After qualifying on the front row alongside pole-sitter Gordon Shedden, Mat Jackson is aiming to go one better and take victory in the opening British Touring Car Championship of the weekend at Rockingham later today [28th August].
Jackson, who navigated the 1.94 mile circuit with a fastest time of 1:36.626, some 0.288 seconds adrift of defending champion Shedden, felt there was more to be gained during the thirty-minute session, but torrential rain and stormy conditions engulfed the Northamptonshire circuit throughout the afternoon and ultimately forced him to settle for second.
“Yeah, it’s great. The car was fantastic, we went early on and the downpour came, I thought ‘mm, great’, I wanted to improve but I certainly didn’t want to fall back.” he admitted.
“We start tomorrow in a good place on the front row – hopefully we can just blast off into the distance.”
Visibility also proved to be an issue during the session, with commentators remarking it was the closest the BTCC had come to staging a night race in recent years, a comparison Jackson admitted had it’s merits.
“It was [like a night race].” he commented.
“It was wet, it was dark, this place can get quite moody. It was interesting, the bolts of lightning going down around the back [of the circuit], there’ll be some spectacular photos.”
Looking ahead to the first contest, Jackson stated the aim is to claim a hat-trick of podium finishes, and is hoping to start by claiming a fifth race victory of the season in race one.
He also paid tribute to Shedden after a stellar performance by the two-time series winner gave him pole position in the Honda Civic Type-R.
“We start at the front and tomorrow hopefully we can push on, we want podiums. We’ll see what the weather does, but we’re in a good place, we can only go one better and the Honda was quick too so well done to Gordon [Shedden].”
With Jackson currently second in the Independents standings, and with the team-mate and category rival Andrew Jordan down in 14th, the triple-header at Rockingham could represent a significant day in the destiny of one of this years titles.