Redstone Racing opened their wins account for the 2012 British Touring Car Championship season after Mat Jackson brought the #4 Ford Focus home first in the opening race of the day at Donington Park.
The team thought they had a double reason to celebrate as Jackson repeated his race one victory in the final race of the day before he was excluded for a technical infringement.
Race one, round four of the season saw Jackson line up sixth on the grid but a demon start saw the 2008 series runner up move into third position. He took the lead on lap four after a hard but fair move on Plato and Collard at the chicane. He fended off the attentions of Gordon Shedden in the closing laps to secure his first win of 2012 and his first race one win since 2009.
Jackson then backed up his race one win with third position in the second race of the day, having led the opening few laps before the Honda duo came calling and Jackson was unable to match their pace.
Starting fourth in the final race of the day, Jackson briefly took the lead off the line but dropped back having run wide. He regained the lead on a chaotic third lap and held off the fast charging duo of Shedden and Plato to become the first multiple race winner of 2012, before his exclusion for a turbo over boost issue.
“It’s a shame to have lost the win from race three as I feel I could have won it if the car wasn’t faulty after our pace in races one and two,” explains Jackson. “We’ve proven to ourselves this weekend we’ve got the pace in the car and the two great results in races one and two show that. We’re now really looking forward to Thruxton.”
After his Brands Hatch issues, Aron Smith enjoyed a successful weekend at the East Midlands circuit. He secured a brace of top ten finishes in the opening two races before contact resulted in a visit to the pits in the final race. The Irish driver managed to recover to thirteenth and secure another points finish.
“We didn’t really get the chance to show what we were capable of at Brands Hatch, so to finish in the top ten twice at Donington Park was an achievement. We were a bit hampered in races two and three with contact, which was a shame, but there’s lots of positives to take away from this weekend,” explains Smith, whose best result was eighth in the opening race of the weekend.
For Liam Griffin, the Donington Park weekend was as bad as the Brands Hatch weekend was good. He failed to finish race one after a first corner collision while in race two, he was caught up in a high speed accident with Chris James at Coppice.
The same situation happened in race three, this time at the Craner Curves. Griffin was demoted to last place but fought back to secure two Championship points for fourteenth position.
“Donington Park was as bad as Brands Hatch was good,” added Griffin. “Being on the receiving end of Chris James’ contact, which effectively put me out of the running in all three races, wasn’t what we came here for, but at least we had the consolation of scoring a point in the final race.”
Oly Collins is pleased with how the weekend has gone for the team, despite the exclusion of Jackson in the third race: “Overall it’s been a great weekend and one we needed after Brands Hatch – we’ve been on the pace all weekend and the team has done a fantastic job as usual. It’s a real shame to have lost the race three win due to a technicality but we understand and we have to live with that.”
Next up for the team and their “Little Red Devils” is a trip to Thruxton, Hampshire over the 28/29 April for rounds seven, eight and nine of the 2012 British Touring Car Championship.