Jordan claims fantastic BTCC victory
Mike Jordan claimed a remarkable victory in round six of the 2006 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Mondello Park on Sunday (23 April).
After a troubled weekend with the John Guest and Pirtek-supported Honda Integra, the team found a broken anti-roll bar before the third race and, with the car's handling transformed, Jordan swept to a victory that was watched live on ITV1 by more than a million viewers.
"It's unbelievable to score my first BTCC win, especially after such a bad weekend. We'd just been off the back foot the whole weekend, so to go and get that win is amazing," said an elated Jordan after spraying the champagne on the podium. "This is a brilliant result for the team and my sponsors. I'm so pleased for them."
However, the weekend did not start well as a misfire dogged the car throughout Saturday's free practice sessions. "It's been misfiring all the time and we've changed a lot of the obvious things. I wanted to be top six here and if we get rid of the misfire, that's achievable. It was finally running OK in qualifying but we've now got chronic understeer," said Mike after struggling to 11th fastest time in qualifying
In Sunday's first race he dropped to 14th off the start and managed to battle back to ninth by the flag, but all was not well with the car's handling. In race two Mike nipped through to fifth at the first corner as others clashed, but was struggling for pace and dropped to seventh by the finish, still battling against poor handling. "It was dire for race one, so we changed the set-up for race two and it was still dire," he confirmed.
However, before the third and final race of the weekend the team found the problem. A front anti-roll bar had broken right through, but was hidden from view. Once they had found the problem, the team had little time to change the bar and just had the car ready in time for the third race. "The guys worked so hard. The Team Dynamics boys gave me one of Matt's spare roll bars," said Mike, who now had a front row grid slot for the final race of the day due to the BTCC reversed-grid format for the third race.
"I wasn't sure how good it was going to be, but we just put the car back on the set-up that Team Dynamics had told us, and it was perfect. The car was absolutely spot on," said Mike, who led from the start and kept his nearest rival at arm's length. Vauxhall racer Gavin Smith chased, but could never get on terms with the Team Eurotech car and Jordan swept to a dominant victory as the rest of the field battled for third place.
"When Smith was catching me a little bit, I could just play the gap. I kept pushing to keep the gap about the same. What a result! We'd had a mare of a weekend until then, but if you've got a good car under you, it's a lot easier!"
As well as the BTCC silverware, Jordan was also presented with the Will Hoy Memorial Trophy, presented in memory of the popular former BTCC racer. "I'm so proud to get that," added Mike after a truly amazing day.