Speedworks are hoping to make progress in the fouth round of the 2013 British Touring Car Championship at their home circuit at Oulton Park this weekend, Ollie Jackson confident that the squad’s recent tests will come in useful to them.
The Cheshire-based team recently tested at Donington and Pembrey, and 29-year-old Jackson in particular believes that the extra miles under the Toyota squad’s belt during the spring break has helped them in their attempts to unlock further speed from the NGTC Avensis.
Jackson feels that the added time behind the wheel will also be of his own beneficiary as he continues acclimatising himself to car, saying: “The extra seat time has been a big help, because now I have a much better understanding of how the car behaves. We achieved a lot in those two days, both in terms of set-up and finding more speed. The things we tried, on the whole, worked well and has left everybody feeling pretty positive about Oulton Park.”
Former AmDTuning.com racer Jackson started the 2013 season strongly by claiming a top 10 finish in the season-opening round at Brands Hatch, but has since had a trying time adapting to his new Toyota Avensis, Jackson admitting that the learning curve is simply a part of the business.
“I’ve had some fairly rotten luck since, plus we’ve had one or two struggles for speed”, added the Reigate-born racer. “It’s been tough to change from being in the smallest car on the grid [Jackson competed in a S2000 Volkswagen Golf in 2012] to the biggest one. Making that adjustment in a stressful situation like a race meeting has resulted in mistakes when I’ve perhaps worked it too hard.
“That’s why the tests have been important, not only for me but the team too. I’ve been on a bit learning curve, but that’s the challenge of being a BTCC driver.”
His team-mate Dave Newsham meanwhile has also had a somewhat eventful start to his new life with Speedworks having moved over from an S2000-spec Vauxhall Vectra run by ES Racing last year. Newsham has been a consistent top 10 contender thus far in 2013, but still feels that the increase in competition around him has made it tougher for the Inverness driver, who claimed two victories last year.
Newsham said: “It’s probably fair to say we have underachieved so far this season, but I’ve a feeling that is about to change. Don’t get me wrong; the series is probably the most competitive it has been for a long time, so beating the leading teams will still be a struggle. We can be confident we’ve closed the gap though.”