Airwaves Racing’s Mat Jackson says he is “looking good” for Sunday’s British Touring Car Championship races at Oulton Park, after qualifying his Ford Focus in seventh position for the first race of the day.
“We’re getting a handle on the car and I think we’re in really good shape for tomorrow – we’re looking good,” said Jackson to TouringCars.Net after qualifying.
Jackson admitted that despite his and the team’s historical struggles during qualifying – seventh is his second-best qualifying result of the season – the team is making progress in the right direction.
“We do struggle with qualifying – that’s plain to see,” added Jackson. “But we’re making good progress – we’re certainly moving in the right direction. We’re moving into an area where the car seems to be working. Hopefully tomorrow if we can pick up three top six results we’ll be happy.”
Since the last meeting at Thruxton the team have made numerous changes to the car – too many for Jackson to mention – although the former championship runner-up admits that there’s still a lot of work to do.
“We’ve still got a lot of work to do to get to where Jason and Colin are. Obviously they’re very, very fast.
“[At Thruxton] we were challenging for the lead in race one. It’s never easy unless you’re in the top three. Colin, being rear wheel drive, will get a blinding start tomorrow. He should have five car lengths on Plato. It may seem very, very hard to then catch those guys. They’ve obviously got a car that’s very well sorted.”
Jackson admitted that in order to pass at the Oulton International circuit he may have “to be a bit forceful” in the races on Sunday.
“Oulton is a circuit that I love.,” said Jackson. “It doesn’t lend itself to too much overtaking, so you have to be a little bit forceful. We’re at the right end of the grid not to have to take some big risks so hopefully we’ll be OK. It’s a great little complex – I think it will provide some good racing tomorrow.”
Jackson’s team-mate Fabrizio Giovanardi added that for the first time this season he feels confident with his car, having qualified in tenth.
“The qualifying result doesn’t reflect the real potential,” said Giovanardi to TouringCars.Net. “I was fifth and then I came in to change tyres, did one lap and my flying lap [ended with] a red flag.
“The car is good. For the first time I feel a bit confident.”