BMW Pirtek Racing’s Andrew Jordan starts the latest round of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship from the sixth row of the grid after an ultra-close qualifying session at Rockingham.
Lying sixth in the points table and carrying 33kg success ballast the Lichfield driver qualified 11th – less than 0.4 seconds from pole position – in his WSR-run BMW 125i M Sport.
Andrew, a race winner in his BMW at Rockingham last year, served notice of his intent to challenge for the top spot this weekend by setting third-fastest time in morning practice.
But as the 1.9-mile oval-cum-road course rubbered-in and the extra weight became more important on the more grippy track surface, the 2013 series champion had to be content with a spot on the sixth row as just one second covered the top 28 cars.
Andrew Jordan said: “Last year I qualified 18th here and came away with a win in Race Three, and we’ve definitely benefited this year from trying to take each weekend as a whole, rather than looking at each session in isolation. Thinking long-game, 11th isn’t a bad place to be in when you look at how close the times are and where the cars around us in the championship are starting. The BMW feels good, so the aim is just to keep my nose clean, rack up the points and see where that puts us at the end of the weekend.”
Dick Bennetts, Team Principal, said: “Andrew’s done a good job to be 11th with the ballast he’s carrying. We tried some pretty radical things with the set-up in practice to see if we could find some extra speed, but he’s comfortable with the car and it does seem that the only limitation on his laptimes is the weight. Last year he was three rows further back and won the last race, so from higher up, we’re sure he can help his title challenge with some strong results tomorrow.”