Motorbase Performance Team Principal Dave Bartrum says that ‘lady luck was on her tea break again’ after Mat Jackson delivered just one top ten result at Thruxton.
Having qualified in tenth on Saturday, Jackson made gains up to eighth in race one to deliver valuable championship points.
However contact from Rob Austin on the opening lap of race two saw Jackson drop to the back of the pack, and when the race was cut short prematurely due to team-mate Martin Depper having a big accident on lap six, Jackson was in just 20th position.
From the middle of the pack for race three, Jackson could only move up to 14th place to secure two points.
Motorbase’s woes were compounded by Depper not being able to start the final race of the day, whilst Luke Davenport just missed out on the points in race one and two before colliding with the MG of Dan Lloyd in race three.
“We started the weekend in a positive mood,” said Bartrum. “Luke did a super job in free practice two, getting up to sixth. Qualifying also went well with Mat getting into the top ten and Luke in 15th – which is a big ask this year up against such a competitive grid.
“We’ve had a few incidents in the middle of the races at each event so far this season and it’s difficult to really push forward when the racing is stop and start like that, however, we just have to take the positives and keep pushing on.
“Lady luck was on her tea break again for us this weekend but we’ll turn it around and roll back out ready to fight back again at Oulton Park for the next round.”
Jackson believes that the team’s Ford Focus has the pace to be challenging at the front, but he has been left frustrated by incidents that have seen him notch up a best result of just fifth and three top ten finishes so far in 2017.
“The weekend started off well,” said Jackson. “Qualifying was good; to come out in the top ten was a great result and it put us on the front foot for race one.
“We had a decent result with P8 [in qualifying] and looked strong to carry that momentum into the next race until I was fired off, which pretty much killed our weekend.
“I think that the pace is there; P10 in qualifying and P8 in race one shows that the car’s in the mix, but yet again we’ve not had the chance to show this as we’ve been put to the back of the grid by other drivers.”
Jackson leaves Thruxton as the team’s best-placed driver, 14th overall in the drivers’ championship standings on 37 points.