Why Andrew Jordan stepped away from the BTCC…

Andrew Jordan’s rise to the top of the British Touring Car Championship had been impressively relentless. It all really came together back in 2013, when he secured the title driving a Honda Civic run by the family Team Eurotech. From there his pace, experience and popularity with sponsors led to a seat with the WSR-run BMW squad as team-mate to Colin Turkington.

By the start of the 2019 season, Jordan, by then a little older and wiser, was perfectly placed to challenge for the BTCC crown again – and were it not for a disaster at Donington, he could easily have taken his second title. Instead, a hefty shunt in the opening race, when he was tipped sideways at the Old Hairpin and then collected, wrecked his day. While his title rivals were lining up for race two, Jordan was on his way to hospital to be checked over. Turkington won twice that day and Jordan didn’t score a point, and he missed the title by two points in the final reckoning.

There was sure to be another year, though, and everything looked rosy for 2020. Jordan’s long-time backer Pirtek had called time on its BTCC campaign, but BMW wanted him in the hugely effective 330i and a deal was struck. He had to bring some money to the party, but loyal backers helped conclude the deal. And then the coronavirus struck last March and it all went wrong.

With the start of the BTCC season delayed for around four months, deals were revisited and Jordan found the goalposts moving. Faced with a changed deal that left him exposed to a budget shortfall and the financial risk of accident damage, he had to take a deep breath and rethink his plans. A shunt like the one at Donington in 2019 could wreck Jordan and his family financially. It was a risk he simply couldn’t afford to take, and he had to step away from the BTCC.

It was a tough call, for he would surely have been a prime contender for 2020. In a compacted season, Turkington was in the title hunt until the final race when Ash Sutton tigered ahead. Jordan watched the season unfold from a distance, yet even that wasn’t straightforward. Jordan and his father, Mike, faced heavy legal action for not being able to take up the WSR drive and they ended up making a significant payment to finally close the door.

Inevitably the whole saga left a rather bitter taste, but Jordan’s standing as an acknowledged BTCC title contender had prompted other offers for 2020 and again for this year. After due consideration, however, he declined, freeing him up to concentrate on the Jordan Racing Team’s ever-growing demand for the build and preparation of historic race cars.

Jordan has long loved the pure driving experience of racing historics and has starred at Goodwood several times in the past when BTCC commitments have allowed. Having a car with no downforce and limited rubber moving around beneath him is his favourite racing experience. Building and running Lotus Cortinas, Porsche 911s, Lotus Elans and AC Cobras for customers is at the heart of the Tamworth-based family business, and having Jordan’s driving skill on tap is a massive plus for customers.

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“I don’t have to commit to a championship because this will fit around the commitment to customers,” says Jordan. “I’d love to do them all, but if there are only three or four I can do, that’s fine. It’ll be a good car next year and in five years.”

He may be a BTCC champion but Andrew Jordan is first and foremost a racer. He’ll enjoy racing his Mini Miglia at Cadwell Park or drifting an AC Cobra around Goodwood. Right now, getting back into the BTCC is not high on his agenda. Never say never, of course, but for the time being, he’s just enjoying his sport.

Paul Lawrence