HENLEY-IN-ARDEN’S Mat Jackson enjoyed another solid weekend in the British Touring Car Championship at the Snetterton circuit in Norfolk as he achieved eighth, sixth and second placed finishes in Sunday’s three races, writes Andy Parsons.
Having qualified his Airwaves Racing #6 Ford Focus ST in ninth place on Saturday, Jackson made a good start in the day’s first race and halfway around the first lap had made up several places.
However, despite his best efforts to keep his rivals behind him, Jackson was eventually caught by a couple of them, meaning as the chequered flag dropped he had made up one place to finish eighth.
Starting from eighth in the second race – which was a significant landmark for Jackson as it was his 250th BTCC race – he managed to avoid the spinning VW of Alain Menu who had been tapped on the rear corner by the Wix Mercedes of Adam Morgan at the first corner.
Jackson took full advantage and made up a couple of places, as did his team-mate Fabrizio Giovanardi who following the melee was up to seventh right, behind his Airwaves Racing partner.
The two drivers had to hold station for a few laps behind the safety car whilst the VW was moved to a place of safety. On the resumption of racing Jackson managed to keep his team-mate behind him and this was how it stayed until the end of the race, with Jackson grabbing another good handful of points with his sixth placed finish.
The balls were to be kind to the Airwaves team for the third and final race as it was the number 8 ball that was drawn, meaning the VW of Aron Smith would be on pole and Giovanardi would be second, with Jackson right behind him in third.
All three drivers made a good start and positions were held for the first half of the race. Jackson then seemed to pick up the pace and began challenging his team-mate for second place.
Eventually Jackson made his move down the inside of Giovanardi going into the Montreal hairpin. From here Jackson tried his best to make a move on Smith for the lead but did not quite have the straight line speed to get close enough and eventually settled for second place and his third podium of the season.
At the end of the day a delighted Jackson said: “We’ve gone forward in every race which is great, you can’t ask for any more. Overall it’s been a very positive weekend.
“The changes that have been made to the car in the last race have definitely put a direction in the car where I feel we need to go. It’s very timely with the test coming up on Tuesday, it means we can investigate and develop on that going forward.
“We’re in a good place, all we need to do is keep out of trouble in the championship and that’s the aim from my side. Just not to make mistakes and get involved in trouble.”
The championship now heads north to Scotland and the Knockhill track for the next event in a fortnight’s time.