Mat Jackson secured his second victory of the season during the opening race of the weekend at Thruxton after making a flying start from the second row of the grid.
Making the most of the action ahead of him, Jackson stormed into an immediate lead and never looked back as he brought the #4 Redstone Racing Ford Focus home first.
The race was stopped a few laps early after his team-mate had crashed at Allard and after the race, Jackson said: “The conditions were atrocious with heavy rain and standing water on the track surface which meant aquaplaning at high speed – even on the straights, probably around 140mph, the car was trying to get away from me so I really had to be on it.”
Fourth on the grid marked the best qualifying result for Jackson since Silverstone last year, where he lined up second on the grid. His victory at Thruxton has moved him ahead of John Cleland in the all time winners circle – Jackson has now won eighteen races in his BTCC career.
Backing up his win in race one, Jackson secured a third place finish in the second race and a top six finish in the third race of the day – after being tagged off the line by Matt Neal and thus having to save a lurid slide at Allard.
His results in Hampshire means that the Henley-in-Arden racer is now fourth in the outright drivers’ Championship while he and the Redstone Racing team lead the Independent Drivers’ and Teams’ Championships.
“To win race 1 with a load of success ballast in the car (36kgs) and in those conditions was a great achievement,” added Jackson. “Carrying maximum ballast (45kgs) didn’t make any difference in race 2 – while I led the opening half of the race the smaller tyre the Focus runs compared to the Hondas and MGs started to suffer and that’s why I couldn’t hold on. At the start of race 3 Matt Neal gave me a bit of a nibble – I almost thought it was going to swap ends and head for the wall. That cost me places so 5th was still reasonable.
“It’s been a great weekend and I’m already looking forward to our next event at Oulton Park in Cheshire in early June where I took my first win in the BTCC in 2007. Keeping up with the Hondas of Neal and Shedden and Plato’s MG is going to be tough but no one in the pit lane works harder and is more passionate than the Redstone Racing team and we’re going to give it everything to keep up the pressure on them.”
Away from the track, Jackson was handed the keys to the McLaren MP4-12C Supercar which he has been test and development driver of for the last four years, and he arrived and departed in style!