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Mat Jackson looks for Croft success

Mat Jackson heads to Croft looking to get his 2012 British Touring Car Championship charge back on track after a bad weekend at Oulton Park.

The #Redstone Racing driver slipped down to sixth in the drivers’ Championship after the Oulton Park weekend, even with a fifth and seventh place finishes in the first and final race of the weekend, while he suffered a retirement in the second race after contact with another driver. The results also mean that the Henley-in-Arden based racer has dropped to third in the Independents’ title race.

“It’s fair to say Oulton wasn’t one to write home about” says Mat, who celebrated his 31st Birthday at Oulton Park. “Sure I made a couple of genuine mistakes, but there was one driver out there, without naming names, I was very annoyed with and who seems to be at the centre of a lot of accidents.”

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After the Oulton Park weekend, Jackson has been out in Sweden working alongside some of the top motorsport and motoring media from the UK, as part of his test and development role for the McLaren MP4-12C.

He heads to Croft looking to get his campaign back on track and knows that he will need to replicate his victory from 2011 there if he is to remain in the hunt for the crown, and he hopes that a certain driver won’t be near him this weekend.

“Hopefully he won’t be around me at Croft but even if he is I still think, as a team, we’ll be back to our best. The Focus should be well suited to Croft – it’s a chassis circuit and we’ve worked hard to improve on what was already a decent chassis on the Focus. Croft also requires a good engine both in terms of torque and driveability; particularly out of the tight hairpin and the tight right-hander at Tower, and Mountune who prepare the Ford engine in our car have done a fantastic job.

“As ever beating the NGTC cars like the Hondas and MGs with their slightly bigger brakes and tyres which make a big difference over a race distance is going to be tough but we’ve proved twice already this season it can be done,” continues Jackson.

“The trick will be to qualify ahead of them or somehow get ahead of them in the first few laps before they get into their stride. They’ll have success ballast in their cars for qualifying and Croft is a circuit where ballast hurts the most so we need to try and capitalise on that.”

Croft is a circuit where Jackson has had some success and recovery drives during his career, as he explains: “I’ve had some great results at Croft in the past and finally I got my first win there last year under extreme pressure. But it’s actually two drives when I didn’t quite pull off the win which have been my best there so far – in 2008 and in the first race last year I came through the field as the track started to dry and my gamble to go on slick tyres started to pay off.

“On each occasion I missed the win by about half a car’s length but it was very satisfying overtaking so many people. The weather at Croft, even in summer, can still be very unpredictable and I wouldn’t mind the same again this weekend.”

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