BMW Pirtek Racing kicked off the 2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship with a sensational victory as Andrew Jordan triumphed at the legendary Brands Hatch circuit.
From third on the race-three grid, Andrew, 27, made a superb start to snatch the lead into the first corner and maintained his advantage throughout the 24 laps to mark his maiden weekend in the WSR-run BMW 125i M Sport with his 17th BTCC victory.
A perfect result for BMW – who ended a 21-year absence from the BTCC as a Manufacturer entrant – was also the 70th victory for WSR and came after Andrew had resisted intense pressure from the similarly WSR-run Team BMW car of Colin Turkington.
Andrew, from Lichfield, Staffordshire, had earlier added a pair of sixth places to leave him third in the Drivers’ Championship; just seven points off the top spot, on what was also the maiden race weekend for BMW’s brand-new B48 modular engine.
The combined points scored throughout the weekend netted BMW the Manufacturers’ Award for the event and the lead of the BTCC Manufacturers’ Championship and put BMW Pirtek Racing third in the Teams’ points.
The next event takes place at Andrew’s local circuit, Donington Park, on April 15-16.
Andrew Jordan said: “What an incredible way to start the season! It feels pretty ridiculous to have won on my first time with WSR, my first time racing a rear-wheel-drive car in the BTCC, and on BMW’s first time back in the series as a Manufacturer entrant for 21 years. I’m over the moon. I was under a lot of pressure late in the race from Colin and I knew I’d probably taken a bit too much out of my left-rear tyre, so I decided to just protect my lines. But Colin’s an incredible team-mate and a gentleman on the track, so I knew he wouldn’t try anything silly. I couldn’t have imagined we could start this well and I need to thank everyone who’s contributed to this win.”
Dick Bennetts, Team Principal, said: “We couldn’t have wished for a better result for Andrew and BMW Pirtek Racing today. Two sixth places and a victory – the first for WSR representing BMW as a Manufacturer entrant – is fantastic. I was a bit nervous watching Andrew and Colin run close together at the end, but they both drove perfectly and BMW lead the Manufacturers’ Championship as a result. I can’t even begin to explain how hard everybody at the team and at our engine partner Neil Brown Engineering has worked to get the cars ready in time for this event. They all thoroughly deserve this.”