BTCC Judgement Day Preview: Mat Jackson

Mat Jackson (Photo Credit:
Mat Jackson (Photo Credit:

Five men will begin this weekend's British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) finale still with a mathematical chance of taking the title.

In the immediate build-up to the race weekend The Checkered Flag look back at the journey the five drivers have made through 2011 to arrive at Silverstone chasing the championship.

Mat Jackson has been the master of the reverse grid race this season, all four of his wins coming in the final races of BTCC weekends. However, the Airwaves Racing driver has backed up his opportunism with consistency, netting 10 podiums during the season.

There are plenty of highlights of Jackson's roller coaster season, not less his stunning drive in the changing condition in the first race at Croft in mid-June. Poor qualifying – something of a theme for Airwaves Racing this term meant Jackson was only starting ninth and initially slipped back after electing to start on click tyres on a slippery track, falling out of the top ten.

However, the track was driving in the closing seven laps of the race, following a mid-race safety car intervention, and Jackson accordingly drove up though the pack to chase winner Matt Neal down the pit straight to the finish line, missing out on an incredible victory by just 0.055 seconds.

The second half of the season opened with Jackson taking the points lead after his Snetterton win – coupled with Neal's problematic weekend, but then Jackson's season took another turn, this time for the worse.

Over the course of the next six races, at Knockhill then Rockingham, Jackson scored only one point, that coming for fastest lap in the second Knockhill contest threatened to rule him out of the points race, but two podiums at the most recent event at Brands Hatch have hauled Jackson back to within reach of the title, though his chances remain slim compared to the three men who start the weekend ahead of him.
Like Nash, his main focus will be on securing the Independents' title, and Airwaves Racing are also chasing the Independent teams' title and have drafted in past double champion James Thompson to boost their squad for the weekend.

Mat Jackson 2011 Results:
Points: 189
Poles: 0
Wins: 4 (Donington R3; Oulton R3; Croft R3; Snetterton R3)
Podiums: 10 (Brands Indy R2, 3; Donington R3; Thruxton R3; Oulton R3; Croft R1, 3; Snetterton R3; Brands GP R1, 2)