MAT Jackson heads into the 2016 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season finale with a chance of being crowned the Independent Driver Champion following an impressive performance at Silverstone over the weekend.
The Henley-in-Arden speedster was in action for his Motorbase Performance at the National Circuit, with the highlight being a third place in race three.
Jackson endured a difficult start in the opening race on the soft compound tyre after finishing in 17th place.
Having shed the weight and soft tyre for race two, Jackson produced one of his trademark comeback drives.
A storming start off the line saw the DUO-backed driver make his way up to 12th by the end of the opening lap and after managing to steer clear of numerous on-track incidents as the 25-lap-race unfolded, Jackson expertly worked his way through the pack to eventually bring the #7 Ford Focus home in sixth place.
The reverse grid draw saw Jackson slotted into third place for the final race of the day.
But he had a tough task ahead behind the works Honda and BMW and his race was almost over at the first turn after heavy contact with Shedden as the pair wrestled for second.
Trading places with Shedden’s Honda and Collard’s BMW in the opening laps as the trio battled for the race lead, Jackson edged his way into second spot on the third lap where he defended hard to the chequered flag to mark his 300th BTCC race with a 75th visit to the podium.
“We really struggled in qualifying and that put us on the back foot for race one,” said Jackson. “Unfortunately we chose to run the soft tyre for the opening race and it didn’t work for us at all.
“I think everybody learnt from us in the first race and adjusted their car accordingly. Thankfully we managed to rescue what was a bad start to the weekend with a decent result in the last race.”
Having already provisionally clinched the Independent Teams’ Title, the weekend’s results also mean that either Andrew Jordan or Jackson will also be crowned Independent Driver Champion, with both drivers heading into the season finale at Brands Hatch on October 1-2 in contention for the overall BTCC title and Motorbase currently sitting third in the team standings.
Jackson added: “It’s a bit of a missed opportunity to have closed in on the championship lead but we still go to Brands in a couple of weeks in contention for the championship.
“To come away with a second in race three was a great result for us and our championship especially up against the Honda and BMW. We’ve got to deliver at Brands now.
“Anything can happen in the BTCC and there are a lot of people out there that are going to be desperate for the title so it’s going to be fun that’s for sure.”