MAT JACKSON continued his blistering start to the British Touring Car Championship season as he secured victory in the third and final race of the third meeting of the campaign at Thruxton.
Fresh from a victory and second place in the previous meeting at Donington Park, the Henley star again turned on the style in Hampshire, much to the delight of his Kent-based Motorbase Performance team.
This commanding performance extended the team’s Independent Teams’ Championship lead and closed the gap on the overall championship leaders.
There were early signs of a strong weekend during Saturday morning’s free practice sessions as the Motorbase Focus ST showed excellent pace at the top of the timing sheets.
However, qualifying did not produce the same results and Jackson was left somewhat deflated as he ended the session in P14.
Having managed to work his way up into the top ten despite of carrying 39kg of ballast, Jackson’s charge was regrettably cut short by a spectacular puncture as the #7 Focus headed into Club on lap ten.
Despite a perfectly executed pit-stop by the Motorbase crew, DUO-backed Jackson had to rejoin at the back of the pack and could only muster a P21 finish.
With race officials and Dunlop announcing new race distances shortened to 12 laps for the remaining two races, an outstanding performance from Jackson saw the #7 Focus make up an incredible 12 places on the grid, earning the 35-year-old an impressive eighth placed finish and further points for the Motorbase championship campaign.
The reverse grid draw for the final race of the day resulted in a front row start for Jackson in P2.
He stormed off the line and straight past Daniel Welch to steal the race lead and the #7 Focus controlled the race to the chequered flag to earn a second race win of the weekend for the Motorbase squad following Andrew Jordan’s race two victory and Jackson’s second of the season.
Motorbase Performance leaves Thruxton in a strengthened championship position having extended its lead in the Independents Teams’ standings and closed the gap in the overall standings, while Jackson has moved into third place in the Independent Drivers’ Championship and fourth in the overall standings.
Jackson said: “We struggled a bit at the start of the weekend in qualifying and didn’t really manage to hook up a fast lap which put us on the back foot.
“Race one started well and we were working our way up until we picked up a puncture. Race two was better, I got held up for a good chunk of the race but the car felt good and we managed to fight our way up to eighth and then thankfully got a lucky break with the reversed grid.
“To get the second win of the day for Motorbase felt great, the hard work everyone puts in is paying off and we’re in a good place.
“The car’s performing well and we just need to keep clocking up the points and we’re all looking forward to going into Oulton Park in the championship fight.”
The championship returns for rounds ten, 11 and 12 at Oulton Park in Cheshire on June 4/5.