Mat Jackson felt he could have been on pole position for the opening Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship race at Knockhill, but says Ford will take the fight to BMW.
The Motorbase Performance driver headed the times throughout most of the truncated 30-minute qualifying session on Saturday, but was demoted to row two and third spot by the West Surrey Racing BMWs of Andy Priaulx and Sam Tordoff in the closing minutes.
“It was good, but it would have been even better if we were on pole”, Jackson told The Checkered Flag after qualifying, his best time having been removed for track limits.
“It was certainly a bit lairy out there! The car was difficult to drive at times, but we’ve obviously got the pace there.
“That’s the big positive for us. We’re at the sharp end and that’s where we want to be.”
A winner here at the Fife circuit last season with Motorbase, Jackson expects the fight with BMW to be tough, indicating that the start of the opening race will be a moment of keen interest to maintain the fight to WSR.
He said: “I think it’ll be tough because the BMWs are very good round Knockhill. We need to see how we all get on at the start though.
“They’ve got a championship fight to think about and we don’t. We don’t have any ballast and we’ve got nothing to lose – all I want to do is win races for the rest of the year.”
Spots of rain threatened, but didn’t affect the action in the end, Jackson saying the new Focus ST has little experience in wet conditions. “None at all”, he said.