Ollie Jackson has now assured himself that he has achieved a handle on the Speedworks Toyota Avensis after a strong outing at Knockhill, and now feels more comfortable heading to a Rockingham circuit he has very fond memories of.
The 29-year-old had his best BTCC outing of the 2013 season in Scotland last time out as he flirted with the top 10, Jackson saying he is now finally getting a more consistent grasp on the NGTC machine after half a season learning the characteristics of the Toyota Avensis.
“I’ve found more consistency, but there’s no secret behind that or a specific change that’s made all the difference,” he said. “It’s more that I’m adapting better to the car and getting my head around how it behaves and how to set it up.
“The challenge of switching to an NGTC machine has been more difficult than I expected; it’s an awkward thing to get used to, so I’m not surprised it’s taken half a season to feel as though I know what to expect.”
Jackson has fond memories of Rockingham in recent visits, qualifying third in the 2010 Porsche Carrera Cup GB qualifying session as well as clinching three Pro-Am1 category wins for four outings. His 2012 BTCC run in the AmDTuning.com Volkswagen Golf was a star performance meanwhile, as he claimed an exceptional eighth place in the damp race two, starting on the front row of the race three grid.
“I’ve had a lot of good results at Rockingham, and plenty of good fortune too. I like racing there; it’s a track that suits me. The weather helped me out last season as I tend to go well in the wet, but those are good memories sitting on the start-line across from Adam.”
Team-mate Dave Newsham has never finished in the top 10 at Rockingham, and hopes to finally put that right after a season of dreadful luck for Speedworks.
“Our pace over the majority of the season has been inside the top eight, but we have endured an unbelievable run of misfortune,” he said. “It would be easy to blame the team for the car’s unreliability, but when you analyse the faults not one of them can be attributed to a mistake because each of them has been a one-off.
“There are podiums in the car and me; we just need a couple of weekends without any issues”, concluded Newsham, still without a podium this season and lying 13th in the championship.
Speedworks boss Christian Dick echoed Newsham’s request for less misfortune, adding: “Hopefully this run of bad luck will change, because we know the pace is in the car for results to be better. It doesn’t feel like we’ve had much fortune, but we’ll continue working with the same enthusiasm we always have done.”