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Champion Jordan takes the early advantage at Brands Hatch

Sunday, March 30 2014

Andrew Jordan completed a lights-to-flag victory in the opening Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship race at Brands Hatch today (Sunday). The reigning champion held off Jason Plato for the duration of the contest, whilst Matt Neal completed a champions' podium.

Jordan held onto his pole position and as Plato held station alongside, Colin Turkington was squeezed out and later on in the lap lost a place to Neal. Meanwhile Alain Menu was bundled out at Paddock Hill, rejoining dead last.

The two front row starters made a break for it with Neal and Gordon Shedden sandwiching Turkington in the chasing pack. Following the five champions, Rob Austin, Aron Smith and Rob Collard were next up, with Mat Jackson falling back after sliding wide at Clearways.

By half distance the leading pair had pulled away from the chasing trio and as Plato stalked Jordan, Turkington was lining up Neal's Honda, all the time aware of the threat from Shedden's example. The Scotsman drew level entering lap 14 and nipped past at Paddock Hill, with just enough space to defend into Druids. This had the effect of drawing Austin closer to the Ulsterman, with Smith and Collard also within striking distance.

Turkington lost ground on the Hondas and was left to defend, but Austin passed the BMW on lap 17. Collard passed Smith to protect his team mate, but the impressive Tom Ingram, Sam Tordoff and the third BMW of Nick Foster were now closing in. Mindful of the cars behind, Collard attacked Turkington but whilst the former champion was having none of it, Collard and Smith did get past.

Austin lined up an attack on the works Hondas, but ran out of time, as did Plato on Jordan, so the order at the front remained. Thus the reigning champion won the opening race of the season, and also took the fastest lap, gaining two bonus points.

"Jason helped me out at the start," Jordan said. "He came across on Colin, then I got a bit of a tap at the rear, which sent me sideways at Paddock! It was a busy first couple of corners and then it was the case of getting a rhythm. Jason is a great racer, he's hard but fair but that is how I like to race. It's perfect so far, but there's two more races to go."

Race two will take place at 14:17.

Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship Race One
1, Andrew Jordan, Pirtek, Honda, 24 Laps
2, Jason Plato, MG, +0.536s
3, Matt Neal, Honda Racing, +9.396s
4, Gordon Shedden, Honda Racing, +9.806s
5, Rob Austin, Exocet, +10.156s
6, Rob Collard, eBay Motors, BMW, +13.133s
7, Aron Smith, BMR, VW, +14.522s
8, Colin Turkington, eBay Motors, BMW, +15.341s
9, Tom Ingram, Speedworks, Toyota, +15.736s
10, Sam Tordoff, MG, +16.188s

Click here to view the full result.

Tickets for the opening round of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch on 29/30 March are available on the gate for £14 on Saturday and £32 on Sunday, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.