I’ve had a few great rivals but the biggest was Colin Turkington. We were team-mates at BMW for three years and we fought each other for the championship in the BTCC in 2019. It was pretty tense at times, and intense, but I enjoyed it and we both had to raise our game.
We had the same equipment. Neither of us had any car advantage. It was a straight fight, and I knew I had to beat him to win the championship. We had to share the data. It was hard to keep a secret, but sometimes you’d keep something back, be a bit ‘selective’ about what you’d say, until it was time for qualifying.
Colin is very analytical, goes into everything very deeply, so I learnt from that, but you realise you’re never going to be quickest through every corner, every lap, every session. When you’re younger you think you can beat everyone everywhere. To win a championship you have to be selfish so while we were team-mates we were racing for ourselves.
At the penultimate round at Silverstone I was playing catch-up after a dreadful weekend at Donington where I missed two races after crashing in the first one. So it was very tense. I had to get tough. We did touch each other a couple of times, and we didn’t speak much after that Silverstone race. It was a big weekend for the championship. I could have put him in the gravel a few times but that was not the way I wanted to win a championship. I made it very clear, I was going to race him hard, regardless of being team-mates, but that I was not going to do anything that I would call unfair. We’d say ‘hello’, ‘good morning’, ‘how are you?’, but we didn’t chat much those last few races.
When I won at Knockhill, and Colin had been slung into the gravel, that was a massive swing in the championship and you could have cut the atmosphere in the truck with a knife. If you’d been a fly on the wall you’d have thought that was pretty awkward but, you know, we were generally amicable. With Colin you always knew he’d fight back, and I just knew I had to keep my head. A lot of it comes down to how well you can do in a bad situation, keep a cool head, remember how important each and every point will be at the end of the year.
Colin is fairly quiet so I never knew how stressed he was but he very rarely makes a mistake under pressure. In the end I lost the championship by two points, that’s how close it was. I loved the challenge of racing Colin and by the third year I reckon I did a better job than him. I tell you, it’s easier when your rival is in another team. You can be a bit more ruthless, and your team-mate will have your back if you’re in a title fight.”
Andrew Jordan and Colin Turkington head-to-head
Stats taken from the 2019 British Touring Car Championship.
*Three rounds per weekend; pole stood for all three races
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