After the seven week summer break, Mat Jackson arrives at Snetterton in determined mood as he looks to get his 2012 British Touring Car Championship campaign back on track.
Arriving in Norfolk sixth overall in the drivers’ Championship, the 31yr old feels that sixth isn’t where he should be after the opening 15 races, having encountered two tough weekends’ at Oulton Park and Croft.
“Sixth isn’t where I feel we deserve to be – we were unlucky at Oulton and Croft where we nursed an engine problem, and we should be fighting for third place as a minimum,” commented Jackson.
“This weekend I want to score a bag of points across the three races and hopefully that will get me closer to Jordan and Collard who are ahead of me in equal fourth. We’re more than equal to them given a clear run. Shedden and Neal in the Hondas and Plato in the MG are too far gone now but if I get an opportunity i will be going for outright wins, and remind them I’m still in the hunt.”
Jackson was one of the early season pace setters, having taken wins at Donington Park and Thruxton but two rough weekends at Oulton Park and Croft has seen the Henley-in-Arden based driver drop off the pace in the Championship.
Snetterton last year saw Jackson win his fourth race of the campaign in the final race of the day – that result saw him leave Norfolk leading the Championship for the first time in his career. A year later and the top of the standings is out of reach for the #4 Redstone Racing driver but he still has plenty of pride to play for during rounds 16, 17 and 18.
The mid season break has given Jackson and the team a chance to go out and test and look for improvements in the Focus ahead of the season resumption.
“We’ve got a bit more turbo boost from the BTCC organisers which will help us along Snetterton’s long straights but they’re now giving us just a bit too much boost – the smaller 17-inch tyres we run on S2000 cars can’t cope with it and after five laps they’re overheated and losing grip quickly. That’s playing right it into the hands of the NGTC cars with their 18 inch tyres,” explains Jackson.
“But we had a productive test recently at Brands Hatch and seem to have improved the tyre life – ideally we could do with cool conditions at Snetterton but it’s normally scorching hot there!”