Tough day for the Jordans

It was a tough day at Rockingham on Sunday (13 April) for Mike and Andrew Jordan in the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship. A series of engine and gearbox problems hit the team and they left the Corby track with only a ninth place in the final race of the day for Mike.Mike (50) and Andrew (18) are making BTCC history this season in the pair of Honda Integras from John Guest Racing by being the first father and son team to compete in the championship.But the Rockingham weekend proved to be one of those times when motor racing delivers some cruel blows to a team and Andrew was unable to finish any of the races as gearbox problems dogged his day. Despite tireless work by the team, including gearbox changes and rebuilds between races, the problem could not be cured and with the car jumping out of gear Andrew was forced to retire rather than risk damaging the engine.For Mike, the problems started early in the first of the three races when a rare engine failure struck. "About half a dozen laps into the first race, going through the banking I heard something, which I thought might be a cracked exhaust. As I wound it straight, still listening to it, the engine let go. It was a very, very rare engine failure," he explained.The team then worked flat out to change the engine and Mike was able to start the second race from the pit lane. However, he soon knew he had a gearbox problem and toured back into the pits."For the last race we cobbled a gearbox together for my car from Andy’s broken one and the spare and it ran fine," said Mike, although Andrew was once again forced out with on-going gearbox problems as torrential rain left the track flooded in places.On the green flag lap it was spitting with rain and Mike decided to use worn wets, which are good on a damp track. But the start was delayed and very soon the track was awash, so Mike had to return to the pits for full wet tyres."In the dry round here, my car runs very stiff and because I hadn’t softened it up it was just a nightmare in the wet," said Mike of the early laps of the race. "I can't remember having so many near misses and not ending up in the gravel. But when it started to dry a bit towards the end, the car started to come better."However, a gritty drive netted ninth place to at least end a trying day on a positive note. "Nobody said this was easy and Rockingham was a tough day for us," said Mike. However, with typical determination, the team is already switching its attention to the next BTCC weekend at the home track of Donington Park on 3/4 May.