Ahead of the 300th Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship race for Motorbase Performance, Mat Jackson hopes for a podium finish at Snetterton.
The trip to Norfolk will see the Kent squad tick over 300 BTCC races since arriving in the series back in 2006, Jackson qualifying a solid fifth on the grid for that particular opening encounter.
Team-mate Andrew Jordan will start from the back of the grid meanwhile after a power steering issue in Saturday’s qualifying session, while Jackson intends to grace the podium on Sunday.
“P5 is a pretty good start”, Jackson told The Checkered Flag ahead of the team’s milestone race. “We’re in the mix for where we need to be and hopefully we can fight for the podium.
“It’s not my favourite place, but it’s an interesting track. It’s a long old race and very tough on tyres, so we’ll have to see how they last the race distance.
“Yes, the soft tyre works better in the higher temperatures, but everybody is in the same boat.”
A difficult brace of meetings at Oulton Park and Croft most recently for Jackson has seen the double race winner tumble to eighth in the points, but he is confident that the Ford Focus ST has found its sweet spot once again at Snetterton.
He added: “Oulton was a tough weekend for us and we messed up the last race at Croft, but it seems that the car is back in the sweet spot. If I can get three good results today then it’ll be a big boost to our championship.
“We polished off a few parts of the car after Croft – Oulton was a real killer and at Croft it was just the tyres. The car is clearly suited around [Snetterton].”
Switching to the nostalgia his time with Motorbase in the BTCC, long-time stalwart Jackson has every intention of adding to his 16 race wins with the Ford outfit this weekend.
“We’ve been through some great times and rough times – but that is motorsport.
“Obviously, the NGTC project really kicked off here with us in 2012. It was the first time that we as a team became a constructor. We went from being an Independent customer of BMW and Ford to being a constructor and it was a big step for the team.”
Expecting a frenetic opening race from fifth on the grid, Jackson concluded: “Hopefully we can get a podium 300 races on from where it all began and add some more wins today.
“We’re certainly within striking distance of the podium. A lot can kick off though! Gordon [Shedden] is on a mission, Colin [Turkington] will want to get another win and you never know, but we’ve got consistency.”