BMW Pirtek Racing were left to rue their bad luck at the second Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship event of 2017 at Donington Park on Sunday.
Driver Andrew Jordan, who was competing at his local circuit, showed strong race pace throughout the day and set the fastest lap in Race Two, but claimed just three points; scant reward for the efforts of the WSR-run team.
Having finished 15th in Race One, the Lichfield driver was spun backwards off the track on the opening lap of Race Two, dropping him to the tail of the field.
A stirring fightback ensued as the 2013 BTCC Champion climbed from 30th to 15th and claimed his first fastest lap since switching to the rear-wheel-drive BMW 125i M Sport.
The final race started in atrocious weather, but these were no barrier to Andrew’s as he climbed from 15th to seventh in just half a lap. Unfortunately, his progress was undone as the race was stopped immediately and the grid was re-set in its original order.
Yet more bad luck was lying in wait for the 27-year-old at the restart as contact from another driver punctured his front-right tyre, sending him into the pits for a replacement. Yet more strong pace brought him to 18th by the chequered flag.
Despite Andrew’s bad luck, BMW retained the lead of the BTCC Manufacturers’ Championship at Donington. Andrew is seventh in the Drivers’ points while BMW Pirtek Racing are seventh in the Teams’ title race.
The next event takes place at Thruxton, Hampshire, on May 6-7.
Andrew Jordan said: “What a strange weekend. I’m actually pretty pleased with the pace we’ve shown, but we’ve had such shockingly bad luck that the result is just a handful of points. Setting the fastest lap in Race Two was good; it’s just a shame it was part of a comeback drive after I was spun around on the first lap. In the wet third race I moved up from 15th to seventh in half a lap, lost all of that when the race was red-flagged and then got hit at the first corner on the restart. I had to pit to replace a punctured tyre, which ruined my race. But at least the car will be low on success ballast for Thruxton, which is where I’ll be aiming to strike back.”
Dick Bennetts, Team Principal, said: “BMW Pirtek Racing have suffered the most unbelievable bad luck today and because of this, Andrew has been totally unable to benefit from what has been strong race pace. He set the fastest lap in Race Two – his first in a rear-wheel-drive touring car – and twice had to charge through from the back. Three points is not in any way indicative of Andrew’s pace today, but we knew this wasn’t going to be the best circuit for rear-wheel-drive cars, and we’re aiming for much better things in the coming rounds.”