Mat Jackson admitted to TCF that Motorbase Performance will be “disappointed” if they fail to pick up a Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship victory in the remainder of their season.
Despite a sluggish end to Saturday’s qualifying session at the 300 circuit in Norfolk, Jackson steadily worked towards the front of the pack a day later, netting results of 12th, eighth and then a competitive sixth as he got the better of double winner Colin Turkington in the final encounter of the day.
Summing up his return outing, Jackson told TCF: “It’s been interesting. The car’s been working well, but in all the races we’ve moved forward which is great progress.
“That’s the biggest positive. We hope it will have helped us by the time we hit the track at Knockhill.”
Asked whether the Snetterton pace will be an omen for the remainder of the season, Jackson added: “I hope so. The plan is to move into Knockhill with the knowledge we’ve learned from here.”
Stability remains a key word that Motorbase in particular are now glad to be able to use, having spent the opening half of the season on the sidelines following the departure of previous title sponsor, Airwaves.
Jackson confirmed Motorbase’s 2016 intentions, the 2008 BTCC runner-up hopeful to be part of the squad for a full-time title tilt next year.
“It’s certainly the plan”, he added. “We not in it for the short term, we want to be here to mount a championship challenge. We want to be in the right place for next season.
“Although it is a bit in the development stage because of the regulation changes that have gone on, what with teams also moving on and improving also, we’re very much looking forward to the future.
“The regulations change again at the end of the year. But a lot of the guys, they’re not idiots. You’ve got Team BMR running four cars and West Surrey Racing running three – once the teams get their heads around it then it makes it very hard for you.
“You’ve got some quick packages out there and it makes it interesting.”
Ford themselves, along with the assistance of partners, Mountune, have added further motoring technology to the BTCC with Ecoboost engines in both Motorbase Focus ST machines.
The engine technology is designed to deliver power and torque at similar consistency to naturally aspirated engines, while achieving approximately 20% better fuel efficiency and reduced carbon emissions.
Jackson hailed mechanical reliability also, saying: “The [Ecoboost technology] is a new thing we’ve brought in. We’ve done a lot of development on it during the winter, Mountune have been kept very busy designing, building and developing it and so far it’s been very reliable, as well as quick.”
Jackson picked up two wins in the latter half of 2014 at Knockhill and Silverstone, and admitted that a winless end to the year would leave the squad downbeat, concluding: “If there’s not, we’ll be disappointed.”