With an abundance of testing miles complete and two highly capably young drivers now on-board, MG Triple Eight Racing is primed for victory at the opening rounds of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) at Brands Hatch this Easter weekend (4-5 April).
It was just over five months ago that MG and Triple Eight lifted the prized BTCC Manufacturer / Constructor shield on a wet and windy Sunday evening last October, but the team has changed significantly since taking its 23rd BTCC title.
Joining the team this year is series front-runner, Andrew Jordan. The 25-year-old from Lichfield is by his own admission a more polished and accomplished driver than when he made his initial debut back in 2009, taking a popular BTCC title win in 2013.
“I’m more experienced than when I initially drove for Triple Eight and I’m driving a lot better too. I’ve got a title now, so that monkey is off my back, and this is the first year I can focus solely on being a racing driver. The MG is a very good car and we’ve got a great team here; I want to lead the team forward and go for the title again,” said Jordan.
In recent years Andrew has become somewhat of a Brands Hatch master, taking pole-position on the Indy circuit for the previous two seasons and notching up six podium appearances in three visits. The Pirtek-backed racer is keen to keep that momentum going by taking a third consecutive pole-position on the 1.22-mile track.
“I’m so focused to do that,” explains the Red Bull ace. “To get pole three years on the trot at the first race will be fantastic, and to do it this year with a new team and new car, that’s really my aim. It’s all about who doesn’t get traffic and who strings their lap together the best, which I’ve managed to do in the last few years. It will be close, that’s for sure.”
Joining Andrew at MG Triple Eight Racing this year is the talented 24-year-old, Jack Goff. No stranger to the BTCC, Jack has built up a cult-following in his previous two seasons of racing in the UK’s top saloon series, and his army of loyal followers have welcomed his move to join MG’s factory team.
With a bright and bold blue and orange livery, Jack’s MG6 GT features over 180 stickers, which represent every partner in his prized-sponsorship portfolio. Together this group of businesses enable Jack to race in the series, and it’s something that is important to the former MG Trophy racer.
“The stickers are like a badge of honour for me. Without the support of these businesses I wouldn’t be here speaking to you about Touring Cars, it’s as simple as that. Some of these firms have been with me since day one and together they keep me humble and remind me of the great support I have behind me,” commented the 2012 Renault Clio Cup GB Champion.
Having previously taken a best result of eighth on the Indy circuit, Goff, now in the fastest front-wheel-drive car of 2014, has an opportunity to challenge at the sharp-end. How does the Stokenchurch-based racer rank his chances of taking a maiden BTCC victory this season?
“Well, first things first, I need to get a good qualifying performance,” explains Goff. “We certainly have a car and team capable of winning races now, which I haven’t been able to say in past years. That’s meant as no disrespect to my previous teams, but this is definitely my best shot at becoming a podium regular and challenging for wins. It’s the opportunity I’ve been waiting for, so now I need to go out there and do the best job that I can.”
In previous years, MG and Triple Eight have faired exceptionally well at the kidney-shaped short circuit of the Kent track. The MG6 GT took a win (race 3) and a podium (race 2) on its 2012 debut, and has taken a further two wins and three podiums over the past two seasons.
Qualifying at Brands Hatch takes place on Saturday at 15:40 and on Sunday, the first three BTCC races of the year will be broadcast live and in high definition on ITV4 from 10:30. Make sure you follow MG on Facebook and Twitter for updates across the weekend.
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