Mat Jackson admits that he is pleased to be battling nearer the front of the British Touring Car Championship grid, after the Airwaves Racing driver secured his best result of the season in race three at Donington Park.
Jackson struggled in the wet first race of the day, starting and finishing the race in 14th position. However the 32-year-old steadily improved over the course of the day, finishing race two in seventh before improving to a season-best of fourth in the final race of the day.
“It’s good – obviously it’s a move forward,” said Jackson to TouringCars.Net. “What started out as quite a difficult start to the day in race one turned out to be a good set of race two and race three results, so I’m very happy. It’s a good result – it’s good for everyone in the team that’s worked so hard.
“We struggled in the first wet race but we improved, and it’s nice to be back up there with guys that you can respect and trust racing against and alongside each other.”
Jackson, who has not taken an outright pole position in the BTCC since 2009, admits that qualifying is still a struggle, but he remains optimistic with the progress being made with the team’s Ford Focus.
“We’re not where we want to be [in qualifying] – pole position is what we’re all aiming for and we’re a bit off that, so it would be wrong to say we’re happy with what we’ve got,” added Jackson. “I think we’re honing in on the car and hopefully we can hit the ground running at Thruxton and continue the form we’ve just shown.”
Looking ahead to Thruxton in just under two weeks’ time, Jackson is hopeful of a stronger showing despite the lack of testing mileage the team has carried out there.
“It’s a completely different circuit – it’s obviously about carrying the speed out the back. It’s not a circuit that we can test at, so it is into the unknown along with everyone else. But fingers crossed we’ll be in the right place.”