With Andrew Jordan and Jack Goff leading the charge for MG this year, it could be argued that 2015 marks the start of a new era for both the manufacturer and Triple Eight Racing, Chris Ashby explains how.
When pouring through the history books of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship since the turn of the millennium, Triple Eight have more often than not been the torch bearers – and it comes as no surprise.
Since being formed in November 1996 by Ian Harrison, the Banbury-based outfit have gone on to amass 23 championships and seen iconic drivers such as John Cleland, Yvan Muller, James Thompson, Fabrizio Giovanardi and Jason Plato drive for them – each of which have been part of ‘special era’s’.
Now entering a fourth season with manufacturer backing from MG, it appears that the team are on the cusp of another new era as Andrew Jordan and Jack Goff prepare to lead the team on-track. After confirming the departure of both Plato and Sam Tordoff towards the end of last year, some did question as to who could replace the duo that secured 16 victories in the past two campaigns.
As with any top team, experience is key, and although he is just 25-years-old, Jordan brings that in bag fulls. Champion in 2013, the Red Bull athlete has matured into a complete touring car driver and is arguably one of the fastest drivers on the grid – just watch him go at Thruxton…
Having had a short stint at Triple Eight before, Jordan has spent much of his BTCC career immersed within the family-run Eurotech outfit. Piloting the NGTC Honda Civic to a brace of Independent titles and the overall crown, it is that knowledge and a fresh set of eyes that could be squeeze the odd tenth out of the MG6 – not that Plato or Tordoff were slouches by any stretch of the imagination.
Jordan’s move to Triple Eight has stemmed from him questioning what would give him the best chance of regaining the drivers’ crown he lost in 2014. From testing so far, he appears to have the bit between his teeth and looks mighty behind the wheel of his new car.
Completing this new, youthful era at Triple Eight is former Clio Cup champion Goff, who is a favourite amongst fans. After two years with Team HARD/Team BMR, Goff makes the step into a works seat and should slide into the role with ease.
Goff has shown sparks of promise in his two years thus far and at the heart of his BTCC journey has been the constant worry of sustaining a budget. That’s not the case now and with a one-year deal confirmed, he has the opportunity to lay some serious foundations for years to come.
His talents behind the wheel aren’t too be questioned either and alongside the methodical Jordan, both should complement each other on and off the track throughout the season.
Only time will tell if the pair will be able to ensure the manufacturer/constructors title remains with MG but Triple Eight currently sit in prime position to continue writing themselves into the history books.
On paper at least, Jordan and Goff could add themselves onto the list of former formidable partnerships that piloted cars that donned the trio of eights on them in the past. We will have a better indication of it all at Brands Hatch in April.
PHOTO CREDIT: Jakob Ebrey Photography