BTCC independents' titles for Jordan and Pirtek Racing
News release date: Monday 22 October 2012
In a fabulous day for the Pirtek team in front of a huge crowd, Andrew achieved his target for the season of winning the BTCC Independents’ Trophy, while Pirtek Racing won the Independent Teams’ Trophy to make it a perfect end to a magnificent season in the biggest and best race championship in Britain.
Andrew knew that his Pirtek Honda Civic would be quick around the daunting Grand Prix circuit at Brands Hatch and that was underlined right from the start of the all-important weekend. “In Free Practice 2 we were seven-tenths quicker than everyone so we knew we were in good shape,” he said of Saturday morning. “We had a great base set-up out of the box. In qualifying I got pole on my last lap and then got bumped by eight-hundredths of a second by Tom Onslow-Cole.”
Despite persistent rain that continued all through Sunday, the opening race went absolutely to plan as Andrew knew that his Independent rival Rob Collard would be quick off the line in the rear-wheel drive BMW. “Collard got past me off the start, which we expected,” Andrew confirmed. “I didn’t get a great start so I was back to fourth behind Collard and Matt Neal. But I got past Collard on the first lap and then Matt and I both got Onslow-Cole. After the safety car Matt had a bit better pace than me, so we took second place and the Independents’ win and we knew that meant we now had a 35-point lead over Collard.”
The start of the second race followed a similar pattern, but within a lap Andrew knew that he had achieved his 2012 goal. “I got another poor start for race two and Collard passed me, but he got turned round at Druids and taken out of the race. I knew he was out and I knew that made me champion. That also put us to the front of the Independent teams’ championship over the Ebay and Redstone teams,” he said after finishing fourth.
With the drivers’ title secure, Andrew knew what he had to do in the third and final race and drove a measured race to fourth place. “The last race was all about the teams’ championship. We were in a position to get it and then Mat Jackson from Redstone retired, so we just followed the works Hondas home and did a nice formation finish across the line. It was a great day. The conditions, particularly around the Indy circuit, were really bad and everyone was struggling for grip. To win the Independent teams’ championship when we’d gone to Brands behind, was really good for all the guys. It was a perfect result.”