Currently reading: BTCC preview: Andrew Jordan's fast lap of Brands Hatch
MG 888 Racing's Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship ace Andrew Jordan explains how to bag pole position around the short Indy circuit
Autocar
News
2 mins read
3 April 2015

The lap you see in the video from 2014 (below) was actually my second attempt at getting pole position for the season-opener, and it is always all action at Brands Hatch.

You will see that as I get to Paddock Hill Bend, the swooping downhill right-hander, I quickly bang the gearbox down to fourth and then, almost before I am at the apex, I go back up to fifth.

This is because it helps get the car stopped in fourth, but you can be much more aggressive on the power coming out of the corner in fifth because you are lower down the rev range.

In fourth gear, you could light the wheels up under heavy acceleration and understeer out wide, so that was my thinking there.

Also, you’ll see I have a real sideways moment, and that could have been my undoing by changing up early.

You need revs to pull you out of a situation like that when the tail snaps around, but I was quite low down in the rev range in fifth. If it had snapped any further, I would have been in trouble but I got away with it – but then, Paddock Hill Bend is always on a knife-edge.

On my previously lap I had been very late on the brakes in to Druids, the hairpin, which comes next. I decided to back it off a little bit and I braked early on this lap.

You can get to the apex faster by braking later but you then run the risk of scrubbing off too much speed and compromising your exit. I thought going in a little slower would give me gains on the way out of the corner, and it did.

I got through Graham Hill Bend, the left-hander, and helpfully the traffic ahead got out of my way.

I could see my split time was up on the exit of that corner and I think I got overexcited and grabbed too much kerb too early at the really fast left-hander at Surtees.

That launched the car a little too much and flung it towards the apex of the following right-hand kink a bit too early, which made it a sharper corner than it should have been.

That compromised me a little, but I gathered it up for Clearways and the run to the finish line.

I knew it was a good lap, but you never really know if it is enough at Brands Hatch, where the lap times are separated by hundredths. Thankfully, it was.

Andrew Jordan was speaking to Matt James, touring car correspondent for Motorsport News.

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