Coming from the BTCC Touring Car Championship, and proud owner of a classic car restoration workshop, an old Mini is not the first car that pops to mind when you think of Andrew Jordan. Yet, that is exactly where Andrew was to be spotted last season. In a rally-trimmed classic Mini. Decorated in a Motul livery, he competed successfully at the National Mini Miglia Championship. We caught up with Andrew on his latest 2021 victory.
ANDREW JORDAN WINS THE 2021 MINI MIGLIA CHALLENGE
Andrew, what is the National Mini Miglia Championship?
It’s a British championship, allowing several classes of classic performance Minis. We compete in the headline series, which truly pushes the envelope of classic Mini performance, with highly tuned 1275cc engines, slick Dunlop racing tyres and Öhlins motorsport dampers. Our racing Mini can average quite a fast top speed on the straights, although it’s the incredible cornering speeds that really sets it apart. The Mini Miglia series date backs to 1970, but is more popular now than ever, with large grids and incredibly close racing from the front to the back. We tuned the engine, and it now delivers a power output in excess of 130bhp. In combination with the light overall weight of the car, a good dose of racing pleasure is guaranteed.
And how did this story start?
I started my campaign in the Mini Miglia Challenge at the beginning of 2021 at Silverstone on the International Circuit and it left me with a massive grin on my face since then. It still amazes me how fast you can go in these little pocket rockets: you might think you have time to read a book as you go the full length of the Hangar Straight, but there is so much work to do behind the wheel, you never get a moment’s rest. They are just so much fun – and the slipstream effect is bonkers. With a top speed of almost 200 km/h, there isn’t much time to read to be honest [laughs].
Coming from a high-tech performance car in the BTCC, this must be quite an adaptation for you?
Yes and no. I have a 1960s road-going Mini and a Mini was my first ever race car in Junior Rallycross, so I have a real affinity with the cars. I simply love them. They are so pure, simple to work on and direct to drive. The steering does exactly what you want it to, you can influence it as a driver a huge amount, you are sitting on the floor, and it is probably as close to a kart as you can get for a race circuit.
How challenging is it to race on track?
In the Miglia Challenge it isn’t only about the fact it is a Mini. The racing is so close. If the racing was the same in something like a Fiat 500, I would probably be going to have a crack at it. The level of competition is what draws you in. I am using the same car as I used for selected outings last year, but we are building a new one at the Jordan Racing Team. There’s nothing wrong with the one we have, but we want to put a few JRT touches on our new car. We aren’t going to rush it and it will probably be out in the second half of the year. Part of the fun for us is the actual build programme, as much as anything else.
You are a proud Motul ambassador, how is Motul involved in the project?
Involving the right partners in racing is crucial for success. I have Motul branding on my Miglia, and it just seemed like a natural fit for me because we have an exclusive deal to use Motul products across all the historic cars we run. We have 40 historic cars that we operate across various series, and they all use Motul’s products. It isn’t just a case of putting a sticker on a car: the relationship is so much deeper than that.
When you look at the historic cars we build at the Jordan Racing Team, they are all highly stressed because you are always looking for those last tiny bits of performance. I know it might sound like a cliche, but we are very fussy about what products we use on any of our cars because otherwise it can undo all the hard work we put into them. When we make a judgement on what products to use, it isn’t only about the help with performance. The other important aspect is helping with the longevity of the parts within the car and the reliability. It is crucial, especially when you look at the value of the cars that we operate. Everything we use will have Motul products. It really works for Motul too, because it is a way for them to spread the message about what they do on their classic car range.