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.
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 with Power 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