Mat Jackson secured his and Redstone Racing’s second victory of the season at a soggy Thruxton circuit in Hampshire, a result which means that they top the Independent Drivers’ and Teams’ Championships.
After their strongest qualifying performance to date in 2012, with Jackson qualifying fourth, Aron Smith seventh and Liam Griffin twelfth, round seven of the season saw Jackson lead from lights to flag while Smith secured seventh.
Jackson took the lead off the line and set about building up an advantage which he held for the entire race, until it was red flagged due to team-mate Griffin crashing out at Allard.
Jackson backed up his eighteenth BTCC victory with another podium finish in the second race of the weekend. Having led the early stages, Jackson fell back behind the NGTC cars of Gordon Shedden and Jason Plato.
Jackson rounded out the weekend with a sixth place finish – his Thruxton results were enough to see him move into the top four of the drivers’ Championship and into the lead of the Independents.
Jackson said about the weekend: “After the ups and downs of Donington Park it was fantastic to win at Thruxton, especially as we didn’t think it was on the cards this weekend with the circuit being more likely to suit the NGTC cars. It’s a great way to go into the break before Oulton Park.”
For Smith, the Thruxton weekend marked his return to a circuit where he dominated in the Clio Cup last season. He secured a brace of top ten finishes during the first two races – his race two result gave him a front row start for the final race of the day.
A gamble on tyres failed to pay off for the Irish driver and he was forced to pit to swap onto wet weather tyres from slicks and he finished down in fifteenth position.
“I’ve never driven in such bad conditions, it was like trying to surf while blindfolded in race one! However, I was pleased to pick up some solid results. It was a shame about race three but the main thing was that we had three finishes in difficult weather,” summed up Smith.
Having qualified inside the top ten, Liam Griffin was set for a strong result in the opening race before putting a wheel onto the mud which meant that he ended up in the tyre wall at Allard. The team managed to get him out for the second race where he worked his way to seventeenth and he then repaid all of their efforts in the final race as he secured twelfth overall.
“It wasn’t the best of starts but it turned out alright in the end. I really must pay credit to the boys in the team who worked so hard to repair my car after race one; they did a fantastic job as always. I’m glad I could pay them back with a points finish in the final race,” added Griffin.
Heading into the six week break, the team are currently second in the HiQ Teams’ Championship and they top the Independent Teams’ Trophy.
“Well that was somewhat better than I expected! The whole team has been outstanding this weekend, I think we made the best of some very difficult situations. Qualifying was a great result on Saturday and to add a win was fantastic: Mat drove perfectly,” added Redstone Racing Team Manager, Oly Collins.
“We wanted rain before the weekend and we got more than enough! Clearly the NGTC cars had an advantage this weekend so the results were very welcome. The guys repairing Liam’s car were unbelievable; I honestly didn’t expect it to go out for race two and it ran faultlessly.”
Redstone Racing returns to action on the 9th/10th June when the British Touring Car Championship makes its annual trip to Oulton Park. The Motorbase Performance team will return to action over the 17 – 19 May, when the British GT Championship heads to Germany and the Nurburgring for the second round of the season.