BMW Pirtek Racing will start the penultimate round of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship from the eighth row of the grid after an ultra-close qualifying session at Silverstone.
Andrew Jordan lies sixth in the Drivers’ Championship after three victories this season and carried 33kg success ballast into Saturday’s practice and qualifying sessions at ‘The Home of British Motorsport’.
The Lichfield racer worked through a wet morning practice and a dry afternoon session to hone the balance of his WSR-run BMW 125i M Sport and tried to maximise his slipstreaming opportunities in qualifying on the 1.6-mile Silverstone National Circuit, which is dominated by long straights.
Unfortunately, a crowded circuit late on denied him the opportunity to progress higher than 16th place; a frustrating position for the 2013 BTCC champion who found himself just two tenths of a second shy of a top-six starting spot.
BMW Pirtek Racing are seventh in the Teams’ Championship with six races to go while BMW are at the head of the Manufacturers’ points table.
Andrew Jordan said: “The car felt good in practice and we found a nice balance, so 16th is lower than we expected. FP1 was wet, which meant we didn’t do our normal new-tyre run during FP2 and used fresh rubber for the first time in qualifying. The result was understeer that we’d have been able to address in FP2 under normal circumstances. It probably only cost me a tenth or two, but has made a big difference because the whole grid is separated by a second. I qualified 18th at Rockingham and still managed to win Race Three, so the only direction I’m looking tomorrow is forwards.”
Dick Bennetts, Team Principal, said: “Qualifying has been extremely close at Silverstone. For the past two years, a second covered the top 22 cars; today it’s the entire grid, so even a tenth of a second can make a difference of six or seven places. The BMW has always been better-suited to race conditions and we’ve seen AJ win from qualifying positions like the one he’s secured today, so we’ll work hard overnight to put him in a position to race his way forwards.”