The team complete the SMRC eSports Spring Championship with another heat pole position and win, followed by a strong showing in the ultra-competitive final, taking a 4th and 5th place finish from the two races.
After four weeks and a steep learning curve in the world of Sim Racing, the team headed (virtually) to the iconic Silverstone GP circuit to take on an overnight race in the powerful Porsche 911 GT3 cars. Time-progression in the simulation was increased to 60x, meaning that the six-lap race would begin in the evening, race through the night, and finish in the morning.
The team were drawn in qualification heat 2, taking place on Thursday night, before the main event on Sunday. With the top five finishers going through, consistency and a clean race would be the key. Joining Jordan in heat number two was championship contender and holder of multiple world record laps in the simulation, Craig Lax. It would definitely be a tough race!
Lax held the top stop for most of the 10-minute qualifying session until, right at the last-gasp, Jordan rocketed into pole position by one tenth of a second, claiming the team's third pole of the series and one of the most unexpected!
At the lights, it was back to 'business as usual' as Lax leapt into the lead at turn one. Jordan was kept busy defending second place, but after a lap the gaps started to open up and Lax gradually extended his lead, and Jordan doing the same over the chasing pack.
Although Jordan was able to keep sight of Lax, it was clear the experienced sim-racer had a consistent edge as the gap steadily grew to 3.5 seconds over the opening half of the race. Then, disaster struck for the leader at Copse corner as Jordan rounded the fast sweeper to find Lax stranded in the middle of the road, facing sideways. He gladly inherited the lead at Lax got going again, first fighting back to second and then steadily closing on Jordan for the lead. It was a tense final couple of laps as the gap gradually came down, but in the end Jordan crossed the line with over a second to spare to claim the team's second win of the series.
"...I just focused on being smooth and consistent rather than go too fast or overdrive the car, which is so easy to do."
"That was definitely a race of two halves!' Said Jordan afterwards. 'Firstly, I was more surprised than anyone to be on pole and to be honest I never expected to stay there long so once Craig got ahead it was really just a case of trying to build a gap to the pack behind. Then when I say him spin at Copse I could hardly believe my luck! Of course I knew he wouldn't give up and would be trying everything to catch me at the end, so I just focused on being smooth and consistent rather than go too fast or overdrive the car, which is so easy to do. It worked and I'm absolutely delighted to take another heat win and go through to the finals on Sunday!"
The finals themselves were a very competitive affair. With Lax going up against championship leader John Munro for the title, and Ross McGregor still in contention as well, tension and stakes were high.
During qualifying for the first race, Jordan sat in fifth spot for much of the session before once more unleashing a last-minute effort to jump up to fourth - right behind the championship contenders with Munro on pole, with Lax second and McGregor third.
At the lights, Jordan made a good start to join the championship trio through the first couple of corners, but held station in third, defending form the drivers behind. After the first lap, things stabilised, with Munro leading form Lax and McGregor just ahead of Jordan, pulling away form the pack behind. At some point mid-race, McGregor picked-up a second time penalty for track limits and with Jordan managing to stay within the window, it looked possible that he could sneak a podium form the race. However, a small mistake exiting chapel with two laps to go dropped him back by a further second, and the order remained unchanged until the flag.
"I'm very happy with that.' Said Jordan. 'Obviously when I saw the penalty for Ross I knew if I could just stick with him I'd get the place, but such was the unrelenting pace of these guys that one small error was all it took to break the tow and drop me too far back. I can't complain though because just to be at the front with these guys is such an honour for us. the race itself was actually the closest thing to a 'real-life' race I've experienced on the sim. The pace was so relentless that you had to jus be fully focussed on every braking point, every apex, every traction zone - and that's so difficult without the g-forces and the 'presence' that comes naturally when you're actually in the car. It was fantastic fun and I really loved every lap - well, expect the one with my mistake!"
Race two and the final track action of the series began with another qualifying session, this time Jordan jumping up to third with his party-piece of a last-lap effort. Munro took pole as he looked to secure the title, with McGregor second.
As the lights went out, Jordan held third into turn one, but Craig Lax moved alongside and past on the heaving braking into turn 2. After some side-by-side through the turn 3 hairpin, Jordan settled into 4th. However his own tank-slapper moment through Copse dropped him to 6th with a fight o his hands to move forward from there. However, once more the pace at the front was such that do what he may, he just couldn't make any in-roads to the drivers ahead, although the chasing pack did drop back to a comfortable distance.
A small moment for the driver ahead allowed Jordan to grasp 5th, but no more progress was possible and he took the car home for a sold finish: Both satisfied and proud of the team's achievements and progress since the opening race at Knockhill four weeks previous.
The results meant that the team finished 8th overall in the Championship out of 27 points-scoring drivers; an impressive feat considering they only scored points in four of the eight 'main' races.
"Another tough but very fun race! I had a great battle in the opening few corners and again the racing was extremely fair and clean, which just makes it so much more enjoyable. I had a moment through Copse as I didn't quite have the temperature in the rear tyres as I needed to and for a moment I though back to what happened to Craig in the heat! Luckily, I didn't spin and only dropped a few places, but the pace and consistency of these guys was just too much for me to make any progress back through."
"As with last time though, it didn't really matter. The fact we were there at the sharp end, and have been now for the whole second half of the championship, was the main thing. When you look back at our incident-packed first race at Knockhill and then my mistake at Oulton Park, it's super-satisfying for us to put in a couple of week's performances like these and not only qualify for the finals, but do so with string pace and taking a couple of wins and podiums on the way."
"...we must give a huge thank you to the Scottish Motor Racing Club and David Christie of Camber Media for putting on such a great series of events and shows."
"We also have to remember what this is all about, and that's giving the community and the fans something to focus on and enjoy at a time when we are unable to do what we love for real. It has been an absolute pleasure to race against the other drivers this past month and we must give a huge thank you to the Scottish Motor Racing Club and David Christie of Camber Media for putting on such a great series of events and shows. It's exactly what we all needed this past month. Thank you also to everyone who tuned in to support us. Hopefully we'll see you again soon - either virtually or for real!"