Racing lines: the ghost of BTCC yet to come

Andrew Jordan, former champ, will make a one-off appearance in 2022 car

Andrew Jordan will make a return to the British Touring Car Championship at Silverstone, 25/26 September. But we shouldn’t read too much into this: It will only be a ghost comeback.

The Toyota Corolla hybrid hybrid test car, which the 2013 champion has driven around British circuits in preparation for its big debut at the BTCC 2022 in 2022, will be the driver. This is all to allow the public to get a glimpse of the new technology and learn more through a full race meeting. Jordan will be strictly restricted from getting in the hurlyburly or interfering with any championship campaign.

He says, “I cannot get involved, so i will be starting at the pit lane.” “I am certain I will be given a detailed breakdown of the rules and regulations. I’ll have to read all the fine print… It takes more to get the hybrid before the public. Although they will allow us to be qualified, I believe we will be near the back.

This comment is contrary to Alan Gow, series boss. He predicted that the Speedworks-run hybrid would be faster due to the additional 40bhp per lap offered by M-Sport’s Cosworth system. M-Sport will also take over building the TOCA 2.0-litre turbo engines next year.

Hybrid test dummy

Jordan resigned from the BTCC last year during the first national lockdown. This was when his contract to race for BMW had changed prior to the delayed 2020 season. He is now focusing on his father Mike’s restoration and historic race, and the messy and costly tangle it caused. It was still “interesting” to get back into the BTCC and try new technology.

He says, “Really, the driver is just an experiment dummy for the smart guys and girls who take care of the electronics.” It’s a good job, so I don’t complain. It’s a great feeling to get paid to race a car. It’s great to return to those cars and drive them, as they are challenging in their own ways, to get back to where they brake for corners. It feels a lot later than what I am used to.

Although the exact details of the use of the hybrid power-boost feature in the BTCC are still being worked out, it is expected that the existing success ballast system will be completely scrapped in favor of balancing boost levels against races results.

Jordan says, “It will bring some strategies.” It’s more than an overtake button. You can also use it to defend. It would have a greater impact if they could get rid of success ballast, and only balance performance on how much boost each person has. Although a good driver, team and car can handle weight better than others but if your weight is the same as the other drivers and you don’t have a hybrid boost, it won’t be easy to make up for a bad situation like you can with ballast. Smarter drivers will still be able use it better in a race.

There is no going back

Is there any chance of a BTCC-style future relit Jordan’s fire to make a full return? Not at all. He says, “It’s all the past for me.” “I received an offer to drive this past year. I thought about it for a few days, then I decided to sit at home and not think about it. I would have said yes years ago and then dealt with the commercial aspects. But I politely declined and went back. With our busy lives, I would not have the time or energy to do this. I am very content with the 12 years I spent in the BTCC. I am happy. If it’s on, I will still watch it. However, I have no interest in competing again. I have done my time, and am now doing other things. “I can’t imagine myself ever going back.”

The future is now.

Jordan, who is still just 32, wants to concentrate on historics and create the Jordan Racing Team. The team already cares for nearly 40 cars. After a year, Jordan’s annual highlight, Goodwood Revival will be back in September. The Jordans will enjoy a busy weekend.

Jordan states that Jordan and Dad will be bringing their Austin A40, our first car, to the St Mary’s Trophy. We will be taking two Minis to customers for the John Whitmore Trophy [all-Mini Cooper] John Whitmore Trophy. Nick Swift is sharing his car with me. We’ll also be taking the Dragonsnake AC Cobra in the Stirling Moss Memorial Trophy. This is the pre-1963 GTs race. This is Mike Whitaker’s drag-racing car. It has been rebuilt to racing spec. It will race in the first race.

The Cobra is a bright, glittery pink car that we won’t forget. Jordan says that the 260 engine is the most powerful, but it isn’t as powerful as the older cars. They run on smaller tires and have a narrower body. Cobras can be a bit cumbersome. Dad will share the car with Mike, but I won’t be driving it. We won’t be able to see where we stand until we test at Goodwood because Jaguar E-Types are the main cars in this pre-’63 race. It will be the focus of a lot.

To win this year’s St Mary’s Trophy for 1950s hotrods, the Jordans will need luck or more accurately a sprinkle of rain. However, results are not everything at Revival. Jordan simply loves racing and is happy to be there. He smiles and says, “I don’t come to work thinking I can’t be arsed this day.”