Jordan tops crowded media day test

Andrew Jordan set the pace at Silverstone in the pre-season media day test which revealed a healthy entry list for the new season.

The 21-year-old set the quickest time of the session with a lap of 59.982s in his Eurotech Vauxhall Vectra as he completed 39 laps around Silverstone’s national circuit.

Jordan’s time proved to be an impressive quarter of a second faster than his nearest rival James Nash, sharing Tony Gilham’s Triple 8 Vauxhall Vectra in what proved to be a promising session for the NGTC turbo-engined Vauxhalls.

Third quickest was Honda’s Matt Neal who again showed strong pace in the turbo-engined Civic, finishing 0.1 seconds ahead of the man who beat him to the title last year, Jason Plato, despite suffering a puncture during the session.

2005-2006 champion Neal completed 43 laps with a car carrying ballast to simulate the weight penalties of the championship, while Plato did the same in his RML Chevrolet Cruze running the 2010 S2000-spec engine which, although lacking the straight-line power of the turbo-engined cars, was solid through the twisty second sector of the lap.

Mat Jackson’s strong pre-season continued with fifth place in the Motorbase Ford, while Tom Chilton was sixth in team AON’s all-new ‘Global’ Ford Focus.

Chevrolet’s Alex MacDowall and Honda’s Gordon Shedden made up the top eight, although Shedden’s day was limited to 25 laps when a turbo problem blighted his afternoon.

Paul O’Neill attracted a lot of attention from the hundreds of fans who attended at Silverstone, and he ended the day in ninth position on the timesheets with a solid showing in one of Techspeed’s brand-new sponsored Chevrolet Cruzes.

Andy Neate rounded out the top ten in the second AON Ford, ahead of Jordan’s Eurotech team mate Jeff Smith, who completed the most laps of the day with a total of 99.

Rob Collard and Nick Foster also continued to rack up solid miles in their BMW’s run by West Surrey Racing and ended the test down in 13th and 14th respectively, although Collard was only 0.7 seconds off Jordan’s time.

Tom Onslow-Cole’s first showing in AMD-Miltek’s Volkswagen Golf was a one to forget as he did not even make it onto the track for the session after his car suffered terminal overboost mechanical problems during low-speed photography runs around the track during the morning.

It was also a tough day for the new NGTC-spec Toyotas as Tony Hughes had his session come to an abrupt halt early on when the power steering failed on his Speedworks Avensis, while Frank Wrathall faired even less better as his similar Dynojet entry suffered gearbox problems that prevented him from even setting a lap.

The session was red-flagged for 10 minutes midway through the session when another one of the season newcomers, Chris James, spun on oil from his own car after the engine blew in his Chevrolet Lacetti.

Times from the media day:

1.  Andrew Jordan                         Eurotech Vauxhall              59.982s

2.  James Nash/Tony Gilham*   Triple 8 Vauxhall                   + 0.246s

3.  Matt Neal                                   Honda                             + 0.269s

4.  Jason Plato                                Chevrolet                        + 0.385s

5.  Mat Jackson                              Motorbase Ford            + 0.403s

6.  Tom Chilton                              Arena Ford                     + 0.412s

7.  Alex MacDowall                       Chevrolet                         + 0.466s

8.  Gordon Shedden                      Honda                              + 0.527s

9.  Paul O’Neill                              Tech-Speed Chevrolet   + 0.611s

10.  Andy Neate                              Arena Ford                      + 0.623s

11.  Jeff Smith                                 Eurotech Vauxhall          + 0.736s

12.  Liam Griffin                             Motorbase Ford              + 0.777s

13.  Rob Collard                              WSR BMW                      + 0.784s

14.  Nick Foster                               WSR BMW                      + 1.024s

15.  Dave Newsham                       Geoff Steel BMW            + 1.148s

16.  John George                            Tech-Speed Chevrolet   + 1.396s

17.  Tom Boardman                       Special Tuning SEAT    + 4.409s

*Nash set the time in Gilham’s car


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