Airwaves Racing enjoyed an improved run of form at Brands Hatch at the weekend, putting their recent run of bad luck behind them to take two podium finishes with lead driver Mat Jackson.
Having come away from Snetterton in the summer leading the driver’s championship, Airwaves Racing endured a torrid two events at Knockhill and Rockingham, scoring just one point in six races. This was put right at the team’s home track of Brands Hatch at the weekend as lead driver Jackson secured another tow podium finishes for the team.
In the first race Jackson came through from seventh on the grid to second to take his and the team’s ninth podium finish of the season. He followed this up in the second race with yet another second – Jackson was able to see off pressure from Tom Onslow-Cole in the ‘new’ Ford behind but simply did not have the pace to match race winner Jason Plato.
Drawn to start ninth after the top ten were reversed for the final race, Jackson kept his Independent title hopes alive by taking fifth and moving to within 17 points of Independent leader James Nash.
Jackson technically still has a shot at the overall championship – there are 52 points on offer in the final meeting – although he faces an uphill task to reduce the 36-point deficit to the top. Despite this, Jackson remains fully committed to chasing the overall driver’s championship, despite the odds being stacked against him.
“It was a good weekend for the team and puts us back in the challenge for the Championship, where we deserve to be,” said Jackson after the day’s racing. “If I’m honest, I still feel frustrated. The car has been brilliant again all weekend as it has been all year but I just can’t help to look back at Rockingham and Knockhill and think ‘what if’.
“It’s great that we’re back in the title fight for Silverstone and I’m totally focussed on the overall Championship, it’s still the one I want to win to the point where if it came down to it, I would race for the win even if it meant jeopardising the Independent title – I’ll never settle for second best, I only ever race to win.”
Second best of the three Airwaves drivers out at Brands, Michael Caine took three race finishes in an extremely competitive 29-car pack. After finishing 12th in the first race he later admitted that he had a small mishap during the first race which cost him valuable time.
“I somehow managed to get my boots tangled up in the pedals during race one, which has never happened to me before, but we got a really good result to get back to twelfth,” admitted Caine afterwards.
He took another 12th in race two before following it up with 13th in the final race. There were no points for Caine, but nonetheless he was pleased with his weekend.
“It was great to be a part of it again this weekend with a little knowledge of how it all works and felt so good to be in Motorbase’s back yard with all their sponsors and guests there with us able to feel part of it.
“The Airwaves boys gave me a fantastic car once again, totally on the money with the pace. There was a real buzz about the whole team this weekend after three solid results and it was the perfect feel good weekend we all needed ahead of the final at Silverstone.”
Liam Griffin once again finished all three races, but his 16th, 19th and 16th yielded no points for the Addison Lee MD. However given the strong field it was a good showing for the BTCC rookie and he was pleased with his performances.
“This was my best weekend yet,” said Griffin. “I really felt like a racing driver this week and things just clicked into place for me. I changed my driving technique and took a more relaxed approach and luckily it paid off with three really good consistent races and great lap times. I’m going to Silverstone on a high now and can’t wait to get back out in the car.”
Heading to Silverstone in two weeks, Airwaves Racing are currently tied for third in the team’s championship with 888 Racing and will be looking to secure any of the three titles they are currently in contention for.