Andrew Jordan dominates round 10 and 11 at Croft as Chilton takes round 12
BMW Pirtek Racing’s Andrew Jordan converted pole position into his fourth Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship victory of the season with an assured drive in the opener at Croft.
The 30-year-old dealt with race-long attention from Chris Smiley’s BTC Racing Honda, as well as a lengthy safety car period, to continue his race winning form from Thruxton last time out.
“Four wins already this year!” he said. “I was pretty nervous before today to be honest, certainly when it started to rain. I was just making sure I was careful when it was damp and after the safety car it was flat out. My thoughts as I went to the grid were ‘this is slippy!’. Sectors two and three were okay and I was properly on it through there, where Chris (Smiley) was strong in sector one.
“If we can do the double again it’d be fantastic. It’s drawing us back into contention after Donington Park. We need to keep our expectations in check – there are a lot of quick guys out there. We’re on good form. I feel good in myself and with the car and the team.”
Smiley held on to second in the early stages, despite coming under attack from Colin Turkington’s BMW and Tom Chilton’s Ford on the run down to turn one for the first time. The BTC Racing man was soon in his stride in the new Honda Civic Type R and would hold the position relatively comfortably for the duration to score his first podium of the season.
“After the season we’ve had so far, we’ve showed flashes of pace but not had the chance to follow it through,” said Smiley. “The car was on rails there. To come here and be as close as we were to BMW was great. I’m really happy for the team and for the points. I can’t thank these guys enough for all they do for me.
“The rear tyres take a bit of time to get going with us being front-wheel drive. Tom (Chilton) was keeping me honest. I was judging the gap. I wasn’t going to catch Andy (Jordan) and just wanted to keep second.”
The fight for the final place on the podium also went without change for the full 18 laps but it wasn’t without incident. Chilton did brilliantly to hold on to third from the fast-starting BMWs of Turkington and Tom Oliphant behind him and he ended the race as he started it, with both Bavarian machines on his bumper.
“It was tough out there, particularly with the rear-wheel drive cars up my bumper,” confirmed Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher’s Chilton. “I had to drive a very defensive line into the hairpin. It’s not the fastest way to drive but it kept them behind. Jordan was gone and we couldn’t keep up. We couldn’t reel him in.”
Oliphant and team-mate Turkington actually made contact midway through the contest as the former tried to make a gutsy move past the reigning champion. Turkington just about fended off Oliphant’s advances and went on to take fourth, and with it the outright standings lead.
Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Dan Cammish and Adrian Flux Subaru Racing’s Ash Sutton battled throughout, including light contact at one point, to claim sixth and seventh respectively, whilst Jason Plato settled for eighth in his Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall.
Ollie Jackson was part of that tussle in the lower end of the top ten but his challenge ended after making contact with a safety barrier. His Ford Focus continued initially but with bodywork rubbing on his front left tyre he eventually spun out.
The Hondas of Josh Cook and Matt Neal completed the top ten positions.
The safety car period followed a race-ending off for Rob Collard, whilst Nic Hamilton also slid off in a separate incident.
Andrew Jordan dominated Round 11 of the 2019 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship at Croft to claim a hugely impressive fifth win of the season.
The BMW Pirtek Racing man made a good getaway from pole position and pulled a comfortable gap from the chasing pack, as a gaggle of cars lined up behind BTC Racing’s Chris Smiley in second place.
Reigning champion Turkington eventually made it by Smiley’s Honda and reeled in Jordan’s sister 3 Series in the closing stages, but it wasn’t enough to prevent his stablemate from taking yet another victory.
“A second double of the year!” enthused Jordan. “West Surrey Racing and BMW; they’re the boys and girls. I knew it’d be hard and Colin (Turkington) would be strong and I went for it at the start. At the pace I was going, I knew he wouldn’t catch me. It’s easy to make mistakes and be greedy.
“My brother-in-law was here when I won my first race and he’s just won Le Mans as a race engineer, we’ve come a long way! When I said it after race one, I really believed the win-double was there and we’ve managed it.”
Turkington extended his advantage at the top of the standings with second place, also grabbing an extra point for setting the fastest lap of the race.
“Once again Croft proves to be a great track for BMW, and now for the new 3 Series,” said Turkington. “We knew we’d have to do some learning but all three cars have been really fast. It’s about scoring points as championship leader. You’ve got to keep your car towards the front end of the grid and that’s what we’ve done.
“I knew when I passed Smiley I wanted to be fair and I just waited on a slight mistake. By that stage Andy (Jordan) was well up the road. There’s only so much you want to risk in that situation.”
BMW’s chances of a podium clean sweep were dashed in the first big incident of the race as Tom Oliphant spun out of contention on the opening lap after running side-by-side with Dan Cammish’s Honda through the Chicane.
Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Cammish would eventually claim the final spot on the rostrum as he – and team-mate Matt Neal – made their way past Smiley’s ballast-laden Honda Civic Type R.
“Scoring a podium at my home race is fantastic,” beamed Cammish. “Given where I was 12 months ago, I wouldn’t have dreamed of that. We’ve worked our way forward and I’m really happy for that. I’m not sure I’ve got an answer for the BMWs. I asked for their times over the radio and it wasn’t good news.”
Unfortunately worse was to come for the fading Smiley on the final lap as he tried to defend from Ash Sutton’s Subaru Levorg. The pair had already touched at the Complex on the penultimate tour and it happened again on the run to the same corner, this time leaving Smiley’s stealth grey machine tipping into the barrier just two corners from the end of the race.
Adrian Flux Subaru Racing’s Sutton held fifth from a very lively Jason Plato, as the BTCC’s most successful driver proves his return to the podium isn’t far away.
Tom Ingram jumped two places in the closing stages as he passed BTC Racing’s Josh Cook and the stricken car of Smiley to take seventh.
Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher’s Tom Chilton was muscled down the order and eventually finished ninth, but the Ford will start the final race in pole position, whilst Laser Tools Racing’s Aiden Moffat rounded out the top ten.
Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher’s Tom Chilton claimed the final Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship race at Croft with a faultless performance in his Ford Focus.
Chilton – starting from pole position in damp conditions – had to defend for almost the entire race from Josh Cook and Jason Plato, but the multiple race winner do so in style to take an important win to ignite his championship challenge.
Cook and Plato also held station for the 17 lap duration but several attempts were made to get past by the BTCC’s most successful driver. The result represented a return to the podium for Plato – his first of 2019 – as the two time champion continues his impressive campaign so far.
2019 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Round 10 – Croft Circuit
1 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) BMW Pirtek Racing 18 laps
2 Chris SMILEY (GBR) BTC Racing +1.835s
3 Tom CHILTON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher +2.685s
4 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW+3.259s
5 Tom OLIPHANT (GBR) Team BMW+3.472s
6 Dan CAMMISH (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing+4.405s
7 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +4.736s
8 Jason PLATO (GBR) Sterling Insurance withPower Maxed Racing +6.150s
9 Josh COOK (GBR) BTC Racing +10.751s
10 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing+12.561s
11 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Team Toyota GB with Ginsters+15.460s
12 Jake HILL (GBR) TradePriceCars.com+16.361s
13 Stephen JELLEY (GBR) Team Parker Racing+17.004s
14 Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing+17.593s
15 Senna PROCTOR (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +18.161s
16 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport +18.814s
17 Jack GOFF (GBR) RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport +19.449s
18 Rory BUTCHER (GBR) Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid/RCIB Insurance+19.841s
19 Carl BOARDLEY (GBR) RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport +20.581s
20 Daniel ROWBOTTOM (GBR) Cataclean Racing with Ciceley Motorsport +22.955s
21 Mark BLUNDELL (GBR) TradePriceCars.com+29.810s
22 Rob SMITH (GBR) Excelr8 Motorsport+31.263s
23 Sam TORDOFF (GBR) Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid/RCIB Insurance+1m27.812ss
24 Nicolas HAMILTON (GBR) ROKiT Racing with Motorbase +2 laps
25 Michael CREES (GBR) GKR Scaffolding with Autobrite Direct +2 laps
26 Matt SIMPSON (GBR) Simpson Racing+3 laps
27 Sam OSBORNE (GBR) Excelr8 Motorsport+8 laps
28 Ollie JACKSON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher+10 laps
29 Bobby THOMPSON (GBR) GKR Scaffolding with Autobrite Direct+11 laps
30 Rob COLLARD (GBR) Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing+12 laps
2019 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Round 11 – Croft Circuit
1 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) BMW Pirtek Racing 15laps
2 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW+1.100s
3 Dan CAMMISH (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing+11.543s
4 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing+12.731s
5 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +20.209s
6 Jason PLATO (GBR) Sterling Insurance withPower Maxed Racing +20.753s
7 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Team Toyota GB with Ginsters+21.723s
8 Josh COOK (GBR) BTC Racing +22.119s
9 Tom CHILTON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher +22.401s
10 Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing+25.643s
11 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport +26.297s
12 Stephen JELLEY (GBR) Team Parker Racing+26.506s
13 Senna PROCTOR (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +26.965s
14 Rory BUTCHER (GBR) Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid/RCIB Insurance+27.307s
15 Sam TORDOFF (GBR) Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid/RCIB Insurance+31.083s
16 Jack GOFF (GBR) RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport +34.475s
17 Matt SIMPSON (GBR) Simpson Racing+35.987s
18 Tom OLIPHANT (GBR) Team BMW+36.292s
19 Rob COLLARD (GBR) Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing+36.473s
20 Ollie JACKSON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher+37.505s
21 Daniel ROWBOTTOM (GBR) Cataclean Racing with Ciceley Motorsport +38.335s
22 Carl BOARDLEY (GBR) RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport +38.876s
23 Bobby THOMPSON (GBR) GKR Scaffolding with Autobrite Direct+40.586s
24 Rob SMITH (GBR) Excelr8 Motorsport+44.381s
25 Michael CREES (GBR) GKR Scaffolding with Autobrite Direct +53.676s
26 Mark BLUNDELL (GBR) TradePriceCars.com+1m15.815s
27 Chris SMILEY (GBR) BTC Racing +1m19.807s
28 Nicolas HAMILTON (GBR) ROKiT Racing with Motorbase +1 lap
29 Jake HILL (GBR) TradePriceCars.com+13 laps
30 Sam OSBORNE (GBR) Excelr8 Motorsport+15 laps