Before becoming the British Touring Car Championship star that we know him as today, Andrew Jordan was first and foremost a Rallycross driver, winning the Supercar category title in the MSA British Rallycross Championship back in 2007. Ever since he left the sport to explore pastures new, the young Englishman has wanted to return to his roots.
Following a recent test with Swedish team OMSE, the chances of Jordan racing in rallycross are more positive than ever. Jordan has been making no secret to his desire to return to rallycross for some time, the test with OMSE arranged between himself and Andreas Eriksson, away from Jordan’s BTCC commitments.
“I spoke to Andreas and he said I could go and test the car. True to his word, he contacted me to say when they were running a test at Swedish circuit, Strangnas, so I went to drive the latest rallycross supercar,” said Jordan.
“I had such a big smile on my face all day when I was driving that car. They are awesome. The cars have come on a very long way since I last raced a supercar. They are so clever with the electronics, launch control and gears etc, it’s just like driving a touring car with more power that also goes on gravel. The car is easy to drive and I felt comfortable in it from the start.”
They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, and judging by the smile plastered on Jordan’s face in Sweden he has missed the thrill of a supercar. The way the BTCC front runner conducted himself on the test was impressive, having all the hallmarks of the professional that he is. After two very slow laps at the wheel of his hire car it was time to belt up in OMSE’s latest test car offering. I was expecting to see Jordan drive at least a sighter lap to get used to the power and surface changes again, but from the off he pitched the Fiesta into the first corner of his first lap and continued in a committed and controlled manner throughout.
Eriksson was obviously impressed with Jordan, making regular comparisons to Marcus Gronholm in his style of driving. A very smooth style that suits a modern rallycross car with good ALS (anti-lag); smooth through corners to get the car straight then get back on power, the ALS needs to react straight away.
While Eriksson was impressed with Jordan, the feeling was mutual. Following on in the series of track tests that he writes for British publication Motorsport News on different cars, Jordan commented that the OMSE workshops was like “walking into a top-level touring car team.”
“I really like Andreas and his way of working. He’s very proactive, and now I’ve seen the team at an event (when commentating in Sweden) they are very professional,” said Jordan, referring to his time spent in the commentary box this year for the RallycrossRX live coverage, alongside chief commentator Andrew Coley, who is full of praise for Jordan’s efforts as a novice behind the mic.
“Working with Andrew on RallycrossRX commentary has been great fun; he’s taken to it incredibly quickly and while we have a good laugh on air and off, he’s a real professional,” said Coley. “When I ask him a question on air he instinctively knows exactly why I’ve asked and what the viewers at home need to know; he’s great at putting it in terms that both expert and new viewers will understand.”
Jordan too has enjoyed the experience, a role he will again take up at Loheac for round seven of RallycrossRX, but his racers instinct isn’t to be standing on the sidelines.
“I have really enjoyed the commentary, but it’s hard being there and not racing myself. If anything it just makes me more determined to be on the grid. I’ve been impressed with what I have seen at the events I’ve been to, everyone’s upping their game with presentation since I last visited an European Championship round.”
With the exclusive insight Jordan has had of recent events from a commentators perspective, he has had chance to weigh up the sport he started in back in 2004. “Rallycross is on a roll. However, I’m not just jumping on the band wagon because it’s suddenly getting big, I’ve wanted to come back for a long time. I’m really passionate about the sport, and with IMG behind it there is a more realistic chance of putting something together. In the past for a career in motorsport you either went into saloon car / GT’s, single seaters or rallying but I think rallycross is becoming a real option of career choice.”
While Jordan is keen to return to rallycross, he has a fully backed BTCC programme until the end of 2015. “My main focus is on the British Touring Cars of course, that’s what we are doing and we are very lucky to have security in racing there. I love touring car racing but I also love rallycross. I really don’t think you have to be a one trick pony. Look at how successful Yvan Muller has been in touring cars, and at the same time he has done Andros Trophy (ice racing) too. I don’t want to rush into doing a rallycross event and not be well enough prepared. I also don’t see any point in doing just one round. Hopefully the clashes with RallycrossRX and BTCC will work well next year and I can do a few events. My ideal would be no clashes at all but that’s highly unlikely.”
At 23 years of age Jordan already has considerable top level experience. This, coupled with his ability displayed in his last foray in a rallycross supercar means that when he does return, he will certainly be one to watch.
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