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Mixed results for Airwaves at Rockingham

Airwaves Racing had a mixed weekend at Rockingham, with Mat Jackson having his best weekend of the season while Aron Smith and Tom Onslow-Cole struggled.

“Three top four finishes today was a good strong result and one which starts to pay back all of the team’s hard work,” said Airwaves Racing Team Manager Oly Collins.

“Mat drove outstandingly well all day; Tom was a great addition to the team and has done very well in his debut weekend with us. It was a real shame for Aron today as luck just wasn’t on his side. We’re now looking forward to seeing what Silverstone has in-store for us in two weeks.”

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Jackson secured a podium finish in the opening race after qualifying 12th fastest – he was up to sixth at the end of the opening lap and once the Henley-in-Arden based driver had worked his way into the top three, he set about chasing down the race leader.

Having set the fastest lap – which he then lost a lap later – Jackson secured his second podium finish of the season and matched his best result of the season.

Races two and three saw Jackson bring the #7 Airwaves Racing NGTC Ford Focus home 4th, results which have seen him move up the Championship standings to 8th with 6 races left to go.

“A good weekend,” said Jackson. “Obviously qualifying wasn’t the best result that we had following the P3 in free practice two, which put us on the back foot ultimately. But we came through and that was the main thing.

“Overall I think we’ve turned a corner with the car. We’ve made progress, and to come here and have three results in the top four is fantastic for everybody who’s involved here at Airwaves Racing and it’s great to reward the hard work with some decent results.”

Looking ahead of Silverstone, Jackson’s home race, he added: “Looking forward going into Silverstone we’re in good shape. It’s a circuit that I love and we intend to go there and carry on from where we are now and improve. We’re bouncing back, we know where we’re heading and that is the main thing.  We need to move forwards with the car and I think this weekend has proved off the back of Snetterton that  we’ve found something in the car and I’m a lot more confident.”

Team-mate Aron Smith had a tough weekend after a grid penalty for two incidents last time out at Knockhill which gave him three penalties for the campaign.

After the penalty, Smith spent the rest of the day mired in the lower end of the top 15 and scored a best finish of 13th in the opening race.

“A little bit of a difficult weekend for me,” explained Smith. “It was frustrating because in each of the races we picked up some form of accident damage so we never got to see the potential of my car.

“It was good to see Mat go so well because it shows that the car should be on the money come Silverstone, but disappointing for myself not to get a proper run at it and see what we could do – just one of those weekends of character building really.”

Joining the team prior to Rockingham, Tom Onslow-Cole was given base boost for the weekend and the former Team Hard driver was in the wars during the opening race and was forced to retire with a snapped brake line.

He bounced back from 22nd on the grid for race 2 to finish inside the top 10 and narrowly missed out on a front row start for the final race of the day. Starting 9th, OC was inside the top ten before dropping back to finish 12th overall.

“It’s been a really good introduction to the team and car to be honest, not quite the results we wanted this weekend, but actually I’m coming away thinking that I’m comfortable in the car. I really enjoyed being in the team and the pace is definitely in it,” said Onslow-Cole.

“We’ve had glimpses of front running pace and Mat has really shown what the NGTC can do quite consistently this weekend so I think it’s all very positive and I’m excited about going on from here.”

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