that the time was right to switch given the changes taking place.
“It came down to what was going to be the best option, whether it was emotional or not. I’ve had some great times with Eurotech and won the championship there, but going forward it’s not going to be Eurotech as it was.
“It’s not going to be the family team, I’m not going to be involved with it, Dad’s hardly going to be involved with it. So the time was right, not to take anything away from what we did together.”
Jordan instantly targets a second championship to his name in 2015, but understands the pressure that will come from the likes of drivers he picks out such as Andy Priaulx, the triple World Touring Car Champion joining current Teams’ title winners, West Surrey Racing.
“I think the rear-wheel drive cars are going to get pegged back a little bit”, concluded Jordan. “This [MG] was the fastest front-wheel drive car last year, and we’ve just got to make it a bit quicker.
“The grid is always going to be strong, and Andy Priaulx coming in is fantastic. But we saw last year with Fabrizio [Giovanardi] and Alain [Menu] coming in, it is hard. They are hard cars to get a handle on, and they are quite heavy for what they are.
“It’s good to have these people coming in, don’t get me wrong. But I expect it to be the usual guys that you’re fighting, and consistently watching to see if you’re outscoring.”