Mat Jackson Grabs Motorbase’s First BTCC Pole At Rockingham

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Mat Jackson grabbed Motorbase Performance‘s first qualifying pole position in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, thanks to a late burst at Rockingham.

The Ford Focus ST driver broke MG’s stranglehold on qualifying at the Corby circuit since 2012, claiming the Kent-based Motorbase squad’s first Saturday pole position in the series.

Ingram’s enticing practice pace was converted briefly into the top spot after nine minutes gone from the 30, until Jason Plato soon grabbed the advantage away from the Speedworks Toyota Avensis with a time of 1m22.426s.

The former Ginetta GT4 Supercup champion however was not finished yet, inching to within 0.008s of the Volkswagen CC driver before pumping in a lap good enough to move ahead once again.

Ingram’s joy was brief however as a he was toppled by the MG of Jack Goff, moving 0.092s ahead with a time that also lowered the qualifying lap record in the process.

The Snetterton winner’s time was then also bettered moments later by a flying Aron Smith, only for the Irishman to be pipped by just 0.050s as Jackson took the top spot away for the first time in the session.

It soon became a five-minute showdown however, caused by red flags waved for Derek Palmer Jr’s stricken Infiniti Q50 in the gravel at Tarzan.

Jackson hung onto his first pole position since 2009 ahead of Smith on the restart, while Gordon Shedden moved up to third with a late flyer for Honda to demote Goff and Ingram, Goff’s fourth a career best in qualifying.

Plato was sixth despite carrying 75kg of success ballast for leading the championship, Matt Neal next up for Honda while Aiden Moffat and Colin Turkington were next up, the latter recovering from a spin at Pif Paf while Andrew Jordan was 10th for Triple Eight.

Sam Tordoff was 11th for West Surrey Racing and top BMW, the top 19 separated by just under a second.

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