Jordan and Smith upbeat despite feeling boost reduction effectsPosted: June 18, 2011 Filed under: British Touring Cars | Tags: Andrew Jordan, BTCC croft 2011, Eurotech, Jeff Smith, NGTC, Pirtek Racing Leave a comment
Eurotech Racing’s drivers Andrew Jordan and Jeff Smith are looking at progressing from their starting spots for Sunday’s opening race at Croft after an incident-free qualifying session.
The Vauxhall pairing have had an encouraging season so far and at Croft this afternoon Jordan qualified in a solid fifth position in tricky conditions, while his team-mate Smith could only manage 16th place in the second Pirtek Vectra alongside Arena Ford returnee Tom Onslow-Cole.
Jordan has enjoyed a very competitive start to his fourth season, and the 22 year-old now has his eyes on independent success. “I’m pleased with where we are at the minute and how we’ve progressed. We’ve not qualified outside the top five in any of the rounds yet out of five race meetings so that’s good for us.
“Our main aim is to win the independent’s title, and so we just need to keep chipping away and scoring points and see where it leads us.”
Jordan was upbeat about his qualifying: “We’re second independent and the second turbo car on the grid so I think that should stand us in pretty good shape for the races.
“The weather doesn’t bother me at all, the car is good in any conditions so we’ll just have to wait and see. We’ve got Collard ahead of us so I think he could just drive between the front row off the start, so who knows it could all start to kick off down there.”
Smith was happy with the way that his car has been running, but unfortunately he could only manage 16th on the grid in a tricky qualifying session, but will be strong in the race and he feels that the team’s race craft is their strongest point after a strong start to his first full season in BTCC.
“I’m enjoying it, really enjoying it. I followed it as a kid so it’s something I always wanted to do so I’ve finally got the opportunity to do so.
“If we can carry on chipping away then the reverse grids are the ones that we need to get right. We’re normally there or thereabouts and our race pace seems to be more competitive than qualifying so obviously we just seem to struggle that little bit in qualifying, but race craft has been pretty good.”
One of the talking points that came out of qualifying was the next chapter of the ongoing argument between turbo and normally-aspirated cars. After the complaints from drivers of normally-aspirated cars including Jason Plato in particular about the straight-line speed of the turbocharged cars, another o.o5 bar boost reduction was applied to the NGTC-spec cars, which includes the Vectras of Jordan and Smith.
The debate has now switched the opposite way after Plato then snatched his first pole of the season this afternoon by almost four tenths of a second, and drivers now fear that they have been finally penalised too harshly.
Smith was one of those that felt a sudden difference this weekend: “The engine is good, but it would have been even better if they didn’t keep reining us in, and with another 0.05 boost off it you can really feel it now.
“Everyone had the same chance at the start of the year so why moan about it if you didn’t take it”, he then joked. “You can see just looking at the grid it’s swung it all back round the other way, and now you’ve got Plato four tenths quicker.”
Jordan also felt that the situation was just becoming tedious, saying: “Whatever, It bores us all now! We’ve come here to race not to moan.”
Jordan enters the round sixth in the BTCC standings, 15 points behind championship leader Matt Neal, while Smith lies 13th in the points, joint top rookie in 2011 with Triple Eight Vauxhall’s Tony Gilham.