BMW Pirtek Racing head to Thruxton this weekend aiming to get their Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship title challenge back on track.
Driver Andrew Jordan took a stunning victory on his first weekend with the WSR-run team at Brands Hatch last month to launch himself into contention for a second BTCC crown to add to the one he claimed in 2013.
But the Lichfield racer endured a luckless race day at his local circuit of Donington Park last time out as his BMW 125i M Sport’s strong raceday pace was undone by a series of incidents outside of his control.
Andrew, who lies seventh in the BTCC Drivers’ Championship, has a strong record at Thruxton, which is the fastest circuit in the UK with average speeds of over 110mph.
He has won there in two of the past three seasons, finished on the podium nine times, scored three of his six BTCC pole positions and benefits from a car that carries only 27kg of success ballast into the weekend.
WSR, who won both the BTCC Teams’ and Manufacturers’ Championship titles in 2016, have also tasted success at the Hampshire Speedbowl with 12 podiums and three wins, including the largest victory margin of the past 20 years – 11.591 seconds – in 2006.
The Thruxton triple-header on May 6-7 is the third of 10 events in this year’s BTCC, which takes in nine circuits the length and breadth of the country. Each race will be screened live and exclusively on ITV4 in HD.
Andrew Jordan said: “Thruxton is one of the best circuits in the UK for me; both in terms of the amount of success I’ve had there and in how much I enjoy the high-speed nature of the track. Getting Church corner just right feels amazing and can set you up with a slipstream for a real passing opportunity at the chicane, but it takes huge commitment. After the disappointment of Donington, where we didn’t get the results our pace deserved, this is where we’ll aim to get our championship assault back on track.”
Dick Bennetts, Team Principal, said: “After a very positive start at Brands Hatch, things didn’t quite come together for BMW Pirtek Racing at Donington, for a multitude of reasons that were outside of our control and Andrew’s. Now we head to Thruxton, which is traditionally one of Andrew’s best tracks. The joker in the pack this weekend is the new-for-2017 Thruxton tyre, but we had two 45-minute test sessions with them there recently and think we’ve got our heads around how best to use them. Thruxton tends to favour front-wheel-drive cars in qualifying, but the BMW is always kind to its rubber in race conditions, so there’s no reason why this weekend shouldn’t be a good one.”