AmDtuning.com had a strong start to the 2012 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season with a top ten and two points finishes at the team's home circuit; Brands Hatch.
With newly-signed Ollie Jackson behind the wheel, the team were keen to build on the encouraging performance shown in pre-season testing by the West Thurrock-based team's turbo-powered Volkswagen Golf.
After two solid practice sessions, Jackson qualified in 16th just 1.1 seconds adrift of the pole lap time. Closing the gap further during the first race, he finished in 13th just 0.6 seconds down on race winner Rob Collard scoring his first points of the season.
The strong performances continued into the second race where Jackson fought from tenth to cross the line in eighth, his highest position of the weekend.
“We should really have been in the top ten in qualifying but I just didn't get the lap in. I made progress in race one and to then get my first top ten finish in race two was a great result.” said 27 year-old Jackson.
Race three saw mixed fortunes for the team. After Jackson's eighth place finish in the second race, he was drawn on pole position for the reverse grid. Although he started well Jackson soon slipped back to fourth in the grasp of the leading pack on the opening lap.
The tables turned when Mat Jackson's Ford Focus spilled oil onto the circuit on the run up to Druids on the third lap. Unable to stop, Jackson slid off into the gravel and was collected by two rivals. The damage prevented him for participating after the red flagged race was restarted.
“From pole, I didn't expect to stay at the front in race three but I felt we could have finished in the top five or six. I was keeping pace with the guys ahead but then when I touched the brakes on the way up to Druids, I was a complete passenger. I kept it out of the barriers and could have taken the restart but other cars followed me into the gravel and that was what did the damage.” Jackson explained.
Despite the troubles of the final race of the day Jackson leaves the opening round twelfth in the overall Drivers' Championship and tenth in the Independents' Championship.
“We've scored points in two of the races and shown what the car can do, so now we have to just push for more at Donington Park.”