MAT Jackson is already looking forward to his home event on the British Touring Car Championship calendar at Donington Park after suffering a frustrating start to the season at Brands Hatch on Sunday.
The new season exploded into life in dramatic fashion with three action-packed races at Brands but it turned out to be a disappointing weekend for the Henley driver.
In front of tens of thousands of spectators and a live ITV4 audience, Jackson was gunning for the lead of the day’s third and final race in his Redstone Racing Ford Focus when it all went wrong.
“Hands up - it was my mistake. I ran wide off the track which damaged the underneath of my car and that was it, game over,” Jackson said.
“I’m gutted as I was closing in on the leader fast and the race win was definitely on.
“Even more annoying is the fact we’d made a changed the car’s set-up for that race and I could instantly feel it come alive. To go out so early on meant we never got to see what it could do over a full race distance.”
Jackson qualified 11th of the 24 drivers on Saturday when his new column in the Daily Star also appeared for the first time.
But 11th was further back than he had expected, due to hitting traffic at the wrong times.
“It is the same for everyone I suppose and the art is being on track when it’s clear - I’m not saying pole position was on but we should have been inside the top six,” he said.
He then made up four places in race one to finish seventh and then by another three in race two to finish fourth.
Jackson had worked his way into second in the third race before having to retire early.
He will arrive at Donington Park on April 14/15 lying eighth in the Drivers Championship.
“If the car can come out of the blocks feeling like it did in race three at Brands Hatch then I’ll be really pleased,” he said.
“We’ve got our work cut out keeping up with the new NGTC-spec cars, but we’ve still got a very strong team-driver-car combination with great sponsors and team spirit. I won at Donington last year and it’d be great to open my 2012 account there as well.”
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