Ollie Jackson and the AmD Tuning.com team made a solid start to their 2012 British Touring Car Championship campaign, despite the day ending on a low after a multi car accident at Druids.
The West Thurrock team headed to Brands Hatch looking to build on the encouraging form shown in pre season while Jackson looked to secure his first BTCC points.
Jackson qualified sixteenth in the teams’ Volkswagen Golf for the opening race of the season, 1.1s off of Pole Position. He made progress up the field during the opening race to secure his first BTCC points in thirteenth, with his fastest lap of the race being 0.6s slower than race winner Rob Collards.
The second race of the day saw Jackson improve further as he took the Volkswagen Golf to eighth overall and Pole Position for the reverse grid race three, after the top eight drivers were reversed.
Jackson was fully aware that he needed to stay out of trouble at the start of the third race, and he slipped down to fourth on the opening lap. He was able to match the pace of the leaders until the third lap, when he hit the oil dropped by the Redstone Racing Ford Focus of Mat Jackson.
Approaching the braking zone for the Druids hairpin, Jackson slid off and avoided hitting the barriers, but while stuck in the gravel, two other cars collided with him and this left him unable to take the restart.
Leaving Brands, Jackson finds himself twelfth overall in the Drivers’ Championship and tenth in the Independents.
“It’s a bit gutting it ended as it did, but overall it was a good weekend,” he said. “We should really have been in the top ten in qualifying but I just didn’t get the lap in. I made progress in race one and to then get my first top ten finish in race two was a great result.
“From pole, I didn’t expect to stay at the front in race three but I felt we could have finished in the top five or six. I was keeping pace with the guys ahead but then when I touched the brakes on the way up to Druids, I was a complete passenger. I kept it out of the barriers and could have taken the restart but other cars followed me into the gravel and that was what did the damage.
“We’ve scored points in two of the races and shown what the car can do, so now we have to just push for more at Donington Park.”
The results see the team sitting ninth in the HiQ Teams’ Championship and eighth in the Independents Teams’ Championship.
“We’ve ended the weekend with a lot of damage but overall we can be happy with the performance we have shown,” explains a pleased Shaun Hollamby, AmD Tuning.com Team Boss. “We’ve had good pace in the car and there is still a load more to come. We’ve scored points and picked up a top ten finish, and the accident in race three is just one of those things that unfortunately happens. We’ve got two weeks to repair the damage and come back fighting next time out.
“The whole team has been buzzing this weekend, and Chris Tweed and the boys have done a fantastic job on improving the Golf over the winter. We wanted more reliability and more straight-line speed and have shown both, so I think we can hope for plenty more points from this little Golf as the season goes on.”